Norwood Public Schools District Curriculum Accommodation Plan (DCAP)

 

 

 

 


 


NORWOOD PUBLIC SCHOOLS

DISTRICT CURRICULUM ACCOMMODATION PLAN (DCAP)

 




A Resource Guide for Teachers, Principals, Student Support Services Personnel, Paraprofessionals, and Parents to Meet the Needs of all Learners of the Norwood Public Schools Learning Community

January, 2012
NORWOOD PUBLIC SCHOOLS
DISTRICT CURRICULUM ACCOMMODATION PLAN (DCAP)

INTRODUCTION TO DCAP

Each school district in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is required to develop a District Curriculum Accommodation Plan (DCAP) to assist school leaders and teachers in planning and providing a general education program that is able to accommodate students’ diverse learning needs and avoid unnecessary referrals to special education.  The Massachusetts General Law related to DCAP is as follows:

 

    New Section 38Q ½ added to Chapter 71

    “A school district shall adopt and implement a curriculum accommodation plan to assist principals in ensuring that all efforts have been made to meet students’ needs in regular education.  The plan shall be designed to assist the regular classroom teacher in analyzing and accommodating diverse learning styles of all children in the regular education classroom and in providing appropriate services and support within the regular education program including, but not limited to, direct and systematic instruction in reading and provision of services to address the needs of children whose behavior may interfere with learning.  The curriculum accommodation plan shall include provisions encouraging teacher mentoring and collaboration and parental involvement.”

    

    Recent amendment made to Chapter 71, §59C

    “The school council, including the school principal, shall meet regularly and shall assist in the identification of the educational needs of the students attending the school, make recommendations to the Principal for the development, implementation and assessment of the curriculum accommodation plan required pursuant to Section 38Q ½, shall assist in the review of the annual budget, and in the formulation of a school improvement plan.”

Essentially, the law requires that the District Curriculum Accommodation Plan be adopted by the district and individualized for each school building.  The purpose of accommodation planning is to continually strengthen and improve the general education program, for the benefit of all students.  The Norwood Public Schools’ DCAP addresses various strategies that will help achieve this objective, including:

  • Assistance to Regular Education Classroom Teachers – Such assistance includes such things as professional development that will help them to analyze and accommodate various students’ learning needs, including students who are English Language Learners, and to manage student’s behavior effectively.
  • Support Services – These include services that are available to students through the regular education program, including services to address the needs of students whose behavior may interfere with learning. These services include reading and Title I support; ELL support; paraprofessional support; library and technology support; nursing support; occupational, physical, and speech therapy, and psychological consultation.
  • Mentoring and Collaboration – This includes such things as mentoring new teachers and common planning time.
  • Parental Involvement – This includes opportunities that encourage parental involvement in their children’s education such as school and district councils, PTO/PTA, websites, Connect-Ed and conferences...

The DCAP provides plans for each of the levels (elementary, middle, and high school) describing the process for moving from the identification of a concern through communications with parents, staff collaboration, articulation of strategies for accommodations or intervention, and periodic review and evaluation of student  progress.  Also included is an annotated list of the school-based personnel who are available to assist and support classroom teachers in analyzing and accommodating the individual needs of students.  As well, there is a list of sample strategies and other actions from which teachers and collaborating staff may select appropriate accommodations for individual students.  The list includes suggestions for accommodating concerns about academic progress as well as strategies and interventions intended to resolve social and behavioral issues.

The DCAP describes both formal and informal routes.  In some instances, communication between parents and teachers will be effective in identifying issues and agreeing upon strategies to be implemented.  In other situations, teams of educators will be involved in the process and a more formal written plan may result.  Again, parent involvement is an important part of the process.  Concerns that cannot be resolved by these routes, or where there is lack of progress, may result in a recommendation for a formal evaluation to determine if a disability exists.

Teachers in Norwood are continuously monitoring student progress looking for opportunities to make accommodations to facilitate learning and foster understanding.

 

OVERVIEW OF ACCOMMODATIONS

Accommodations are changes in how a student gains access to information and demonstrates his/her learning.  Such changes are made to provide a student with equal access to learning along with an equal opportunity to be able to show what he/she knows or can do.  Accommodations do NOT change the instructional level, content, or performance criteria.  (These latter changes are called modifications.)

For many, the suggested list of accommodations found in each school’s accommodation plan would simply be thought of as best educational practices.  Accommodations and other strategies are organized under the following headings or categories:

  1. Environmental/Physical/Structural
  2. Instructional/Curricular
  3. Testing/Assessment
  4. Social/Behavioral
  5. Staff and Parent Supports/Collaboration

NORWOOD PUBLIC SCHOOLS

 

DISTRICT CURRICULUM ACCOMMODATION PLAN (DCAP)

 

 

ELEMENTARY CURRICULUM ACCOMMODATIONS

 

Program and Classroom Characteristics and Structures Supporting Curriculum Accommodation for Regular Education Students:

  • Reasonable class sizes staffed by highly qualified personnel who demonstrate competency in the state’s teaching standards;
  • A strong core curriculum based on the state’s frameworks and Common Core standards: balanced literacy program (reading, writing, phonics, phonemic awareness, word study), mathematics, science and technology engineering, history and social studies, wellness (health and physical education), Open Circle, art and music.
  • Academic Summer School Program for identified students;
  • Differentiation of instruction to include various learning modalities, including curriculum-based “academic choice” activities to meet the needs of ALL learners;
  • Use of formative and summative assessments and standardized testing data (MCAS, DRA, Children’s Progress, PTS3, LLI) to assess achievement and to inform instruction through pre/post test score analysis;
  • Building-based teams who analyze school and student data, problem solve student success issues, and  develop School Improvement Plans to increase student achievement through Professional Learning Communities and Data Teams (looking at student work, determination of the essential question: “What do we want students to know and be able to do in accordance with the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks Learning Standards?”); then designing instruction and assessment tools to reach student learning goals;
  • Utilization of Response to Intervention model and processes (see RTI Guide);
  • Professional development for both professional and paraprofessional staff members to enhance instruction and student learning (see annual Professional Development Plan); and
  • Building-based cultural enrichment activities involving PTA/PTO support and family interaction.

Personnel Resources Providing Specific Consultation/Support/Intervention in the Regular Education Setting:

  • Reading Specialists: Serves as teacher consultants for curriculum modification or accommodations, screening and informal/formal assessment(s), direct service to groups or individual students, demonstration classes, co-taught classes, reading resource materials.
  • Title 1 Teachers: Provide direct support to identified students in target schools.
  • Library Support Staff: Norwood is most fortunate to have in-house staff and local librarians available for consultation with teachers to determine resources for content specific materials, support for enrichment, and research.
  • Technology Desktop Support Specialist: Supports both staff and students with hardware and software options/training.
  • English Language Learner (ELL) Teachers: Provide direct service for identified students and create a flexible program and environment favorable to learning and personal growth in accordance with each student’s ability.
  • Occupational Therapists/Physical Therapists/Speech-Language Pathologists: Provide consultation to regular education staff.  May conduct classroom observations of students for the purpose of informal screening(s), parent/home consult capacity.
  • School Psychologist: Provide teacher consultation, staff training, referrals, formal evaluations.
  • Adjustment Counselors: Serves as liaison between home, school, local social service agencies; provides parent/guardian and teacher support and consultation; small group facilitation, chair Student Support Teams.
  • Open Circle Coaches: Each elementary school has a trained Open Circle coach to support teacher implementation of the Open Circle Social Competency Program.
  • Board Certified Behaviorist Analyst (BCBA): Provides behavioral interventions with students and management strategy support for teachers.
  • Nurses: Offer consultation to staff, training of personnel to enhance awareness of what to watch for in psychopharmacological effects and practice of universal precautions in student injury situations, direct service to individual students and staff, vision and hearing screening, serves on Student Support Teams, as needed.
  • School Resource Officer: Serves as Police Department liaison; provides individual student or parent support and consultation, referral where appropriate.
  • Paraprofessionals: Assists teachers by performing a variety of tasks that promote student learning and well being.  Duties involve working with students individually and in small groups assessing performance, reinforcing instruction, motivating learning, assisting with classroom management, clerical, and other non-instructional work.
  • Principal: Provides articulation and modeling of vision and principles (for district and specific school), supervision and evaluation of staff, fostering of accommodation philosophy, facilitating staff, collaboration and communication.

Accommodations, Modifications and Interventions that may be recommended, but not limited to Regular Education Students:

 

See attached Intervention Strategies and Accommodations Check List


NORWOOD PUBLIC SCHOOLS

 

DISTRICT CURRICULUM ACCOMMODATION PLAN (DCAP)

 

MIDDLE SCHOOL CURRICULUM ACCOMMODATIONS

Program and Classroom Characteristics and Structures Supporting Curriculum Accommodation for Regular Education Students:

  • Reasonable class sizes staffed by highly qualified personnel who demonstrate competency in the state’s teaching standards;
  • A strong core curriculum based on the state’s frameworks and Common Core standards: English Language Arts, mathematics (including additional mathematics support classes), science and technology engineering, foreign languages, history and social studies, wellness (health and physical education), art and music.
  • Academic Summer School Program for identified students;
  • Differentiation of instruction to include various learning modalities, including curriculum-based “academic choice” activities to meet the needs of ALL learners;
  • Use of common formative and summative assessments and standardized testing data (MCAS) to assess achievement and to inform instruction through pre/post test score analysis;
  • Building-based and grade-level teams who analyze school and student data, problem solve student success issues, and  develop School Improvement Plans to increase student achievement through Professional Learning Communities and Data Teams (looking at student work, determination of the essential question: “What do we want students to know and be able to do in accordance with the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks Learning Standards?”); then designing instruction and assessment tools to reach student learning goals;
  • Utilization of Response to Intervention model and processes (see RTI Guide);
  • Professional development for both professional and paraprofessional staff members to enhance instruction and student learning (see annual Professional Development Plan);
  • Building-based cultural enrichment activities involving PTA/PTO support and family interaction.
  • Detention/In-School Suspension Program;
  • After-school help available in all disciplines/core academic areas.

 

Personnel Resources Providing Specific Consultation/Support/Intervention in the Regular Education Setting:

 

  • Housemasters: Co-chair Student Support Team meetings fostering of philosophy of accommodation, provide support to teachers on social/behavioral issues, behavioral interventions with students, scheduling accommodations, articulation and implementation of vision and principles of learning, and evaluation of staff with department chairs.
  • Gr. 6-12 Department Chairs: Provide curriculum and instruction oversight, teacher assistance with curriculum accommodations and modifications, curriculum resource acquisition and allocation, and supervision and evaluation of teachers.
  • English Language Learner (ELL) Teachers: Provide direct service for identified students and create a flexible program and environment favorable to learning and personal growth in accordance with each student’s ability.
  • Guidance Counselors/Adjustment Counselors: Serves as liaison between home and school, parent consultation, teacher support, referrals, file manager, liaison for social/community agencies, and co-chair Student Support Teams.
  • School Psychologist: Provides teacher consultation and support to parents/students on academic, behavioral or social issues; formal evaluations, staff training.
  • Nurses: Offer consultation to parents, students and staff and direct service for individual students.
  • Occupational Therapists/Physical Therapists/Speech-Language Pathologists: Provide consultation to regular education staff.  May conduct classroom observations of students for the purpose of informal screening(s), parent/home consult capacity.
  • Board Certified Behaviorist Analyst (BCBA): Provides behavioral interventions with students and management strategy support for teachers.
  • Librarian: Provide support for student research and consultation with teachers and students about curriculum resources.
  • Technology Desktop Support Specialist: Supports both staff and students with hardware and software options/training.
  • School Resource Officer: Serves as Police Department liaison; provides individual student or parent support and consultation, referral where appropriate.

Accommodations, Modifications and Interventions that may be recommended, but not limited to Regular Education Students:

 

See attached Intervention Strategies and Accommodations Check List

NORWOOD PUBLIC SCHOOLS

 

DISTRICT CURRICULUM ACCOMMODATION PLAN (DCAP)

 

HIGH SCHOOL CURRICULUM ACCOMMODATIONS

Program and Classroom Characteristics and Structures Supporting Curriculum Accommodation for Regular Education Students:

  • Reasonable class sizes staffed by highly qualified personnel who demonstrate competency in the state’s teaching standards;
  • A strong core curriculum based on the state’s frameworks and Common Core standards: English Language Arts, mathematics (including additional mathematics support classes), science and technology engineering, history and social studies, foreign languages, wellness (health and physical education), art and music.
  • Strong evolving elective program for exploration and enrichment designed to meet interest areas;
  • Leveled classes (college prep and honors) in core subjects
  • Advanced Placement (AP) coursework offered;
  • Foreign Language lab;
  • Independent study and online course opportunities;
  • TEC Online Academy program;
  • Life Skills and pre-vocational course offerings in Business and Industrial Technology;
  • School-to-Work Career exploration programming;
  • Continuing education options – college fairs;
  • Academic Summer School Program for identified students;
  • Differentiation of instruction to include various learning modalities, including curriculum-based “academic choice” activities to meet the needs of ALL learners;
  • Use of common formative and summative assessments and standardized testing data (MCAS, SAT I  & II, AP) to assess achievement and to inform instruction through pre/post test score analysis;
  • Building-based and departmental teams who analyze school and student data, problem solve student success issues, and  develop School Improvement Plans to increase student achievement;
  • Utilization of Response to Intervention model and processes (see RTI Guide);
  • Professional development for both professional and paraprofessional staff members to enhance instruction and student learning (see annual Professional Development Plan); and
  • Building-based cultural enrichment activities involving PTA/PTO support and family interaction.
  • Extracurricular and co-curricular activities and contests or other related activities.
  • Retention or repeating of specific courses;
  • Detention/Service to community programs;
  • After-school help available in all disciplines/core academic areas.

 

Personnel Resources Providing Specific Consultation/Support/Intervention in the Regular Education Setting:

 

  • Board Certified Behaviorist Analyst (BCBA): Provides behavioral interventions with students and management strategy support for teachers.
  • Guidance Counselors/Adjustment Counselors: Serve as liaisons between home and school, parent consultation, teacher support, referrals, file manager, liaison for social/community agencies, chairperson of Student Support Teams.
  • Gr. 6-12 Department Chairs: Provide curriculum and instruction oversight, teacher assistance with curriculum modifications, curriculum resource acquisition and allocation, and supervision and evaluation of teachers.
  • Deans: Support to teacher on social/behavioral issues, behavioral interventions with students, scheduling accommodations, articulation and implementation of vision and principles, fostering of philosophy of accommodation.
  • Nurses: Offer consultation to parents, students and staff and direct service for individual students.
  • English Language Learner (ELL) Teachers: Provide direct service for identified students and create a flexible program and environment favorable to learning and personal growth in accordance with each student’s ability.
  • Librarian:  Provides support for student research and consultation with teachers and students about curriculum resources.
  • School Psychologist: Provides teacher consultation and support to parents/students on academic, behavioral or social issues; formal evaluations, staff training.
  • Occupational Therapists/Physical Therapists/Speech-Language Pathologists: Provides consultation contacts to education staff.  May conduct classroom observations of students for the purpose of informal screening(s), parent/home consult capacity.
  • School Resource Officer: Serves as Police Department liaison; provides  individual student or parent support and consultation, referral where appropriate.
  • Technology Desktop Support Specialist: Supports both staff and students with hardware and software options/training.

Accommodations, Modifications and Interventions that may be Recommended, but not limited to Regular Education Students:

See attached Intervention Strategies and Accommodations Check List

 

 

Intervention Strategies and Accommodations Check List

(Teachers are asked to check those strategies that have been tried at Tier I prior to referral to Student Support Team)

                                                                                             

Environmental/Physical/Structural (provide specifics where helpful and appropriate):

__     Changing seating assignment: _________________________________

__     Altering physical arrangement of classroom: _____________________

__     Reducing distractions: __________________________________________

__     Providing quiet corner/room: ____________________________________

__     Allowing use of study carrel: _____________________________________

__     Modifying equipment: ___________________________________________

__     Adapting writing utensils: ________________________________________

__     Providing assistance in maintaining uncluttered space: _____________

__     Providing space for movement or breaks: _________________________

__     Provide locker with adapted lock

__     Other: _________________________________________________________

 

Instructional/Curricular (provide specifics where helpful and appropriate):

__     Teaching to learning style: ________________________________________

__     Varying method of instruction: _____________________________________

__     Providing multi-modal presentations (visual, auditory, hands-on)

__     Modifying/differentiating materials: _____________________________

__     Varying content of lesson

__     Providing alternative assignments, academic “choice” projects

__     Modifying workload or length of assignments

__     Simplifying directions

__     Repeating explanations

__     Asking student to repeat information

__     Modeling expectations

__     Model content area writing and reading strategies

__     Providing wait time

__     Re-teaching

__     Assigning specific tasks within specific time period (chuncking)

__     Allowing additional time for organizing and other tasks

__     Checking for understanding or reviewing student’s work and redirecting

__     Providing frequent progress reports

__     Providing word bank, flash cards

__     Providing miscue analysis

__     Providing graphic organizers (www.readwritethink.org)

__     Providing graph paper to assist in organizing and lining up math problems

__     Providing extra visual (charts & graphs) and verbal cues and prompts

__     Providing highlighted materials or instructions

__     Providing teacher outlines, study sheets, and/or checklists (circle those used)

__     Providing peer note-taker

__     Monitoring homework (daily checks)

__     Providing study skills instruction

__     Providing computer assisted instruction (www.wiredstreaming.com): ­­­­­­­________

__     Providing audible materials: _____________________________________

__     Providing textbooks for at home use

__     Providing hands-on activities, concrete models, or additional manipulatives

__     Providing visual daily schedule

__     Following routine or schedule

__     Giving notice, warning before change in activities

__     Alternating quiet and active time

__     Teaching management/organizational skills

__     Monitoring use of student daily/weekly planner/agenda

__     Providing one to one instruction

__     Providing small-group instruction or study groups

__     Providing extra help and opportunities for extra practice during school

__     Changing instructional level (modification)

__     Other: _________________________________________________________

 

Testing/Assessment Accommodations (provide specifics where helpful and appropriate):

__     Allowing student to take practice test

__     Allowing frequent rest breaks

__     Allowing additional time

__     Allowing oral testing

__     Giving untimed tests

__     Giving choice of test (multiple-choice, essay, true-false)

__     Accepting short answers

__     Giving no penalty for spelling errors, sloppy handwriting

__     Allowing open book or open note tests where appropriate

__     Providing reference tools (formula sheet, etc.)

__     Shortening tests, quizzes, and other graded work

__     Reading test to student

__     Providing study guide prior to test

__     Highlighting key directions

__     Giving test in alternative site

__     Allowing calculator, word processor

 

Social/Behavioral (provide specifics where helpful and appropriate):

__     Utilize Open Circle methods (for elementary level only)

__     Providing frequent and immediate feedback

__     Allowing rest breaks

__     Providing stress release activities

__     Implementing behavioral intervention strategies

__     Providing clear, written criteria for behavior or expected work

__     Using varied and positive reinforcement system (incentives): ____

__     Providing circle of friends or peer buddies

__     Provide individual and/or small group (lunch bunch, mediation, etc.) counseling

__     Providing verbal and visual cues regarding transition

__     Providing verbal and visual cues regarding directions or staying on task

__     Allowing daily check-in with case manager or special education teacher

__     Increasing supervision

__     Conducting functional behavioral analysis

__     Implementing behavior modification or intervention plan (BIP)

__     Developing safety plan

__     Other: ________________________________________________________

 

Staff and Parent Supports/Collaboration (provide specifics where helpful and appropriate):

__     Using inclusion model where feasible

__     Utilizing co-teaching model where possible

__     Conferencing and co-planning with student’s other teachers

__     Consulting specialist: ___________________________________

__     Providing classroom interventions by adjustment counselor where feasible and appropriate

__     Designating adult staff member to listen and provide support with __________

__     Providing small group instruction or study groups

__     Using cooperative learning groups

__     Providing daily or weekly home-school communication (e.g., daily log book, parent review and signature     forms, etc)

__     Posting homework, grades, attendance, etc., online via school websites

__     Offering home and/or agency support suggestions to parents

__     Providing extra help and opportunities to practice after school

__     Considering alternative student-teacher match

__     Considering alternative program (modification)

 

Taken primarily from: http://www.spedlawyers.com/information_on_modifications_and_adaptations.htm#Accommodations%20&%20Modifications%20Fact%20Sheet

 

OTHER ACCESSIBILITY STRATEGIES TO CONSIDER


Helping Students Understand Tasks

  • Reword directions or questions
  • Have students paraphrase directions and questions
  • Provide visual and auditory directions
  • Preview vocabulary
  • Have students highlight key information
  • Change context to make it more familiar or appealing to students
  • Show examples of the finished product

 

Helping Students Access Math in Varied Ways

  • Build on students’ prior math knowledge
  • Make connections across math topics
  • Move from concrete to representational to abstract
  • Use multiple representations
  • Provide additional examples
  • Offer manipulatives
  • Use technology strategies
  • Use visuals like charts or projected images
  • Offer alternative ways for students to show what they know
  • Provide kinesthetic learning opportunities

 

Building Student Independence

  • Offer timers to help students with pacing
  • Teach highlighting and color-coding
  • Use “think alouds” and other metacognitive strategies
  • Teach and model strategies for:
    • Organization
    • Self-questioning and self-monitoring
    • Problem-solvingMemory (such as mnemonics)
  • Clarify expectations (use rubrics)

 

Providing Tools and Handouts

  • Provide study guides with key information to reduce copying and note taking
  • Offer calculators and multiplication charts
  • Provide resource sheets
  • Provide templates for tables, graphs, writing and other tasks
  • Use graphic organizers
  • Provide practice problems
  • Provide a word bank with key vocabulary words and visuals

 

Promoting Understanding through Discourse

  • Have students work in pairs or small groups
  • Use cooperative learning
  • Keep class discussions short and focused
  • Provide timely and constructive feedback
  • Check in frequently with students
  • Use questions, prompts and rubrics

 

Helping Students Manage Tasks and Organization

  • Reformat handouts to provide more workspace
  • Reduce amount of copying
  • Provide a checklist
  • Provide time management cues
  • Set up a notebook organizational system
  • Provide project organizers to help students keep track of tasks
  • Offer tools such as highlighters and post-its to help students focus

 

Adjusting Tasks to Student Needs

  • Adjust level of difficulty
  • Use friendlier numbers
  • Break complex tasks into smaller parts
  • Adjust amount of time for tasks
  • Adjust amount of work
  • Create multiple versions of a problem in order to offer alternatives to a range of learners
  • Adjust pacing to optimize attention

 

Creating a Supportive Environment

  • Post and reinforce classroom expectations
  • Post homework assignments in a consistent location
  • Seat students strategically, based on needs like vision or hearing.  Seat distractible students away from windows or doors.
  • Use nonverbal signals to cue attention or behavior
  • Use consistent and familiar routines
  • Provide easy access to manipulatives, templates and other tools in the classroom

                                                                                                              

Taken from Improving Math Learning for Students with Disabilities, Reference Sheet C, EDC 2007