April 2016, Connecting you to what you need to know

Reminders for Principals

Many of you have either made decisions about which math and literacy interventions you will be purchasing, or are well on you way to doing so. We know that many of students with disabilities have a number of deficits in foundation skills, and these researched based interventions will address these areas. It is also worth mentioning that in order for students to be eligible for the Verbatim Reading Accommodation on the PARCC exam, they must be receiving a researched based intervention.

I am still available to offer support to assist you with making decisions around this and other Special Education needs.

Fourth Quarter Special Education Support Foci

  • Kudos

  • PLC’S

  • PARCC preparation

  • Inventions

  • Professional Development Opportunities

  • School Visits

  • Math Updates

  • Literacy Updates

  • Compliance Updates


  1. Ashburton

- With the support of Principal Vick, Special Education teachers, Earlice Barksdale and Jeanise Leckey, along with IEP Chair, Donna Thompson, the school is well on its way to purchasing intervention programs for its students with special needs..

- Jeanise Leckey has also been doing a bang up job overseeing the pre-assessment administration process for SPIRE.

2. Calvin Rodwell

- The Special Education staff has participated in the SPIRE webinar.

3. Cross Country

- The school has committed to making math and literacy intervention program purchases for students with special needs.

4. Fallstaff

- With the support of Dr. Hibbert, Special Education teacher, Georgia Whyte worked with me to identify intervention materials in the building and developed a list of intervention recommendations.

- Georgia Whyte also successfully completed the Special Education Literacy AU course offered this school year.

5. Liberty

-Special Education teacher, Mrs. Espedido has been facilitating rich data driven collaborative planning sessions. She has also graciously granted access to guest teachers to observe their process.

6. Pimlico

-Special Education teacher, Dr. Tyisanna Jones has successfully completed the Special Education Literacy AU course offered this school year.

7. Windsor Hills

-Special Education teacher, Arlene Bitz provided access to a guest teacher from MLK to observe her instruction. She has also agreed to collaborate with this teacher around lesson planning.

Professional Learning Community (PLC)

Due to the upcoming PARCC assessments, there will not be a PLC in April.

PARCC Reminders

  • Testing will be administered from April 20th through June 3rd

  • Be certain to meet with your testing coordinator in order to provide input on development of the testing schedule and decisions around testing locations (access PARCC accommodation link for specific guidance

  • PARCC - Reminder for students with Verbatim Reading - there needs to be an Appendix-D uploaded in MDOIEP for students with this accommodation - please pay special attention to those students in third grade.

  • Work with the IEP Chairs and testing coordinators to ensure that the Instructional and Testing Accessibility Features and Accommodations Form is completed properly and timely.


  • I will continue to work with schools to make decisions around math and literacy intervention purchases.
  • I will continue to make myself available to assist teachers with administering placement assessments.

SEL presented, School-Based Professional Development Opportunities.

Understanding and Implementing Co-Teaching

If your school is considering implementing a Co-Teaching model, I am available to provide valuable information to help you with deciding if this is an appropriate option for you.

We will explore the following:

  • Defining Co-teaching
  • Identifying a variety of different models.
  • Looking at the pros and cons.
  • Understanding the scheduling implications.

What is Specialized Instruction?

Understanding consultation, push-in, pull-out, and self-contained (LRE-C) services.

If your staff finds themselves unclear about what should be taking place in and out of the classroom as it relates to providing Special Education Instructional Support, this is the training for you.

We will be:

  • Clarifying what consultation service should look like.
  • Defining what the roles of both the general and special educators should be in a push-in model (Confronting the myth that push-in is co-teaching)
  • Describing what pull-out support should look like.
  • Clarifying what instruction in the LRE-C classroom should look like.
  • Providing clarity around the grading process.

These are 45 minute presentations for both general and special educators, that can be provided during team meetings, collaborative planning, and staff meetings, during or after school.

If you are interested in having me present either of these trainings to your staff, please contact me at:

My Upcomming Visits to Your Schools

  1. Administration of Intervention Pre-Assessment
  2. Collaborative Planning

In order to work with teachers to ensure that meaningful collaboration is taking place, I will be attending at least one Collaborative Planning session a month per grade/grade band throughout the remainder of the school year.

    • Data discussion protocol that allows teachers to identify root causes, record student groups, identify strategies, discuss follow up process.

    • Lesson planning with evidence of data analysis

3. 4th Quarter Processes and Practices Analysis. During this Quarter I will meet with teachers in order to take a close look at how effective their practices have been this year. We will then move on to making decisions about adjustments that may improve student performance.

o IEP implementation

o Data driven instruction

o Curriculum instruction

o Interventions

4. Learning Walks

Math Corner

Professional Development

Please encourage teachers to take advantage of the following Professional Development opportunity!

Title of Session:

Grades 3-5

SPED and General Ed

Progression of Fractions

Overview :

Understand coherence of fraction’s content to support all learners.

Date, Time, & Location

April 20th


Location: TBA

Using Math PARCC Released Items

Released items and guides can be found at:

Mathematics include the following:

· PDFs of item sets at each grade and course for both End of Year and Performance Based Assessments.

· Alignment documents

· Answer keys

· Guide to Mathematics Release Items: Understanding Scoring. This document provides general rules used for scoring the Type 2 and Type 3 mathematics items.

· Scoring Rules used for all mathematics items.

The items contain several reasoning (Sub-Claim C) and modeling (Sub-Claim D) items for each grade and course. The question and item-specific scoring rubric are provided for each item. Anchor papers for each score point are included for each of the reasoning and modeling items. These responses, which are grouped by score point, represent a range of approaches that students take when responding to each reasoning and modeling item in mathematics. All student responses appear as the students wrote them. Anchor papers do not represent every possible way to achieve each score point. There can be many ways to achieve a particular score point.

*** Please see examples of reviews!

Mathematics Condensing Plans: Suggestions for Consolidation

The Mathematics Condensing Plan includes suggestions for consolidation or omissions. It is intended to provide guidance in the event that teachers need to condense lessons in the units. However, in the event that even more flexibility is needed, these suggestions for consolidation or omissions will free up additional days. These suggestions should not be viewed as a mandate to omit or consolidate lessons, but as guidance for how to do so wisely when the need arises.

***Document is attached!

Literacy Corner

Unpacking the ELA Standards?

In order to improve student outcomes, teachers must teach to the standards, not the story, hence it is important for all CLN 1 schools to maintain a reasonable pace with the ELA curriculum. The quarter 4 curriculum for ELA begins on April 4, 2016 and continues June 13, 2016. With that being said, please ensure that teachers are starting the 4th quarter curriculum no later than one week after the official quarter begins.

A good practice is to have teachers look at the curriculum and prioritize the standards that need to be taught. To assist with this, I am attaching an unpacking standards document, which I have already shared with some of you. This document scaffolds the standards and offers teachers a variety of options for maximizing any of the given ELA standards.

District Initiatives: Routine Writing Update

With PARCC approaching, the need to keep routine writing as a regular practice is more important than ever!

Please be reminded that routine writing is a district initiative and should be evident at some level throughout the school building. Remember that routine writing is frequent, varying, and everywhere.

Please make use of the following link for support with literary analysis and narrative analysis task that will support students for PARCC and beyond. Routine writing builds good habits for higher order thinking and writing

For a ton of fantastic resources for PARCC and other analytical types of routine writing, visit the following website: If you or your school steams are doing amazing work around the practice of routine, please let me know. I would love to share it with the entire network!

Kudos to all CLN 1 schools that have continued to make routine writing and its connection to the standards a priority.

Kathy's Corner (Compliance)

  • IEP Chair training is April 20th.
  • ESY information has to be entered into the system ASAP.

Community Learning Network #1-Special Education Team

Sharon Pinckney, Special Education Liaison, Instruction

Kath Stump, Education Specialist, Compliance,