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

By Andrew J. Ecker, Ed.D., Special Education School Improvement Specialist, John McCabe, LCSW, Non-District Specialist, and Dale Langley, PsyD, Behavior Specialist, Lower Hudson RSE-TASC

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)....

This month’s student outcome bright spots come from the 17 teams who celebrated their student outcomes at SOcon, and shared what works, and how we can do more of it.

What were students able to achieve?

Students engaged in self-advocacy and self-determined learning:

* Washington Irving Middle School, Public Schools of the Tarrytowns
* Mount Pleasant CSD
* Hawthorne Country Day

Students connected with peers, adults and the community in socially effective ways:

* Byram Hills CSD
* Garrison School UFSD
* John A. Coleman School
* Green Chimneys
* The Ives School, Lincoln Hall
* The Walden School, Putnam / Northern Westchester BOCES

Students exhibited academic behaviors with increased engagement in learning:

* New Rochelle Public Schools
* Pennington Elementary School, Mt. Vernon CSD
* Mamaroneck UFSD

Students improved academic and communication skills:

* William Boyce Thompson School, Yonkers Public Schools
* Fieldstone Middle School, North Rockland CSD
* Carmel CSD

Students are skilled and ready for post-secondary success and independence:

* S.A.I.L at Ferncliff Manor
* Hawthorne Country Day
* White Plains High School, White Plains Public Schools

What practices or systems made this possible?

Click these links and read the top blog to find out:

⇒ Self-advocacy & self-determined learning supports

⇒ Social-emotional and behavioral supports

⇒ Academic and learning supports

⇒ Post-secondary and employment supports

What can we learn from this Bright Spot?

While every journey must start with a single step, we know that many additional single steps must follow in order to make the journey a success and achieve our desired outcome.  We want your journey to be a success.  We want you to achieve your desired student outcomes.  We want you to share what worked and how we can do more of it.


Four Steps to Keep the Switch Going! – July/August 2018

Learn more about Finding and Learning from Bright Spots from SOcon keynote, and RSE-TASC Director, Patti Slobogin, PhD: Learn three critical steps to successfully navigating challenging change:, from Martha Trujillo-Torp, EdD, RSE-TASC Special Education School Improvement Specialist Read…

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