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Presented by: Mitzi S. Brammer, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

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1 Literacy Coaching in Special Education: Helping Students Succeed within an RtI Framework
Presented by: Mitzi S. Brammer, Ph.D., CCC-SLP Special School District of St. Louis County April 17, 2010

2 Group Norms Please turn cell phones to vibrate mode or off.
Please take care of your own personal and learning needs. Please participate fully. Please honor the attention signal.

3 Session Objectives: Describe a special education literacy coaching model List roles of a special education literacy coach Explain how the special education coaching model differs from a traditional coaching model Identify basic tenets of Response to Intervention Design a menu of strategies to address identified concerns Discuss literacy support mechanisms for special educators

4 History of Coaching Support in the District
Support began during the school year. Led by Dr. Mitzi Brammer, Literacy Area Coordinator SSD Literacy Coaches must hold dual state certification 2:10 Describe SSD a little bit. SSD began a literacy coaching program during the school year. The coaching support program was led by Dr. Mitzi Brammer, Literacy Area Coordinator Seven special education coaches provide regional literacy support to special education staff within St. Louis County. SSD Literacy Coaches must hold dual state certification: Special Education, Special Reading.

5 Goals for SSD Literacy Coaches
SSD Literacy Coaches will support special education staff to ensure implementation of research-based literacy strategies and/or programs with fidelity across the curriculum. SSD Literacy Coaches will use data to engage in collaborative dialogue at a variety of levels (teacher to teacher, teacher to administrator, etc.) in order to ensure that the District’s goals for literacy are met.

6 What does literacy coaching look like at SSD?
Roles adapted from the IRA’s Position Statement on the Roles and Qualifications of the Reading Coach in the United States (IRA, 2004). Roles are adapted from the International Reading Association’s Position Statement on the Roles and Qualifications of the Reading Coach in the United States (IRA, 2004). SSD Literacy Coaches’ roles fall into three broad categories as defined by IRA.

7 Roles of SSD Literacy Coaches
Conversations with colleagues (identifying issues or needs, goal-setting, problem-solving) Developing and providing materials for/with colleagues Participating in professional development activities with colleagues Leading and participating in Study Groups

8 Roles of SSD Literacy Coaches
Co-planning lessons Facilitating team meetings (grade level, participating on data teams, with other reading specialists, etc.) Analyzing student work Assisting SSD staff in interpreting assessment data for instructional decision-making Individual discussions with SSD and gen. ed. colleagues about the teaching and learning of students with special needs Planning, implementing and evaluating effective professional learning presentations for teacher-level staff Turn to your left shoulder partner. Discuss: which of these roles do you already help to fulfill? Is there shared responsibility in your building or district for these roles? If so, who shares?

9 How does special ed literacy coaching differ from traditional literacy coaching?
Geographic area(s) served Supervision and evaluation Involvement in curriculum writing Staff supported by coaches Funding source 2:30 1. SSD literacy coaches support a larger geographic area, more schools and more teachers. 2. The SSD Literacy Coordinator directly supervises the SSD Literacy Coaches rather than a building principal. 3. Traditional coaches are more highly involved in curriculum writing at the district level than SSD literacy coaches. 4. SSD literacy coaches primarily support teachers of students with identified special needs. This is not to say, however, that if students who do not have identified needs are discussed at data team meetings, the literacy coach. would not offer support or suggest possible interventions. 5. SSD Literacy Coaches are funded through IDEIA monies, rather than Title I funds.

10 Basic Tenets of Response to Intervention

11 RtI: The Basics Students Behavioral Systems Academic Systems Any Area
Curriculum Area Behavioral Systems Academic Systems Intensive, Individual Interventions Individual Students Assessment-based High Intensity Of longer duration Intensive, Individual Interventions Individual Students Assessment-based Intense, durable procedures 1-5% 1-5% Targeted Group Interventions Some students (at-risk) High efficiency Rapid response Targeted Group Interventions Some students (at-risk) High efficiency Rapid response 5-10% 5-10% Raise your hand if you are just starting the RtI process; raise your hand if you have been doing RtI for a couple of years and feel a comfort level with it; raise your hand if you feel like your school could be the poster child for RtI. Students Universal Interventions All settings, all students Preventive, proactive Universal Interventions All students Preventive, proactive 80-90% 80-90%

12 A Different Way to Look at RtI
Intensive Instruction Progress Monitoring Data Analysis Implementation Checks Student Success Supplemental Interventions Curriculum Supports

13 Possible Role(s) of Special Education Literacy Coaches on a Data Team
Participant Data Analysis Support Interventionist Research Checker – Asks / checks if suggested intervention is research-based 2:50

14 Decision-Making in Data Teams: Team Member Responsibilities
Assume a Role Come Prepared to the Meeting Be Punctual Engage Fully In the Process Participate Honestly, Respectfully, Constructively

15 Designing a Menu of Strategies
Data Team Process that Special School District uses: Collect and chart student data Analyze strengths and obstacles Establish goals: set, review, revise Select instructional strategies Determine results indicators

16 Let the data speak: To allocate resources
To adjust instructional practices To provide a menu of interventions and/or programs 3:00

17 Often Found on the Data Team Meeting Agenda
What instructional strategies could we employ to bring students with special needs to proficiency? What resources/tools/ knowledge do I need to help my students?

18 Designing a Menu of Strategies
Four viable sources Organize the strategies Sources: Florida Center for Reading Research What Works Clearinghouse Research Textbooks Organization: By area of reading; writing Whether the strategy is instructional, programmatic, environmental or organizational in nature From least intensive to most intensive*

19 Approaches to Intervention
The standard treatment protocol approach (Fuchs, Mock, Morgan, & Young, 2003) uses one consistent intervention or set of interventions, selected by the school or district, that can address multiple students’ needs. This approach is supported by a strong research base. The problem-solving approach uses interventions, selected by a team, that target each student’s individual needs. This approach has been used in schools for more than two decades.

20 An Example of the Problem-Solving Approach
Timmy is 8-years-old and is in second grade. His teacher notices that he picks up books and tries to read the words. He often misbehaves during the lessons that involve learning letter sounds. He has a large storehouse of knowledge in a variety of topics with the most interest in dinosaurs. He demonstrates typical fine motor skills and average writing skills. The teacher has identified that he appears to be reading at the pre-primer level based on informal testing. The teacher refers the student to the problem-solving team for support in meeting the academic and behavioral needs for Timmy. Initially, the team decides to utilize a resource teacher to try cluster grouping within the classroom. The cluster will allow for more individualized instruction. The resource teacher will keep a daily record of Timmy’s behavior and discussions with parents will begin on possible acceleration options.

21 An Example of the Standard Treatment Protocol Approach
John, an 8th grade student, reads on a 4th grade level based on the district assessment. John performed at the Below Basic level in all tested areas of the state assessment for his grade level. When John enrolled at the beginning of 8th grade, his counselor registered him for a double block that included the standard literature class with team teaching as well as a focused literacy block with a class size of 12. This is an example of a standard protocol, students who demonstrate significantly low reading skills and who meet the school-identified criteria are registered for the double block to meet both the literature requirement and remediate the skill deficit. Turn to your right shoulder partner. Which of these are in practice in your own school/district?

22 Standard Treatment Protocol
The standard treatment is for the student to receive a validated, intense intervention Bad news: All students receive the same intervention Good news: The interventions are well-specified, sequenced with clear outcomes The interventions are more likely to be delivered with fidelity; training is consistent Increases the consistency of services; easy to check for implementation

23 Development of a Standard Treatment Protocol
By grade level By area of reading/writing Consider looking at this K-12, not just at the elementary level See handout

24 What teachers need to know and be able to do…
When coming to the data team meeting to discuss interventions, teachers need to know about and be able to discuss: The developmental sequence of reading and writing in order to better know where to target interventions Grade Level Expectations/Standards Supplemental reading/writing programs that are available General Education Curriculum

25 Let’s Practice! Self-organize into small groups (3-5 per group)
Each group will be given a “menu” of strategies and/or interventions for a particular area of reading In your group, decide: How would we organize these strategies/ interventions? Is there one strategy that you might consider using before another? Could these interventions be used for each grade level, K-12? We’ll go two rounds! (if time permits)

26 What’s Important to You?
Rather, what is important in order for teachers to be able to access this resource? Ease of accessibility User-friendly Based on current research Relevant to my practice Offers a variety Others? Turn to your shoulder partner. Tell him/her what qualities you would want to see in a guide to help you with strategies during a data team meeting.

27 How do we know if we’re on the right track?
See rubric Based on a 3-level scale

28 I work in a small school district
I work in a small school district. How can I make this work for my situation?

29 Literacy Support Mechanisms for Special Educators
ALL Consider a literacy leadership model Determine: Who is the teacher leader in my building who also has knowledge and expertise in literacy instruction? Determine: Can a system be put in place to allow this teacher leader to have an additional plan time to work with teachers in the building or look at data or model lessons, etc.? If not, can this teacher leader present information relevant to literacy strategies to teachers at a staff meeting? Can additional pay be given to this teacher leader to work with teachers after school?

30 How effective is a special education coaching model?
MO Dept. of Elementary & Secondary Education, 2010

31 Contact Information Mitzi Brammer Special School District of St. Louis Co. 12110 Clayton Road St. Louis, MO Office:

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