July 2015 • Issue 23 View & Print

Data Drives SWIFT

SWIFT Research and Evaluation Team plays a key role in supporting partner schools, districts, and states to provide ALL students with educational experiences that are high-quality, equitable, and inclusive. We do this by designing the data systems to:

  • gather input from our consumers (parents, teachers, administrators, and others involved in our partner sites),
  • gather implementation data from our schools using the SWIFT-FIT and SWIFT-FIA assessment tools, and
  • collect data on school and student outcomes to determine our impact.

Analysis of these data helps our partner schools establish priorities, and helps our Center evaluate the impact of our technical assistance. As we analyze school imple- mentation of the SWIFT features, we can recommend activities, products and resources that the SWIFT Center should develop. As we look at the status of student performance in reading, math, and behavior, we can shape our technical assistance to match what is needed in states, districts, and schools. Research into the relationships of SWIFT implementation and student outcomes, and how district and state capacity relate to school implementation of inclusive practices, will substantively advance the field’s knowledge related to inclusive education. Bottom line, our team considers themselves partners to our technical assistance teams, and are excited about the work we are all doing!

It is worth noting that just recently, the Research and Evaluation Team came together for its first ever “Data Camp,” which provided a dedicated work session for the team to collectively engage in discussion about the early data that is emerging from SWIFT partner schools. This allowed for shared understanding of the SWIFT implementation “landscape,” in addition to providing guidance that will help inform the Center’s continuous efforts to more effectively support its partners.

Did you know that each month our LEA Facilitators survey district and school partners for feedback on the support we provide? They use these data to differentiate technical assistance for each locale and to develop shared expectations about the technical assistance process and content. For example, some Facilitators review these data with LEA and SEA Coordinators to celebrate successes, address concerns, and craft next steps, as well as alternate approaches to accomplishing goals. Overall, this process seems to be working well! Below are data showing overall high satisfaction on all five indicators in the survey and an increase over time that suggests SWIFT's practice of differentiating TA using this feedback system is meeting the needs of our partners.

Below: Data Drives SWIFT, TA Feedback Survey

Domain Tags

SWIFT Talk Organized by Domains and Features

If you are looking for examples and information about how SWIFT Domains are being realized in schools, families, and communities around the country, look no further than the SWIFT Talk Community of Practice. All content is now "tagged" with the corresponding Domain title related to the content. Check it out!

Domain Tags

SWIFT-in-60: Vídeo Transcripciones

Have you downloaded the "SWIFT in 60" videos along with the transcripts for professional development purposes? Both the films and transcriptions are now available on our website in Spanish (and English)!

Domain Tags

From "SWIFT in 60: "Strong and Engaged Site Leadership"

  News, cont'd.

Scaling Up in New Hampshire

New Hampshire Department of Education's Bureau of Integrated Programs is excited about the initial implementation of their SWIFT sustainability plan! As of this writing, five new "New Hampshire SWIFT Dev- elopment Sites" will begin the process of implementing the SWIFT Framework, and four or five more sites are finishing their application process to become SWIFT Development Sites. Equally exciting is that the Bureau of Integrated Programs is in the final stages of hiring a full time “Innovation Coach” who will support the processes in these Development Sites. The state is abuzz with excitement as sustainability and scale up goes into action! Check the website for new SWIFT partner site details.


Quick Poll

Thanks to everyone who responded to our Quick Poll on your use of social media to stay connected to all things inclusive education and schoolwide transformation. As we suspected, most of you use Facebook on a regular basis with Twitter a distant second. This information helps to guide our dissemination efforts as we work to get the All Means All message to the broadest possible audience.

Speaking of reaching the broadest possible audience, we are considering the idea of creating a SWIFT podcast channel. What do you think about this? Do you listen to podcasts while you work out, cook, drive, or relax? Would a SWIFT podcast channel be of interest to you?


Summer in NH State Spotlight:

Maryland Goes "CO": Collaboration, Coaching, Co-Teaching

Maryland's SWIFT partner sites are transforming education to ensure that all students have the supports they need to be successful! Collaboration, coaching and co-teaching are just three of the many ways they are making it happen.


Creating a collaborative environment has a positive effect on school culture, achievement, and success. Building skills and knowledge in teacher-leaders maximizes group effectiveness and helps ensure that the professional learning process purposefully fosters a culture of collaboration.

Allegany County Public Schools (ACPS) demonstrate collaboration in their high-performing leadership teams. Their 3-hour monthly meetings allow for uninterrupted time to dive into academic and behavior data to determine the tiers of staff and student support to be provided. Additionally, ACPS schools participate in a FAME initiative (Formative Assessment for Maryland Educators), which requires a schoolwide, collaborative approach to using assessment for learning practices.


Coaching contributes to improved teaching and student learning. Professional Learning Communities (PLCs), teacher mentors, and instructional coaches customize learning for new and experienced educators.

Queen Anne’s County Public Schools (QACPS) have Teacher Specialists who provide non-evaluative educator supports through informal site visits, modeling, and other coaching processes. They provide targeted professional development that are an outgrowth of identified teacher strengths and growth opportunities. Teacher Specialists also design differentiated professional learning for those who are looking ahead to teach future learners.

Instructional Coaches are a part of the Cecil County Public Schools (CCPS) district team. Dr. Jim Knight, a research associate at the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning and Director of the Kansas Coaching Project, provided training on instructional coaching through relationships and an agreed upon partnership. CCPS elementary SWIFT sites have access to the district level coaches as well as school-based Interventionists, who have also received some teacher support training.


Maryland’s Co-Teaching Framework and the SWIFT Framework share in common the thread of collaboration among all site-based educators. Instructional co-planning, co-implementing, and co-accountability for student learning yield the most positive outcomes for ALL students and staff.

SWIFT sites in Allegany, Cecil, and Queen Anne’s counties embrace co-teaching and create schedules that promote high engagement of the “CO” philosophy. As a result, changes in scheduling, communicating, and professional development have become contributing factors to current successes.

Maryland SWIFT partner sites are on the move with their CO approach!

Cecil County Public School's Teacher of the Year

One more “CO” from Maryland is in order. Congratulations to Jacob Zebley, CCPS Teacher of the Year!

From left: Dr. Stuart Hutchinson, Principal Elkton Middle, Mr. Jacob Zebley, Dr. D'Ette Devine, Superintendent

Jake teaches Social Studies at Elkton Middle School, a SWIFT Partnership site. Just a few comments about Jake that supported his nomination:

  • Leader on the School Improvement Team
  • Provides Professional Development for teacher’s professional growth
  • Pays attention to the personal side of children – infectious personality
  • Transforming instruction for the digital age
  • Resource and mentor for teachers
  • Well-liked by teachers and loved by children


Schoolyard Quotes

"For the first time in my career, I feel like the work I am doing is organized, intentional, and getting results!" - New Hampshire SAU 13 Leadership retreat participant

"SWIFT brings us resources and professional development that we wouldn’t otherwise have had." - Queen Anne’s County Principal

"The FIT assessment helps us to honestly look at our practices." - Cecil County Principal

Swift Talk
Community of Practice

Did you know that inclusive education has little to do with the characteristics of students and almost everything to do with the creativity, flexibility, and commitment of the educational team? Read more about the importance of support teams in Susan Shapiro's latest blog post about her family and a cat named George. Learn what Allyson Satter's student, Parker, taught her about teaching and learning in her recent post to SWIFT Talk.

The SWIFT Center produced this document under U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs Grant No. H325Y120005. OSEP Project Officers Grace Zamora Durán and Tina Diamond served as the project officers. The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the positions or policies of the Department of Education. No official endorsement by the U.S. Department of Education of any product, commodity, service or enterprise mentioned in this publication is intended or should be inferred. This product is public domain. Authorization to reproduce it in whole or in part is granted. While permission to reprint this publication is not necessary, the citation should be: SWIFT Center. (2015). SWIFT News, Issue 23, July 2015. Lawrence, KS: SWIFT Center.

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SWIFT Center
1315 Wakarusa Drive, Lawrence, KS 66049