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Improved Outcomes for Students with Disabilities

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.

This month’s Bright Spot comes from Karen Kushnir, Megan DiDomenico, Amy Cohen and Cynthia Giumarra from Byram Hills.  Teams from Byram Hills have been attending the Student-Directed IEP book study series.

What were students able to achieve?

Students with disabilities in Byman Hills are setting their own learning goals, monitoring their progress towards achievement of those goals, and engaging in self-advocacy to ensure they receive the supports they need.  They are able to identify and articulate what instructional strategies and supports work for them.  As the team says, the students are taking ownership and becoming more invested in their educational planning and annual review meetings.

What practices or systems made this possible?

Here are just a few of the practices that Byram Hills staff are putting in place:

* Teaching self-awareness and goal setting to students as early as Kindergarten

* Involving all student in understanding their current IEP goals and brainstorming ways to achieve them

* Explicitly teaching students how to advocate and how to ask for help

* Recognizing the responsibility educators have to prepare their student to be independent learners, thinkers and active members of society

What can we learn from this Bright Spot?

Here’s what two of the teachers had to say:

“When a student’s voice is heard and they are part of their own educational planning in a developmentally appropriate manner, they are invested in their own education and become more self-aware and self-confident.”

“Students are the “I” in IEP.  Their role is an integral part of the process.”




Class/Grade Level*


What did your student(s) achieve?

What instructional practice or systemic change supported this student success?

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