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Nancy J. Lavelle, Ph.D. – Founder and Chair of the Board

Dr. Lavelle founded the non-profit Institute for the Redesign of Learning, in 1974, to serve as a catalyst for the design, implementation, and dissemination of innovative teaching and learning strategies for infants, children and adults with learning, developmental, behavior and/or emotional disabilities as well as individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders. The Institute offers early intervention, special education, mental health, vocational and job placement services to over 3700 children, students and adults from 35 communities in Southern California each year. The Institute operates four facilities in South Pasadena: Early Childhood Education Services; Almansor Academy (a special education, non-public day school); Transition and Adult Services/ Supported Employment Services, Community Outreach Services, and Clinical Services (Mental Health). The Clinical Services program also operates a clinic in the City of Commerce. The Westmoreland Academy, our sixth program and second special education, non-public day school for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders, opened in 2012 in Pasadena. The Almansor Academy serves a diverse population. Approximately 44% of our clients are of Hispanic/Latino origin; 33% are Caucasian; 12% African-American and 11% Asian. Over 60% of families receiving services live below the poverty level. Forty percent of our clients are in foster or group home placements. The Institute has also provided courses and workshops nationally for more than 3000 parents and professionals in the last several years.

Dr. Lavelle also founded Total Education Solutions, Inc. (TES). TES, started in 1997, is a privately held, full-service, multi-state special education company that provides professional services to clients and direct special education and therapeutic services to individuals with of all abilities in schools and homes; online; and in the community. TES also operates multi-disciplinary therapeutic clinics in San Diego, Los Angeles, Alhambra, Lynwood, and Sacramento, California; in Troy, Michigan; and in Columbus and Akron, Ohio where TES also established the TES Academy, a specialty school for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Dr. Lavelle received her doctorate in Psychological Studies in Education from the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Lavelle is principal author of Taking Charge® for Educators and Related Professionals:

Linguistic Coaching for Special Needs and At-Risk Youth, and Taking Charge®: A Life Planning Partnership with At-Risk Youth and has conducted over 300 workshops nationwide for parents, educators and other professionals working with at-risk youth. She has served as a Review Panelist for the U.S. Department of Education National Exemplary School Recognition Program; the Council on American Private Education; as well as the Institute for At-Risk Infants, Children, Youth and Their Families; all located in Washington, D.C. Dr. Lavelle has been a member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Private Schools for Exceptional Children, Washington, D.C.; the California Association of Private Special Education Schools, in Sacramento; Education 1st!, a Los Angeles based entertainment industry group dedicated to improving the quality of education; and the Inside Edge Educational Foundation, Beverly Hills. Dr. Lavelle has also served on the Board of Directors, and is past president of the Education Industry Association, based in Washington, D.C. She is currently on the Board of Directors of the UCLA Mountain Bruins, Lake Arrowhead, CA. Her areas of professional expertise include: Linguistic Coaching®, personal responsibility training; crisis intervention; self-determination and advocacy; and staff development and training. Her areas of professional expertise include: school organization, strategic planning, staff development and training, teacher education, parent training, crisis intervention, self-determination and advocacy.