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School Tools

There are many web-based tools to support educators in implementing evidence-based practices that improve outcomes for students with disabilities. Each month, a new tool is identified in the School Tools section of the RSE-TASC Reporter. Here are some valuable tools that have been featured in past issues of the Reporter.


Click here to see the proposed amendments to Section 100.5 and 200.4 of the Commissioner’s Regulations to Require Superintendents to Make a Local Determination. Do you have comments/thoughts about this? Share them by 12/2/16 through email at p12@nysed.gov or regular mail to Angelica Infante, New York State Education Department, 89 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12234.

The Superintendent Determination of Graduation Form for a local diploma can be found here.  This form is used to document the superintendent’s determination and, once complete, a copy is given to the parent, student, and NYSED.  A copy is also maintained in the student’s record.

The Regulations of the Commissioner of Education: Part 200 has been updated to reflect the new transition services requirements.  The Transition Services section of this regulation begins on page 49.  Click here to view the latest version of the regulations.

Designed to complement Jim Knight’s book High Impact Instruction, this webpage has a wealth of tools to help teachers, coaches and administrators. There are simple checklists for things like creating guiding questions and developing checks for understanding. There are also video snippets from coaching sessions on topics like learning maps and assessing student engagement.

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The National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDE) has created a number of resources for educators on writing standards-based IEPs. This publication by Maria Holbrook lays out a seven step process for developing standards-based IEPs and is full of examples of standards-based IEP goals.

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The CDOS Resource Guide was developed by the New York State Education Department as a companion to the CDOS Learning Standards. This book is easy to use and includes dozens of lesson plans and activities for students of all ages. All lessons include objectives, materials needed, recommended timelines and assessments. Many of the lessons and activities were developed by teachers. The guide also features cross-reference grids allowing the reader to quickly see how lessons and activities may be used in a variety of classes including ELA, math and more.

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CareerZone is an innovative online career exploration and planning system. Youth in grades 6 -12 can start their career exploration journey by beginning with the Interest, Work Values and Skill assessment tools to explore potential careers. The CareerZone search capabilities provide opportunities for students to match their interests to careers available in various education levels.

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Using the on-line, searchable version of the Occupational Outlook Handbook students can learn about different occupations and important information about each including median pay, entry-level educational requirements, on-the-job training options, number of new jobs projected in that field, and projected growth rate.

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There are many web-based tools demonstrating effective explicit vocabulary instruction strategies.

Here are just a few.

YouTube videos showing teachers using effective vocabulary strategies include the following:

  • Explicit Vocabulary Teaching Strategies April 30, 2012 , Dr. Mary-Beth Curtis

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  • Vocabulary Instruction (19 videos) by Sangren Hall

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In addition to the YouTube videos, check out the following free software:

Collins Cobuild Student’s Dictionary (Pocket PC)

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The Colorin Colorado website has a great description of language objectives and some examples that show what a language objective might look like.

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John Hollingsworth’s book, Explicit Direct Instruction (EDI) for English Learners, is also a great resource and Hollingsworth’s website has videos of teachers using EDI and also summarizes the research backing it.

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The Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning is a good place to start for educators considering integrating social emotional learning (SEL) into their school-wide systems of support. In their free downloadable 2013 CASEL Guide, the collaborative provides a step-by-step guide for implementing SEL with reviews of the research and ratings for seven preschool and 19 school-age social-emotional programs.

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On the video page, they provide a free library of videos with students, teachers, researchers and parents discussing social-emotional learning, including this one that gives an overview of the components of social-emotional learning and the research

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The comprehensive monograph on the Interconnected Systems Framework (ISF) provides a framework for a cross-system problem-solving team, comprised of key stakeholders in education and mental health systems, youth and families, that works to ensure earlier access for children and youth to high quality care. It provides a blueprint for the teams to examine community and school level data and develop action plans to implement evidence-based practices that meet a community’s identified needs. The development of the ISF was supported by the U.S. Office of Special Education Programs, the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Technical Assistance Center on PBIS, the IDEA Partnership, the National Community of Practice on Collaborative School Behavioral Systems and the University of Maryland Center for School Mental Health. It also reflects experiences of state and district school leaders from Illinois, Maryland, Montana, New York, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina.

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If you are intrigued by the Heath brother’s ideas about how to support meaningful change as outlined in their book Switch, visit their website download their “Switch for Organizations: The Workbook” and other change tools for free.

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Interested in the concept of Shaping the Path and why it’s worth trying to start a small change by yourself or with a small group? Watch this video on “Leadership Lessons from the Dancing Guy”. It may inspire you!

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