Serving Students with Disabilities
If you teach in a public charter school, you're a special educator (regardless of certification status!) and NY-RISE wants to support your professional development.
Charter schools across New York state are dedicated to ensuring that students, including those with diverse learning needs, receive the best possible educational support. Through virtual and in-person professional development sessions and workshops, the NY-RISE Initiative provides robust guidance, resources, and tools for school leaders, special educators, interventionists, and general education teachers to help you provide legally compliant, high quality, and effective programming and accommodations to help all students reach their potential. Our PD topics range from managing IEP caseloads, to creating specially designed instruction and positive behavior interventions, evaluating, and supporting student behavior, and maximizing co-teaching structures, to intentional planning for student transitions, graduation, and post-secondary options.
Get ready for the new school year by joining Meghan Fitzgerald and the NY-RISE team for an overview of key legal and best practice structures to serve students with disabilities. This interactive Special Education 101 session with charter school leaders and teachers shares tools for inclusively serving all learners. This session is perfect for those new to teaching (in both general education and special education settings!), case management, or anyone who seeks a refresher on district-charter collaboration for special education.
Join Meghan Fitzgerald of the Center for Learner Equity and Paige Carstensen for a session focused on effective co-teaching. This 90-minute PD is designed especially for co-teachers and the school leaders and instructional coaches who support them. The session reviews the six models of co-teaching and self-assess their current use in your school or classroom and articulates how considering differentiation strategies, co-teaching models, IEP and 504 plans as well as data on student academic performance can be utilized to create an exemplary lesson plan.
Toni Barton, Founder and President of Spelligent, joined Meghan Fitzgerald from The Center for Learner Equity to share resources and research-based approaches for school staff to build upon their relationships with caregivers to meet student needs. This 60-minute webinar shares techniques for identifying implicit biases that could be impeding the effectiveness of existing engagement strategies and provides guidance for action planning accordingly.
Meghan Fitzgerald of the Center for Learner Equity led this workshop on creating inclusive mission statements and program summaries to guide your work with students with disabilities. This content is useful for charter school leaders, teachers, and staff of all experience levels. You'll be able to better communicate your school's commitment to (and structure for providing services) to students with disabilities- to both internal (your staff, colleagues, and board) and external audiences (currently enrolled as well as potential students and their families, the community, and your authorizer).
Through this interactive session, Meghan Fitzgerald of the Center for Learner Equity helped new staff members deepen their understanding of the legal structures for providing services for students with disabilities in New York charter schools, define the roles and responsibilities for teaching and coordinating services for students with disabilities, explore equitable accommodations and modifications for common learning profiles, review data-driven school structures for supporting all learners, and review key IEP functions for legally compliant services. Many school leaders utilize this content as part of their pre-service learning for teachers.
Led by Meghan Fitzgerald of the Center for Learner Equity, participants evaluated data systems and routines for students with disabilities, determined delegation plans to manage a caseload for IEP meetings, and informed programming decisions with data for student services. This session is perfect for school leaders, special education directors and coordinators, teachers, and interventionists of all levels.
Meghan Fitzgerald of the Center for Learner Equity helped participants work on strategies to create positive behavior interventions by learning about the principles and systems related to behavior, creating collaborative structures for tiers of student support for social-emotional skills, and leveraging evidence-based interventions to support a student in struggle. You are encouraged to watch this session with a case in mind. This session is perfect for school leaders, special education directors and coordinators, teachers, and interventionists of all levels.
“Specially Designed Instruction: Adaptations to content, methods, or lesson delivery to address the unique needs of a student’s disability.”
Learn from Meghan Fitzgerald of the Center for Learner Equity to deepen your understanding of key aspects of specially designed instruction, share effective instructional practices and supports, and plan instruction for individualized learning goals.
Meghan discussed systems for addressing academic goals in lessons for students with IEPs; participants brought academic data for their students with disabilities (this could include grades, test scores, classwork, homework, reading and/or math diagnostics, etc.) as well as upcoming lesson plans.
Co-teaching can be one of the most powerful instructional models, but it can be difficult to navigate and optimize- where you are a new teacher or have been in the classroom for a decade. In this session, Meghan Fitzgerald of the Center for Learner Equity supports this practice by analyzing videos of effective co-teacher collaboration practices for lesson planning and delivery, articulating roles and responsibilities to establish inclusive teaching structures, reviewing systems of effective co-teaching partnerships, routines, and data practices, and adopt tools to improve differentiation practices and drive the achievement of all learners.
Meghan Fitzgerald of the Center for Learner Equity and Katie Dormont of Uncommon Schools presented a session where participants worked through typical scenarios to understand how to leverage data to create Functional Behavior Assessments (FBA), apply data from the FBA to the Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP), and create a Basic BIP for one of their current students. This session is perfect for school leaders, special education directors and coordinators, teachers, and interventionists of all levels.
In this session, participants learned how to track removals for students with disabilities, determine patterns of behavior in removals, and create alternatives to removal. This session is perfect for school leaders, special education directors and coordinators, teachers, and interventionists of all levels.
Presenters Meghan Fitzgerald of the Center for Learner Equity and Katie Dormont of Uncommon Schools helped participants identify the main reasons BIPs fall apart, understand the changes to make to rebuild BIPs to modify student behavior, and demonstrated how to implement these changes in a current BIP.
This session summarized the big wins of participating teachers and schools over this past school year (including obstacles experienced in serving students with disabilities this year and how teams pivoted or innovated to meet student needs), prepared staff to pass the torch for transitions, and showcased best practice tools to support the growth of programs for students with disabilities next year.
Join Meghan Fitzgerald and the NY-RISE team to learn the various pathways for students with disabilities to graduate from high school with New York State diplomas.
Through this session, we offered ways to track and respond to data to offer students the most appropriately rigorous and realistic options for economic self-determination. Our objectives included the following: articulate NYSED high school graduation and diploma options for students with disabilities; define roles and responsibilities for managing high school graduation and diploma progress; and explore IEP Exit Summaries to support strong transitions.