Widening the Circle
Explore the various professional development resources. These “starter” resources help to introduce the necessary skills to help schools build the capacity to implement inclusive approaches in Catholic schools.
Decades of research on student engagement tell us conclusively that students who are engaged in learning do better in school. No mystery there.
But what does engagement look like? How is it measured? What does the term engagement actually mean? Let’s dig in.
Engaged students are those who connect with the content presented in the classroom or during a learning activity. Students can engage in a variety of ways. This is good news because it means students have a variety of ways they might connect with a concept including intellectually, behaviorally, physically, emotionally,...more
Guidelines on Person-First Language
Language is a powerful mechanism. Words can empower or diminish; affirm or dismiss. The words chosen when referring to individuals with disabilities hold importance. The term “disability” implies a disadvantage, which influences the way many people think about individuals with disabilities.
In truth, all people are made in the image of God, and each is unique and unrepeatable. However, human beings are predisposed to discomfort in the face of difference. As stated in the USCCB’s “Pastoral Statement on Persons with...more
Check-In, Check-Out (CICO) is a research-based behavior intervention that can be utilized for many different target behaviors because it can be customized and the foundation relies on the relationship between the teacher and the student. With CICO, the teacher would work with the student to set an observable behavioral goal. These may be directly related to the PBIS school-wide expectations.
For example, perhaps the student is working on being prepared. In the morning, she would check in with a specific faculty member with whom she had a good rapport. That person would help her get...more
Nothing is more trying to a classroom teacher than to work with a student with challenging behaviors. Other learning problems, like learning disabilities and speech issues, are easier for a teacher to engender a helping and caring response. The same is not true for students with behavioral issues. It is difficult to feel helpful and want to remediate behav- ioral difficulties when these behaviors are making the teacher’s life miserable. In many cases, the teacher just wants the “behavior problem” and, most often, the child to disappear. Who can blame them? However, this is not the response...more
Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS), which can also be referred to as Positive Behavior Supports (PBS) or School-wide Positive Behavior Supports (SWPBS) offer a comprehensive, preventative approach to managing student behavior. With this framework, the focus is on defining and teaching school-wide agreed-upon behavior expectations, promoted through positive reinforcement. PBIS schools collect behavioral data to identify students in need of additional supports and layer in the necessary interventions.
There are five steps to implementing PBIS which must be approached...more
Early childhood educators may have questions about when to refer a child for an evaluation with a speech-language pathologist when speech is difficult to understand or a child struggles to communicate in the classroom. Knowing the expected developmental milestones can help, as well as preparing to speak with the parents about concerns.
According to ASHA, the American Speech Language Hearing Association, a preschool-aged child, who is three to four years old, should be combining four words to make sentences and be understood by most people in conversation. Four sentences may be used...more
Even if Tier One is effective where 75-80% of students are making progress, there will still be students who do not respond to the core educational program. For these students, there needs to be a next level to help to address these needs. Tier Two is referred to as the Targeted Intervention Level. Analysis of the student data will indicate which students require additional supports to make expected progress. The emphasis of RtI/MTSS is not on the labeling of students who are not making progress but on intervening early with high-quality interventions.
Some characteristics of Tier...more
MTSS is a three-tiered model of implementation that uses a differentiated approach to identify and serve the academic and behavioral needs of all students by focusing on high-quality instruction and a strong standards-based curriculum. The overall goal of RtI/MTSS is to improve student achievement using research-based curricular materials, delivered with evidence-based instructional approaches. This tier is dedicated to providing universal supports for all students to achieve success both in academic and behavioral realms. Consistent with the MTSS approach, the focus is on prevention. By...more
Co-teaching is the practice of pairing teachers together in a classroom to share the responsibilities of planning, instructing, and assessing students. In a co-teaching setting, the teachers are considered equally responsible and accountable for the classroom. Co-teaching is often implemented with general and special education teachers paired together as part of an initiative to create a more inclusive classroom.
Ferguson, Desjarlais, and Meyer (2000) describe some of the benefits of co-teaching in an inclusion classroom as the following:
• More opportunities for one-on-one...more
An instructional coach is an educational leader who works in a school or district to support teachers in reaching their goals. Effective instructional coaches serve as thought partners, building relationships based on trust and mutual respect and providing reflective, inquiry-oriented feedback rather than making judgments.
The instructional coaching process has three important components:
The classroom teacher: • identify learning goals, provide data. • integrate new practices, invite feedback, meet with the coach weekly to reflect,...more