Progress monitoring helps a district meet student needs
Using a behavior improvement system that includes progress monitoring, a district meets the needs of students in special education
Garland Independent School District, Texas
The Garland Independent School District (GISD) is a large, ethnically diverse, urban district in Texas. Approximately 8 percent of the student population is enrolled in special education programs.
To track the behavior of students in special education, teachers kept manual logs, which created the potential for inconsistency and did not provide an effective method for administrators and staff to analyze school and district trends. In order to better meet students’ needs, GISD sought a user-friendly, uniform system to document behavior for progress monitoring and evaluations.
GISD decided to implement Pearson’s Review360®, a behavior improvement system that includes progress monitoring, in grades 1–12. Initially, the district used the system only in its Behavior Adjustment Program, which serves students whose behavior consistently interferes with their educational performance. The goal of the program is to enable students to return to the general classroom. GISD soon expanded its use of the system to its Applied Learning Environment (ALE) classes. These self-contained special education classes focus on the practical application of academic skills and provide individualized learning appropriate to students’ developmental and functional level.
In the 2015–2016 school year, GISD began using Review360 to track the academic progress of all students in special education as well. Teachers can now document how students are progressing in meeting standards-based goals and objectives.
The reports generated by the behavior improvement system have helped facilitate communication between teachers and administrators and between teachers and parents as well, especially about behavior.
Each month, Bentley Parker, special education coordinator, discusses the reports with teachers and principals. The system “gives you a comprehensive record,” he noted, “because you can look at it per grading period, per year, or over multiple years.”
Michele Burford, special education coordinator, explained, “Our teachers can communicate with parents by emailing them the reports. And that builds better relationships with parents.”
By providing precise progress monitoring data, the behavior improvement system is helping GISD help students. “If there wasn’t a benefit for the kids, then we probably wouldn’t use it,” remarked Parker.
Review360 is a dynamic system that all of our kids benefit from because it gives us continuous, ongoing information.
Bentley Parker, Special Education Coordinator, GISD
According to Parker, the system provides clear evidence of whether students are progressing in meeting their goals and objectives. “It’s taking all of the data that you’re putting in and making it meaningful and measurable,” he said. Teachers can then act on the data and modify or change their teaching strategies and interventions or any area of the Individualized Education Program (IEP) to support students more effectively.
“From a behavioral standpoint,” Burford noted, “Review360 has been very useful for us.” The district moved from self-contained behavior classes to an inclusion model for middle and high school students who have been identified as having an emotional disturbance or autism. “We need to make sure that this program is really working. And it’s been very successful. But we know that by looking at the data.”
Burford explained how she uses the system to help reduce the number of suspensions, citing one high school as an example. “I had all of the Review360 data. We had the list of all of the kids. We had the reasons why they were suspended. Then we were able to really hone in on that margin of kids that needed extra support.”
Data for progress monitoring needs to be systematic and legally defensible. We’re confident that Review360 provides us with that.
Michele Burford, Special Education Coordinator, GISD
Jennifer Millet, an ALE teacher at Rowlett High School, GISD, and a parent of three children with special needs who attend the school, has seen how the behavior improvement system benefits individual learners by providing actionable progress monitoring data.
For one of Millet’s sons, who does not speak, data from Review360 helped his teachers and parents assess his ability to use a speech app on his iPad®. “The data helped us to look at the app’s system and ask, ‘What’s making it hard for him to navigate through it?’ We made it a little more user-friendly for him and made the menus less difficult,” Millet said. As a result, Millet and her husband were able to make it easier for their son to communicate with others.
To learn more about how GISD is using a behavior improvement system to benefit students in special education, read the full success story.
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Review360 is a comprehensive, web-based behavior improvement system that helps schools and districts improve student success and school climate. The data-driven system helps educators screen for behavior issues, monitor progress, and implement effective intervention strategies in general education and special education classrooms.
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