Improved Outcomes for Students with Disabilities

Our Bright Spot this month comes from Narolin Reyes, teacher at School 13 in Yonkers Public Schools.

What were students able to achieve?

Ms. Reyes saw her students improve accuracy on reading comprehension tasks in class, and improve reading scores on the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessment of reading.

What practices or systems made this possible?

Ms. Reyes used the simple strategy of providing students with step-by-step checklists for complex tasks.  For instance, when Ms. Reyes wanted her students to engage in close reading of a text, she not only taught them what this meant, but she also provided them with a checklist that they could use independently until they had memorized the required steps.  She collaborated with the Speech Teacher in developing and teaching students to use the checklists repetitively until they became independent.

What can we learn from this Bright Spot?

We know that adults can more easily and accurately perform complex tasks, from airplane pre-checks to neurosurgery procedures, when they have written guides that walk them through the key steps in the procedure.  Why not provide students with the same support when they are learning complex new skills?  If you are not convinced, check out The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right, by neurosurgeon Atul Gawande.

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.


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