Client Spotlight - Clear Creek ISD

Spotlight Activity
Instructional Coaching Series Component of Comprehensive Approach to Build Effective Inclusive Practices

Clear Creek ISD, TX

The Instructional Coaching Series was one component of a comprehensive approach to build capacity at every level of the school district in related to effective inclusive practices.  This small learning cohort (8) consisted of district administrators such the Director of Psychological and Assessment Services and Special Education Coordinators.

The objective of the series was to strengthen our instructional coaching expertise so we may support our teachers and paraeducators design and deliver lessons that meet the learning needs of our students.

coaching_1Each of the 4 sessions (spanning over several weeks) was designed to do the following.

  • Build a common vocabulary regarding instructional coaching
  • Practice and reflect upon process skills as an instructional coach
  • Expand our instructional strategies repertoire

DAY 1 focused on defining our roles, exploring our attitudes as well as skills, the critical principles of coaching, and tools that will help us structure our work as a coach.

Sample tools from DAY 1:

DAY 2 focused on defining accommodations and modifications, effective differentiated strategies, and flexible grouping.

Sample strategies from DAY 2:


DAY 3 and DAY 4 focused on classroom observations.  The grades, content, and the type of instructional settings varied.  The cohort debriefing with each other about what was observed, discussed opportunities for lesson enhancements, and outlined ideas on how to engage the teacher or paraeducator as a coach.  Notes for each observation were given to the district administrator assigned to the particular school, grade level, or program.  She would then decide what and how to share the information as a means to provide timely and constructive feedback to the teachers and paraeducators that volunteered to be observed.

Positive Impact

Below are a few of the comments from participants:

“I think my favorite part of the sessions, were the classroom observations. The part I learned the most from, was the “debriefing” sessions we had as a group, following the observations.  I also found the practical suggestions, like folding paper in quarters for quick structure to notes, helpful. Enjoyed it all!”

Pamela Moore Ellis, LSSP
Director of Psychological and Assessment Services

1.  How did these sessions support you in your current role?

“Better understanding of special education supports available to students; re-activated my knowledge of effective instruction; nice alternative to cognitive coaching (I know they are used for different purposes) – I like the brevity of instructional coaching.”

2.  Describe any adjustments or enhancements you have made as a result from these sessions?

“Renewed my efforts to get out into the classrooms!”

3.  What was your favorite part or most useful information taken from the sessions?

“I love the graphic organizers! The instruction design tool is a concise way to plan lessons. Also, I had an “aha!” moment when we talked about differentiating and only changing one of the elements (what is taught, how it is taught and how learning is assessed), not all three – which is so overwhelming to teachers. I also really enjoyed being on at the campuses in different classrooms seeing what is going on.”

4.  Would you recommend these sessions to others?  If so, to whom and why?

“To any special education coordinator – for a multiple of reasons, the campus administrators are not effective in utilizing walk thrus in the “special content” areas. This training helped the special ed coordinators gain confidence about doing the walk thrus.”

Lisa Hardcastle
Section 504 and Dyslexia Coordinator
The Clear Creek Independent School District

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