Increasing Post-School Success through Interagency Collaboration

Interagency collaboration is a predictor of post-school success, correlated with positive post-school outcomes in education and employment. It is defined as “a clear, purposeful, and carefully designed process that promotes cross agency, cross program, and cross disciplinary collaborative efforts leading to tangible transition outcomes for youth” (Rowe et al., 2015). Students with disabilities who receive services from community providers while in high school are more likely to be employed or attending postsecondary education after high school. Through interagency collaboration, schools can ensure that students connect with important community services and are more likely to be successful after school.

How Can We Improve Deeper Learning for Students with Disabilities?

RSE-TASC Special Education School Improvement Specialists across New York State have the opportunity to collaboratively collect data in multiple classrooms where students with disabilities are educated, using the RSE-TASC Explicit and Specially Designed Instruction Walk-Through tool. This tool includes multiple “Look Fors” for instructional practices that have been proven to be effective in supporting the learning of all students, and in particular students with disabilities and English Language Learners. While many of these practices are being seen with increasing frequency over the years, some are observed with stubbornly low frequency. One of these is: “Teachers explicitly teach strategies for responding to higher order questions.”

Positive Classroom Management: Creating an Environment for Learning

When I asked a room of 50 educators how many courses in classroom management they took during their teacher training coursework, an overwhelming majority reported taking only one or even none. Yet, all agreed that effective teaching and learning cannot take place in a poorly managed classroom. With the body of research growing around the importance of a strong tier 1/ universal foundation for behavior support, we now know better than ever that establishing a proactive classroom management system is essential to achieving student outcomes.

Self-Determination Skills Empower Students of All Ages

How well do students really understand themselves? Can they identify their areas of interest as well as the things they are good at and enjoy doing? Are they aware of their needs – those connected with their disabilities? The responses to these questions are at the heart of self-determination skills, skills that students need to be successful both in school and in the community.

Fidelity of Implementation: What is it and Why does it Matter?

Is your core literacy program effective? Is it meeting the needs of at least 80% of your students, meaning that at least 80% of your students are meeting grade level expectations or making sufficient progress to close the gap? I am sure if someone came to your school you would be able to answer these questions, even if it took a bit of time to gather the data necessary to do so. If the answer to these questions is, “Not yet”, how would your team go about identifying why not and next steps?

Rethinking Classroom Assessment

I walked into my Coordinator’s office to plan my professional development and she asked me, “What do you think you need to learn more about ?” Despite the simplicity of the question, a quick answer was not at the ready. After some thought, I said I would like to know more about how classroom teachers use assessments. I have a background in standardized assessments, but the day-to-day assessment practices of a typical teacher were outside my experience.

A Three-Step Approach to Identifying Developmentally Appropriate Practices

“Instruction must be developmentally appropriate!” This, or some variation thereof, is something we use and hear frequently in education. However, if you ask someone to define what “developmentally appropriate” means, few can articulate a clear response or envision what it actually looks like in practice. The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) defines developmentally appropriate practice (DAP) as meeting students where they are and helping them to meet challenging but achievable learning goals (Copple, Bredekamp, Koralek, & Charner, 2013). Copple et al. (2013) suggest that effective implementation of DAP requires three things:

Transforming Evidence-Based Practices into Usable Innovations: A Case Study with SRSD

This summer when we presented our Explicit Direct Instruction (EDI) workshop, we wanted to ground the workshop in a highly effective, evidence-based practice (EBP). We decided on Self Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD), a set of student strategies for writing that teachers can explicitly teach to students, that is an all-star EBP with a very high effect size (1.14) for both behavior and writing. The only problem was that teaching SRSD could potentially take a week or more and our workshop was only three days! It was clear to us that, in order to provide effective training on SRSD, we needed to clearly define it and identify the critical core component in terms that could be taught, learned, practiced, and assessed efficiently and effectively. We would have to transform SRSD into a “useable innovation”.

Lower Hudson RSE-TASC: Where Have We Been and Where Are We Going in 2018-2019?

Happy September, and welcome back!  At the Lower Hudson RSE-TASC we are excited about the new school year and the initiatives in which we will be collaborating with you.  To set the stage, we wanted to look back at the accomplishments of last year and share some plans for the upcoming year.

Looking Back:  2017-2018

First of all, thank you to the more than 350 educators who responded to our end-of-year survey, telling us whether our regional trainings had hit the mark last year.  Here’s who responded:

Student Outcome Bright Spots: What Works, and How Can We Do More of It?

On June 7, more than 250 educators from across our region joined in celebrating student outcomes, learning what works, and how to do more of it.  This occurred at our first-ever RSE-TASC Student Outcomes Conference a/k/a SOcon.  Seventeen school, agency, and program teams celebrated the student outcomes that they’ve achieved, and shared how they did it.  Student outcomes refer to the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that students need in order to be independent and successful in school, career, and community.  Student outcomes are why we exist as educators.  Thus, SOcon was not a conference.  SOcon was a switch – “from archaeological problem solving to bright-spot evangelizing” (Heath & Heath, 2010, p. 48).
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