Archive for November, 2011

An Agent of Moral Development–on a Mission~

Human Development Week 9:

How do we become agents for moral development within the school setting? Granted my Christian faith perspective may contribute to some bias on my outlook, but how do I as an educator balance a non-relativistic approach as Kohlberg arguably espoused while working within the incredibly diverse educational environment?

Reading the article entitled, The Development of Children’s Orientations toward Moral, Social, and Personal Orders: More than a Sequence in Development, by Elliot Turiel, proved to be an incredibly challenging task for me and significantly altered by previously confident view of myself as “The Bookworm Queen” (a title I was awarded when in the 3rd grade)! Struggling to get through this, I felt as though I had lost my ability to read and comprehend! Oh well…

While reading the article, particular statements that stood out to me were related to Kolberg’s quest to understand the interconnectedness of ‘the development of moral thought to moral conduct and emotion’ (p. 8) (as cited within Turiel, p. 24). Turiel states that, “…primary emotions associated with morality are positive ones like sympathy, empathy, and respect…” and that,

…emotions do not drive thought and behavior and individuals do not simply act nonrationally or irrationally because of unconscious or unreflective emotional reactions. Emotional appraisals are part of reasoning that involves taking into account the reactions of others and self [Nussbaum, 1999]. The emotional reactions of people are a central part of moral judgments,

and it is reciprocal interactions, along with reflections upon one’s own judgments and cultural practices or societal arrangements, that influence development [Kohlberg, 1969; Turiel, 2002].  (as cited within Turiel, 2008, p. 24).

As I reflect on these thoughts and try to ponder what they could mean for me as a classroom teacher whose goal is truly as the assignment describes, “to become an agent for moral development”, I consider the fact that the students who enter my classroom (even the ones who may appear to act “irrationally” at times!), all have a “story” that led them to my door. Even if I were not a special education teacher who served high school students with IEPs, each of my students would have a personal “his-story or her-story” to tell, (although most will not tell what has contributed to their “behind-the-scenes” development—regardless of whether it is positive or negative). I consider that perhaps the “reciprocal interactions” represent experiences within their homes and other settings—and their “reflections upon (their) own judgments” (possibly representing self-esteem) have directly impacted their moral development up to this time.

With regard to Kolberg’s Stages of Moral Development and Implications for Education, in William Crain’s, Theories of Development, Chapter 7, the author describes a variety of experiments conducted by Kolberg and Blatt, involving:

…the dialectic process of Socratic teaching (where) the students give a view, the teacher asks a question that gets them to see the inadequacies of their view, and they are then motivated to formulate better positions….” and found that “Socratic classroom discussions held over several months can produce changes that, although small, are significantly greater than those found in control groups that do not receive these experiences (Rest 1983), (as cited within Crain, 2010, p. 177).

Bringing together the two worlds of “home” and “school”—I must say that as a parent, as well as a teacher, I agree with Kohlerg’s idea of “a multifaceted conception of morality that include(s) analyses of the integration of thought, emotions, actions, and development (Turiel, 2008, p.35). As I reflect on my experiences within the classroom and within my extended family, I see these factors as all having an influence on the development of a young person’s personal morality. In light of the fact that within a family, developmental influences on children are more similar than dis-similar (and yet children can still respond in such different ways), it is no surprise that influences in a more diverse environment such as is found in an educational system would yield a more widely diverse set of outcomes in terms of individual student morality.

So, as an educator, how do I become an agent for moral development within such a diverse school environment? First of all, based on my observation, I believe that regardless of the specific details of what a person in leadership believes, others (in this case, children) will look (even unconsciously) for a sense of “integration” or genuineness on the part of the leader, or teacher. I believe that the impact we have on our students (and their families) will be based more on who we are as individuals and how we interact with them as individuals– than the content we set out to specifically “teach” them. In consideration of the points I have drawn together in this post related to a student’s history of “reciprocal interactions” and possible teaching strategies such as the Socratic Method, I recall a particular time when a student asked me my opinion as to whether she should move out from her family’s home and in with her boyfriend. She looked at me with questioning and sincere eyes—patiently waiting for my response. Many thoughts went through my mind as I prayed for wisdom. The words that came out of my mouth were, “Your family will always be your family, but will your boyfriend always be your boyfriend?”

The author ends the article by stating “Imperfect social institutions and cultural practices are challenged by reasoning individuals with their capacities to stand back and take a critical view from the perspective of their moral judgments (Turiel, 2008, p. 36). Although I am still struggling to comprehend the intended meaning of this article, I believe that in an amazing and similar fashion, children are able “to stand back from the perspective of their (young and developing) moral judgments” and look at our “imperfect” selves as teachers–and see through to our true intent–as we are placed in authority over them in the school setting.  At least I pray that this is so. For years I have prayed daily for wisdom to know what to say to my students, but perhaps more importantly–when to speak and when not to speak. A new addition to my prayer is that the “primary emotions” displayed within my classroom will be “empathy and respect” –and that these will contribute to the moral development of my students.

References:

Crain, W. C. (2011). Theories of development: Concepts and applications. Boston, MA: Prentice Hall.

Turiel, W. (2008) The Development of Children’s Orientations toward Moral, Social, and Personal Orders: More than a Sequence in Development

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Action Research–Right before my very eyes~

How has collaborative action research been a part of your professional experience?  What can you do to make this convergence between research and practice a regular part of your approach to improving student learning?  What might bridge this practice to other members of the school community?

This week, I was truly inspired as I listened to the screencast and read the chapter on action research—primarily because both validate practices that feel very strongly about and spend a great deal of time and energy focusing on in my school setting. I found it especially interesting to read the other posts this week to see what types of action research teachers are conducting in other settings.

Initially, when my high school opened its doors in 2007, the principal envisioned that we would be a full-inclusion school and that special education services would be provided in the context of co-teaching arrangements in the general education classroom setting. Though we as special education teachers were open to co-teaching models, we raised the concern that students needed to be provided services “in the least restrictive environment” and that it was imperative for us to offer “a continuum of services”.  In retrospect, I believe that as a team we launched an action research project centered on the question, “What is the LRE–for each IEP student”?  Zepeda, in Figure 12.3 Overall Steps to Action Research, addresses many of the questions that my colleagues and I began to ask ourselves.

“Defining the focus…What is (our) concern? What kind of evidence to (we) produce to show (our) concern? Collecting the data…What types of data should (we) collect to answer (our) question (regarding what is the best LRE for each student)? How will (we) ensure that (we) have multiple perspectives? Organizing and analyzing the data…What can (we) learn from the data? What patterns, insights, and new understandings can we find? What meaning do these patterns, insights, and new understandings have for your practice? for your students (pp. 268-269)?

Clearly, our team realized that waiting for final or even quarter grades for our students who were placed within inclusion classrooms, was not an option. Instead I began to systematically collect and record percentage grades from the Skyward grading system—each week, for each of the 75 IEP students, in each of their six classes. (Note: the parent access side of Skyward, while noting specific assignments and corresponding scores, only shows the overall letter grade for each class, whereas my teacher access allows me to view both the letter grade, as well as the current percentage in the “snapshot” view of each students’ grades.) In terms of data collection, this is an important distinction. While parents can only see an “F” grade in Skyward, I can see the value of that “F”—whether it is 3% or 58%. This specificity is important when working with students and measuring what is sometimes “incremental” progress. I charted this data, week after week, as our team reviewed, analyzed, and reflected on the patterns that emerged.

As our team continued to regularly look at the ongoing progress data, much to our surprise, we saw many students (who in previous years/schools would have been recommended for special education English classes) actually perform successfully in general education English classrooms—with accommodations and modifications as needed. Also, however, we noticed that patterns within the math courses that first year were not nearly as positive, and that quite a number of students were failing with very “low value” F grades. As we crosschecked this data with attendance and discipline records to rule out other factors contributing to the failures, we could see that a specific group of students clearly needed a more intensive form of support—more than what could be reasonably offered within an inclusion classroom.

Next then invited our team of administrators (who were aware of and supportive of, our data collection process) to our team meeting—and we shared the “good news/bad news” data. Together, we could objectively look at the patterns that were emerging and problem-solve in order to meet the needs of individual students. In this particular situation, administration requested that the counselors create a new class section of SE Math, allowing us to hand-pick students to enroll.

Though that first year was incredibly stressful for all involved, we have now established the need for “a continuum of services”. Additionally, we have created an effective method—through maintaining a systematic cycle of: data collection, analysis and interpretation of data, and taking appropriate action—for responding to the needs of individual students.

Within this week’s screencast, Dr. Williams stated that, “Action research is done by the folks who can take action. People who have some control…” (2011). I believe that indeed, our team engages in action research which leads to positive changes for our students. Although the action research which is most central to the needs of students within our department focuses on grades—it is not about grades in their most simplistic form. Grades as listed on transcripts, while important when working with students as we evaluate their progress toward graduation, are summative in nature—and are only part of the larger picture of progress toward success. Quarterly grades, viewed by some as summative, can provide general formative information—useful to both students and teachers for the remainder of the semester. More importantly, however, I believe that regular and reflective student feedback—daily, weekly, or bi-monthly– provides vital and specific information that can serve students and teachers in their quest to improve student learning.  In chapter 12, Zepeda states, “Action research engages teachers in their own intentional actions of collecting, analyzing, reflecting, and then modifying practice. Action research is about change (p. 264)”.

I believe that the Exhibits I am creating and posting within my bPortfolio will serve to create meaningful connections between the examples of action research as described above and other members of the school community, and I look forward to expanding processes in both breadth and depth.

One of my colleagues in this course, underscored important information on this topic: “To involve other members of the school community, we could follow some of Zepeda’s suggestions. On page 265, she offers things teachers as action researchers can do (2008):

1. “Discuss with colleagues relationships among theory, practice, and research.”

2. “Systematically collect data and research methodology with fellow teacher researchers.”

3. “Analyze and interpret their data and research methodology with the support of colleagues and fellow teacher researchers.”

4. “Share their findings with students, colleagues, and members of the educational community.”

 

Resources:

Williams, T. (2011) Screencast, Action Research, retrieved November 15, 2011from SPU Blackboard.

https://learn.spu.edu/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab_tab_group_id=_2_1&url=%2Fwebapps%2Fblackboard%2Fexecute%2Flauncher%3Ftype%3DCourse%26id%3D_60188_1%26url%3D

Zepeda, S. (2008). Professional Development: What Works. New York: Eye on Education.Readings.

Exhibit 3: Community Involvement: Parent Communication

Laurie James’ Exhibit 3: Community Involvement: Parent Communication (Exhibit type B: Community Involvement Identifies at least two school improvement goals and designs a plan that includes multiple effective community involvement strategies needed to directly improve student learning).

CONTEXT: In support of our district’s statement that “Professional Learning Communities will be a focus of our district for the 2011-12 school year” as well as Kingston High School’s #1 School Improvement Goal: “KHS students graduate college ready (including 2 year and technical schools)”, our special education department’s PLC is choosing to include a renewed focus this year on improving parent communication. Even though it was celebrated at yesterday’s staff meeting that out of the ten high schools which comprise the Olympic League, Kingston High School ranks number one in terms of our High School Proficiency Exam (HSPE) and End-Of-Course (EOC) scores for 2011, as well as our number one ranking with regard to scoring and increasing number of students taking AP courses, district records note that a significant number of parents do not access their student’s information via our online Skyward data system. Additionally, due to budget cuts, the traditional practice of mailing home progress reports, newsletters, etc. is being replaced with electronic communication—with the provision of mailing hard copies to families who specifically request the continuation of mailings.

PLANNING, ENGAGEMENT, ANALYSIS: Although teacher and parent communication is an inherent part of the very nature of the IEP process for every student in special education, our PLC team’s collective belief is that it is far better to err on the side of “too much” versus “to little” communication with parents. Our shared experience reveals that the oversight of seemingly small details—can lead to surprisingly large and negative ramifications. Therefore, to promote increased communication, we composed a letter to parents that describes the overview of the special education services at Kingston High School (Artifact #1) and mailed this in early September. This letter includes a request for parents to sign and return the back page and to provide updated contact information.

In terms of research specifically focused on parent involvement, an article entitled, Motivation of Parent Involvement in Secondary-Level Schooling, offers some interesting insights:

“To enhance parent involvement at home, school administrators and teachers should work mainly with adolescents. To improve parent involvement at school, the results suggest the importance of sensitizing parents to their duties and responsibilities and of regarding the role of the school and the teachers when motivating parents to become involved”.

In essence, the results of this study found that having secondary students ask their parents for input, assistance (even minor), support at home, was more effective than having teachers make the request for the parent to help their child at home. Conversely, having teachers personally invite parents to be involved at school, was more effective that having students make the same requests.

With this thought in mind, this year, our department purchased and provided each student with a planner (Artifact #2). As teachers, we require it as an assignment–built into our grading systems, and encourage students to voluntarily use this tool to communicate and discuss school information with their parents.

As another method of communication with parents, our PLC team has decided to list “Study Strategies” on each IEP student’s schedule as a “0” period—regardless of whether the student is enrolled in all general education classes (inclusion) or has one or more special education classes within their day. While this “section” is not graded or listed on regular progress reports, this “earmarking” allows me to use features of the Skyward grading system to maintain records noting student participation related to “self-advocacy”. For each of the 75 IEP students, I record whether or not they complete the weekly/quarterly self-assessments, the dates of their weekly appointments, as well as record specific self-assessment scores (which are then analyzed by our PLC team—allowing for informed, individual, interventions and student goal-setting). With regard to class grades, periods 1-6,  the parent access side of Skyward, while noting specific assignments and corresponding scores, only shows the overall letter grade for each class, whereas my teacher access allows me to view both the letter grade, as well as the current percentage. In terms of data collection, this is an important distinction. While parents can only see an “F” grade in Skyward, I can see the value of that “F”—whether it is 3% or 58%. This specificity is important when working with students and measuring what is sometimes “incremental” progress. I chart this data, week after week, and our team reviews, analyzes, and reflects on the patterns that emerge, and provides interventions as warranted.

At the end of each term, following the regular electronic posting of grades, Secondary Special Education Progress Report (Artifact #3) will be mailed to parents. In addition to this legally required action, additional information included in the mailing will be: Regular secondary progress report (now primarily provided electronically), specific term grades (both letter and percentage), and a “Study Strategies” printout (Artifact #4) reflecting student response and communication throughout term.

As I consider the above described school improvement goals and exhibit, I relate most readily to the section in Zepeda’s Chapter 8, entitled, Getting Down to Brass Tacks. Zepeda reminds us that although many different approaches can be used for evaluating educational programs as well as professional development, “….there are some generally accepted evaluation processes that are particularly applicable to educational programs: selecting a focus, establishing an evaluation agreement, collecting data, organizing and analyzing the data, and reporting the results to stakeholders” (p. 48). Clearly, the issues involved in fully implementing student IEPs, including tracking of progress, use of accommodations and modifications, and communication to all required parties of the IEP team, relate to the above outlined processes. Additionally, I see correlation between legally required IEP processes and the information presented in Figure 2.10:

What Evaluation Reports Can Do (p. 56): 1) Demonstrate accountability 2) Convince 3) Educate 4) Explore and investigate 5) Document 6) Involve 7) Gain support 8) Promote understanding and 9) Promote public relations.

TIMELINE:

September 2011               Mailed parent letter to all IEP students with explanation of “Study Strategies Program”, with request to return signed acknowledgement and contact information.

October 25-26, 2011        Parent Conferences

Throughout 2011-12       Contact from case managers to parents regarding IEP, ITP, reevaluation meetings and ongoing follow-up to specific situations, as needed.

November 2011                Mailing of Secondary Special Education Progress Report for Term 1 –along with Gen Ed Progress Report, percentage grades, and additional “Study Strategies” information as noted above.

February 2012                   Mailing of Secondary Special Education Progress Report for Semester 1 –along with Gen Ed Progress Report, percentage grades, and additional “Study Strategies” information as noted above.

March 2012                         Parent Conferences (and possible parent survey).

April 2012                            Mailing of Secondary Special Education Progress Report for Term 3 –along with Gen Ed Progress Report, percentage grades, and additional “Study Strategies” information as noted above.

June 2012                            Mailing of Secondary Special Education Progress Report for Semester 2 –along with Gen Ed Progress Report, percentage grades, and additional “Study Strategies” information as noted above.

RESOURCES: Additional time outside the school date is required for the extensive data compilation for each term as well as postage for additional mailings.

ATTACHED DOCUMENTS:

Attachment 1 –Parent Letter from KHS Special Education Team explaining Study Strategies Program KHS Parent Letter SE Study Strategies

Attachment 2 –Sample of Planner Artifact #2 Student Planner sample

Attachment 3 –Secondary Progress Report (Part 2—with emphasis on IEP goals, comments, and grade percentages). Exhibit 3, Artifact 3 — KHS Secondary Progress Report (Part 2)

Attachment 4 –Sample of Study Strategies printout. (Unable to post at this time–due to student name on printout)

References:

Deslandes, R. and Bertrand, R. (2005). Motivation of Parent Involvement in Secondary-Level Schooling. The Journal of Educational Research, 98(3), 164-175.

Zepeda, S. (2008). Professional Development: What Works. New York: Eye on Education.

Exhibit 4: Community Involvement: Self Advocacy and Post-School Outcome

Laurie James’ Exhibit 4: Community Involvement: Self Advocacy and Post-School Outcome

Exhibit type B: Community Involvement: Identifies at least two school improvement goals and designs a plan that includes multiple effective community involvement strategies needed to directly improve student learning.

CONTEXT: Kingston High School Improvement Goal: #1: KHS Students graduate college ready (including 2 year and technical schools). Special education students are required by law to have a Transition Plan which is designed to help students, teachers, and parents look at goals beyond graduation. The Center for Change in Transition Services (CCTS) is a Washington State’s Needs Grant funded annually by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction’s (OSPI) federal resources. The goal of CCTS is to improve post-school outcomes for students with disabilities in the state. To reach this goal, CCTS provides secondary transition training and technical support to Educational Service Districts (ESDs), Local Educational Agencies (LEAs), and public schools that serve high school-age students who have an Individual Education Program (IEP).  In the form of a Post-school Survey, The Center collects, analyzes and reports post-school outcomes for all high schools who had an IEP in Washington State. The post-school interviews are conducted by local school staff during the summer and one year after the student with an IEP has graduated or permanently exited high school. As part of a state requirement since 2000 and federal requirement since 2004,these outcomes have been collected, published and are available on this site: http://www.seattleu.edu/ccts/default.aspx?id=34548  (Artifact #1—a general explanation of Post-school Outcome Data and Program Improvement).

Based on the 2008-09 study of Kingston High School’s special education students, it appears that zero percent of district graduates interviewed, were enrolled in post-secondary education, one year following graduation (Artifact #2).  (Please note: Examination of this data is usually done by our district’s Transition Coordinator, so this is a new process for me and therefore, this exhibit and its components will require further study, planning, and implementation).

PLANNING, ENGAGEMENT, ANALYSIS: As the leader of Kingston High School’s Special Education Professional Learning Community (KHS SE PLC), I have sought out and brought to our team, curriculum materials which address specific self-advocacy skills required of special education students in high school as well as post-graduation. Through coordination with KHS SE colleagues–including our Transition Coordinator and SE teacher who oversees the instruction on senior portfolios–community/student connections will be encouraged in part, through the following steps:  1) one-on-one, focused follow-up appointments with seniors regarding the preparation of senior portfolios, 2) introduction to Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) representatives, 3) presentation of senior portfolios, and 3) visitation to or from, local community college campus, Access Office for addressing disabilities (Artifact # 3). Our team intends to implement the newly found self-advocacy materials when and where possible (Artifact #4). As this project is a “work in progress”–our team is continuing to plan, develop, and implement strategies to engage students , both during, and in the years leading up to their senior year–enabling them to feel more confident in the steps they take toward  their postsecondary endeavors.

TIMELINE:

Ongoing                               Teacher instruction/support with individual students

January 2012                      Department of Vocational Rehabilitation representative

February 2012                   Guest speaker—former special education student, now college graduate

March 2012                         Presentation of Senior Portfolios by each graduating senior

April 2012                            Potential field trip to local community college

RESOURCES: As per recent contact from a former student volunteering to speak to my current students regarding pursuing college as a student with disabilities, I intend to invite her to come to Kingston High School as a guest speaker. If arrangements can be made, bus transportation from KHS to the local community college, Olympic College, and substitute coverage will be needed to allow teachers to accompany students on a field trip to tour the campus and meet the Access Coordinator.

ATTACHED DOCUMENTS:

Attachment 1:   Examining the Data—Center for Change Transition Services Examining-the-data-08

Attachment 2:   “Telerik Report Viewer” Attending Postsecondary Education-Since Leaving High School –Percent of leavers surveyed attending post secondary education since leaving high school by exit status.(Note: Unable to attach this screen)

Attachment 3:   Olympic College—Access student services information Olympic College–Access Services

Attachment 4:   University of Oklahoma—ME! Self-Advocacy Materials Scope and Sequence  Self-Advocacy Scope and Sequence

References:

Center for Change in Transition Services—retrieved November 19, 2011 from: http://www.seattleu.edu/ccts/default.aspx?id=34548

Olympic College—Access Services for students with disabilities Retrieved November 19, 2011 from: http://www.olympic.edu/Students/StudentServices/AccessServices/

University of Oklahoma—ME! Self Advocacy Lessons Retrieved November 19, 2011 from: http://www.ou.edu/content/education/centers-and-partnerships/zarrow/trasition-education-materials/me-lessons-for-teaching-self-awareness-and-self-advocacy/lessons-and-materials.html

Service Learning for Gifted Students and Adults

I found this week’s assignment to be interesting and challenging, as it required me to “think out of my usual box”. Assignment: Read through the three posted journal articles. Use these three articles (as well as any other you desire) as foundational support for a persuasive argument in the following scenario:

You have recently become concerned about a specific group of the students at your site. Academically the students are functioning well above standard and some have even tested for the district’s gifted program. However, with the building administration’s concern regarding the state standardized test and the building-wide initiative focusing resources and interventions on “bubble kids” (e.g. students who are on the edge of pass/fail) there is little attention dedicated to the needs of the “high achievers”. Some of the staff even dismiss your concerns stating, “The needs of high achievers don’t make headlines, people just care about bad test scores.”

You recognize a potential opportunity to serve this group of students by connecting the students with a local community organization (i.e. Lion’s Club, Kiwanis, Church, etc.). Your hope would be that the adults could interact with the students, providing increased academic rigor and challenge while also supplying a relevancy to the subject(s) being learned.

Using the three posted journal articles, create an outline of how you would sell this collaborative endeavor to (1) building administration and (2) the community organization leadership.

My response:

A.  Service Project: Students to work together with local fisheries personnel and local Native American tribes to assist and monitor the restoration and health of fish-bearing streams of North Kitsap County.

“Gifted adolescents develop a sense of self through various interactions with groups of people. Erikson called this trying on different hats. He believed that becoming a healthy adult is necessarily tied to resolving the crisis of identity or suffering the feelings associated with role confusion” (Cross, 2001).

B.   Rationale for Building Administration

“Erikson defined eight developmental stages during which a crisis must be resolved in order for a person to develop psychosocially without carrying forward issues tied to the previous crisis…

As the children move into adolescence, he or she must refine his or her sense of identity versus role confusion; in young adulthood, intimacy versus isolation; in middle adulthood, generativity versus despair; and in older age, integrity versus despair. According to Erikson, as the individual negotiates a crisis at each stage of development, basic strengths or virtues emerge. The following are the eight basic virtues that Erikson believed emerged across psychosocial development: hope, will purpose, competence, fidelity love, care, and wisdom, respectively.

According to Smith, “…evidence shows that participation in service learning can:

  • foster civic responsibility on the part of children, youth, and college students (Smith).
  • positively affect the cognitive and intellectual development of youths (Billig and Klute, 2003)
  • provide a sense of civic responsibility and engagement (Scales, Blyth, Berkas, and Kielsmeier, 2000).
  • contribute to improvements in self-concept and tolerance for others (Morgan and Streb, 2001)
  • build leadership skills (Billig,2002)
  • influence moral development (Conrad and Hedin, 1991) and a sense of ethics (Furco, 2002) among youth.

Provide opportunities for students to complete service hours required for culminating project.

Establish school-to-work connections for students with the community.

“Guiding the development of gifted children requires adults to work together in seeing that the children successfully resolve the crises that Erikson outlined in the eight stages of psychosocial development” (Cross, 2001, p. 4)

C.  Rationale for Community Organization Leadership

According to Smith: Service learning presents many opportunities for adult participants to:

  • develop and maintain close relationships with other people,
  • give care to those in need, and
  • balance one’s needs with a responsibility to care for others
  •  …(possibly) contribute to an “ethic of care” as a consequence of being in a helping, caregiver, or service provider role (Smith, p 10).

“A particularly relevant dimension of psychosocial maturity is development of generativity among adults… Generativity concerns the ability to care for and provide for the next generation” (Smith, p. 10).

References:

Brazelton, T., & Greenspan, S. I. (2006). Why children need ongoing nurturing relationships. Early Childhood Today, 21(1), 14-15.

Cross, T. L. (2001). Gifted children and Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development. Gifted Child Today, 24(1), 54-55,61.

Smith, M. (2008). Does service learning promote adult development? Theoretical perspectives and directions for research. New Directions For Adult And Continuing Education, (118), 5-15.

Exhibit 2: Educator Learning: Power Standards/Common Formative Assessments

Exhibit 2, Artifact 1 — KHS SE 11-12 Self eval

Exhibit 2, Artifact 2 — KHS Secondary Progress Report

EDU 6600: Communication and Collaboration

Laurie James’ Exhibit 2: Educator Learning: Power Standards/Common Formative Assessments

Exhibit type A: Educator Learning. Identify a school improvement goal show how related educator learning can be planned based on the needs of the school (data that illustrates the need via student achievement, faculty input, and/or community sources) leveraging effective designs for school based collaborative strategies.

CONTEXT:  Kingston High School—School Improvement Plan   Goal #3: Increase the number of students meeting state standard in English, math and science

In keeping with KHS School Improvement Plan, specifically  Goal #3, yet expanding from the basic scope of mandatory reporting of progress on student IEP goals, our PLC team has made the decision to incorporate student input into the quarterly IEP goal reports. Additionally, our PLC’s goal is to create a cohesive and ongoing communication network between each of the Kingston High School Special Education Teachers and each student—promoting teamwork and student success. Please note: While some districts have a service delivery model involving case management and teaching of a specific group of students by a one specific case manager, Kingston High School’s organization, class assignments, and distribution of teaching responsibilities does not allow our team to “compartmentalize” in this manner. Therefore, teamwork and collaboration within our department is of utmost importance—to ensure that no students “fall through the cracks” and that their opportunities for success in school remain in the forefront.

PLANNING, ENGAGEMENT, ANALYSIS:

In order to effectively accomplish the tasks noted above, written input will be collected from each student on a weekly basis (schedule permitting). Each student will be provided with a weekly “Skyward” printout noting specific grades, attendance, assignments and scores for each of their six classes. Based on this information, students will then complete and turn in a KHS Self-Evaluation form (Artifact #1). These evaluation forms will be reviewed at the weekly PLC meeting for follow-up as needed by the appropriate staff member.

On a quarterly basis, each student will be asked to complete a Common Assessment (Artifact #2) which includes Power Standards, created by our PLC. Students will self-reflect on their performance on each of the 13 Power Standards (labeled as “Indicators of Success”). Data will be collected and analyzed by the team in order to determine steps for needed interventions.

This entire project is linked to professional literature and research in the profession in that it is supported by both the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) and my local school district, North Kitsap School District #400 (NKSD). In September of 2011, each PLC team leader throughout the district was provided a resource binder—required for our use–which included the following special note, endorsed by our superintendent, school board president, and union president and our district’s entire PLC Guiding Coalition (including teachers and administrators from across the district):

Many of these documents were created by blending ideas that are currently in used at buildings in our district. We combined ideas to make the best documents possible in order to help PLC teams. Some ideas and documents in this binder were found at http://www.allthingsplc.info/ and others were adapted from books about Professional Learning Communities….(in support of) Our vision: Every school in NKSD will begin the 2011-2012 school year with common protocols to help facilitate regular and productive PLC team meetings in their content areas (NKSD, 2011).

TIMELINE:

September 2011 — Course Syllabus with Power Standards

October 2011 — Updated training to staff regarding Skyward Grading/Educator Access

November 2011 — Common Formative Assessment and Analysis Data Sheet 1

January 2012 — Common Formative Assessment and Analysis Data Sheet 2

March 2012 — Common Formative Assessment and Analysis Data Sheet 3

May 2012 — Common Formative Assessment and Analysis Data Sheet 4

RESOURCES:

September 2011 – PLC Meetings: September 14, 21, 28

October 2011—PLC Meetings: October 5, 13, 19, 26

November 2011—PLC Meetings: November 2, 9, 16, 30

December 2011—PLC Meetings: December 7, 14

January 2012—PLC Meetings: January 4, 11, 18, 25

February 2012—PLC Meetings:  February 1, 8, 15, 22, 29

March 2012—PLC Meetings: March 7, 14, 21

April 2012—PLC Meetings: April 11, 18, 25

May 2012—PLC Meetings: May 2, 9, 16, 23, 30

June 2011—PLC Meetings: June 6, 13

 

ATTACHED DOCUMENTS:

Attachment 1 – Weekly Student Self-Evaluation Sheet

Attachment 2 – Secondary Progress Report (with Indicators of Success and IEP goals)

Exhibit 1: Educator Learning: Tracking Student Progress

Exhibit 1, Artifact 3–email to KHS faculty

Exhibit1, Artifact 2– COLLABORATION SHEET-1

Exhibit 1, Artifact 1–SMART Goals 2011-12

EDU 6600: Communication and Collaboration

Laurie James’ Exhibit 1: Educator Learning: Tracking Student Progress        

Exhibit type A: Educator Learning. Identify a school improvement goal and show how related educator learning can be planned based on the needs of the school (data that illustrates the need via student achievement, faculty input, and/or community sources) leveraging effective designs for school based collaborative strategies.

CONTEXT: The data that illustrates the need for tracking individual student achievement is based upon: (1) District requirement for each school to submit an annual Comprehensive School Improvement Plan, (2) Legal requirements to provide Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) to student’s with Individual Education Programs (IEPs) as well as to, (3) Comply with newly articulated mandates from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) via our special education administrator’s directives. The first identified school improvement goal related to Exhibit 1 is: Kingston High School Improvement Goal # 2: Decrease drop-out rate from 9th grade to graduation. Objective A: Increase the number of students on track to graduate with class. Objective B: Decrease the number of students receiving F’s, especially in the 9th grade. The second required school improvement goal is to increase documentation related to progress reporting on students’ IEP goals, in accordance with OSPI mandates as outlined by our district’s special education director, in September of 2011.

Each PLC group in our school was required to complete new “SMART” goals for the 2011-12 year (Artifact #1). These were due to the Leadership Team—October 24th, and will be compiled into our 2011-2012 School Improvement Plan–prior to submission to the school board. Our Special Education PLC team agreed to include within our SMART goals—requirements set forth by OSPI—regarding collaboration:

….The general education teacher and the special education teacher must collaborate on a regular basis to monitor and assess the student’s progress toward achieving the IEP goals. This communication should be documented. The special education teacher is responsible for keeping progress documentation in order to assess progress in coordination with the general education teacher. The general education teacher should request consultation with the special education teacher if additional assistance if needed in order to implement the goals for the student….(NKSD, Special Education Director, 2011)

PLANNING, ENGAGEMENT, ANALYSIS, RESEARCH-BASED: The approach I have initiated and intend to follow through with for planning, engagement, and analysis of the use of the newly designed “Collaboration Sheet for Special Education and General Education Teachers” (Artifact # 2) is to ensure that each of my colleagues (fellow IEP case managers) and I, strategically communicate with each general education teacher, regarding each student on their respective lists. The information noting areas of qualification (located in the center of the document) will be taken into consideration when implementing accommodations and modifications across any/all subject areas (if applicable). The information on the right-hand side of each form will be used for tracking performance on specific IEP goals in the areas of reading, writing, and/or math—with English and math teachers, respectively. Notations will be made to document conversations, emails, interventions used, and progress made. This ongoing documentation on the “Collaboration Sheets” will become especially critical as we near the end of each quarter and considerations are made regarding student grades. Process outlined in an email to KHS staff (Artifact #3). Please note: Although the information pertains to each member of our SE PLC and we each collaborate with general education teachers, the email is written from me personally, since I am the team member who coordinates the specific and individualized lists.

As I consider the above described school improvement goals and exhibit, I relate most readily to the section in Zepeda’s Chapter 8, entitled, Getting Down to Brass Tacks. Zepeda reminds us that although many different approaches can be used for evaluating educational programs as well as professional development, “….there are some generally accepted evaluation processes that are particularly applicable to educational programs: selecting a focus, establishing an evaluation agreement, collecting data, organizing and analyzing the data, and reporting the results to stakeholders” (p. 48). Clearly, the issues involved in fully implementing student IEPs, including tracking of progress, use of accommodations and modifications, and communication to all required parties of the IEP team, relate to the above outlined processes. Additionally, I see correlation between legally required IEP processes and the information presented in Figure 2.10:

What Evaluation Reports Can Do (p. 56): 1) Demonstrate accountability 2) Convince 3) Educate 4) Explore and investigate 5) Document 6) Involve 7) Gain support 8)Promote understanding and 9) Promote public relations

TIMELINE:

September 6, 2011      Provide student names with corresponding case manager to GE teachers

September 14, 2011    Provide IEP information, accommodations and goals to GE teachers

October 23, 2011        Submission of PLC Smart Goals to KHS Leadership Team/School Board

October 26, 2011        Individual collaboration sheets to GE teachers, data to case managers

Ongoing:                    Both GE and SE teachers review and track progress throughout each term with consultation during planning time/before/after school, as required.

November 9, 2011       End of Term 1—post grades for review by November 15th

January 31, 2012        End of Semester 1—post grades for review by February 5th

April 13, 2012             End of Term 3—post grades for review by April 18th

June __, 2012              Team will review student data and tracking procedures with GE

June 15, 2012              End of Semester 2 – post grades for review by June 21st

RESOURCES: It is anticipated that the work for this exhibit will be conducted during the parameters of the school day—during planning time, before and after school, and during weekly Professional Learning Community sessions.

ATTACHED DOCUMENTS:

Attachment 1 — KHS, Special Education PLC Smart Goals 2011-2012

Attachment 2 – GE / SE Collaboration sheet example

Attachment 3 – Email to KHS faculty

References:

Zepeda, S. (2008). Professional Development: What Works. New York: Eye on Education.