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Improved Outcomes for Students with Disabilities

This month our Bright Spot comes from  Monique Bonfiglio, Technology Teacher at Summit School, who attended the RSE-TASC Explicit Direct Instruction (EDI) Institute.

What were students able to achieve?

  • Ms. Bonfiglio reports that, since integrating EDI practices into her lessons, student engagement has increased, students are on-task, and students voluntarily participate more frequently.

What practices or systems made this possible?

  • “After attending the RSE-TASC’s workshop on Explicit Direct Instruction, I have used this framework consistently, resulting in positive student learning and behavior outcomes.  I spend less time trying to figure out how to deliver instruction now that I use the EDI lesson plan template. I am specially designing instruction for my student with IEPs and am able to cater my content delivery and methodologies around my students’ unique needs.”

What can we learn from this Bright Spot?

Specially Designed Instruction (SDI), defined in NYS regulations as “adapting, as appropriate to the needs of a student with a disability, the content, methodology or delivery of instruction to address the unique needs that result from the student’s disability”, is most effectively delivered when grounded in whole-class explicit instruction.  When lessons are planned and carefully structured, SDI that meets the unique needs of each student with a disability in that class can be built into every component of that lesson.

This month our Bright Spot comes from teachers in Irvington, Tuckahoe, Nyack and Greenburgh/North Castle. It provides a few more examples of Specially Designed Instructional (SDI) strategies teachers are implementing to improve their students’ outcomes.

What were students able to achieve as a result of specially designed instructional practices?    

◊  Kesha Carra at Greenburgh/North Castle reports that every student in her 8:1:1 class improved time-on-task and focus and attention in lessons.

◊  Barbara Schoeller from Irvington reported that all students in her class are able to accurately state lesson objectives in their own words.

◊  Ms. Serra in Tuckahoe shared that 80% of students in her class were able to explain how to solve multiple probability problems with 100% accuracy after one lesson.

◊  Kenneth Schoeller from Nyack High School reported that 90% of his students solved exponential equations after one lesson, and every student he called on was able to correctly explain the work.

What practices or systems made this possible?

⇒  Ms. Carra taught her students a simple visual cue, a hand signal, that she would use when she needed their attention or for them to focus.   Students responded and used the signal themselves.

⇒  Ms. Schoeller taught her students how to “Track-With-Me”, and used the strategy to engage students in choral reading of lesson objectives at the start of each lesson.

⇒  Ms. Serra taught students a process, “A-B Partners”, through which students practiced explaining their work to each other.

⇒  Mr. Schoeller provided explicit feedback by echoing student responses and taught students a Think-Pair-Share strategy that increased their opportunities to practice new concepts to mastery.

What can we learn from this Bright Spot?

  • Students become more focused, productive and independent in their learning when consistent processes and cues are taught, practiced and used consistently in classrooms.




Class/Grade Level*


What did your student(s) achieve?

What instructional practice or systemic change supported this student success?

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