The Allegheny Intermediate Unit (AIU) and the Elementary and Middle Schools Technical Assistance Center (EMSTAC) Present: Collaboration: Teaming to Provide Technical Assistance to Local School Districts
Collaboration A Group Definition
Collaboration • Characterized by: • mutual respect • trust • open communication • pooling of personal resources and expertise • joint ownership
The Allegheny Intermediate Unit • Our Mission • The Allegheny Intermediate Unit is an educational service agency and regional partner providing customized programs and services to advance the quality of life for all learners.
The Allegheny Intermediate Unit • Our Vision • The Allegheny Intermediate Unit is an educational service agency dedicated to success for all learners. We champion best practices and innovative approaches in teaching and learning. Through partnerships and collaborative leadership, we enhance the capacity of schools and communities to support all children and families.
The Allegheny Intermediate Unit • Our Home • Forty-two school districts in Allegheny County, PA • Range of Services
OSEP has long funded technical assistance and dissemination projects. Currently 40 different centers across the country are operating. EMSTAC is one of these centers. Clearinghouse Regional Resource Center Topical Center: Early Childhood Transition Inclusion Families Technology Behavior Reading The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) and Technical Assistance
The EMSTAC Team Barbara Acosta Keith Berman Brad Carl Shirley Cole Christina Diamond Miriam Gerver Jim Hamilton Tony Johnson Lydia Killos Jessica Margolin Maury McInerney Eric Mesmer Laurel Nishi Christine Paulsen Suzanne Ritter Kristin Ruedel Jessica Saunders Amanda Schwartz Muna Shami Michael Smith Caroline Sunshine Judy Wald Charity Welch Darren Woodruff Martha Young Aashti Zaidi
Elementary and Middle Schools Technical Assistance Center • EMSTAC’s mission is to develop a comprehensive approach to technical assistance that can be used nationwide to improve results for children with disabilities
Our Goal: Positive Outcomesfor Children • Identify and Team with Local Advocates • Develop Collaborative Communication Networks • Promote Knowledge Exchange • Supporting Linking Agents in their efforts to implement research-based practices Outcomes for Students with Disabilities
Technical Assistance (TA) • Involves helping local school districts build their capacity to improve educational services & outcomes for children with disabilities and their families. • Some examples of EMSTAC TA efforts include • school-wide behavioral interventions • reading instruction • inclusion of students with disabilities into general education programs • disproportionate representation of minorities in special education
A Variety of Supports for Schools • Technical Assistance Liaisons • Local Linking Agents • National Network of Educators and Resources (e.g. CASE, CCSSO, MPRRC) • Comprehensive Website: www.emstac.org • Online Training
Technical Assistance Liaisons (TA Liaisons) • TA Liaisons are AIU and EMSTAC staff who work with the Linking Agent to support his/her role. • TA Liaisons consult with Linking Agents, provide guidance and problem-solving assistance, and connect Linking Agents to research.
Linking Agents • “Linking Agent” is a term to describe individuals in school systems that promote school improvement by helping districts implement research-based practices. • Linking Agents are problem-solvers, connectors to research, and facilitators of change in their school district.
Recent EMSTAC Chat Events • Reducing Behavioral Referrals, Suspensions, and Expulsions: The Use of Social Skills Training and Other Behavioral Interventions in the Classroom • Using Co-Teaching and Teaming Strategies to Facilitate Inclusion for Students with Disabilities • PAM: Prereferral Assessment Model • Literacy Interventions for Elementary and Middle Schools • Behavioral Interventions and Strategies • Spring Forward: First Steps as a New Linking Agent • Life as an EMSTAC Linking Agent • Conducting a Needs Assessment at the Local Level • Instructional Strategies for English Language Learners
EMSTAC Products • Reading Instruction for Students with Disabilities • Literacy Instruction for Students Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing • English Language Development/English as a Second Language • Social Skills Instruction and Schoolwide Discipline • Selecting an Intervention or Program: A Guide for Education Personnel • Addressing the Challenges of Autism: Research Findings and Promising Practices • Study Skills: Information and Strategies for Education Professionals • Everyone Wins: Accessing the General Education Curriculum in Various Settings (in press) • Addressing the Challenges of Disproportionality: Research Findings and Promising Practices (in press) • Strategies to Help Districts Collect Evaluation Data (in press) • A Qualitative Description of Collaborative Teams in Today’s Classroom (in press) • The "A-ha" Guide to Maximizing School Resources: Tips and Suggestions (in press)
How Does the Change Process Fit In? • As interventions are brought into schools, change will occur. • If Linking Agents understand the process of change and can help the school district work through change, they are more likely to be successful.
The Collaboration(or, How AIU and EMSTAC Met) • CEC Conference 1999 • Complementary Missions • Getting the Ball Rolling • Visiting AIU • Recruiting school districts • Training Linking Agents • Moving the process along
National-Level Resources and Networking State-Level Resources and Networking EMSTAC(Technical Assistance Liaison) AIU(Technical Assistance Liaison) School District A (Linking Agent) School District B (Linking Agent) School District C (Linking Agent) AIU-EMSTAC Collaboration Model
Benefits of the Partnership • Increased network opportunities • Additional resources for districts • Recognition for the Intermediate Unit • Research based practices • Improved outcomes for students
Keys to Successful School District Improvement • District Leadership • Building-Level Leadership • Internal Collaboration • Internal Locus of Change • History with Past Initiatives • External Support
Challenges • Administrative support • Internal governance issues • District demographics and characteristics • The role of the Linking Agent • Distinction between AIU and EMSTAC
What’s Next? • Retaining School Districts • Projections for school districts with which we are currently working • Utilizing videoconferencing capabilities • Extending Collaboration • Recruiting More School Districts
Wrap Up • Discussion, questions, and feedback • Thank you!