Quality Teacher & Education Act Impact & Innovation Awards 2013

INNOVATIVE PRACTICE
Rationale / Priority (250 words) The innovation practice described here is the implementation of co-teach as an instructional strategy in general education environment as a means of redressing disproportionality of African American students in special education and the underutilization of para-professionals and resource staff. In connection with our long term vision of building a non-behavioral RTI model which creates tier two academic interventions within the general education setting, Grattan piloted and subsequently implemented a site-wide model of co-teach. The target population included around 20 students currently receiving specialized academic instruction in math and ela through inclusive practices and around 10 students whom do not have qualifying conditions but require affirmative interventions to increase their access to and achievement with the core curriculum. The simplest expression of our vision of co-teach at Grattan is: two or more adults equally sharing responsibility for the students within a classroom. There are various ways of configuring adults into classrooms. Co-teach allows for two qualified adults to share the responsibilities within the classroom by replacing remedial pullout services with a new paradigm of delivering specialized academic instruction within the general education setting. This year for the first time, we have utilized our class wide SST data and an analysis of every student’s IEP services and Specialized Academic Instruction (SAI) minutes by content area and used this as the first lens for creating our class rosters. Focal students who do not receive specialized academic instruction but require affirmative interventions to access the curriculum are co-horted with students receiving services. (We are very mindful of proportionality within any given classroom to ensure we do not have tracking.) The RSP teachers schedule is then built around when classes need SAI. Next, all additional services (OT, PT, Speech, VI, literacy support, ELD schedules, etc., are each scheduled to maximize co-teach opportunities. Lastly we schedule enrichment and electives. This is a massive paradigm shift. Historically, the enrichment schedule was created based on teacher preferences and other adult needs. Our site piloting of co-teach began with a research grant through PACtin by a lead team of our RSP, Principal and two general education teachers. Early successes were measured with academic achievement data, student interviews, staff surveys and observation visits with Anne Benninhoff (coteach guru and author). Results of the pilot were shared as part of the EdTalks at the Administrators’ Institute in August.

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Quality Teacher & Education Act Impact & Innovation Awards 2013 Strategies that were Implemented (250 words) For two years the co-teach lead team conducted research, attended conferences and presented findings with fellow researchers through a large PACTin grant. The creation of the IEP services matrix in collaboration with Stetson and Associates last year was our first implementaiton accomplishment. Simultaneously there were a series of professional development experiences that ranged from explaining the what how and why of co-teach with teachers, para-professionals and families. In the beginning, it was clear that the idea was compelling to teachers and staff yet the reality of the implementation required new mental maps of what teacher’s and other adults’ roles are within the classroom. There has been a lot of micro-political work done to sustain the commitment of all stakeholders. The building and maintaining of relational trust and explicit understanding of the interdependence of diverse adult roles was a conversation we have had and continue to have regularly. Implementation factors: # people: # hours: The leadership Preparations of the team included 3 master schedule: ~20 grant writers, 4 hours. PD sessions for classroom teachers, teachers staff and 4 paras, and 20 families: ~ 100 hours. SPED and GenEd Peer Support Groups: students. ~20 hours.

Demonstrated Application & Measurable Outcomes (400 words)

Cost estimate: Other(s): Grant costs for Time was a huge conferences, Site Visits, resource with this work. release time, research Grant funds, extended paper presentation and hours from the site prep were about $20,000 budget and the general Additional resources fund all contributed to unaccountable include eliminating lack of time access to Stetson & from preventing the Associates and the hours work from happening. and hours of planning time for teachers grant team and staff. Our efforts were targeted at: students with IEPs in general education settings and focal students who required affirmative intervention but did not quality for special education. Within this second group is included a cohort of African American students who are not reaching proficiency with the standardized assessments. A parallel target group were the adults engaged with a shifting definition of roles within the classroom. Results from staff interviews indicate a consistent deepening over time of the benefits of this paradigm shift. As a direct result of the implementation of co-teach, we have increased the inclusive practices reaching all SPED students by delivering a majority of SAI and Speech services, and much of the PT, OT, and other related services within the general education setting. This also benefits the gen ed students within the classroom as well. The results of the co-teach strategy included; increased on task time for focal students, better preteach and re-teach opportunities in small groups, more authentic formative assessment data collection due to the specialized skills of the RSP, and better collaboration and communication between the
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Quality Teacher & Education Act Impact & Innovation Awards 2013 special education and general education practitioners leading to improved professional practices for all. Our success with closing the achievement gap for African American students at Grattan is a result of the deconstruction of barriers between general education and special education services. Having a second adult in the These successes have been conveyed to the community through the PTA, SSC and Principal’s communications. The understanding of the broad impact of co-teach and inclusion on the learning of all students promotes the SFUSD’s goal of making social justice a reality. Co-teach should be a viable option for every school in SFUSD where ever a resource teacher, service provider, para-professional, trained parent volunteer enters a classroom setting to work with any child. Co-teach can be a meaningful experience for a single pair of educators trying to change of pattern of results with a small set of students or it can be more systemically utilized as a way of elevating the respect and roles of support staff within a whole school. The grant team (Myself, Sheila Adams (Elementary SPED Supervisor) and Catherine Walter (classroom teacher) has a variety of PD opportunities prepared and are available to any and all whom are interested in exploring how co-teach might shift practice at their site.

Sharing Best Practice (250 words)

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