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Montgomery County ( MD) Public Schools (MCPS) Collaborative Action Process (CAP): Multi-tiered prevention, early intervention and identification Matthew.

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Presentation on theme: "Montgomery County ( MD) Public Schools (MCPS) Collaborative Action Process (CAP): Multi-tiered prevention, early intervention and identification Matthew."— Presentation transcript:

1 Montgomery County ( MD) Public Schools (MCPS) Collaborative Action Process (CAP): Multi-tiered prevention, early intervention and identification Matthew J. Kamins, Supervisor of Psychological Services Brent Myers, School Psychologist & CAP Team Leader Educational Reform… Getting from here to there…

2 MCPS Facts & Figures Montgomery County Size: 497 square miles Population: 942,000 Approximately one of every seven residents is a public school student. Schools total: 192 Elementary (preK-5): 125 Middle (6-8): 36 High (9-12): 24 Special or Alternative: 6 Career/Technology Center: 1 Transportation 1,202 buses transported 97,000 students Employees Total: 19,951 Teachers: 10, percent of teachers have a Masters degree or equivalent. Enrollment Largest in Maryland 17th largest in U.S. Projected, 2004: 140,492 Projected, 2008: 145, total: 139,203 PreK: 2,287 Kindergarten: 8,889 Grades 1-5: 52,861 Grades 6-8: 32,314 Grades 9-12: 42,834 Special Schools: 656 Alternative Programs: 236 Demographics African American: 22.1% American Indian: 0.3% Asian American: 14.3% Hispanic: 18.7% White: 44.6% Additional Demographics Students receiving free & reduced meals (FARMS): 22.3% English for speakers of other languages (ESOL): 11,961 International students: from more than 163 countries Over 120 languages spoken Students receiving special education services: 17,013

3 Brief History: MCPS Educational Reform Critical Events Office of Civil Rights (OCR) Partnership Agreement – Goal: Reduce Disproportional Representation of African-American males in ED/MR categories Action: MCPS Advocacy Review Committee Outcomes: ED/MR procedures Reforming the EMT process Montgomery Countys Childrens Agenda School Psychologists Labor Management Committee Safe Schools/Healthy Students Grant Initiative MCPS Strategic Plan - Our Call to Action – Goal: Improve student achievement for all students, and close the gap in student performance by race and ethnicity Baldrige Guided School Improvement Process

4 Problem solving practices and response to intervention models work: By creating the time, structures, and opportunities for teachers to engage in inquiry, and collegial dialogue, and to learn and practice effective problem solving By passionately focusing on collecting and analyzing evidence of student learning and celebrating student success By creating opportunities for universal prevention and early intervention activities By having high, but achievable, developmentally appropriate expectations for all students

5 One key question determines when, where, & how to intervene. Adapted from: Beth Doll, University of Colorado Is it the Fish or the Water?

6 80% able academic & emotional learners The Prevention/Intervention Triangle Primary Prevention(School-wide): Promote academic & mental/emotional wellness for all students through: family involvement, positive school climate, social skills, teacher training, individualized instruction, team consultation, collaborative problem solving Early Intervention: Provide proven structured and targeted remedial academic & mental/emotional support to students placed at-risk Intensive Intervention: Evidence-based interventions that are comprehensive, coordinated, interagency supported, culturally competent, family focused, of high quality, and sustain help 15% 5% Adapted from: Dwyer, K. & Osher, D. (2000) Safeguarding Our Children: An Action Guide. Washington DC: U.S. Departments of Education and Justice, American Institutes for Research. (page 3) Evaluate Effects

7 All students can learn and when they are not learning we must find out why. Learning is a unique interaction between the student and the instructional environment. We must focus on understanding & resolving the causes of problems – why learning is not occurring. Passionately seeking authentic information about each child's unique skills and needs will result in academic/behavioral improvement. Assessment activities must be multidimensional & linked directly to intervention. All students must be served early and often. Time during the school day is needed for teachers to meet, engage in inquiry, and positively reflect on and facilitate student learning. Family involvement is critical, desired, and encouraged. CAP assumptions and beliefs

8 CAP Expectations Strategic analyses will help identify the assets and needs specific to each unique learning community Schools will restructure so that teams of teachers can meet regularly to problem solve and share instructional strategies Teachers problem solving skills will be enhanced Staff will learn what to look for when students are having difficulty and be able to collect authentic information to guide focused interventions Inappropriate special education referrals will occur less frequently, thus limiting the possibility of disproportionality CAP results will support improvements in student achievement and reductions in behavioral transgressions.

9 Who is involved in the CAP? All school staff, parents, and community supports are involved as needed.

10 At what point in the educational system is CAP most commonly used (pre-K, elementary, etc.)? CAP is used as soon as a problem is suspected. CAP is not an eligibility process so all students can benefit. CAP is effective at all levels, across special education populations and alternative programs. It comes into play when the teachers routine interventions and strategies are no longer successful.

11 How does CAP affect general ed and special ed students respectively? Since it is a strength-based problem solving process, the focus is on problem resolution. Therefore, it can be applied effectively for both special education and general education students. The process looks at all classroom factors (the classroom ecology) to link supports with needs. Once a student is identified in need of special education services, CAP is useful in determining effective IEP goals and objectives, related services, assessment of goal attainment, and functional analysis.

12 How can the CAP process improve a student's educational performance? The CAP is designed to specifically identify solutions - the instructional, behavioral and social adjustments that lead to student success. CAP relies on evidence to support interventions. Teachers are supported by staff skilled in counting behavior and measuring student achievement (e.g., DIBELS). Benchmarks are established that indicate current performance. These signposts monitor our work and demonstrate progress toward skill attainment.

13 Heres a snapshot of how CAP and RTI work at one of our elementary schools… Gaithersburg ES Demographics 53.1% Hispanic 29. 6% African American 11.2% Caucasian 5.9 % Asian 0.2 % Am Ind Free & reduced lunch 77.7% Title I school Focused Academic Support

14 Phase One – CAP Strategic Analysis Active Format (Kovaleski, 2004) Students at risk were referred for problem solving and progress monitoring at each grade level by the building level Collaborative Action Process (CAP) Team Using the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy (DIBELS) All K- 4th grade students were screened (Nonsense word fluency, oral reading fluency) 10/2004 Students grouped in three groups LOW RISK SOME RISK AT RISK (10/2004) Students in all groups were given 1 hour of focused reading in combination with their regular reading block.

15 Phase Two - Problem Solving Process The SOME RISK and AT RISK students were assessed every two weeks The DIBELS data along with other relevant information was used for problem analysis (CAP building level problem solving) Instruction was matched to assessment outcomes (AT RISK group)

16 Phase Three – Multidisciplinary Team The AT RISK Students were tracked for low academic performance and poor response to appropriate instruction The IEP team is charged with determining whether the student meets the qualifications for special education

17 Exploratory data! Hit rate From 50% to 86%

18 How has this changed my role as the school psychologist Expansion of the assessment role for the school psychologist beyond the traditional norm-referenced testing model Prevents pressure on the school psychologist to provide expert answers; promotes trans-disciplinary teaming and collaboration Increases direct time consulting with and engaging students, parents and teachers in teaching and learning Allows for a thorough analysis of student skills, knowledge, and tasks within the classroom instructional context

19 Lessons learned Problem-solving at the local school level begins with analyses of the instructional and behavioral needs and successes at each grade level The Collaborative Action Process provides a unique format for trend analysis Early intervention approaches (aka RTI) that drill-down and look for why students are not achieving is an efficient and effective use of staff time For RTI approaches to be successful attention must be focusing on three critical criteria: Was the intervention delivered with fidelity? Did the intervention have sufficient power? Did we give the intervention enough time? Documentation is the road map to success: Who does what for whom, when, where, and for how long. Communicate, document, evaluate and monitor More time (testing the right students) for school psychologists to work with teachers and develop academic strategies for all students.

20 Lessons Learned When students displayed little progress in Phase 2 of the RTI format, the CAP team, with the help of the school psychologist, was able to develop promising strategies. These strategies/interventions were utilized to identify accurate goals and objectives for students later identified for special education services. Phase three program options; summer school, after school tutorials, 504 plan, or evaluation for special education.

21 Lessons Learned Complex diagnostic procedures are not always necessary to make relevant instructional change. (Nevertheless, dont count out norm referenced assessments in stage three to answer or clarify other questions you may have about characteristics of how the student learns relative to special education considerations.) Comprehensive assessments may include, Record review, Interview, Observation, and Test (RIOT). Phase II Intervention - Prevent the development of significant academic deficiencies by intervening in the early grades. 15 Kindergarten students were identified during team problem-solving meeting as needing additional repetitions with letter ID and or letter sounds 12 out of the 15 are English Language Learners 11 third grade students were trained by the school psychology intern to do the drill sandwich technique. The intervention is implemented 3 times per week during recess for 15 minutes each time. Assessments are conducted weekly in order to determine progress of learned letters/letter sounds The intervention has been implemented for 5 weeks Data has indicated gains. Students learned an average of 3 letters/letter sounds per week.

22 More lessons learned Grade level problem- collaborative teams were effective when a skilled service provider (e.g., the school psychologist) coached the team RTI and CAP incorporate problem solving, prevention activities and focused early intervention before consideration of special education eligibility. (Therefore the focus of the referral is on problem solving and finding out why ) Skills in Curriculum-based Measurement and Curriculum-based assessment are essential There is no set of universal interventions that will be universally effective. Observations and data show that interventions must be monitored and much depends on the context and classroom environment Learn as much as possible about your school culture, curriculum and instruction Change is difficult. Develop a good working relationship with your school principal and your director of psychological services. It is all about relationship building

23 Challenges Progress monitoring Implementation of specific targeted interventions Time and competing responsibilities School-wide implementation Personnel changes A litigious and rule driven environment Systemic issues Political will

24 Thank You … LOUD APPLAUSE !

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