Rethink Responds to Hurricane Harvey

Around the country we are watching the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey. We would like to extend our most heartfelt thoughts and prayers to all our clients, members of our Rethink community, and all those in Texas and Louisiana who have been affected by the storm. As a Company we will be making a donation to the American Red Cross to assist those who have been impacted. We will also be releasing support materials around emergency preparedness for children with disabilities.

With Rethink’s mission of supporting children with developmental disabilities we are acutely aware of the unique needs of vulnerable populations during disasters. Emergency preparedness takes on an extra layer for families that have members with disabilities and for schools that support children with disabilities.

There are resources to assist in emergency planning. The Center for Children with Special Health Care Needs has guidelines that we should all be following. The Red Cross is often a first responder to emergencies and they too have resources for Special Needs Emergency Preparedness and in some locations specific support for children with developmental disabilities.

We commend the first responders in these communities and will work with the greater disability community to ensure preparedness for children with disabilities. If you’re interested in supporting disaster relief efforts, consider the Red Cross or Save the Children, both of which have established specific Hurricane Harvey relief funds.

Supporting the Whole Student with a Disability – It Takes a Village

In today’s world, we are required to think and act quickly and efficiently.  We are exposed to massive amounts of information and are expected to communicate well, work effectively, and act responsibly.  Learning these skills in school paves the path to a productive, healthy adulthood.  To better prepare students for independence, college, employment, and healthy relationships, it’s important to think beyond academic outcomes.  Students who have good health and good relationships are far more likely to succeed in school, and succeed after graduation.  Focusing on the whole student leads to better outcomes.  While this is important for all students, it is even more essential for students with disabilities.

Special education students need a safe and inclusive environment that provides appropriate accommodations and encourages growth.  Their diverse needs in areas such as: communication, behavior, safety, social interactions, health, and cognitive/academics, must be supported. Focus should be placed on their strengths and their contributions to the group, rather than on their disability.  This whole-student approach requires all those interacting with the student to be engaged in promoting positive outcomes; this is not just teachers- it is the entire village. 

To truly serve the whole student, everyone needs to be on board including educators, school support personnel such as bus drivers and school safety officers, administrators/leadership, families, and community members.  Collaboration, communication, and consistency are the 3 key ingredients for the whole-student approach.

Disability Awareness

To promote collaboration, communication, and consistency with all the student’s support team, it is important to provide professional learning for everyone that interacts with that student.  Training can be brief and inexpensive but it’s essential that everyone, including other students, have access to basic training about awareness, understanding, and interactions with students with disabilities.  Research supports the fact that improving awareness in others (adults and other students) can improve safety, interactions, and outcomes for students with disabilities. Rethink Ed understands this need and is developing a comprehensive online training series to provide disability awareness training for the whole village.  Training modules will be available for School Support Personnel such as bus drivers, cafeteria and playground professionals, school safety officers, and school office staff.  Trainings will also be available for educators, peers, administrators, family members (including siblings), and introductory modules for community members or anyone wishing to have some basic understanding of students with disabilities.  These modules will cover the needs of students and all of the people that support them to reach their highest level of success.  The training series is time and cost efficient and provides flexibility via online videos.

For more information on our upcoming training series contact info@rethinked.com.

Alone We Can Do So Little; Together We Can Do So Much: Meaningful Parent Involvement on IEP Teams

By: Maria Wilcox, MA, BCBA

March 22, 2017 marked an incredible day in history for the 6.5 million students receiving special education services in public schools. The Supreme Court case Endrew F. vs. Douglas County Schools is eloquently summed up by Chief Justice John Roberts: “The IEP is not a form.” This statement has become the center of a variety of campaigns sponsored by disability advocacy groups and organizations, including one by TASH.

At the heart of the matter is getting back to the team-based approach to the IEP and ensuring a child’s individualized needs and supports are addressed. IDEA states that parents must be invited to, attend, and participate in their child’s IEP meeting. This is a vague description of their role and one that can be subject to a variety of interpretations. Here are three meaningful ways that parents can participate in the meeting and be active, contributing partners to the team.

    1. Presume Positive Intentions: Parents want to work with you. They also want what is best for their child at school, at home, and in the future. So often, parents have had negative previous experiences with IEP meetings or team members and that leaves a bad taste for future experiences. Combative attitudes, accusatory words, and cloak and dagger communication are toxic to the team and are often the result of misinformation or unsavory experiences. Keeping in mind the parent’s point of view is instrumental in resetting the relationship and starting everyone off on a positive note. A great technique is for parents to share their vision of the future for their child or if possible, have the student share his hopes and dreams with the IEP team. It will remind everyone why they are there and part of the team.
    2. Address Conflicts and Disagreements: Recognizing that there is always the possibility of disagreements as part of a team is an important fact of the team-based approach. There are a variety of legal protections as part of the IEP process that protect both the student and his/her family and school teams. However, before any formal conflict resolution takes place, teams should commit to informal problem-solving protocols. For instance, a mutually agreed-upon facilitator can listen to both sides and bring clarity to the issue. Again, at the heart of the conflict are the best interests of the student which sometimes requires all team members to take a step backwards and adjust their perspectives.
    3. Involve Early and Often: Going back to Chief Justice Robert’s statement that the IEP is not a form, serves as a great reminder that the IEP is not a “one and done” deal. At the start of the school year, teams should collaborate to determine how to best involve all members, including parents. Communication should always be priority and should include language and interpretation, with ample opportunity to connect via email, phone, or text. Schools need to ask parents their opinions, share student successes, and partner with them to support student through their learning experiences (both good and challenging). Special education team members share a lot of power in the student’s future therefore it is important that everyone is on the same page to ensure the best and most meaningful outcomes for the student.

Alternate Assessment: Making Sure All Student Progress Is Measured

BY PATRICIA WRIGHT, PHD, MPH

Educators use assessment to ensure their instruction is effective and that students are learning. With No Child Left Behind, high stakes testing became more prominent in public education. High stakes testing has primarily assessed math and literacy for students moving through the K-12 experience and attempting to achieve a high school diploma. For students with significant cognitive disabilities, this type of high stakes testing would not be appropriate. However, all students are capable of learning and all students deserve to be assessed. For students with significant cognitive disabilities, a maximum of 1% of the total school population, an Alternate Assessment must be made available.

The Alternate Assessment is described in federal law and is a mechanism to ensure that students with significant disabilities are included in educational accountability. The Alternate Assessment should measure student progress and be designed to align with college and career readiness standards that all students are working towards. These standards may be modified for students with significant cognitive disabilities but the assumption is that they, like all students enrolled in school, should be working towards a high-quality life. The Alternate Assessment design and delivery is a decision made by each state. States choose a variety of methods for assessment including portfolio, teacher observation, checklists, ongoing measurement of learning and traditional computer-based tools. The goal is to gain an authentic assessment of the unique learning progress of each student.

Children with disabilities were afforded the right to attend school in the 70’s. Since then High-stakes testing has taken on an increasingly significant role in the education system. Although high-stakes testing is not without controversy, as long as students are being tested, we must ensure that ALL students are tested, including the 1% with the most significant cognitive disabilities.

High Quality IEP Goals

By Christine Penington, MA, BCBA

A student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) provides critical information for parents and educational team members related to understanding a student’s disability and how this disability may impact the student’s progress related to academic and functional living skills. IEP goals describe a plan of action to address individualized areas of need to aid students in progressing in the academic curriculum and developing appropriate functional living skills. Selecting meaningful IEP goals and writing these goals in specific, measurable terms is critical to ensure all team members are working together to address and monitor student progress on these goals in a consistent manner.

Step 1: Conduct an Assessment

The first step when creating quality IEP goals is to conduct an assessment to identify the student’s present levels of academic achievement (math, social studies, ELA) and functional performance (activities of daily living, social skills, communication skills, employment skills). In addition to conducting appropriate assessments, it is critical during this phase to get input from parents on areas of need for their student, particularly with skills that may be difficult to assess in a traditional classroom setting (e.g., independence with toileting skills, social skills with peers, independence level with dressing skills). Conducting this assessment will yield information about the student’s strengths and needs, which will be used to select appropriate academic and functional goals for the school year.

Step 2: Select Meaningful Goals

A thorough assessment will often provide team members with a lot of information regarding possible areas of need for a student. This phase of the IEP process can be overwhelming, so to select the most critical and meaningful goals to be targeted as IEP goals, it is important to ask several questions regarding the assessment results. For example, which skills will help this learner function as independently as possible? Which skills will help this learner build meaningful relationships with peers? Which skills will allow this learner to access desired items or activities from other people in his or her environment? Which skills are necessary for this learner to develop appropriate employment skills? Which academic skills are critical building blocks when working towards access to the general education curriculum? By asking and answering these questions, the team can start to formulate appropriate, meaningful, and individualized academic and functional living skills goals.

Step 3: Make it Specific

Clearly defining each goal in observable terms is the next step in building a quality IEP goal. Creating and implementing IEP goals is a collaborative process with multiple stakeholders often involved in this process; parents, teachers, administrations, speech language pathologists, and occupational therapists are a few examples. For this reason, it is critical to define the skill or behavior targeted for improvement in specific, observable, and objective terms to ensure there is agreement across all team members on the exact skill being worked on. Team members can create specific goals by avoiding vague and subjective descriptions such as, “John will listen attentively on 3/4 trials”, or “John will be flexible on 4/5 trials”. Using action words such as “John will read”, “John will state”, “John will name”, John will write”, and “John will point to,” helps to make sure we are describing observable behaviors that can be measured. In addition to using action words, a specific definition can be created by replacing broad labels such as “John will be attentive” or “John will be flexible” with specific behaviors.

A good place to start breaking down broad terms like “attentive” is to start by describing what attentive behavior looks like. For example, attentive behavior in the classroom may be attending to the smartboard or teacher when she is speaking, complying with instructions when presented to the group, raising your hand to answer questions, or following along with the group while reading an informational text passage out loud. After describing what it looks like to be attentive, think about your learner; do any of these behaviors apply to your student? Would one of these behaviors apply to skill deficits in your student’s current repertoire? Will working on this skill help your student access a less restrictive/ more inclusive environment? If so, this is likely a great place to start!

Step 4: Make it Measurable

After selecting and describing a specific skill or behavior, it is important to include information about how this skill or behavior will be measured, where it will be measured, how often it will be measured, what the mastery criteria for this goal will be, and when you anticipate your learner will meet mastery criteria for this goal. There are many ways we can measure progress towards a specific goal; for example, we can collect data on duration, percentage correct, a task analysis, or frequency of occurrence. The type of data being collected should be specified in the IEP goal. How often will data be collected (e.g., will it be every day, once a week, or once a month)? Where will data be collected (e.g., in the occupational therapy room, in the lunch room, outside during recess, or in the classroom)? How will team members know when the goal is mastered? What is a reasonable amount of time to master this goal? Including these details in the IEP goal, increases the likelihood that there will be consistency among team members on what skill or behavior is being taught, how data is being collected, and how often data is being collected.

Examples of Subjective vs. Objective and Measurable IEP goals:

Subjective: John will increase attending on 3/4 trials

Objective and measurable: By the end of the school year, John will raise his hand, wait to be addressed, and answer a question related to the current lesson a minimum of 3 times during English class. Data will be collected on this goal 1 time per week using a frequency measure.

By clearly defining the behavior being targeted, how the behavior will be measured, where it will be measured, and how often it will be measured, all team members will have the information they need to target this specific behavior, monitor this behavior, and discuss student progress on this goal in an objective manner.

Step 5: Add Objectives

While the annual IEP goal gives us information about what we anticipate our students will master by the end of the school year, short term objectives give us specific information about how we plan to break down this goal in specific, sequenced steps. For example, if the annual goal is, “John will identify pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters, by pointing to specified targets within a larger set,” the short-term objectives may be, “1. John will identify penny and nickel, 2. John will identify dime and quarter, 3. John will identify a random rotation of all four coins.” Breaking the IEP goal down into short term objectives ensures team members are working towards the broader, annual IEP goal in a logical and consistent manner and that prerequisite steps are mastered prior to working on new material.

Step 6: Remove Prompts from the Annual Goal

If you are a parent of a child receiving special education services, or have worked in the field of special education for any amount of time, there is a good chance you have read a goal that looks something like this, “John will wash his hands with less than two physical prompts.”  If this goal can be mastered with prompts given, is it a truly functional skill? Will the student be truly independent? While utilizing systemic prompting and prompt fading techniques often assists our learners with acquiring new or difficult skills, including prompts in the annual IEP goal may allow our learners to master goals prior to being truly independent. If we anticipate a learner may need careful and systemic prompt and prompt fading procedures, the short-term objectives, which outline how we plan to reach the annual goal, may be a more appropriate place to specify how we plan to teach this goal, while the annual goal will provide a description of what this behavior will look like once the student is able to independently demonstrate the skill or task.

Creating high quality IEP goals takes time and anyone working in the field of education knows this is in short supply! Investing time at the beginning of the year in creating individualized, appropriate, observable, and measurable IEP goals it will decrease the likelihood that team members will need to spend time throughout the school year providing clarity on what the student is working on and how the goals are being monitored. Investing the time to create high quality goals ensures that all team members working with the student will be on the same page when working together to address areas of need and provide the foundation for consistent and seamless progress monitoring throughout the school year.

Tips

  • Use action words (student will read, write, state, identify) to create specific, measurable goals
  • Replace broad terms such as “Tom will be attentive” with specific, observable behaviors such as “Tom will raise his hand to answer questions related to current academic lesson”
  • Have a peer read the goal to check if it is specific, observable, and measurable. Would they be able to teach this skill by reading the goal? Will they know how to collect data and how often to collect data? Will they know when the goal is mastered?
  • Consider removing prompts given by adults from the annual goal to promote student independence

Spotlight Educator of the Month: Debra Pearce

Position: Principal of Tanglewood Regional School

District: Prince George’s County Public School District (Clinton, MD)

Debra Pearce is the principal of Tanglewood Regional School in Prince George’s County Public School District (Clinton, MD). As a school Principal (and former district-level administrator), she is tasked daily with professional development, use of best practices and monitoring, and evaluation of student progress and staff competency. The Rethink Ed program enables her to complete these tasks through a single portal. She is the first principal to complete Rethink Ed’s Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) Advanced Training Course!

Debra Pearce, Principal

Rethink Ed supports her administrative professional needs as well as her teachers’ needs. She has learned the program alongside her staff, which has benefited her because she is able to “talk the language” of the program. She says, “Being able to answer questions about the program and to coach staff in the use of the program and tools supports our culture of learning throughout the school.  The use of technology as a tool is also domain for our administrative evaluation.” Having completed the training, she is able to discuss Rethink Ed with her staff and understand the intricacies of the program. She has also found that her use of the platform encourages and facilitates the use of Rethink Ed in the building.

For special educators, Rethink Ed is a ready resource for classroom programming, data collection, professional development, and parent training. Ms. Pearce asserts that having these features in one platform helps her staff “work smarter, not harder” and “allows them to feel confident in their instruction.” Rethink Ed’s platform supports her administration through data collection, lesson planning, and professional development.

Office board display awarding pin to staff for completing Rethink Basic Training series. Leading by. Example is part of our school theme of COMPASS.

The two most valuable aspects of the Rethink Ed program for Ms. Pearce and her administration are the data collection components and professional development. Data collection is becoming increasingly important for all educators, especially those in special education. It is important that people can track, record, and show visual representations of data in the classroom. Teachers use Rethink Ed to track IEP goals, collect data, and develop IEPs that are tailored to fit the needs of the student. Ms. Pearce says, “Special education teachers are under an incredible amount of scrutiny when it comes to data review.  Having a tool like Rethink Ed allows teachers and support staff to collect and share data that is professionally formatted and is defensible.” Teachers have benefited from Rethink Ed’s data tracking as well as the platform’s professional development training.

Teachers learned about preference assessments and created motivation boards using the results of the preference assessments. Students choose what they want to work for throughout the day. This is from a total classroom display.

Rethink Ed’s online, on-demand professional training allows access to ABA training in schools that do not have district employed BCBAs. The training modules are aligned with the BACB outcomes and the Rethink Ed certificates are an important piece of documentation that supports teacher and administrator portfolios. Ms. Pearce says that as a principal, it is great to know that “Staff can access Rethink from anywhere at any time for initial and for refresher training.” She also states that Rethink Ed’s training courses are beneficial to students as well as teachers because “our students benefit from ABA practices while we are building our school system capacity to have access to BCBA staff.” Teachers and students are both reaping the benefits of Rethink Ed in Prince George’s County Public School District.

“It is our hope that as we continue to use Rethink Ed with all of our students, our communication of progress will further support our parents as partners.” She has been successful so far at working with parents and making them partners. Ms. Pearce is excited to continue to use Rethink Ed and jump into the new school year!

Adult Quality of Life is the Goal for All Students

By Patricia Wright, PhD, MPH

Standards based educational reform has been moving through the public-school system for decades. There is a strong belief that there are basic academic skills that should be demonstrated by all students and that teacher effectiveness and student achievement can be better assessed if there is a set of standards to guide all educators. However, some students, those described by the federal government as having significant cognitive disabilities, may not be able to achieve these academic standards even with high quality instruction. For these students with significant cognitive disabilities, alternate achievement standards have been adopted in multiple states. These alternate standards are designed for a very small proportion, one percent, of the school-aged population.

IDEA, the guiding legislation for special education, indicates that students with disabilities should have access to the general education curriculum and that they should be educated with their typically developing peers for the greatest extent possible. Students with significant cognitive disabilities are educated primarily in self-contained classroom settings without the benefits of frequent interaction with typically developing peers. There is a call to action for this to change; that ideally all students would be educated in a single educational context. One of the reasons for this call to action is that students enrolled in these segregated settings are not achieving long-term quality of life outcomes such as employment and independent living.

With effective instruction, students with significant cognitive disabilities can learn and make progress. Although it may not be reasonable to assume that students with the most significant disabilities achieve the same outcomes as those without disabilities, it is important that the educational system convey high expectations for all students. When an alternate system is created, it can lead to a sense of hierarchy; that one system (standards for 99% of the student population) is above another (standards for 1% of the student population). There are countless examples of adult success. Whatever the educational environment, there must be an expectation that all students exit high school and enter adulthood as meaningful contributors to society.

Developing Standards-Based IEP Goals and Objectives

The practice of aligning IEP goals for students with disabilities with grade-level state standards is considered a best practice in special education. The process of reviewing the grade-level standards and aligning goals that would allow progress towards these standards, supports the practice of creating high expectations for students. This practice stems from the federal requirement of Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (2004), which outlines that students with disabilities should be allowed to access general education curriculum. The U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the case of Enders F. v. Douglas County School District also indicates that schools must provide “merely more than de minimis” education for students with disabilities. This ruling also emphasized the emphasis for schools to provide an education for the students that is “appropriately ambitious” in terms of progress and access to the general education curriculum. This ruling further clarifies the responsibility of districts to support students accessing the general education curriculum. This would start with accessing the grade-level standards. Below we will discuss how to write IEP goals based on grade-level state standards.

Steps to Create a State Standards-Based IEP

Step 1: Look at the grade-level content standards for the student’s current or upcoming grade level and consider what the student should know and demonstrate. This step is important in making sure the teacher is familiar with the content that needs to be covered and ensuring adequate progress is made each year in accessing the general education curriculum.

Step 2: Gather student data or complete assessments to determine where the student is at in comparison to these standards and what knowledge they need to be able to access these standards. The teacher may outline several grade level standards that are important for the student to make adequate progress in the upcoming school year as well.

Step 3: Develop a measurable annual goal that is aligned with grade-level academic content standards. The goal should look at what the student can achieve in the given year, as well as consider what accommodations and evidence-based instructional strategies that the teacher should utilize to support the student accessing this goal. Determining how the goal can be measured will help determine if the student is making adequate progress.

There are resources and online tools that help support teachers in the process of writing IEP goals that take into consideration the grade-level standard. Rethink Ed provides wonderful support to educators on how to access grade-level standards that align with evidence-based strategies, which would support the student in accessing the standard.

First, the teacher can browse the Lesson Library and view which Lessons are aligned with that student’s grade level based on the acronym for the state-standard that the student currently resides in. For the purpose of this example, the student is in a state that utilizes the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

Next, the teacher can explore the standards by clicking on the details of this lesson and viewing the standard(s) that align with that lesson.

The teacher can then view the Lesson Plan that has an evidence-based strategy for teaching the specific skill, as well as walk through guidelines for assisting the teacher in writing the IEP goals.

7 Research Based Facts about Differentiated Instruction

By Jennifer Wilkens M.A., BCBA; Director of Professional Services

August Theme of the Month: Differentiated Instruction

•Contemporary student populations are becoming increasingly academically diverse (Gable et al., 2000; Guild, 2001; Hall, 2002; Hess, 1999; McAdamis, 2001; McCoy and Ketterlin-Geller, 2004; Sizer, 1999; Tomlinson, 2004a; Tomlinson, Moon, and Callahan, 1998).

 

•The inclusion of students with disabilities, students with language backgrounds other than English, students with imposing emotional difficulties and a noteworthy number of gifted students, reflect this growing diversity (Mulroy and Eddinger, 2003; Tomlinson, 2001b, 2004a).

 

•Learning within the inclusive classroom is further influenced by a student’s gender, culture, experiences, aptitudes, interests and particular teaching approaches (Guild, 2001; Stronge, 2004; Tomlinson, 2002, 2004b).

 

•Tomlinson (2005), a leading expert in this field, defines differentiated instruction as a philosophy of teaching that is based on the premise that students learn best when their teachers accommodate the differences in their readiness levels, interests and learning profiles. A chief objective of differentiated instruction is to take full advantage of every student’s ability to learn (Tomlinson, 2001a, 2001c, 2004c, 2005).

 

•Tomlinson (2000) maintains that differentiation is not just an instructional strategy, nor is it a recipe for teaching, rather it is an innovative way of thinking about teaching and learning.

 

•Contemporary classrooms should accept and build on the basis that learners are all essentially different (Brighton, 2002; Fischer and Rose, 2001; Griggs, 1991; Guild, 2001; Tomlinson, 2002).

 

•Research supports the view that curricula should be designed to engage students, it should have the ability to connect to their lives and positively influence their levels of motivation (Coleman, 2001; Guild, 2001; Hall, 2002; Sizer, 1999; Strong et al., 2001).

Walking the Line Between Non-Evaluative Feedback and Teacher Evaluations

Three Tips to Keep You on Track

By Maria Wilcox, Professional Services Director

Across the United States, the role of the instructional coach continues to gain momentum, change forms, and redefine itself to meet constantly evolving educator needs. As such, it is difficult to clearly outline the role and its responsibilities. One thing that is consistent and a critical component of the success of coaches is that coaches remain non-evaluative in their work.

Elena Aguilar, who wrote the popular book “The Art of Coaching: Effective Strategies for School Transformation,” states “coaching tied with evaluation is a recipe for disaster; in order to be able to work with a coach and really learn, you have to be able to feel like you can really take risks. And if coaching is tied to evaluation, it’s not going to even be possible.” This piece of advice embodies the spirit of a successful teacher-coach relationship in that for professional growth and learning to take place, a supportive and feedback-rich environment is necessary.

However, in the age of high-stakes testing and increased teacher accountability, coaches are often brought in to address gap areas discovered during teacher evaluation processes. To ensure that truly meaningful coaching occurs, here are three tips for coaches to ensure their relationship with teachers remains supportive and fosters growth:

1. Outline roles and responsibilities of all professionals involved in the coaching process; this includes the coach, the teacher, and the principal or evaluator.

Ensuring that everyone knows their roles, the limits, and expectations creates a culture of transparency and honesty. If a teacher trusts the promise that coaching conversations remain confidential, he is more likely to be open with the coach and begin the work needed to change. Conversely, a principal’s respect of the growth process is critical.

2. Coaches should approach their work as a facilitator and learning guide, leaving agendas and ultimatums at the door.

When a coach approaches a teacher with an open mind and without ulterior motives, it allows the teacher to guide their learning process, select their outcomes, and be their own agent of change. Allowing teachers to do this fosters reflection and emphasizes reactive teaching, which drives them to further examine their practice critically and analytically. A coach should be there to listen, suggest, encourage, and provide feedback.

3. Approach coaching with student outcomes in mind; choose the coaching approach that best fits the district’s vision and needs.

There are a variety of coaching models; cognitive, inquiry-based, instructional, and student-centered. One is not better than the other and at the heart of each is the desire to improve student outcomes through effective and meaningful instruction. This cannot happen without honest and reflective practice from both the coach and the teacher.

Instructional coaching as a practice in schools, shows no signs of slowing down, nor are teacher evaluations going anywhere soon., It is our duty to grow as professionals to provide the best education and experience to our students. Instructional coaches have a unique and profound opportunity to guide a new generation of educators into the future, build capacity in our schools, and see kids succeed. As the saying goes, “behind every great person, is a great teacher”, and just maybe, an instructional coach too.