The Arkansas Department of Education (ADE), Special Education has enhanced its comprehensive Co-Teaching Model professional development to include additional follow-up support in the form of onsite coaching for co-teachers and building leadership planning teams, as well as a “hands on” guided practice session for co-teachers designed to complement a co-teaching partnership foundational session. Schools eligible to participate include:
• Schools implementing the co-teaching model for the first time this year
• Schools with an existing co-teaching program that have not attended previous ADE co-teaching professional development and are interested in improving the program
• Schools that have participated in previous ADE co-teaching professional development and are interested in expanding and/or improving the program
Schools interested in future implementation may contact Rose Merry Kirkpatrick for planning assistance, but should wait until the implementation year to attend.
The co-teaching model is designed to provide support to students with disabilities receiving instruction in a general education classroom by training general and special education teacher partnerships to jointly plan, present, and assess the instruction provided to all students within the classroom. Based on research conducted on the Co-Teaching Model, as well as data obtained from schools that have participated in previous professional development activities, the effectiveness of the model is dependent upon the degree to which general and special educators combine instructional expertise and develop a collaborative co-teaching relationship as well as the level of system support provided to the model. To this end, the co-teaching package includes three phases of professional development. The three phases are designed to (a) address system support through the creation of a building leadership team charged with implementation planning and ongoing oversight, (b) foundational and “hands on” training for the co-teaching partnerships, and (c) follow-up support including onsite coaching, and a series of topical webinars.
Schools choosing to participate must commit to completing all three phases of the co-teaching professional development package, although schools that participated in the 2007-2008 ADE co-teaching professional development may choose to receive a half day onsite coaching visit as an alternative to Phase 1, the building leadership team session. All building principals must sign the letter of agreement included in the application, and all participating schools must also agree to take part in a process to evaluate the implementation efforts including system support, classroom application, and student outcomes. An implementation evaluation plan will be provided during the building leadership team training to assist teams with the requirements.
For a more detailed description of the three-phase professional development package, session dates, and fee information, see the attached information sheet and registration application.