April 2015 • Issue 20 View & Print
Coaching Institute

SWIFT Learns at Instructional Coaching Institute

A contingency of nine SWIFT team members attended the Instructional Coaching Institute (ICI) in Lawrence, KS, April 1-3. Led by Dr. Jim Knight, ICI is a premier professional development series focused on improving student outcomes via instructional coaching. This exceptional learning opportunity provided a venue for staff to individually reflect and grow their own coaching skills and, more importantly, to envision how to translate them into actions that benefit our partners. SWIFT LEA Facilitators will share what they learned with their SEA partners at the SWIFT National Leadership Consortium, May 5-7. Our goal is to enhance the collective ability of SWIFT partnerships to raise coaching capacity in schools, districts, and states.

Interested in learning more about Dr. Knight and ICI? Resources to share:

SWIFT Shares at Council for Exceptional Children and American Educational Research Association Conferences

SWIFT shared the message of All Means All and our partners' ongoing transformations at the recent CEC in San Diego. SWIFT team members Carol Quirk, Loui Lord Nelson, Allyson Satter, Dan Pollitt, Jessica Meisenheimer, and others joined more than 2,000 participants at the conference, while leading a variety of formal presentations, poster sessions, and hallway conversations about SWIFT.

View SWIFT presentations at CEC.

At recent AERA conference "Toward Justice: Culture, Language, and Heritage in Education Research and Praxis" in Chicago, Wayne Sailor (SWIFT) and Jim Schuerich (University of Indiana and Purdue University) were discussants for a symposium titled "Unpacking Systems Capacity Through SWIFT Schools: Building Coherence." They offered comments on papers presented by SWIFT team members Alan Coulter, Elizabeth Kozleski, Carol Quirk, and Karrie Shogren.

View SWIFT presentations at AERA.


The number one resource I am looking for to promote inclusive education is:

Classroom Strategies
Family and Community Involvement
Inclusive Policy Structure
Administrative Leadership


WISH Staff Debrief

Whatever your role—teacher, administrator, parent, community member, service provider—SWIFT Center resources are available to support you in welcoming and including students with diverse support needs in the general education classroom in your neighborhood school. Check out our website, swiftschools.org, for a complete listing of free downloadable materials and videos.

If you are curious, our most frequently downloaded resources is our Research Brief. This document provides brief descriptions of up-to-date evidence for the positive educational outcomes of SWIFT domains and features. These studies individually examined such topics as administrative leadership; multi-tiered system of support for academics and for behavior, family and community partnerships; integrated organizational structures; school culture; and policies and practices providing the backbone to these features. Next time someone asks you to "show them the research" for SWIFT, click HERE. Also available is a bibliography of other studies aboutt schoolwide inclusion.

Consider attending other conferences where SWIFT's message of All Means All is on the agenda:

Upcoming SWIFT Conference Appearances


In our recent Quick Poll, we asked, "Is your school using a Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) model to promote inclusive academic instruction?" We learned that more than 50% of respondents ARE using this central SWIFT domain to meet the needs of all students. To learn more about the continuum of research-based general and specialized practices for academic and behavior instruction, check out the SWIFT in 60 videos (in English and in Spanish) on our You Tube page and browse the research section of our website.

We take your feedback seriously and will continue to find and provide helpful resources! Be sure to complete this month's Quick Poll to provide your input to SWIFT Center future direction.

Jackson, Mississippi State Spotlight:

We, at the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE), were thrilled to be selected as one of the five states to participate with the SWIFT Center. In July 2014, we established a SWIFT state leadership team to build capacity and sustainability across our districts and schools. Our department's new 2016-2020 strategic plan‒released this year‒articulates our vision to create a world-class educational system that gives students the knowledge and skills to be successful in college and the workforce, and to flourish as parents and citizens. In preparation for the SWIFT State Capacity Assessment (SCA), we had the opportunity to meet with our SEA Facilitator, Chandra Williams, to discuss and experience answering sample state capacity assessment questions. This process provided us with a chance to reflect on our mission statement: "To provide leadership through the development of policy and accountability systems so that all students are prepared to compete in the global community," and to braid SWIFT into the transformation initiatives, which is one of the key factors to building a successful statewide system of supports.

Trecina Green, MDE Associate Superintendent

The SCA was administered by SWIFT's Wayne Sailor, Carol Quirk, and Chandra Williams. We all came to the conference room excited about this process because we were eager to assess the capacity of our state with the implementation of SWIFT core features and domains. There were no surprises as we collectively answered each question. Significant progress became clear since the July 2014 reorganization of our state leadership team membership to include the director for each key division. The SCA provided us with a snapshot of our strengths and opportunities. We took this opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the fact that we had more areas we were able to score as "Fully in Place" and "Partially in Place" to support our SWIFT districts and schools. Afterward, we carefully reviewed the SCA data and analysis results to inform our leadership team meeting conversation to establish priority goals in creating a statewide system of support action plan.

In the book Good to Great, author Jim Collins supports the framework that SWIFT has mapped out for the SEAs, which is to create an audacious plan to establish priority goals to achieve our strategic plan goals. The MDE is committed and dedicated to helping SWIFT districts and schools realize the dream of providing a world class education to all students, where, as SWIFT states, ''All means All." As a state leadership team, we understand that this work is challenging and that we are the boots on the ground to provide the necessary supports to the districts and schools in this process, and can never lose sight of their overall goals. We are committed to "doing whatever it takes to accomplish our vision and mission."

Schoolyard Quotes
Newberry Schoolyard

"Our team has grown this year in comfort and process. How can we go deeper in our conversations and develop as a team so that we can be fully functional even when the going gets tough?" -School Principal in a Leadership Team reflection
"That was so much easier than I thought it would be! We looked at data, discussed how it might inform and guide us, and now we have a data driven goal!" -Data Snapshot Reflection, Milton NH
"Inclusive is just who we are. No one here is tagged with a label." -Paraeducator in a SWIFT-Fidelity of Implementation Tool interview
Swift Talk
Community of Practice

Kimber Rice was looking for a school to meet the needs of her children and she found it. It wasn't the school with the expansive variety of extracurricular activities, recently renovated classrooms, and access to technology; but rather the place that welcomed her daughter and created a sense of belonging. Read her post in SWIFT Talk to consider the variety of ways that educational wealth can be defined. And while you are visiting SWIFT Talk, check out and share Mary Schuh's recent post discussing real life functional skills. Making a bed, change for a dollar, or making friends? How about learning to read as a functional life skill? These and other ideas are discussed in both English and Spanish on SWIFT Talk. Enjoy and as always, share your thoughts in the comment section below each posting.

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 20, April 2015. Lawrence, KS: SWIFT Center.

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