The DCAP should encompass efforts as follows:
- Analysis of diverse learning styles within the general education classroom
- Accommodations to meet needs of the diverse learning styles within a general education classroom- Such assistance includes such things as professional development that will help them to analyze and accommodate various students’ learning needs, including students who are English Language Learners, and to manage student’s behavior effectively
- Provision of appropriate services and support within the general education classroom- These include services that are available to students through the regular education program, including services to address the needs of students whose behavior may interfere with learning. These services include reading and Title I support; ELL support; paraprofessional support; library and technology support; nursing support; occupational, physical, and speech therapy, and psychological consultation
- Direct and systematic instruction of reading
- Services to address the needs of children whose behavior and/or social emotional needs may interfere with learning
- Mentoring and Collaboration – This includes such things as mentoring new teachers and common planning time.
- Parental Involvement – This includes opportunities that encourage parental involvement in their children’s education such as school and district councils, PTO/PTA, websites, Parent Square, and conferences.
How does the DCAP help teacher instruction and practices, students, and parents?
The DCAP is a great resource to identify techniques/accommodations that can be provided to all students in the general education classroom at each of the levels (elementary, middle, and high school). It describes the process for moving from the identification of a concern through communications with parents, staff collaboration, articulation of strategies for accommodations or intervention, and periodic review and evaluation of student progress. No two students are the same; we accommodate and differentiate our instruction and curriculum to meet students where they are. It is expected that across content areas and grade-levels, students will need various levels of support. Needing accommodations does not mean a student is at-risk in their learning; all individuals vary in their needs based on content, age, development, social/emotional wellbeing, external factors, and more. The DCAP can be a reference and resource to school staff, as well as a resource for parents to see the wide range of supports that their students can receive within the general education setting. It clarifies the difference between regular accommodations that can be provided to students and those more significant accommodations and modifications that require an IEP or 504 plan. As well, there is a list of sample strategies and other actions from which teachers and collaborating staff may select appropriate accommodations for individual students. The list includes suggestions for accommodating concerns about academic progress as well as strategies and interventions intended to resolve social and behavioral issues.
The DCAP describes both formal and informal routes. In some instances, communication between parents and teachers will be effective in identifying issues and agreeing upon strategies to be implemented. In other situations, teams of educators will be involved in the process and a more formal written plan may result. Again, parent involvement is an important part of the process. Concerns that cannot be resolved by these routes, or where there is lack of progress, may result in a recommendation for a formal evaluation to determine if a disability exists.
Teachers and professional staff in Norton are continuously monitoring student progress looking for opportunities to make accommodations to facilitate learning and foster understanding.