From the Desk of: Alignment Efforts

Submitted by Don Briere, Ph.D., Project Director, CSDE and Michelle LeBrun-Griffin, Project Coordinator

At the National SPDG Directors’ Conference in October, we were strongly encouraged to continue exploring coherence of SPDG implementation efforts with School Turnaround (OESE), Results Driven Accountability (OSEP/SSIP), and ESEA Flexibility in order to most efficiently improve outcomes for students with disabilities. Since the conference, the SPDG Management team has reflected on this federal guidance, working to review the various improvement efforts co-occurring across the various Divisions of the CSDE.

Ongoing conversations to align the grant’s efforts with critical work in the state has become paramount. We remain optimistic that our experience with the implementation of SRBI in participating schools, PreK-12, has impact on state efforts to provide quality instruction, coordinated early intervening services, and multi-tiered systems of support. Members of the CT SPDG Project Management Team have regular conversations with colleagues in the CSDE Academic Office regarding SRBI implementation efforts statewide. We continue to take pride in the work of schools participating in CT’s SPDG and are honored that lessons learned from this grant are being used to inform the broad educational landscape in CT. For example, all schools are supported in the development of a comprehensive assessment schedule, including the use of evidence-based universal screening tools adopted by the SBOE in July 2014 as part of the K-3 Reading Legislation (refer to PA 12-116).

Furthermore, Don Briere, CT SPDG Project Director and consultant for the Bureau of Special Eudcation along with Michelle LeBrun-Griffin, Project Coordinator and consultant for SERC, have begun working more closely with other CSDE consultants to help inform action planning for the State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP) as well as the CSDE’s special education focused monitoring efforts.

Another exciting update to share is CT was one of twelve states awarded the School Climate Transformation Grant (SCTG) which is a supplemental effort to implement multi-tiered behavior frameworks (a.k.a. PBIS) statewide. The CT SPDG Project Management Team will be working closely with SCTG Team as they expand efforts to improve school climate across the state. We look forward to sharing lessons learned and best practices identified by participating schools using an integrated model of academic and behavior supports. Watch for further information as the SCTG anticipates recruiting new schools for participation in this project beginning at the start of the 2015-2016 school year.

Published: December 16, 2014