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Technical Assistance

Focused Technical Assistance: Roles & Responsibilities

With a district’s desire for continuous improvement and greater student outcomes, inclusive education is critical to student and school success.  With a focus on the academic integration of students with disabilities in a general education setting utilizing the general education curriculum, it is critical that students receive the appropriate levels of support based on their individual needs.  Instructional practices that address the diverse needs of students with disabilities and other struggling learners are also a key component.  Focused technical assistance is designed to be responsive to the needs of each individual campus by providing training and support that will lead to significant and lasting change.

What is Focused Technical Assistance?
What characterizes Focused Technical Assistance?
What are the benefits of Focused Technical Assistance?

My district is having Focused Technical Assistance- What is my role in the process?

Focused Technical Assistance is:

A long-term, intensive commitment to assist campuses in the development and implementation of an action plan that will enhance student achievement and inclusive practices.

Focused Technical Assistance is characterized by:

  • An initial meeting with the principal and a leadership team selected by the principal;
  • Review of current data to target the specific TA needs for your school;
  • Multiple days of service provided by the same consultant to ensure consistency;
  • An action plan designed to achieve long and short term goals and specify consultant role in the improvement process;
  • Structured classroom observations and coaching to address goals;
  • Regularly scheduled meetings with consultant to evaluate the effectiveness of action plan and the consultative partnership;
  • Written reports after each TA visit and at the end of the year evaluating goal achievement.

Benefits of Focused Technical Assistance:

  • A significant level of personalized consultative assistance to direct toward your campus improvement goals;
  • Consultant builds a relationship with campus staff to support program improvement;
  • An objective review of current practices from an outside source;
  • Professional development embedded into the school day – limiting faculty absence from instruction;
  • A highly skilled consultant who has access to significant print, training, and other resources and tools from an educational firm with a 22 year history of success.

The Role of the Special Education Director and Assistant Directors:

1. Analyze the district data of all special education programs and see how it is impacting the overall success of the district.

2. Based on data, identify priority areas that you feel must be addressed in order to increase student success.

3. Share findings with cabinet level members and discuss what next steps the district needs to take to address the concerns/challenges.

4. Discuss the use of educational consultants in addressing some of the concerns and challenges and determine how the consultant’s time will best be utilized.

5. Determine how the district plans to make the use of consultants as efficient and cost effective as possible.

6. Determine the role that special education coordinators and facilitators will play in the focused technical assistance process.

7. Develop a working schedule with the consulting firm and articulate the district’s priorities and expectations regarding their work.

8. Create a script for addressing campuses about the rationale for their selection and the outcomes you hope to see as a result of the focused technical assistance visits.

9. Set up appointments with all campus leaders scheduled to receive focused technical assistance and describe the TA process and the district expectations of outcomes that should result.

10. Set up appointments with all campus leaders scheduled to receive focused technical assistance and describe the TS process and the district expectations of outcomes that should result from receiving TA.

11. Assign a consultant to the campus. Provide the consultant with some background information that would assist the consultant in identifying the specific needs of that campus.

The Role of the Coordinators and Facilitators:

1. Establish a contact at central office that will supervise the focused technical assistance process for the district.

2. Articulate the roles and responsibilities of the coordinators and facilitators in the focused technical assistance process.

3. Review the format of the focused technical assistance process with all special education coordinators and facilitators

4. Provide on-going training to the coordinators and facilitators on topics that are frequently used during the TA process (DI, responsible scheduling, effective collaboration, and role of paraprofessional).

5. Create a document that will allow the coordinators and facilitators to document the technical assistance visit, address how the TA visit aligns with the action plan developed by the campus and address the expectations and timeframe of the next TA visit.  This should be turned in to the campus supervisor after each technical assistance visit.

The Role of Campus Principals:

1.  Agree to allow focused technical assistance take place on their campus.

2.Commit to supporting the focused technical assistance process for the agreed upon timeframe.

3. Have the leadership team present for one hour on the initial visit of the TA provider to get input from all stakeholders in developing the action plan for future TA visits.

4. Provide leadership in developing the goals and implementation plan for the consultant and designated staff to follow.

5. Facilitate access to classrooms and teachers for observation, coaching and professional development per the agreed upon plan.

6. Make every effort to adhere to scheduled consulting days.  Stetson & Associate, Inc. has very limited options for adjusting the schedule once it is confirmed.

7. Designate an individual in a leadership capacity in your school that will have the authority to represent the principal in case of absence from the campus.

8. Assure that the staff will be available to the consultant on the day of the visit.

9. Principal or designee available to meet with the consultant at the end of each TA day for a brief review of progress and next steps.

10. An agreed upon list of activities that consultant can provide if planned activities for a specific TA day must be rescheduled or changed due to the absence of key personnel.

11. Ensure that the necessary training and planning materials and equipment will be available.