Inclusion: Inclusion generally expresses a commitment to educate each child, to the maximum extent appropriate, in the school and classroom he or she would otherwise attend. It involves bringing the support services to the child (rather than moving the child to the services) and requires only that the child will benefit from being in the class (rather than having to keep up with the other students). Proponents of inclusion generally favor newer forms of education service delivery. Full inclusion means that all students, regardless of handicapping condition or severity, will be in a regular classroom/program full time. All services must be taken to the child in that setting.
Co-Teaching: Co-Teaching is a service delivery model in which two (or more) teachers share instructional responsibility for a single group of students, primarily in a single classroom workspace, for specific content (objectives), with mutual ownership, pooled resources, and joint accountability. The WSD model pairs a Special Education teacher with a regular (classroom/content-/subject-area) teacher in a class to jointly respond to the needs of all students in the class. Co-Teaching combines the strengths and resources of two professionals which support instruction and classroom management while allowing more opportunities for the professionals to reflect, monitor, assess, adjust and adapt instruction.
Writing Strategies (Across the Curriculum): The Collins Writing ProgramSM is used because it is designed to simultaneously improve students’ thinking and writing skills. The unique program develops thinking skills through Five Types of WritingSM assignments (Capture Ideas, Respond, Edit, Peer Edit and Publish) and can be easily used in any content area. Collins Writing is based on two essential principles: 1) thinking and writing skills develop with experience and practice, and 2) it is almost impossible to be both a creative thinker (generating new ideas) and a critical thinker (evaluating existing ideas) at the same time.
Differentiated Instruction: Differentiated instruction is teaching with student variance in mind. It means starting where the kids are rather than adopting a standardized approach to teaching that seems to presume that all learners of a given age or grade are essentially alike. Thus, differentiated instruction is “responsive” teaching rather than “one-size-fits-all” teaching. Teachers proactively plan varied approaches to what students need to learn, how they will learn it, and/or how they can express what they have learned in order to increase the likelihood that each student will learn as much as he or she can as efficiently as possible.
Response to Intervention (RtI): RtI is a process to help children who experience difficulty learning in school in an alternate way to determine whether a child has a learning disability and needs special education services. It is the practice of identifying the needs of struggling students and providing them the focused instruction they need through varying levels of assistance ranging from assistance in the regular classroom to assistance in a Special Education Program.
The essential elements of RtI are: the provision of scientific, research-based instruction and interventions in general education; monitoring and measurement of student progress in response to the instruction and interventions; and use of these measures of student progress to shape instruction and make educational decisions.
Diversity: Cultural diversity encompasses the cultural differences that exist between people, such as language, dress and traditions, and the way societies organize themselves, their conception of morality and religion, and the way they interact with the environment.
Instructional Coaches: Assist teachers to enhance instruction for increased student achievement. Elementary Level has three Reading Coaches, three Math Coaches and three Reading Interventionists, assigned one each per building. Elementary Level as one Science Coach and one Technology Coach shared by all three buildings. Middle and High Schools share one Literacy Coach, one Math/Science Consultant and one Technology Consultant.