Professional Support to School Districts
Consistent with State and Federal regulations, the NRIC philosophy, and interest on behalf of NRIC's Board of Superintendents and Operating Committee, we are able to offer professional support to school districts in supporting the needs of diverse learners in-district, returning students to district, and maintaining those with specialized needs in their home districts.
1. Returning Students: Identifying students, locations, related service needs, and budget
- Identifying Students. In conjunction with the census clerks, current individuals responsible for out-of-district placement supervision, and Special Education Directors, students appropriate to return to district could be identified. They would be identified through their:
- Readiness to return to a less restrictive setting;
- Availability of space to meet their educational needs; and
- Ability for the district to support their individualized educational needs.
- Identifying Location. In conjunction with district administrators, including Special Education Director, Facilities Director, Transportation Director, and Principal, determine the appropriate location for such programming based on:
- Educational needs of the students, including opportunities for inclusive educational practices to the greatest extent possible;
- Physical needs, for students requiring handicapped accessibility; and
- Transportation needs for students requiring special bussing.
- Identifying staff supports. In conjunction with the Superintendent, Special Education Director, and Union personnel, determine the staff supports to meet the individual needs of the students, including:
- On-going professional development so that teachers are able to become knowledgeable about the needs of the population they will be serving;
- Related Service provider support to meet the specialized needs of the students, to include clinician support, school social workers, school nurse/teachers, behavior intervention specialists, and teacher assistants.
- Identifying Budget. In conjunction with the Special Education Director and Business Manager, determine the fiscal feasibility of accomplishing a return of students to district based on:
- Number, type and amount of professional development and related service support;
- Number and cost of students currently receiving services outside the district, to include their current cost of related service support and transportation.
2. Embedded Professional Development:
Monthly Clinical Meetings. Monthly clinical meetings, lead by a Clinical Psychologist and with participation of member school districts' staff supporting students with emotional, social and behavioral disabilities (ED) and/or severe and profound disabilities including Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Multi-Disabled/Mentally Retarded (MD/MR). These clinical meetings would provide embedded professional development to each program as a case is walked through step by step, including diagnostic criteria, family constellation, functional behavioral assessment, behavior intervention plan, class-wide and individual positive behavioral supports and educational planning to meet the student's individual needs.
Professional Mentoring. Working with staff on educating these most challenging students: experienced NRIC staff go out to the site and provide embedded professional support and mentoring to teachers and related service professionals on how to meet these students' unique educational needs in an inclusive environment, including: differentiated instruction in the special education classroom, working with the alternate grade level expections; data collection to document changes in performance, and working with other professionals without experienced working with intensive students.
Behavior Intervention Specialist (BIS). Working with our behavior intervention support specialists, teachers and related service staff can develop the skills necessary to better support students so that they may remain in the least restrictive environment. Our BIS can assist staff in developing appropriate FBS's and effective BIP's while working directly with your students modeling for your staff techniques to de-escalating student behavior.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Supports. Working with Dr. Goyer, staff can develop a better understanding of TBI, how it manifests itself in relation to the specific student, how to more accurately assess student performance and create appropriate programming to meet their unique individualized needs.
3. Satellite Classrooms:
Satellite classroms would be NRIC classroom(s) located in your district for your district's students taught by NRIC teachers and supported by NRIC teacher assistants. Satellite classrooms would allow students to return to their least restrictive environment, their home district. This proposal would reduce the difficulties with the district of having to identify teachers and teacher assistants comfortable and competent to provide the intensive educational instruction these students require; especially within union contracts written to address the needs of more "typical" classroom environments and the constant churn of instructional personnel due to "bidding out". Additionally, the district realizes cost-savings on costly out-of-district tuitions and transportation costs while creating district capacity to meet student needs within district.
4. Low Incidence Evaluations:
We are able to provide evaluations for students in your schools in the following areas:
- Language Dominance, Academic Evaluations, and Psychological Evaluations for Spanish-speaking students through certified bilingual School Psychologist Patricia Kalen.
- Clinical Psychological Evaluations through Dr. Timothy Smith.
- Program Evaluations and School Support preparation by Robert Wall.
For more information on any of these services, please contact Robert E. Wall, Jr., Director of Educational Services, at (401) 495-2000, Ext. 2011.