Deputy of Specialized Instructional Services
Brenda B. Taylor is the Deputy Chief of Specialized Instructional Services for the School District of Philadelphia. As Deputy Chief, Brenda is responsible for overseeing the provisions of programs and services in the areas of physical health, behavioral health, prevention and intervention, homeless student support and special education ensuring that all such programs are in compliance and meeting the needs of the population of students that the District serves. She has been able to develop and direct the implementation/administration of the School District of Philadelphia policies and procedures designed to maximize the delivery of services that positively drives student achievement.
The School District of Philadelphia
Several achievements gained under Brenda’s lead include: increasing the District’s special education compliance rate for over 26,000 students to 99%; development of a web-based special education documentation system to ensure compliance with special education policies and procedures at both the federal and state levels; development of the ‘Access to The Core Strategies Guide’ – (a companion to the District’s Core Curriculum) to support teachers and staff with meeting the needs of diverse learners; development of after school on site programs for students residing in emergency housing; initiated annual district-wide counselor and psychologists conferences to ensure research-based best practices related to academic and behavioral intervention planning; collaborated with the Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health to develop and successfully implement school based programs that address the needs of students with various behavioral health diagnoses; successfully initiated a partnership with Temple University to develop a leadership academy for current and aspiring directors of special education.
Brenda is a proud graduate of the School District of Philadelphia and has more than thirty-four years working on behalf of the students in the District. During her tenure with the District she has served as a grade teacher, special education teacher, special education supervisor, assistant principal, administrator and currently a deputy chief. Brenda’s passion is in working directly with parents and students to develop positive outcomes. She has worked in both elementary and secondary settings. In addition to her credentials as a teacher of elementary and special education, Brenda holds certification for elementary principal, secondary principal and superintendent.
Ms. Taylor’s commitment to public education has gained her national recognition as an advocate for the education of urban students. She has presented at local and national conferences on school based services for children. She has been recognized as a ‘Hero In Our Midst’ by the National Big Brothers Big Sisters Organization for her personal commitment to mentoring; received recognition from The Philadelphia Right to Education Task Force for ‘Spirit of Excellence in Leadership’; and The Philadelphia Parent Leadership Academy’s ‘Commitment to Educational Service’ award. Her professional activities include City of Philadelphia Mayor’s Commission on Mental Health Services, City of Philadelphia Adolescent Violence Reduction Project, Pennsylvania Association of Intermediate Unit Special Education Directors, Urban Collaborative of Public School Leadership, National Association of School Administrators, Board of Directors Big Brothers Big Sisters and former board member of Physicians for Social Responsibility.
Ms. Taylor is a life long committed resident of Philadelphia.