Area of Nomination: Special Education Instruction
School: Charlotte Kenyon Intermediate School and John Harshaw Elementary
District: Chenango Forks Central School District
Region: Mid State
Grade Level: Elementary
The practice is also featured as a Mentor School.
Charlotte Kenyon Intermediate School and John Harshaw Elementary School have flourishing professional learning communities that support collaborative evidence based decision-making for a multi-tiered model of instruction and intervention in literacy, resulting in positive outcomes for all students, including students with disabilities.
Chenango Forks serves about 1,750 students in grades pre-kindergarten through 12. About 27% of students are eligible for free or reduced cost lunches. About 1% of students are African American, 2% are Hispanic, 1% are Asiann and the remainder are White. Charlotte Kenyon Intermediate School and John Harshaw Elementary School, housed in the Chenango Forks Elementary complex, serve about 360 students in grades pre-kindergarten through 2 and 336 students in grades 3 through 5. About 30 to 35% of students in the two schools are eligible for free or reduced cost lunches. From 1 to 3% of students are African American, 1 to 3% are Hispanic, 1% are Asian, and the remainder are White.
Charlotte Kenyon Intermediate School and John Harshaw Elementary School have implemented and sustained a tiered intervention system for the delivery of evidence based effective instruction for all students including those with disabilities. This organizing framework showcases the commitment Chenango Forks Central School District has historically made to closing achievement gaps for all students, including students with disabilities, students at risk, and English language learners.
Why was the practice initiated:
The decision to adopt a multi-tiered model of intervention was made as part of the district initiative to develop Professional Learning Communities that would ensure the success of every student, including students with disabilities. The decision to adopt a model aligned with the work of Richard and Rebecca DuFour and Jim Wright was influenced by outcomes from the Comprehensive District Education Planning (CDEP) team's strategic planning process.
Why the practice was validated by S³TAIR:
This is a multi-tiered, problem solving approach to instruction and
intervention has resulted in significant improvement in outcomes for
students with disabilities who have achieved Adequate Yearly Progress
(AYP) for all academic areas at both schools. The Performance Index for
English language arts (ELA) for students with disabilities in grades 3 -
8 increased from 104 in 2006 to 125 in 2007 and 127 in 2008. The rate of
referral to the Committee on Special Education has decreased as well; 23
referrals were received district-wide during the 2007-08 school year,
and 10 have been received to date during the 2008-09 school year. The
impact of evidence based instruction and tiered intervention has also
resulted in an increase in Regents Diplomas achieved by students with
disabilities, from 15% in 2002-03 to 57% in 2006-07. Chenango Forks
School District has a sophisticated system of data collection and
analysis. There is a carefully cultivated culture of collaboration with
clearly articulated protocols. Special education teachers are attached
to departments to support collaboration. Ongoing professional learning
opportunities are provided for all teachers in support of
differentiation of instruction. Chenango Forks Central School District
is also in the process of developing a partnership with Binghamton
University as a result of participation in the S3TAIR Project, through
connection with the higher education representative on the site