VEC is an interdisciplinary team of school leaders and teachers providing a range of consulting services to schools and colleges. Bill, Claudia, and Jim and their colleagues have very different professional backgrounds but approach their work with a common sense of purpose. We work with schools, school districts, and colleges to ensure that educational environments sustain the most positive and productive experiences, supporting diverse populations of students for future success.
Our team brings expertise in areas including ELL and bilingual students with and without disabilities, MTSS (Multi-Tiered Systems of Support), UDL (Universal Design for Learning), special education services, disproportionality, school and program design, educational leadership, project-focused learning, service-learning, and quantitative and qualitative research methods.
We offer an external perspective that helps stakeholders consider new ways of collaborating, understanding current practice, and strategic planning. Given the complex dynamics and potential impact of relationships in schools on learning, gaining perspective on the nature of these relationships is essential to optimizing academic achievement.
Mr. Wilmot received his B.A. in Liberal Arts, from St. John’s College in Annapolis, MD, with a focus on philosophy and the history of science and math. He earned an Ed.M. in School Leadership, specializing in School Development from Harvard Graduate School of Education. He is currently a consultant working with CAST on the implementation of the Universal Design for Learning framework. Prior to that, he was the Founding Head of School at Tremont School, a project-based school focused on academic, social, and emotional learning as three equal parts of school. He approached designing a school with the goal of making school fit students rather than students fitting schools. Before that he was the second Head of School for four years of the Seacoast Charter School, an arts-integrated, K-8 charter school. He began his career teaching math, science, and music in grades 5-9 in a variety of charter and district schools. He has also worked as a consultant for public, charter pilot, and independent schools, including school design and redesign, program evaluation, and strategic planning. He has written about leadership, Universal Design for Learning (UDL) implementation, and learning design. In all of his work, his goal is to transform the relationship between students and teachers toward mutual learning, building a sense of ownership for students over their learning.
Claudia is the Joan Weiler Arnow `49 Professor of Education and serves as Chair of the Education Department at Lasell University. Her research addresses the implementation of Response to Intervention (RTI) and Multi-Tier System of Support (MTSS) in urban settings and with large numbers of English language learners and teacher preparation that respond to the growing diversity in urban schools. Her experience engages educators on how to improve systems and instructional practices for students with reading difficulties who may be at-risk for failure, or those who are English language learners and who may have mild and moderate disabilities. She has published a book for educators called Practical Ways to Engage All Struggling Readers and co-authored the RTI-Based Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD) Identification Toolkit for Educators for the Response to Intervention Action Network, a division from the National Center for Learning Disabilities among other chapters and peer-review articles. Claudia also served on the Board of Directors for the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), as a member of the Professional Advisory Board for National Center for Learning Disabilities. She currently serves as a reviewer for the National Center of Intensive Interventions, a Though Leader for the National Center for Systemic Improvements, and as an advisor for the MA DESE Shaping Teacher Quality and Students in Experience. You can follow her on Twitter @claudiamtss, claudiasandl in Instagram, or read her blog bilingualspecialed.com.
Jim Ostrow, Ph.D. is Provost Emeritus of Lasell University, where he served as the institution’s chief academic officer from January, 2001 through July, 2020. Prior to Lasell University, he served as Director of Academic Affairs/Chief Academic Officer of Penn State Fayette, and before that was Director of the Bentley University Service-Learning Center and Chairperson of Bentley University’s Department of Behavioral Sciences.
Dr. Ostrow’s principal scholarly interests combine social theory, continental philosophy, and American pragmatist philosophy. He has published books on pedagogy and sociological theory. His articles in sociology, educational philosophy, and research methods have appeared in such journals as Sociological Perspectives, Human Studies, Qualitative Sociology, Perspectives, and the International Journal for Qualitative Studies in Education. Dr. Ostrow also publishes articles and speaks about higher education policy as well as community service-learning. He has written articles for The Boston Globe, WBUR’s Cognoscenti, Inside Higher Ed, School and Society, and he has appeared on WGBH Greater Boston and WBUR’s All Things Considered. Dr. Ostrow served as Visiting Scholar at the New England Center for Research on Higher Education (NERCHE), conducting research on how the value of education is experienced, understood, and articulated by different constituencies.
We work with clients to realize and define a future vision for their work. We believe that effective implementation grows out of fundamental coherence, clarity and agreement around the future vision. Through this visioning work, we push clients to wrestle with the student experience and external demands.
Any new direction must be defined down to the level of student experience and the desired actions of everyone and made tangible through clear definitions of success.
All of our work begins from a close examination of the student experience within existing or designed learning environments. We see this as essential to yielding results for any project that will make a true difference in preparation for college, career, and citizenship.