June 2016, Issue 33
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Are you ready to be inspired and informed? Have you registered for the SWIFT Professional Learning Institute "Better Together," July 21-22, 2016?

Join SWIFT partner schools and our national community at the 2016 SWIFT National Professional Learning Institute (PLI). Expect to be inspired by the presentations of educators and administrators from SWIFT partner states, districts, and schools; panel discussions around hot topics in inclusive education and school reform; inspiring speakers and films; working sessions with like-minded colleagues; and more. Browse our dynamic list of speakers and sessions!

If you live in a SWIFT partner state, contact your SEA or LEA Facilitator to access a free registration link. If you are from anywhere else in the world, click here to register for the conference for only $250. Be sure to use this hotel link to reserve a room in the SWIFT block at a significantly discounted rate through June 29th. Not sure where you fit in? Contact swiftpli@ku.edu. #SWIFTPLI2016

SWIFT-FIT Data Collection Complete


Question: What takes 32 assessors 73 days to complete?

Answer: 81 SWIFT-FIT assessments!

In the short span from mid-March to the end of May, 32 trained assessors bustled all over the country to complete 81 SWIFT-FIT assessments. SWIFT-FIT—Fidelity of Implementation Tool—documents the extent to which a school and LEA are implementing the SWIFT framework. Congratulations to each and every SWIFT partner school! We recognize the challenge of hosting an assessor, gathering data and materials, finding classroom substitutes, rearranging schedules and setting interview times, and preparing for a full-day assessment. Thank you for committing to this endeavor. We will see you again next spring to track all the great progress you are making!

Catch Up with SWIFT

2016 OSEP Project Directors' Conference: August 3, 2016, Washington, D.C. A Baltimore City Public Schools & SWIFT Center team will present Creating a Coherent Multi-Tiered System of Support for All Students through a Technical Assistance Partnership.

2016 National PBIS Leadership Forum: October 27-28, 2016, Rosemont, IL. Will include SWIFT presenters.



SWIFT launched a new series of Research to Practice Briefs in May. These Briefs will share some of the latest research available on topics related to the SWIFT framework. We will publish them on SWIFT Shelf as new, relevant research emerges. Check out the first of these Briefs about a study that compared student outcomes from Collaborative Learning among Peers and Direct Instruction formats. 

SWIFT Technical Assistance Playbook is a collection of guides and tools to learn about, facilitate, and coach others during transformation of whole educational systems. Learn, use, check, and coach with SWIFT’s technical assistance approach to visioning, data snapshots, priority and practice planning, resource mapping and matching, transformation teaming, coaching, and facilitation!


Alleghany County Public School Principals Reflect on Successes

Principal Scott Sisler noted that South Penn Elementary continues to build Trusting Family Partnerships. Using a variety of interest surveys, their parent engagement team identified creative ways to meaningfully involve families in their children's education and the life of the school. One "great success" was an 80% parent attendance rate at sixth grade-level Math Day activities and Lunch With Your Child events. During each of these 90-minute events, parents actively engaged in classroom math activities and saw how their children think mathematically during Number Talk sessions. Parents joined their children for lunch in the school cafeteria.

Molly Stewart, Principal from West Side Elementary, reflected that they began using the Student Risk Screening Scale to support Inclusive Behavior Instruction. This tool allowed them to identify at-risk students for internal and external behaviors. Using these data, they developed individual student intervention plans and monitored student progress with positive year-end trends. The school also broadened its Family & Community Partnership Team membership and goals. This team developed ways to provide service to the community rather than just focus on what the community could do for the school. For example, West Side staff members and families volunteered at a community dinner each month at a local church while members of the congregation volunteered at monthly school Family and Community STEM/Maker events.

Jackie Enright, Principal of Cash Valley Elementary, focused on building Trusting Family Partnerships. The school held a Reading Celebration for Grade 1 parents to celebrate students' progress, and are implementing a Summer Reading Program in which students receive sets of books with guiding questions for parents, along with a reading journal/log. Students and parents are invited to come to two sessions in July, where first-grade teachers will conduct literacy activities, check and document fluency progress, and share tips with parents on how to help their children read at home.

In May, all staff participated in structured master scheduling activities to plan for student participation in the grade-level curriculum and to prepare for meeting the needs of students with IEPs/intensive supports in the general education setting.

Principal Kendra Kenny reported the most successful SWIFT partnership outcomes this year at Washington Middle School are the strategies and resources teachers have acquired from the SWIFT Professional Learning Institutes. Teachers used many of these techniques to improve classroom instruction and students' comprehension of the Maryland College and Career Ready Standards, especially in math.


If you enjoyed reading Debra Jennings' blog post on SWIFT Talk, you will gain even more knowledge about how schools, families, and communities can positively address issues of disproportionality by listening to her on SWIFT Unscripted or by downloading the podcast from iTunes.

A transcript link is available for SWIFT Unscripted in each podcast description.

In SWIFT'S latest blog post, Debra Jennings—a parent advocate and educational leader—wrote about the disproportionality of students of color in special education. She shares excellent tools available to start a dialogue that may help districts ensure the right people are in the room to coalesce around issues of disproportionality.

For more information about the work that is happening in Maryland to support students who typically are identified as on the alternate assement track, read Michael McSheehan's post about 10 strategies to support students with significant disabilities in equity-based inclusive education.

"Driven by Data: Using Data to Improve Student Outcomes" is the latest addition to SWIFT’s webinar series. Learn how to analyze and connect your SWIFT-FIT, SWIFT-FIA, and student achievement assessments to improve student outcomes using an MTSS problem-solving approach. Webinar leader Dr. Chandra Williams—SWIFT SEA Facilitator for Mississippi—guides participants through these three data sources and how leadership teams may use them for decision making. Dr. Williams is a national educational expert consultant and trainer.

SWIFT offers free monthly webinars via Adobe Connect on topics related to SWIFT domains and features. Recordings of all webinars can be downloaded in the Multi Media section of SWIFT Shelf.
The SWIFT Center produced this document under U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs Grant No. H326Y120005. 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. (2016). SWIFT News, Issue 33, June 2016. Lawrence, KS: SWIFT Center.

SWIFT Center
1315 Wakarusa Drive,
Lawrence, KS 66049

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