FWSU Special Educators Explore Systems to Support All Learners

Target 3 –  Flexible Learning Environments.  “FWSU will maximize flexible learning environments by redefining the school day, promoting learning experiences that extend beyond the school classroom, and fostering creativity, innovation,  and differentiated learning opportunities for all.

Action Steps – Provide students with access to content, resources, and methods for learning beyond the  school day and beyond the school walls.  Develop opportunities for students to collaborate, innovate, create and conceptualize in all learning settings.

FWSU Special Educators recently participated in a mini-workshop focusing on “Systems of Support for All Learners.” The team reviewed the important roles of Special Education and Regular Education and areas where the two systems share responsibilities.

sped team

(Thank you to the Town of Fairfax for the use of their new meeting space!)

V diagram

The group engaged in discussions about the need to move towards “A comprehensive, systemic approach to teaching and learning designed to meet the academic and non-academic needs and improve learning for all students through increasingly differentiated and intensified assessment, instruction, and intervention, provided by qualified professionals with appropriate expertise.”

This represents a shift in some of instructional practices that will force our schools to ask some tough questions of our system. This may mean a student who has difficulty learning may not always have a teacher trained in math or literacy. If a special education teacher is providing the core instruction, he or she may not have received formal training in the content area.

silos

When a special educator can meet with the general education teacher to collaborate in modifying assignments to match the student’s functional level and be in the classroom providing mini-lessons to small groups of children, this would be reinforced by regular classroom instruction. This instructional practice is congruent with a Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS).

5 Major Components of MTSS-RtII

1) Systemic and Comprehensive Approach

2) Effective Collaboration

3) High-quality Instruction and Intervention

4) Comprehensive and Balanced Assessment

5) Well-designed Professional Expertise

FWSU remains committed to academic and behavioral success for all students. Success begins with committed educators who believe that all students can achieve high standards as a result of effective teaching. This kind of professional development allows teachers to plan instruction to better meet the needs of learners, especially those who may need additional supports to be successful.

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