District Curriculum Accommodation Plan

Bedford Public Schools

District Curriculum Accommodation Plan

September 1, 2009

(click here for a printable version)

The Bedford Public Schools has a long history of being fully committed to the education and learning needs of all students. We recognize that all of our students have individual learning styles that at one time or another may require some kind of accommodation within the classroom or school environment. Consequently, in each of our schools, we have a variety of supports available to all students who may need them. Before any consideration is given to a referral to Special Education, students and their teachers are encouraged to explore and avail themselves of the following district-wide services and programs that address the diverse learning needs of our students.

Professional Development Opportunities K-12

Bedford Public Schools offer its staff an assortment of training opportunities designed to enhance our ability to create positive learning environments for every child. For teachers new to Bedford, regardless of whether they have had previous teaching experience, there is a year long Mentor Program which offers weekly seminars as well as a pairing with an Individual Mentor Teacher who provides ongoing guidance and support. Topics covered in the seminars include an overview of Bedford Public Schools' policies and procedures as well as an introduction to our various departments and services. Mentor teachers paired with our new professional staff get a stipend which acknowledges the extra time devoted to ensuring a positive "first year" for our new staff.

Professional Development for all teachers and teaching assistants is also provided during monthly early release afternoons and three full "Workshop Days" which are devoted to a combination of district-wide initiatives as well as training within departments. In addition, professional staff offers a variety of after-school workshops on current best practices. The Bedford Public Schools is a member of Harvard University's 'Teachers as Scholars Program' as well as the EDCO and the CASE Collaboratives which provide for a wide variety of general education and special education training throughout the year. In addition, there is ample summer stipend money awarded by building principals or program directors for teachers to develop curriculum or design new instructional practices that expand our ability to meet the needs of diverse learners. The Special Education Department has sponsored a number of training opportunities to a mixed audience of special and regular educators on such topics as Autism and Aspergers Syndrome, Differentiating Instruction for Intermediate and Middle School students and Executive Dysfunction. All of these efforts help to expand the repertoire of our educators to reach a wide range of learners.

The Bedford Public Schools' District Curriculum Accommodation Plan (DCAP) is designed to assist administrators, teachers, and other staff in ensuring that all possible efforts have been made to meet students' needs in general education classrooms and to support teachers in analyzing and accommodating diverse learning styles of all children that may be present in a school. Led by the building principal, staff at each school collaborates on best practices in order to ensure that adequate instructional strategies and supports are available for both student and staff. The DCAP is directly connected to procedures that are currently in place to strengthen and improve the general education program for the benefit of all students, not solely or specifically for special education.

The DCAP is intended to address various strategies at each level that will help achieve that objective, including:

  • Accommodating various students' learning needs, including students who are English Language Learners, At Risk, Title I, etc., and to manage student's behavior effectively.
  • Support services that are available to students through the general education program, including services to address the needs of students whose behavior may interfere with learning.
  • Direct and systematic instruction in reading for all students.

This document includes curriculum accommodations for elementary, middle, and high school. The DCAP includes suggestions for accommodating concerns regarding academic progress as well as strategies and interventions designed to resolve social and behavioral issues. While it lists best practices, sample strategies and other actions from which the teachers and collaborating staff may select for appropriate accommodations for individual students, in no way does the DCAP limit the accommodations that staff may choose to implement in order to meet a student's needs.

Resources, Structures and Services

At

Bedford High School

The following resources, structures and services have been designed to meet the diverse learning needs of students at Bedford High School:

Academic

  • Student Assistance Team serves as a response to intervention/pre-referral team.
  • Skills Center provides academic tutorials, homework support for regular education students in need of services.
  • MCAS Support Program provides focused academic support for students identified as needing additional preparation or remediation for these tests.
  • All MCAS test administrations are untimed. Since any student may be given additional time beyond the scheduled test administration session, additional time is not considered an MCAS accommodation. However, no single test session may extend beyond the end of the regular school day, and any single test session must be completed on the same day in which it begins. Students taking the English Language Arts (ELA) Composition test must complete two sessions (Session A and B) in one day.
  • Reading instruction is offered in a range of settings, geared to meet a diverse range of needs from remediation in basic decoding skills to reading enrichment and vocabulary and comprehension development.
  • Common student and organization skills are taught across the curriculum in Grade 9 classes where students frequently struggle with homework completion and organizations. These classes also make frequent use of communication-with-home protocols.
  • Homework Center is available to all students after school.
  • Tutoring provided by National Honor Society students is available upon request.
  • Teachers are available regularly before school, after school and during X blocks.
  • Athletic Academic Probation provides close support for athletes who fall below a C- average.
  • EXCEL provides tutorial support and learning strategies to students who, for the first time, have moved to a higher academic level.

Behavior/Social/Emotional

  • RISE is an alternative program within the high school designed for students who struggle with attending school or attending class regularly.
  • Self and Society is a course taught by the adjustment counselor focusing on adolescent issues and coming-of-age literature and designed to reach interested students and those who are alienated from school.
  • All students are provided with assignment planners.
  • Use of Naviance by the Guidance department helps students better understand individual learning styles.

Teacher Teaming/ Support

  • Structured and informal interdepartmental collaboration is exceptionally high with sharing of strategies, curricular materials.
  • On-going professional development regularly addresses issues that support student learning, such as backward planning, uses of student centered technology, responses to Executive Dysfunction and strategies for Differentiated Instruction.

Other

  • 504 Accommodation Plan services are available for designated students.

Routinely Used Instructional Strategies

In addition to the pre-referral options open to Bedford students, teachers throughout the district make routine use of the following strategies as part of their commitment to good instruction. It should be noted that the strategies listed below may not be appropriate for all instructional ages.

Design Lessons for Clarity

  • Share lesson goals with students each day
  • Check for student progress in relation to lesson goals during or at the end of lesson/unit
  • Provide a daily agenda to students
  • Plan lessons with student performance and enduring understandings as objectives
  • Identify essential questions students should be able to answer at the end of the lesson or unit
  • Identify key vocabulary and repeat that vocabulary often during a lesson
  • Provide students with regular opportunities to engage actively in instruction.
  • Check for understanding frequently
  • Incorporate opportunities for student movement into lessons when appropriate
  • Incorporate "Wait time"* into lessons.
  • Preview new concepts

Address Assessment Issues

  • Clarify directions or questions.
  • Provide visual and auditory directions
  • Evaluate student understanding using multiple formats

Build a Context for Material

  • Make content relevant to students.
  • Make available examples of finished products
  • Use a familiar context when introducing concepts.
  • Have student identify key information and main ideas
  • Relate lesson parts to the whole

Model Strategies

  • Use schematics and/or graphic organizers to highlight relationships
  • Provide study tools and/or teach students to make study tools when deemed appropriate by teacher.

Provide Added Supports

  • Teach note-taking strategies when deemed appropriate by teacher.
  • Provide a word bank with key vocabulary, words and visuals when deemed appropriate by teacher
  • Provide varied opportunities for student practice
  • Provide uncluttered workspaces. Allow scrap paper with lines and ample room, especially on tests, for uncluttered computation
  • Provide timely feedback (when not constrained by external factors)
  • Provide opportunities for student revision when deemed appropriate by teacher

Establish Routines that Support Learning

  • Provide preferential seating for students who appear distracted.
  • Develop a system of non-verbal cues for class attention.
  • Use consistent and familiar routines
  • Provide students with opportunities to problem solve individually or in small teams and to share their thinking out loud with others
  • Communicate regularly with special education personnel
  • Explicitly ties the lesson to main idea of previous lesson and/or to the overall unit

For every Level 2 or Level 3 course in the high school curriculum, it is an additional expectation that teachers will:

Address Assessment Issues

  • Teach and practice test-taking strategies and anticipate test formats when deemed appropriate by teacher.

Build a Context for Material

  • Preview vocabulary.

Model Strategies

  • Provide study tools and/or teach students to make study tools

Provide Added Supports

  • Provide templates/graphic organizers when appropriate.
  • Provide checklists for multi-step tasks

Resources, Structures and Services

At

John Glenn Middle School

The following resources, structures and services have been designed to meet the diverse learning needs of students at JGMS:

John Glenn Middle School

Academic

  • RTI serves as an intervention team.
  • An ELL teacher works with English Language Learners on a pull-out basis as needed. This teacher also works to support regular education teachers in lesson design and delivery.
  • Reading Specialists teach individualized and Wilson Reading Programs.
  • Skills Center provides academic tutorials, homework support and study skills development for regular education students in need of services.
  • Periodic MCAS Remediation is provided during the school year but outside the school day to at-risk students as needed through Title I.
  • Title I Math tutoring and skill-building are offered for identified students.
  • Teacher supervised Homework Club is open after school on a regular basis for students needing additional support.
  • Organizational issues are addressed with all Grade 6 student in Student Owned Strategies (SOS) class. This class also makes use of CRISS (Creating Independence through Student Owned Strategies) learning strategies.
  • All students are provided with an Academic Planner.

Behavioral/Social/Emotional

  • Behavior plans are coordinated with teachers, adjustment counselors and Response to Intervention (RTI) members.
  • All students are assigned a faculty advisor. Advisory groups of no more than 14 students per adult meet frequently to discuss issues of school culture.
  • Principal newsletters highlight behavioral expectations for all students, as well as issues pertaining to building a positive school climate.
  • Individual/dyad counseling sessions target individual issues.
  • An Anti-bullying Task Force has been established to address issues of bullying and cyber-bullying and curricula is in place at all three grade levels

Teacher Team/ Support

  • Special Education liaisons consult frequently with regular classroom teachers regarding curricular delivery and individual student needs.
  • Faculty is working on establishing consistent expectations for student performance in writing across the curriculum using a modified 6Traits plus 1 framework.
  • On-going professional development frequently addresses issues that support student learning, such as responses to Executive Dysfunction and strategies for Differentiated Instruction.
  • Teachers make frequent use of wiki's, email and shared files to exchange strategies and curricula with other professionals in the building or district.

Other

  • 504 Accommodation Plan services are available for designated students.
  • Teachers across the curriculum are also prepared to use CRISS strategies in their classrooms

Routinely Used Instructional Strategies

In addition to the pre-referral options open to Bedford students, teachers throughout the district make routine use of the following strategies as part of their commitment to good instruction. It should be noted that the strategies listed below may not be appropriate for all instructional ages.

Design Lessons for Clarity

  • Share lesson goals with students each day and check on progress towards those goals at the end of the lesson.
  • Provide a daily agenda to students.
  • Plan lessons with student performance and enduring understandings as objectives.
  • Identify essential questions students should be able to answer at the end of the lesson or unit when appropriate.
  • Identify key vocabulary and repeat that vocabulary often during a lesson.
  • Provide students with regular opportunities to engage actively in instruction.
  • Check for understanding frequently.
  • Incorporate opportunities for student movement into lessons.
  • Incorporate "Wait time"* into lessons.
  • Preview new concepts.

Address Assessment Issues

  • Teach and practice test-taking strategies and anticipate test formats when appropriate.
  • Clarify directions or questions.
  • Have student paraphrase directions and questions, as needed.
  • Provide visual and auditory directions
  • Use timers/time reminders to help students pace themselves if timing is an issue.
  • Allow extended time for assessments when appropriate.
  • All MCAS test administrations are untimed. Since any student may be given additional time beyond the scheduled test administration session, additional time is not considered an MCAS accommodation. However, no single test session may extend beyond the end of the regular school day, and any single test session must be completed on the same day in which it begins. Students taking the English Language Arts (ELA) Composition test must complete two sessions (Session A and B) in one day.
  • Evaluate student understanding using multiple formats.
  • Allow credit or time extension on incomplete nightly homework if time spent exceeds grade level maximum; parents must note and sign homework when the maximum time expectation has been reached

Build a Context for Material

  • Make content relevant to students.
  • Show examples of the finished product (exemplars).
  • Use a familiar context when introducing concepts.
  • Preview vocabulary.
  • Have student identify key information and main ideas.
  • Relate lesson parts to the whole.

Model Strategies

  • Use graphic organizers to highlight relationships.
  • Model use of highlighting and color coding to help retention (visual memory) and to accentuate patterns.
  • Use "think alouds" and other metacognitive strategies.**
  • Provide study tools and/or teach students to make study tools.

Provide Added Supports

  • Teach note-taking strategies when appropriate.
  • Provide templates/graphic organizers when appropriate.
  • Provide a word bank with key vocabulary, words and visuals when appropriate.
  • Reformat handouts to provide space for students to write when appropriate.
  • Provide checklists for multi-step tasks, when appropriate.
  • Provide opportunities for learning and study strategies that incorporate the use of highlighters and post-it notes, etc. for class use.
  • Provide varied opportunities for student practice.
  • Provide graph paper and encourage students to use it in order to keep the numbers or letters in line when appropriate.
  • Provide uncluttered workspaces. Allow scrap paper with lines and ample room, especially on tests, for uncluttered computation.
  • Provide timely feedback with opportunities for student revision.

Establish Routines that Support Learning

  • Provide preferential seating for students who appear distracted.
  • Develop a system of non-verbal cues for class attention.
  • Use consistent and familiar routines.
  • Provide students with opportunities to problem solve individually or in small teams and to share their thinking out loud with others.

Components of this document were adapted from "Mitigative Strategies" and from publications by Education Development Center, Inc. 2007

* "Wait time"= teachers stop momentarily and ask students to think about their answers before responding. The deliberate use of this strategies supports students to process information at a slightly slower speed than others.

** Metacognitive strategies= strategies that encourage students to think about their own thinking process.

Resources, Structures and Services

At

Lt. Job Lane Elementary School

The following resources, structures and services have been designed to meet the diverse learning needs of students at the Lt. Job Lane Elementary School:

Academic

  • Child Study Team serves as a pre-referral team.
  • Reading Specialists provide individualized and Wilson Reading Programs.
  • Math Title 1 tutors provide tutorial services to identified students.
  • After-school Homework Club is offered when possible.
  • Special Education liaisons consult frequently with regular classroom teachers regarding curricular delivery and individual student needs.
  • Morning tutoring is available for students from Boston.
  • An ELL teacher works with English Language Learners on a pull-out basis as needed. This teacher also works to support regular education teachers in lesson design and delivery.
  • Pre-testing before units is used to inform flexible grouping.

Behavioral/Social/Emotional

  • Counseling/Social Skills Groups focus on developmental topics.
  • Individual/small group counseling sessions target individual student issues.
  • Project Adventure is an intensive program for fifth graders that builds team cooperation and individual self-confidence.
  • Individual Behavior units are designed for students on an as needed basis.

Other

  • 504 Accommodation Plan services are available for designated students.
  • Ancillary Occupational Therapy and Speech and Language services are available in Grades 3-5.

Routinely Used Instructional Strategies

In addition to the pre-referral options open to Bedford students, teachers throughout the district make routine use of the following strategies as part of their commitment to good instruction. It should be noted that the strategies listed below may not be appropriate for all instructional settings or for all learning objectives.

Design Lessons for Clarity

  • Share lesson goals with students each day and check on progress towards those goals at the end of the lesson.
  • Provide a daily agenda to students.
  • Identify key vocabulary and repeat that vocabulary often during a lesson.
  • Provide students with regular opportunities to engage actively in instruction.
  • Check for understanding frequently.
  • Incorporate opportunities for student movement into lessons.
  • Incorporate "Wait time"* into lessons.
  • Preview new concepts.

Address Assessment Issues

  • Teach and practice test-taking strategies and anticipate test formats when appropriate.
  • Clarify directions or questions.
  • Have student paraphrase directions and questions, as needed.
  • Provide visual and auditory directions
  • Use timers/time reminders to help students pace themselves if timing is an issue.
  • Allow extended time for assessments when appropriate.
  • All MCAS test administrations are untimed. Since any student may be given additional time beyond the scheduled test administration session, additional time is not considered an MCAS accommodation. However, no single test session may extend beyond the end of the regular school day, and any single test session must be completed on the same day in which it begins. Students taking the English Language Arts (ELA) Composition test must complete two sessions (Session A and B) in one day.
  • Evaluate student understanding using multiple formats.

Build a Context for Material

  • Make content relevant to students.
  • Show examples of the finished product (exemplars).
  • Use a familiar context when introducing concepts.
  • Preview vocabulary.
  • Have student identify key information and main ideas.
  • Relate lesson parts to the whole.

Model Strategies

  • Use graphic organizers to highlight relationships.
  • Model use of highlighting and color coding to help retention (visual memory) and to accentuate patterns when appropriate.
  • Use "think alouds" and other metacognitive strategies.**
  • Provide study tools and/or teach students to make study tools.

Provide Added Supports

  • Teach note-taking strategies when appropriate.
  • Provide templates/graphic organizers when appropriate.
  • Provide a word bank with key vocabulary, words and visuals when appropriate.
  • Reformat handouts to provide space for students to write when appropriate.
  • Provide checklists for multi-step tasks, when appropriate.
  • Provide opportunities for learning and study strategies that incorporate the use of highlighters and post-it notes, etc. for class use.
  • Provide varied opportunities for student practice.
  • Provide graph paper and encourage students to use it in order to keep the numbers or letters in line when appropriate.
  • Provide uncluttered workspaces. Allow scrap paper with lines and ample room, especially on tests, for uncluttered computation.
  • Provide timely feedback with opportunities for student revision.

Establish Routines that Support Learning

  • Provide preferential seating for students who appear distracted.
  • Develop a system of non-verbal cues for class attention.
  • Use consistent and familiar routines.
  • Provide students with opportunities to problem solve individually or in small teams and to share their thinking out loud with others.

Resources, Structures and Services

At

Lt. Eleazer Davis Elementary School

The following resources, structures and services have been designed to meet the diverse learning needs of students at the Lt. Eleazer Davis Elementary School:

Academic

  • Reading services are provided for students in Grades 1 and 2.
  • ELL services are offered to identified students, as well as consultant services, from an ELL teacher to regular education staff.
  • Additional targeted reading support (i.e. "double dip") is provided for identified children on an as needed basis.
  • Title 1 support is also provided for identified students.

Behavioral/Social/Emotional

  • Open Circle is a social competency program taught in grades K -2.
  • Individual or small group counseling services are available to support behavioral and academic objectives.
  • Social stories are sometimes used in classes to highlight appropriate behavior and decision- making.
  • Individualized Transition Plans are crafted on an as needed basis.
  • School-wide language of being "Respectful, Responsible, Ready" encourages students to focus on both social and academic goals.
  • Individual behavior plans are designed for students on an as needed basis.

Teacher Teaming/Support

  • Team between special educators and regular educators exists at each grade level.
  • Educational assistants provide support in all grade levels.
  • The senior volunteer program pairs senior citizens with students in need of additional reading support.

Other

  • 504 Accommodation Plan services are available for designated students.
  • Principal/ Classroom newsletters help parents stay connected to teacher and school goals and procedures.

Routinely Used Instructional Strategies

In addition to the pre-referral options open to Bedford students, teachers throughout the district make routine use of the following strategies as part of their commitment to good instruction. It should be noted that the strategies listed below may not be appropriate for all instructional ages.

Design Lessons for Clarity

  • Share lesson goals with students each day and check on progress towards those goals at the end of the lesson.
  • Provide a daily agenda to students.
  • Identify key vocabulary and repeat that vocabulary often during a lesson.
  • Provide students with regular opportunities to engage actively in instruction.
  • Check for understanding frequently.
  • Incorporate opportunities for student movement into lessons.
  • Incorporate "Wait time"* into lessons.
  • Preview new concepts.

Address Assessment Issues

  • Teach and practice test-taking strategies and anticipate test formats when appropriate.
  • Clarify directions or questions.
  • Have student paraphrase directions and questions, as needed.
  • Provide visual and auditory directions
  • Use timers/time reminders to help students pace themselves if timing is an issue.
  • Allow extended time for assessments when appropriate.
  • Evaluate student understanding using multiple formats.

Build a Context for Material

  • Make content relevant to students.
  • Show examples of the finished product (exemplars).
  • Use a familiar context when introducing concepts.
  • Preview vocabulary.
  • Have student identify key information and main ideas.
  • Relate lesson parts to the whole.

Model Strategies

  • Use graphic organizers to highlight relationships.
  • Model use of highlighting and color coding to help retention (visual memory) and to accentuate patterns when appropriate.
  • Use "think alouds" and other metacognitive strategies.**
  • Provide study tools and/or teach students to make study tools.

Provide Added Supports

  • Teach note-taking strategies when appropriate.
  • Provide templates/graphic organizers when appropriate.
  • Provide a word bank with key vocabulary, words and visuals when appropriate.
  • Reformat handouts to provide space for students to write when appropriate.
  • Provide checklists for multi-step tasks, when appropriate.
  • Provide opportunities for learning and study strategies that incorporate the use of highlighters and post-it notes, etc. for class use.
  • Provide varied opportunities for student practice.
  • Provide graph paper and encourage students to use it in order to keep the numbers or letters in line when appropriate.
  • Provide uncluttered workspaces. Allow scrap paper with lines and ample room, especially on tests, for uncluttered computation.
  • Provide timely feedback with opportunities for student revision.

Establish Routines that Support Learning

  • Provide preferential seating for students who appear distracted.
  • Develop a system of non-verbal cues for class attention.
  • Use consistent and familiar routines.
  • Provide students with opportunities to problem solve individually or in small teams and to share their thinking out loud with others.

Components of this document were adapted from "Mitigative Strategies" and from publications by Education Development Center, Inc. 2007

* "Wait time"= teachers stop momentarily and ask students to think about their answers before responding. The deliberate use of this strategies supports students to process information at a slightly slower speed than others.

** Metacognitive strategies= strategies that encourage students to think about their own thinking process.