|Program promotes collaborative efforts in inclusion classrooms |
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
By STACEY HAIRSTON - Staff Writer
Benjamin Franklin Middle School has been chosen by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) as one of 16 demonstration sites in the Excellence in Co-teaching Initiative for the 2014-2015 school year.
The demonstration sites will showcase the implementation of co-teaching, promoting a collaborative model in which general and special educators share responsibility for the achievement of all students in the general education curriculum, especially in the areas of reading and mathematics.
According to the VDOE, approximately 70 percent of Virginia's students with disabilities are spending 80 percent or more of the instructional day in the general education classroom.
The most frequently used model of service delivery is co-teaching. The literature and observational data suggest co-teaching has yet to reach its full potential as it relates to student achievement and effective implementation.
To enhance the co-teaching model in Virginia, the VDOE recently sought nominations from building and division leadership of co-teaching partners and their schools to become demonstration sites for the Excellence in Co-teaching Initiative.
As a selected site, BFMS will assist in enhancing co-teaching practices by opening its classrooms to visits from teachers and administrators.
A $10,000 grant will be provided to support school-based initiatives to enhance the achievement of students with disabilities, including research based intervention, assistive and instructional technology, tutoring and materials.
The school will receive training and individualized technical assistance, high-quality professional development, resources and teacher stipends.
The VDOE Special Education Instructional Service, Program Improvement and Instruction offices will provide training and support for the co-teaching and leadership staff, follow-up materials and resources and consultation to building administrators.