Contact:

Kara Saldierna
Director of Special Education Services
Office

(531) 299-9461

Fax

(531) 299-0386

kara.saldierna@ops.org

 

 

Final Report

                                             ESU # 19 / Omaha Public School District 28-0001

                                                                         Special Education

                                                                               Final Report

                                                                                2016-2017

ACTIVITIES/PERSON(S) RESPONSIBLE

Mandt System Training

Schools must build and maintain a community where students feel valued, respected, and connected in order to succeed. When students realize their contributions are acknowledged and appreciated by their school community, they develop a sense of ownership and pride in their school, are more engaged in learning and reduce the frequency and severity of challenging behaviors.

 

The Mandt System is an evidence-based research program that focuses on a system of gradual and graded alternatives for de-escalating and managing student behavior. Training opportunities include the certification and recertification of district Mandt trainers, recertification of classroom teachers and paraprofessionals in the Alternate Curriculum and Behavioral Skills Programs, school teams, security personnel and training of the transportation department.

 

As a result of the training, participants will gain skills in the understanding of the Crisis Cycle and be able to appropriately apply preventative measures and responses in order to appropriately manage student behavior. Special education administrators will provide follow up support to participants with instructional coaching. This instructional coaching will assist with deep implementation of the Mandt System. This coaching is provided as part of the district-wide coaching plan which directly ties back to the OPS Strategic Plan.

 

WIN-WIN Approach: Building Healthy Relationships, Healthy Communication and Healthy Conflict Resolution to Support Students with Challenging Behaviors

Participants will learn how their own interactions and perceptions influence student achievement and success. Utilizing components of the evidence-based David H. Mandt system, participants will gain a broader understanding of Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs, R.A.D.A.R. and the Crisis Cycle and how these relational tools all intertwine in building healthy relationships with children. Once the importance of relationship building has been established, then participants will develop skills on how to positively communicate with students and resolve conflicts through a structured problem solving process.

As a result of the training, participants will gain skills in understanding the Crisis Cycle and be able to communicate with students to resolve conflicts. Special education administrators will provide follow up support to participants with instructional coaching. This instructional coaching will assist with deep implementation of the WIN-WIN approach. This coaching is provided as part of the district-wide coaching plan which directly ties back to the OPS Strategic Plan.

 

Understanding Students in Crisis: How to Effectively Respond so Healthy Relationships are Built and Maintained

By utilizing components of the evidence-based David H. Mandt system, participants will gain a broader understanding of how students and staff respond to stress through the Crisis Cycle, gain interventions and strategies to help students de-escalate when they are displaying challenging behaviors and how to effectively problem solve with the student so healthy relationships are built and maintained.

As a result of this training, participants will gain an understanding of the Crisis Cycle and how to effectively problem solve with students. Special education administrators will provide follow up support to participants with instructional coaching. This instructional coaching will assist with deep implementation of problem solving with students. This coaching is provided as part of the district-wide coaching plan which directly ties back to the OPS Strategic Plan.

 

Strategies for Creating a Trauma-Sensitive Classroom

There is an increasing need to understand childhood trauma and its profound effect on learning and teaching. In this session, participants will learn what trauma is and how it hinders the learning, motivation and success of students. They will also explore the importance of strong relationships and creating a safe space that enables students to learn and flourish in their educational environment.

As a result of this training, participants will gain an understanding of childhood trauma and its effects on learning. They will partake in a book study that explores the various strategies for creating a trauma-sensitive classroom. Individual goals will be set by participants to begin to create a trauma-sensitive environment/classroom. Special education administrators will provide follow up support to participants with instructional coaching. This instructional coaching will assist with deep implementation of strategies that create a trauma-sensitive classroom. This coaching is provided as part of the district-wide coaching plan which directly ties back to the OPS Strategic Plan.

 

 

 

Heartland’s Hand in Hand Model – Summer Autism Training Session

“Hand in Hand” training is an evidence-based approach that uses a structured teaching format and the principles of applied behavior analysis to assist students with autism in achieving the highest level of independence possible. The aim is to create the maximum number of instructional opportunities possible for a student throughout their entire school day. This valuable “hands-on” training will provide participants with a wealth of information and skill development. During the week-long training, trainers and participants will work with students with autism who range in ages and ability levels. Participants may include building administrators, general education teachers, special education teachers, and paraprofessionals. Participants work in teams throughout the week, and will problem-solve strategies each day for students with autism. In addition to directly working with students, participants experiences lectures and activities that include the characteristics of autism, structured teaching, communication, promoting social skills, independence, curriculum and positive behavioral supports. Three week-long training sessions are planned for the summer.

As a result of the training, participants gain skills in assessing and meeting the needs of students with autism. At the conclusion of the week-long training, participants understand how to create an environment that includes the components of structured teaching – physical structure, schedules, work systems, routines and visual structures in order to promote independence and student achievement. Participants also receive the necessary materials to implement the approach. Special education administrators will provide follow up support to participants with instructional coaching. This instructional coaching will assist with deep implementation of the various components of structured teaching. This coaching is provided as part of the district-wide coaching plan which directly ties back to the OPS Strategic Plan.

 

Working with Students with Autism: Refresher Workshops

This refresher course has been designed for administrators, and general and special education teachers who have been trained in the structured teaching model through the five-day summer workshop. The refresher course provides a review of the components of structured teaching as well as hands-on practice. The topics covered include the characteristics of autism, physical structure, schedule, work systems, communication, behavior, sensory strategies and transition strategies. Participants will also learn about the various components of the Ziggurat Model and how to use them in developing a comprehensive plan for students.

 

As a result, participants will review key components of the structured teaching model as well as hands-on practice to refine their skills and develop a comprehensive plan for students. Special education administrators will provide follow up support to participants with instructional coaching. This instructional coaching will assist with deep implementation of the various components of structured teaching. This coaching is provided as part of the district-wide coaching plan which directly ties back to the OPS Strategic Plan.

 

Working with Students with Autism: Support Staff Training

This course is designed to provide support staff (e.g., Paraprofessionals, Speech-Language Pathologist, Specialist, Administrators, etc.) with a basic overview of autism and Structured Teaching. The topics covered include the characteristics of autism, physical structure, schedules and work systems, behavior, sensory strategies and transition strategies. Attendees will be given the opportunity to brainstorm and apply their new knowledge to cases brought by instructional staff.

 

As a result, participants will be better prepared to assist instructional staff who have completed the five day summer Structured Teaching course in meeting the varied needs of students with autism.

 

Ziggurat Training for School Personnel

The Ziggurat Model is an evidence-based guide for designing comprehensive behavior interventions for individuals of all ages with autism spectrum disorders. The Ziggurat approach centers on a five level system, structured in a hierarchy. Each level represents an area that must be addressed in order for an intervention plan to be comprehensive. The premise of the Ziggurat Model is that underlying needs and characteristics related to the autism spectrum must be addressed. Assessment tools to facilitate this process will be introduced. Emphasis is placed on working as an intervention team. The job-embedded training will be provided to building teams and will be on-going throughout the school year.

 

As a result, participants will be able to recognize strategies with empirical support, select strategies appropriate for the child with autism and address underlying needs through comprehensive interventions. Participants will receive a copy of the book, The Ziggurat Model: A Framework for Designing Comprehensive Interventions for Individuals with High-Functioning Autism and Asperger Syndrome as well as the assessment protocols. Special Education Administrators will provide follow up support to participants with instructional coaching. This instructional coaching will assist with deep implementation of the Ziggurat Model. This coaching is provided as part of the district-wide coaching plan which directly ties back to the OPS Strategic Plan.

 

 

 

 

Using Visuals to Communicate

There are students who use very few words to make requests. A visual communication system can provide an effective and efficient means for a student to share a message with adults and peers. This workshop will provide an overview on how to move a student from making requests with a single picture to differentiating among a group of preferred pictures to make a request. Information will be shared regarding ways to embed a visual communication system into daily routines. Modeling and participant practice will be provided throughout.

As a result of this training, participants will be able to create a communication system for specific students who have difficulty verbally communicating their wants and needs. Special education administrators will provide follow up support to participants with instructional coaching. This instructional coaching will assist with deep implementation of students using visuals to communicate. This coaching is provided as part of the district-wide coaching plan which directly ties back to the OPS Strategic Plan.

 

Team Toolkits

School teams have been created to assist students with autism and challenging behaviors when transitioning from one setting to the next (i.e., Early Childhood Special Education to Kindergarten). Using a structured teaching format and the principles of applied behavior analysis assists students with autism in achieving the highest level of independence possible. Components of a successful transition include use of schedules, work systems, and communication systems, as well as providing sensory strategies, and behavior supports. Teams will be provided work time to create systems that are directly tied to individual student’s needs. Toolkits will include materials and items that enhance schedules, work systems, behavior or sensory strategies and needs.

 

As a result, classroom teachers and students with autism and challenging behaviors will be provided with a variety of supplies and materials necessary to assist with the various transition, schedule and sensory needs that present themselves from one setting to the next. Special education administrators will provide follow up support to participants with instructional coaching. This instructional coaching will assist with deep implementation of the work systems provided to students. This coaching is provided as part of the district-wide coaching plan which directly ties back to the OPS Strategic Plan.

 

Inclusive Practices and Content Specific Co-Teaching Strategies for Secondary Schools

In support of IDEA and ESSA, students with disabilities have the ultimate right to be educated alongside and in the same setting as their peers. Teams, comprised of general and special educators, from middle and high school participate in this workshop designed with a focus on content specific co-teaching strategies. The session focuses on implementing the instructional framework of the Omaha Public School Academic Action Plan in a secondary co-taught classroom. Participants engage in hands on activities that they will be able to take back to their classrooms. The session is led by Supervisors from Math, Language Arts, Science, ESL and Special Education Administrators.

 

Participants complete action steps, such as identifying a personal goal related to co-teaching, creating lesson plans for a co-taught class, as well as on-going reflection about their learning. Follow-up support is provided by the curriculum and special education administrators.

 

As a result, each secondary school increases the number of certified teachers, who have participated in the professional development opportunity. Teachers gain an understanding of the importance for a student with special needs to have access to the general education curriculum and setting, thereby increasing student achievement. Special education administrators will provide follow up support to participants with instructional coaching. This instructional coaching will assist with deep implementation of inclusive practices and co-teaching models. This coaching is provided as part of the district-wide coaching plan which directly ties back to the OPS Strategic Plan.

 

Reading Intervention Training (Elementary)

  1. intervention for students in the elementary resource program is provided using direct instruction. The current programs used include SRA Reading Mastery, SRA Corrective Reading, Lindamood Phonemic Sequencing, Lindamood Visualizing and Verbalizing, and Sonday System. Use of these direct instruction reading programs requires that elementary resource teachers have successfully participated in professional development for each program they use. Each year, new staff members and those who have not previously participated in a professional development session for a selected program make up the target audience. As a result of successful completion of the professional development session(s), participants receive all materials necessary (student and teacher materials) as well as on-site support, coaching and modeling by the special education supervisor and/or instructional coach.

 

As a result of participation in the professional development session(s), elementary resource teachers gain an understanding of the program and its use as well as the specific skills necessary to implement the direct instruction program. In addition, on-site coaching, modeling and support is provided throughout the school year in order to maintain program fidelity and maximize student success.

Reading Intervention Training (Secondary Level, Grades 7-12)

As part of a three year implementation plan, reading intervention training will be provided to middle and high school special education teachers. The selected reading intervention will be phased in and implemented in the middle and high schools following a three year time line. Year One will include selecting reading programs to pilot in select secondary schools and the initial training of selected school teams. Use of this direct instruction reading program requires that secondary resource teachers have successfully participated in professional development for the program. Year Two and Three will include training new staff members and those who have not previously participated in a professional development session who will make up the target audience. As a result of successful completion of the professional development session(s), participants receive all materials necessary (student and teacher materials) as well as on-site support, coaching and modeling by the special education supervisor and data collection templates to monitor student growth.

 

To support deep implementation of this project, selected classroom teachers will receive further training to become part of a cohort of trainers for the district. This project will follow a Train-the-Trainer model to support their professional development.

 

As a result of participation in the professional development session(s), secondary special education teachers gain an understanding of the components of the reading program(s), as well as the specific skills necessary to implement the program with fidelity. In addition, special education administrators will provide on-site coaching, modeling and support throughout the school year in order to maintain program fidelity and maximize student success. This instructional coaching will assist with deep implementation of reading interventions. This coaching is provided as part of the district-wide coaching plan which directly ties back to the OPS Strategic Plan.

 

Reading and Math Tasks Make and Take Session

Educational tasks for students should be engaging and related to IEP goals. Tasks should be able to answer the following questions for students: 1) What work? 2) How much work? 3) When am I done? 4) What do I do when I am done? This professional development session will review the expectations and structuring of educational tasks. It will also provide teachers with time and supplies to create reading and math tasks that can be differentiated to meet a range of student abilities. Teachers will leave with at least three tasks and the book, Tasks Galore.

 

As a result of this session, participants will leave with at least three tasks that support student achievement for reading and math IEP goals, which in turn will increase student engagement and achievement. Special education administrators will provide follow up support to participants with instructional coaching. This instructional coaching will assist with deep implementation of engaging educational tasks that support IEP goals. This coaching is provided as part of the district-wide coaching plan which directly ties back to the OPS Strategic Plan.

 

GO Math! Tier 3 Intervention Training (Elementary Level, Grades K-6)

This session will provide teachers with a plan and resources needed to set up and feel comfortable using the Go Math! Tier 3 Intensive Intervention. This information will be applicable to first year teachers and teachers beyond their first year who want more information on how to use the intervention successfully. In addition, this session will support teachers in using the lessons and manipulatives with fidelity. This session will explore ways to teach math to struggling students. Participants will walk away with practical ideas to start planning for their small group math lessons the next day.

 

As a result of this training, participants will be able to implement Tier 3 math interventions for students using the Go Math! Curriculum and student achievement will increase. On-site support, coaching and modeling by the special education administrators and/or special education instructional coaches will be provided. Special education administrators will provide follow up support to participants with instructional coaching. This instructional coaching will assist with deep implementation of the GO Math! Tier 3 intervention. This coaching is provided as part of the district-wide coaching plan which directly ties back to the OPS Strategic Plan.