School districts bear the responsibility of educating all students. Constructing programming, providing supports and developing instructional strategies for struggling learners are involved processes that require thoughtful planning. CASDA’s Struggling Learners Functional Service Team is comprised of faculty members that have spent years working in Special Education, educational leadership and classroom instruction. Their combination of knowledge and experience provides teachers and administrators with effective guidance to improve their Special Education offerings.
CASDA’s Struggling Learners experts are capable of supporting this process on multiple levels. Program evaluations are particularly effective at analyzing existing structures and practices, determining the degree to which they are successful and providing strategies to drive improvement. This process consists of interviews with administrators, CSE chairpersons, teachers, students and even parents to achieve a thorough understanding of all aspects of a district’s Special Education program.
Program evaluations identify areas for improvement. Instructional and assistive technology is a service in which CASDA’s expertise can significantly enhance opportunities for struggling learners. Faculty specialists bring their knowledge of instructional and assistive technology devices, programming platforms and content to develop a strategy that best suits a school’s needs and budget. Once a plan is agreed upon, CASDA faculty will train classroom instructors, special education teachers and support personnel to utilize technology to its greatest potential. This includes navigating tablets, iPads and other devices as well as training in programs and apps in several content areas. Many programs record student responses in tremendous depth, making them especially useful for measuring skill development and progress.
While technology is undeniably useful, it must be situated in the context of a rigorous, well-rounded approach to instruction. CASDA faculty members can assist in the construction and documentation of Individual Education Plans and facilitate the introduction of methods such as Explicit Instruction and co-teaching. At an administrative and planning level, CASDA can assist with understanding CDOS credentials and alternative pathways to graduation in an effort to provide students with opportunities to achieve academic success and career preparedness.
CASDA believes wholeheartedly that educators must be prepared to support struggling learners. Faculty members combine the latest academic research, fluency in educational technology and a thorough understanding of legal requirements to serve as a tremendous resource for districts seeking to improve their programs that address the needs of struggling learners.