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Capacity Building for Leaders

This six-session series is designed to develop and extend the skills of leadership personnel at the district and campus level.  This content, while effective for all school leaders, is particularly directed toward improving the quality and impact of instruction for struggling learners.

Learner Objectives

Participants will gain information about issues impacting learning at their school along with practical solutions to address those challenges.  Effective leaders create systems where change can be sustained over time. Personnel who complete this training will receive suggestions that will enable them to sustain the changes that are needed to raise the achievement level of struggling learners.


This training series is intended for school leadership at the district and campus level.  Included in this group would be Principals, Assistant Principals, District-level Administrators, and any personnel involved in planning Professional Development for district and campus level leadership.

Session 1: Critical Issues in Educating Students with Disabilities

The first session begins with an identification of critical issues in educating students with disabilities and compares and contrasts them to current issues at the state and national level.  The design for the seminar series is presented and participants have an opportunity to discuss their priorities in the context of this content.

  • New Models for Staffing for Special Education
  • Effective In-Class Support Options
  • Rethinking and Revitalizing Traditional Options for Service
  • Fostering Collaboration between General and Special Education Personnel
  • Quality Indicators for Staffing and Collaboration

Session 2: Instructional Strategies for Diverse Learners

Improving the quality of instruction for diverse learners is an essential component in our efforts to increase student performance in an accountability-driven system.

  • Critical issues and trends in effective instruction
  • Key understandings of differentiated instruction
  • Multi-level instruction as a way to reach all learners
  • Differentiated assessment of learning
  • Instructional accommodations and curricular modifications
  • Strategies for struggling readers
  • A new classroom observation protocol to support change
  • Quality indicators for effective instruction

Session 3: A Step by Step Process for Basing Staffing Decisions On the Needs of Students

The third session features an intensive simulation experience.

  • A student-specific problem-solving model
  • Three formats that can be used to guide the process that have been endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education
  • Quality indicators for scheduling and resource distribution

Session 4: Accessing the General Curriculum, Positive Behavioral Supports, and Other Key Topics

  • District and campus level tools for enabling students to access the general curriculum using the district and state curriculum and accountability framework
  • Simple tools to guide analysis of behavioral challenges at the classroom and individual student level

Session 5: School Issues and System Issues that Impact Change

Often, the barriers to school change are rooted in systems issues that must be addressed before meaningful growth and improvement can be initiated.

  • Change agentry strategies for the leadership team
  • Fostering working relationships with campus leadership
  • Self-assessment for Schools and School Leaders

Session 6: Putting It All Together: Tools for Change Agents

The final session features an incredible bank of tools and techniques that contains numerous innovative solutions to the “typical” and “not-so-typical” problems confronting schools and technical assistance providers. This content is an excellent way to conclude this series and enhance the skills of the district leadership team.

Related Resources

Classroom Observation Protocol for Co-Teaching
Inclusive Education Knowing-Doing Gap
Sustaining Progress Toward Inclusive Schools
Instructional Design Tool
Accommodations and Modifications Hot Topics Information Card
Form 1: A Format to Guide Instructional Planning
Form 2: Analysis of Instructional and Personal Support Needs