Insight / Published Feb 17, 2018

Get to Know New Orleans Navigator Brittany McCormick

Born and raised in New Orleans, Brittany McCormick joined EdNavigator in July 2017. She attended Mount Carmel Academy in the Lakeview area of New Orleans and completed her undergraduate studies at Southern University at New Orleans. After training to become a teacher through TeachNOLA, she spent six years teaching elementary and middle school grades in Orleans and Jefferson Parishes. In 2017, she placed second for Teacher of the Year awarded by the Urban League of Louisiana in partnership with the Louisiana Federation for Children and Stand For Children Louisiana. Brittany resides in New Orleans East with her husband and three children.


Why did you join EdNavigator?

I joined EdNavigator to remain connected to the field of education while transitioning from a role as a classroom teacher. I’ve spent six years in the classroom, working with both elementary and middle school students. EdNavigator provided a great opportunity to explore another angle of education: working directly with parents. As a parent, I understand some things can be unclear and not knowing the right questions to ask or what your rights are as a parent, can impede a student’s progress. My role is now to help close those gaps and help parents become better advocates in their children’s education process.

Tell us about the families you work with.

Each family I work with has different needs. So far, I have worked with families to get or update an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and participate in meetings with school officials to ensure the parents’ questions are answered and the IEP reflects the needs of their child.

I’ve attended report card conferences when parents were unable to make it or simply wanted an additional advocate in the room for their child. For many parents, having another person in the room to ask questions that may slip their mind, or may not come to mind at all, has been very helpful in establishing long term goals.

I also observe classrooms to get an idea of how educators interact with some of our students and vice versa. This provides great insight into how a student works within a classroom setting, and report back any outstanding issues to parents that can help enhance their child’s success in school.

With each of these instances, I compile and track data to make sure the steps I take with families are relevant and help the family reach goals they’ve set for their child.

What impact has your work with EdNavigator had on the families you’ve worked with?

One of the cases that stands out most to me is working with a mother of a child with disabilities who needed an updated Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and reassurance the school was adhering to the child’s personal plan. A previous administrator had signed paperwork for the parent without the parent's consent and did not host an IEP meeting to communicate with the parent accommodations for her child. It was only when the parent requested paperwork that she noticed the previous administration of the school had violated her rights as the parent of a child with a disability. After contacting the new administration, an IEP meeting was quickly set up to rectify the situation. Now, mom has an IEP that she was fully advised on and approved. She can now follow up on the agreed upon accommodations to ensure her child is receiving the proper accommodations to help them excel in school.

What do you hope to achieve through your work with EdNavigator? Many parents are unaware of their rights as it relates to the school system. I think having served in the classroom and working within the system, gives me an opportunity to share my knowledge with other parents. I want parents to be better advocates for their children. I see my role as helping them gain the knowledge they need to fight for their children, with or without me present.