Overview for Prospective Schools

A Statewide System of Academic and Behavioral Interventions and Supports


CT’s SPDG has been developed to expand and sustain a coordinated, statewide system of professional development, coaching, and support to schools, PreK-12, to improve educational outcomes for all students through the provision of a continuum of academic and behavior supports. It will increase the number of schools in CT implementing scientifically research-based core literacy instruction and school-wide positive behavioral supports driven by common core state standards and personal/social learning expectations. Through the provision of quality instruction, multi-tiered interventions, and analysis of data to inform educational decisions, participating schools will strive to improve the academic achievement of all students with a specific focus on students with disabilities, students of color, and students acquiring English. In addition to programming on CT’s SRBI Framework, comprehensive reading instruction, Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), and data driven decision-making, participants will receive support on determining educational benefit for students with disabilities, developing standards-based IEPs, and increasing family/community engagement.

Eligible Applicants and Requirements of Participants

All public schools, PreK-12, including public charter and magnet schools, within the state of CT are eligible to apply. The Superintendent of Schools must be committed to:

  1. Establishing a District Leadership Team in 2014 (if such a team is not in place), maintaining this Team throughout the funding cycle (2014-2017), and delineating mechanisms for sustaining the Team after the SPDG; this Team will provide support to the School Team(s) selected to participate, including guidance/procedural changes, funding/resource allocation, and visibility/ stakeholder support;
  2. Identifying a SRBI District Coordinator (if one has not already been identified) to sustain coordination and expansion responsibilities during and after the SPDG;
  3. Supporting building principal(s) to identify a School Leadership Team (if such team is not in place) to serve as school-based coaches and manage implementation of the grant and its various components;
  4. Actively collaborating with SERC and the CSDE to identify lessons learned and to contribute to the research base through all funding years; this includes participation in annual leadership networking meetings and regular use and submission of data;
  5. Participating in all evaluation activities as outlined by the Project Evaluator contracted by SERC and the CSDE.

Benefits of Participation

Each school in the 2014-2017 Cohort will receive the following support in Year 1 of the SPDG:

  • Six (6) days of differentiated, statewide professional development (September 2014 – April 2015);
  • Six (6) days of on-site, job-embedded technical assistance and coaching support that will be tailored to meet the needs of each school (October 2014 – June 2015);
  • A $3000 stipend to defray costs for substitute coverage, data collection systems, and instructional materials;
  • Annual use of School-Wide Information System (SWIS) to track office referral data; and
  • Facilitated self-assessment of implementation.

Organization of Grant

SPDG Organizational Structure

Phase I: Exploration and Installation

Phase I of the project will strengthen the skills and capacity of district and school leadership to ensure fidelity and sustainability of implementation. Using CT’s SRBI Framework, school-based teams will be provided with training regarding School-wide PBIS and Foundations of Core Reading Instruction. Schools already using CT’s SRBI Framework to implement systems of instruction, assessment, and decision-making with fidelity will be afforded an opportunity to examine their current practices, identify areas for improvement, and work with technical advisors to strengthen core instruction and overall school climate.

Phase II: Initial Implementation

Phase II of the project will provide school-based teams with strategies and tools to establish/refine their continuum of academic and behavioral interventions and supports reflective of their students’ diverse strengths and needs. This includes, but is not limited to, understanding function of behavior as it relates to students’ identity development and achievement. In addition, schools will receive training focused on strategic decision-making in order to provide targeted and intensive reading interventions and supports to improve students’ access to learning. Accelerating student learning to attain grade level standards will be a primary focus. On-site technical assistance/coaching will be provided to facilitate implementation of a continuum of support to ensure educational benefit for all students. This will be supported by the development of standards-based IEPs and meaningful family/community engagement.

Phase III: Full Implementation and Sustainability

Schools will receive customized technical assistance focusing on the analysis and use of data to make informed decisions regarding replicable practices and how to refine/enhance curriculum, core instruction, and/or the learning environment. On-going support for school-based coaches and statewide networking will foster sustainability of the project beyond the life of the grant.

Preparing the Application

All applications must be prepared in accordance with the specifications below. Proposals should be double-spaced, size 12 font, and not exceed 10 pages.

Applications must include:

  1. Signature page with original signatures (see Appendix A);
  2. Data summary (see Appendix B);
  3. Narrative of no more than (10) pages which addresses the following:
  • a. Evidence of staff’s commitment to improving academic and behavioral outcomes for all students, including students with disabilities, students of color, and students acquiring English.
  • b. Evidence of how an integrated model of reading and behavioral interventions and supports complements the school’s improvement plan/reform efforts that currently exist.
  • c. Description of what the continuum of academic and behavioral interventions and supports at the building level currently looks like.
  • d. Explanation of how instructional practice and learning environment reflects a culturally responsible approach to literacy and behavior for all students, including students with disabilities, and how inequities are recognized and addressed.
  • e. Description, with examples, of types of assessments used and how staff currently collect, manage, and analyze data to make informed decisions to improve student learning.
  • f. Explanation of how staff actively engages families in students’ identity development and learning experience, and how they involve families in decision-making for their child.
  • Appendices of additional “value added” documentation/resources and letters of support, as appropriate.
  • Proposals, including one (1) original AND one (1) electronic version, irrespective of postmark date, must be received by 4:30 p.m. on April 30, 2014. Extensions cannot be allowed. The original proposal must bear an original signature of the Superintendent of Schools on the Signature Page (see Appendix A). All proposals become the property of SERC.

    The addresses for delivery are:

    SPDG Application
    25 Industrial Park Road
    Middletown, CT 06457

    Please click here to download this document along with the associated application.

    Proposal Review and Selection

    Schools will be selected through a multi-step process as follows:

    1. Data Analysis – CSDE and SERC Staff will review aggregated and disaggregated data provided by each school that applies, including trends in reading achievement, office disciplinary referrals, graduation rates (for high schools only), and time with non-disabled peers (TWNDP) for students with disabilities (see Appendix B);
    2. Paper Screening – Applications will be reviewed by committee, including various grant partners as feasible, including CSDE, SERC, RESC Alliance, UConn/CBER, CT PIRC, and CPAC;
    3. Verification – A pre-arranged, conference call and/or an on-site visit of highest ranked applicants may be conducted by SERC to verify need (schools will be contacted by May 23, 2014 to schedule); and
    4. Selection – CSDE and SERC will select up to 15 schools for the 2014-2017 Cohort and make recommendations for participation in future Cohorts by June 10, 2014.

    Contact Information

    If you have any questions, please contact Michelle LeBrun-Griffin, Project Coordinator, (860) 632-1485, ext. 321 or griffin@ctserc.org.

    For further information about CT’s SPDG, please visit SERC’s SPDG website at www.ctserc.org/spdg.

    It is the policy of SERC to provide equal opportunity in employment to qualified individuals regardless of race, color, religion, age, sex, marital status, civil union status, natural origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, genetic information, or any other legally protected class in accordance with all applicable laws. This commitment extends to all employment decisions, including but not limited to: recruiting, hiring, promotion, training, compensation, discipline and discharge, and to all terms, benefits, privileges, and conditions of employment.