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PEJE DIVERSE LEARNERS CoP June 4, 2007 Community Support for Program Development and Implementation for the Diverse Learner Donna Lupatkin, Facilitator.

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Presentation on theme: "PEJE DIVERSE LEARNERS CoP June 4, 2007 Community Support for Program Development and Implementation for the Diverse Learner Donna Lupatkin, Facilitator."— Presentation transcript:

1 PEJE DIVERSE LEARNERS CoP June 4, 2007 Community Support for Program Development and Implementation for the Diverse Learner Donna Lupatkin, Facilitator Jane Taubenfeld Cohen, Guest

2 Conference Call Etiquette Remember to mute your phone by pressing *1. Press *1 again, when you would like to speak. Do not use your phone’s HOLD or mute button. If you do, your music will be broadcast to all of us on the call. 3

3 Agenda Welcome and Old Business Goals Introduction to the Consultancy Protocol Meet Jane Taubenfeld Cohen Protocol in Action Reflection Next Steps Plans for Summer and Fall 2007 *1 to mute

4 Results from the Literacy and Technology Conference Call What new information did you take back to your school following our March call- Literacy and Technology? Which new technology tools did you try out? How did they work?

5 Goals of Today’s Session Learn about the Consultancy Protocol as a means for collaborative problem solving. Learn what one school has already incorporated into their mission in order to meet the educational needs of its Diverse Learners. Generate ideas about how to attend to the needs of different stakeholders.

6 The Consultancy Protocol A structured process for helping a team think more expansively about a concrete dilemma Outside perspective is critical to this protocol working-differing perspectives are desirable Offers a guided set of steps to assure conversation

7 Factors to Consider This is the first time we are trying this in our CoP. We can learn what works and what does not. We may or may not know one another and what we bring to the discussion. We can’t see each other during this session—no visual cues via facial expression or body language. We come with different areas of expertise and different perspectives—which will enrich the experience.

8 The Consultancy Protocol: 6 Steps 1. Presenter describes the dilemma and frames the question (5-10 minutes) 2. The Consultancy Group asks clarifying questions (5 minutes) 3. The Group asks the presenter probing questions, allowing the presenter to restate the question (10 minutes)

9 Consultancy Protocol 4. Only the Group talks with each other about the dilemma to define the issues more thoroughly and objectively (15 minutes). 5. Presenter reflects on what she heard and on what she is now thinking with the group (5 minutes). 6. Facilitator leads a brief conversation about the Group’s observation of the consultancy process (5 minutes).

10 Meet Jane Taubenfeld Cohen Jane has been the Head of the South Area Solomon Schechter Day School (soon moving to Norwood, MA) for 18 years. She is the past president of the Solomon Schechter Day School Association Principal’s Council and is a recent recipient of the Covenant Award. Jane has worked closely with Gateways and the Jewish Special Education Collaborative to ensure that a wide range of learners are successful at her school.

11 SOUTH AREA SOLOMON SCHECHTER DAY SCHOOL 18 years old with over 200 students Located 15 miles south of Boston (the Greater Boston area has 14 day Schools) Collaborates with Gateways and the Jewish Special Education Collaborative Provides services to children with mild AND moderate special needs, as well as training all teachers in differentiated instruction. The mission is to find ways to meet the needs of all kinds of learners in their school

12 Step 1: 5-10 minutes Jane provides an overview of the dilemma and poses a framing question for the group to delve into.

13 Question I am constantly put in the position of fighting the fight, that we should have programs for the learning disabled in the Day Schools, that we should be spending money on it, and that it makes our school better. This challenging conversation occurs with members of my board and segments of the parent body. It used to happen with teachers, but no longer. With the community as a whole, we are sometimes labeled as a special needs school. I feel that this battle takes time and energy away from the actual work. As I have some success, another rock is unturned, and another problem creeps in. Because of the high cost of doing this work, stakeholders sometimes use money as an excuse for their protests. I have heard this from many other professionals as well who are facing similar struggles. I think that this issue, rather than being a school by school challenge, must be bumped up to a more global Day School issue and we must also broaden the base of support for such programming. I want to join with other school leaders to create a national conversation. My question is-”Is there something more as a Jewish Day School leader and as an active part of the greater Day School community that I can do to create a more welcoming context for the vision of a school that includes diverse learners?”

14 Step 2: 5 minutes The group asks Jane clarifying questions that require brief factual answers.

15 Clarifying Questions What is being communicated to the community already? What have other school leaders said? What is the verbiage used with parents and boards? Please hit *1 to mute.

16 Step 3: 10 minutes The group asks Jane probing questions, worded in such a way as to to help her expand her thinking and learn more about her question and dilemma. Jane may respond to the questions, but there is no discussion by the group of the responses. Jane restates her question to the group.

17 Probing Questions How does the community hear about differentiated instruction at other schools? What about your conversations with other heads of school in the Boston area? What kind of data do you have or have you presented to your parents about how mainstream students are doing since you implemented this program? How do you define “diverse learners”? Do they think you mean lack of intelligence? Restatement of the Question: Is there something that I/we can be a part of that will help build a foundation for the kind of the work we are doing in our school so that each school leader does not have to face this challenge? Press *1 to MUTE. Do not put your phone on hold.

18 Step 4: 15 minutes The group (excluding Jane) talks with each other about the dilemma presented; e.g., What did we hear? What didn’t we hear that might be relevant? What assumptions may be operating? What questions does the dilemma raise for us? What do we think about the dilemma? What might we do if faced with a similar dilemma? What have we done in a similar situation? What can we recommend?

19 Suggestions Children go to schools outside of their community and this presents a challenge. Schools start to become labeled as a special education school. Perhaps involve agencies (e.g., SAGE). Are they putting out PR materials—with a unified message. Provide resources to lots of schools to create abilities of different schools to meet students’ needs. Is this a marketing issue? Can there be a marketing campaign to change the language and the discourse.

20 More Suggestions The conversation can be broadened to include learning styles re all students—the crux of differentiation. More focus on learning affecting all students might help people to listen better about these issues. Share stories about how individual students succeed. Convening a meeting at Jane’s school among leaders to generate ideas together. Bring Rabbis into schools for tours to see programs in actions. Then they can spread the word.

21 Step 5: 5 minutes Jane reflects on what she heard and shares with the group anything that particularly resonates with her.

22 What Jane Heard Convening the meeting. Compile success stories from across schools about how all children learn. Power of hearing stories, maybe at a national level, perhaps through a national organization. Start talking to Rabbis re success and have them help with PR (e.g., sermons)

23 Step 6: 5 minutes Donna leads a brief conversation about the group’s observations of the Consultancy process.

24 Reactions What did you like? Deliberate structure helped to channel the conversation. Some things don’t get said, but become food for thought. Recognize that the problems are universal. Get strength from other people. Good to see the notes during the discussion. What did you not like? Challenges? Music in background was distracting and chopped up the conversation. Need for reminder of the core question to keep the focus. Hard to shape a question when you do not know who the “consultants” would be? What about bringing in people with another “outside” point of view?

25 Next Steps How do the strategies we crafted compare to the ones you already use? How would these strategies meet the needs of your school? What would it take to implement? *1 to mute

26 Your Ideas

27 Contact Jane Jane Taubenfeld Cohen *1 to mute

28 Continuing the Conversation on Post a question Reply Raise a concern Share information

29 Sweets for the SWEET Sending Words Electronically to Everyone Today/Tomorrow Use V Bulletin and we will thank you by sending you a sweet surprise!

30 Go to to log in to the PEJE Communities of Practice Discussion Boards Enter your User Name. Your User Name is your first name, followed by a space, then your last name (Example: John Smith). Enter your default Password and click Log in. (Your default password has been sent to you in an email.) If you don’t know it, email Mary at

31 Summer and Fall 2007 Watch for Survey Monkey in your inbox. Tell me what worked for you this year. Tell me what you would like for next year. Stay tuned for exciting conference calls and the PEJE Assembly next year! EMAIL me directly if you wish with any comments at or call me at

32 Thank you Everyone has worked very hard this year to make our CoP a successful endeavor. We all look forward to continuing our learning and community building next year. I will be available all summer for conversations with individual members. I invite communication!

33 PEJE wishes to thank the sponsor of our Diverse Learners CoP

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