John Glenn Middle School
Curriculum Accommodation Plan
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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
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.