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Learning Technology Grant Winner: Addison High School

Award Years: 2015-2018

Abstract:

The Addison Central School District (ACSD) will use Learning Technology grant funds to introduce electronic tablet devices for use by Students with Disabilities (SWDs) in general education settings. The project will impact 60 SWDs in grades 6-8, twelve Core Content Area Teachers, six Special Education Teachers, and one Library Media Specialist (LMS). Teachers will participate in sustained, high-quality professional development that will result in true integration of technology as an instructional tool. The Core Content Area Teachers and Special Education Teachers will collaborate within a Direct Consultant Teacher model of instruction to develop lesson plans which include Specially Designed Instruction for SWDs in the general education classroom. The tablets will provide teachers with a means to collect real-time data to inform their instruction, as well as a method to differentiate that instruction for their SWDs. The tablets will provide Students with Disabilities greater access to the general education curriculum and support their academic growth toward achievement of the New York State Learning Standards (including Common Core) and the Career Development and Occupational Studies (CDOS) Learning Standards.

The ACSD is a high-need, rural district serving 1,100 students in three buildings – Valley Early Childhood School (Pre-K), Tuscarora Elementary (K-5), and Addison Middle High School (6-12). The district was designated as a Focus District in 2012-13, as a result of its Students with Disabilities (SWDs) performance on the 2011-12 NYS assessments. The Addison Middle High School was designated as a Focus School, based on an analysis of the NYS assessment data that showed 89% of SWDs in grades 6-8 did not score at proficient levels as measured by combined English Language Arts (ELA) and Math performance indicators. The district continues to be identified as a Focus District, and the Middle High School remains a Focus School, due to its failure to meet minimum performance requirements on the NYS assessments for 2013-14 and 2014-15. District initiatives implemented as a result of required Diagnostic Tool for School And District Effectiveness (DTSDE) have had a positive impact on general education students as measured by improved NYS assessment scores, but the district’s SWDs continue to struggle with no Special Education students in grades 6-8 reaching a proficient score on the 2015 NYS ELA and Math assessments.

The Learning Technology project will incorporate both student-centered and teachercentered activities. Teacher teams will work collaboratively to develop assessments for realtime data collection, identify strategies for effective use of the tablet platform to differentiate instruction, and formulate rubrics that students can use for self-assessment. The Library Media Specialist will work with teachers and students to create Tablet Toolkits, collections of evidence-based tools and applications that will enable teachers to design individualized instructional plans for students and enable them to achieve greater academic growth and autonomy in the classroom. Students will increase their self-reliance and self-advocacy skills through the use of personal digital assistant programs and tablet-based graphic organizers to manage their calendar, class schedule, homework and task lists, and personal reminders. Customization of technology and digital content will be integrated with students’ IEP goals. The implementation of the Learning Technology project activities will support attainment of the following goals: 1) Students with Disabilities will increase mastery of Universal Foundational Skills and Competencies (CDOS- Standards 2 & 3); and 2) Students with Disabilities will achieve adequate academic growth towards meeting the NYS Proficiency Standards. The project will impact not only SWDs increased academic achievement, but will support development of independent life skills that are needed in school and beyond.