October 2015 • Issue 26 View & Print
Teacher at Fox Prairie helping a student on an iPad

SWIFT Focus on MTSS and Integrated Educational Framework

For 2 years, schools in SWIFT partner states have been building on their strengths; and this year, we saw their SWIFT-FIT (Fidelity of Implementation) scores steadily rise across the full spectrum of SWIFT Domains and Features. Domains with the greatest increase in implementation were: Administrative Leadership, Inclusive Policy Structure and Practice, and Family and Community Engagement. These SWIFT-FIT scores provide evidence that partners states, districts, and schoolS are committed to the vision of All Means All, and they are increasingly implementing inclusive prac- tices to achieve that vision.

Multi-tiered System of Support (MTSS) and Integrated Educational Framework (IEF) SWIFT-FIT Domain scores also moved upward, but had farther to go than the Domains. We recognize that building sustainable schoolwide transformation takes three to four years, and these two Domains are the remaining priorities for many of our partners. Therefore, as we begin our third year of implementation, we are increasing our focus and intensity of support around MTSS and IEF implementation strategies, professional learning, and resources. LEA and SEA Facilitators' efforts are working with Coordinators and Transformation Teams to find ways to realize the growth opportunities in these Domains. For example, Maryland professional learning will be directed toward increasing tiered supports for behavior and math. New Hampshire will be offering a summer institute on MTSS for all SWIFT partner schools. This month in Oregon, professional development will center on Inclusive Academic and Behavioral Instruction, including UDL; and both Mississippi and Vermont will focus their professional development opportunities on MTSS.

The recently released SWIFT Field Guide is rich with resources and strategies for implementing MTSS and IEF features. We encourage you to check it out!

40th Anniversary of IDEA

OSEP is celebrating 40 years of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). As part of our celebration, we want to hear from individuals with disabilities, teachers, researchers, and other IDEA stakeholders about the personal effect this legislation has on your lives.

How has IDEA made a difference to you? What do inclusion, equity, and opportunity look like for you? Please share your art, photographs, and writing with us for possible use during the upcoming 40th Anniversary events.

You may submit your documents through November 6th on our 40th Anniversary website. Please send any questions to IDEAanniversary@air.org.

Students at Willard

Introducing the SWIFT Short Summary

We are excited to share a great new resource with you! This short summary about SWIFT is now available to download in both English and Spanish. We suggest you print it as a 2-sided, single page handout to introduce new school staff, parents, and community members to SWIFT.

And, of course, you can always direct those who would like more detailed information to the SWIFT Field Guide.


According to our latest SWIFT Poll, SWIFT Field Guide is already being used by a little over 50% of respondents. For those of you who may not have had a chance to dive into the Field Guide and are feeling overwhelmed about how to implement a feature, you can find guidance at the Steps to Get You Started section. For each SWIFT feature, the Field Guide lists five major steps, each with several smaller, actionable things you can do in your school or district. Attached to each step are examples and resources to help you during your implementation journey. Keep in mind; these steps are not linear—you choose which to implement depending on your school’s priorities and needs. We suggest using the Steps to Get You Started with a school leadership team.

These SWIFT polls are one small data point to assist us in developing and targeting resources to schools, communities, and families in support of All means All. Your input is important to us.

Is your school fully implementing a Multi-tiered System of Support that includes academic and behavioral instruction?


A drawing of Gilford, NH State Spotlight:
New Hampshire

The Instructional Coaching Course is underway in New Hampshire! This summer, a team of individuals from NH SWIFT Partner Sites and the SWIFT State Implementation Team attended an Implementation Science conference. Through a review of local and state data, they identified a need for instructional coaching across all sites — and the NH Coaching Design Team was initiated! The team is now working to create a sustainable and state-wide Instructional Coaching program in which teachers are trained in the Instructional Coaching methodology from Dr. Jim Knight, from the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning. The first cadre began their course at the end of September with SWIFT Facilitators Michael McSheehan and Maura Hart working with 30 participants representing both NH SWIFT Partner Sites and NH SWIFT Development Sites!

Parents at Irvington School
Reviewing screening data
Schoolyard Quotes
Be brave

"What if we all decided to be courageous together? Think of what we could accomplish! What would we attempt to do if we could not fail? We would eliminate bullying at SMS. We would ensure a successful year for everyone. So let go of what is comfortable and familiar. Stand up for what is right. Believe in ourselves and those around us. Lets be courageous together!"

~Faculty back to school message for all students at Sudlersville Middle School, MD delivered via a music video they created to the song "Brave" by Sara Bareilles (who, by the way, loved the video on Twitter!)

Swift Talk
Community of Practice
Young students communicating in class

Our newest and youngest student blogger, Grant Blasco, reminds us that communication is more than talking and that listening is a valuable component for connecting and true participation in the classroom. How do we teach these skills? According to Loui Lord Nelson, once we begin to put Universal Design for Learning practices into place in our schools, then inclusion, connecting, listening, and communicating all become easier. Read Grant and Loui's blog posts and join the SWIFT Talk Community of Practice.

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 26, October 2015. Lawrence, KS: SWIFT Center.

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SWIFT Center
1315 Wakarusa Drive, Lawrence, KS 66049