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RTI/MTSS & COVID-19: 3 Steps to Regain Control
In mid-March 2020, schools across the nation closed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This sudden and massive interruption of instruction is unprecedented and represents a cataclysm with no playbook on how schools should respond. And there is the further possibility that — even after schools reconvene — future instructional lockdowns may be ordered due to flareups of the virus.
4 Steps for Managing Trauma-Informed Classrooms
Take a random walk through any school on any day and you may see challenging behaviors. These surface behaviors are easily observed. However, what may remain hidden from the observer (and perhaps from the teachers of Sean, Alyssa and Ahmed, is that each of these students engage in these behaviors as a fight-flight-or-freeze survival response triggered by their unique history of complex trauma.Continue Reading
Best Practices for Service Documentation
In the world of IDEA, documentation is a requirement. However, documentation practices in school districts have no universal standard. This can lead to major problems both for students and districts ― like due process hearings and issues with continuity of service. So, in the absence of universal standards, your district should create best practices of its own. Here is some information to help you get started.
3-Step System to Identify Social, Emotional & Behavioral Issues Sooner
The primary purpose of schools is to educate. At times however, students display challenging behaviors or significant social-emotional concerns that interfere with their learning. In such cases, our goal as educators, counselors and service providers is to identify who those students are and match them to appropriate behavioral or social-emotional interventions.Continue Reading
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Poll: What Does Social-Emotional Learning Look Like in Your District?
Schools have made leaps and bounds in supporting students’ social-emotional and behavioral needs since the tragedy at Columbine High School. However, implementing a framework for social-emotional learning (SEL) can still be extremely challenging for educators. What does SEL look like in your school or district? Have you run into any obstacles? Take the poll to share your thoughts.Continue Reading
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4 Steps for Navigating Dyslexia Across Departments
Dyslexia, a neuro-biological disorder that affects language processing, has no bearing on intelligence, but complicates a student’s ability to learn by making both reading and verbal communication difficult. Because dyslexia notoriously flies under the radar, a child can go years with the disorder unidentified and with no answer for why schoolwork is so difficult ― or worse, with teachers and parents assuming that laziness is to blame for poor performance in school.Continue Reading
5 Ways to Support Gifted Learners at the Start of the School Year
Excitement is in the air as a new school year begins! Students find out who their teachers will be, discover which friends are in their classes, and of course, shop for new school supplies! But there is a particular group of students who might not be quite as excited as some of the others to start school, and that group might surprise you — I am talking about students identified as gifted.Continue Reading
8 Steps to Monitor Progress on Tier 2/3 Reading Interventions
Whenever I can, I like to visit the American southwest and hike in rocky desert terrain. I often find small piles of stones (cairns) placed at intervals as trail markers. Hikers are always on the lookout to spot the next cairn, moving from signpost to signpost to successfully navigate the trail. Trekkers who ignore the progress-monitoring information of these trail markers can quickly wander off the track and become lost.Continue Reading
10 Sources of Data to Build a Comprehensive IEP
An Individualized Education Program has the potential to “tell the right story” for each student with a disability — to describe the student’s strengths and assets, identify areas of need and chart a pathway for a successful school year. But to be relevant and meaningful, the IEP must be based on current, reliable and valid information.Continue Reading
6 Ingredients for Staff (and Student) Ownership in Education
Here’s something obvious but important: there’s a real difference between simply showing up and truly buying into the mission and vision of your organization. It’s true in business, and it’s true in schools. And in schools, cultivating employee ownership for that mission has an equally important partner: ensuring students are invested in their education.Continue Reading
Establishing Baseline Data in an IEP: 3 Steps to Taking a Student’s Performance Temperature
Remember the line by Lewis Carroll: “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” This shows the importance of goal setting. If you don’t know where you are starting from, anywhere you end can look like progress. This shows the importance of collecting baseline data.Continue Reading