Strand 1: Increasing Access to Core Instruction for All Students

We believe all students deserve access to high-quality core instruction in the least restrictive environment and that direct, explicit interventions must be provided in addition to, not instead of, core instruction. During the 2016-2017 school year, SPDG provided professional development to teachers and administrators to increase access to the core curriculum through Universal Design for Learning (UDL), differentiated instruction, and other support for students with learning differences. Communities of Practice provided to support educators as they developed enhanced proficiency to increase access to core instruction for all students.

Strand 1 Goal: Increasing Access to Core Instruction for Students with Disabilities

This strand of training focuses on the general education environment and promotes elements such as:

  • General education environments that promote teacher/student partnerships, based in a collective growth mindset where the teacher harnesses student voice.
  • Curriculum that is based in student engagement, gives time for student thinking, focuses on meaning, and uses teaching up techniques.
  • Assessment as a part of learning and aligned to what students must know, understand, and do, actionable feedback, assessment that informs instructional planning where students set goals, assessments differentiated based on learner need.
  • Instruction where the teacher attends to readiness, interests, and learning profiles, students are allowed autonomy, flexible grouping and clearly defined Know, Understand, and Do learning targets are set.
  • Classroom leadership and management where teachers trust students, teachers involve students in differentiation, collaborative problem solving related to routines and processes takes place, and students have an ownership of learning.
  • Culture and collaboration where school staff can co-plan, general and special education teachers communicate regarding the needs of all students, student goals are set based on a continuum of support from all educators, professional trust evident.

Differentiated Instruction (DI)

Differentiated Instruction refers to a wide variety of teaching techniques and lesson adaptations that educators use to instruct a diverse group of students. DI is the way in which a teacher anticipates and responds to a variety of students' needs in the classroom. To meet students' needs, teachers differentiate by modifying the content (what is being taught), the process (how it is taught) and the product (how students demonstrate their learning) as well as the environment (culture, expectations).

Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

UDL is a teaching approach to help all learners be successful. It is a set of principles and techniques for creating inclusive classroom instruction and accessible course materials. UDL also provides the opportunity for all students to access, participate in, and progress in the general-education curriculum by reducing barriers to instruction.

Go to Strand 2 Information