Almost every industry is incorporating advancements in technology into their day-to-day operations and overall business and operational models, and the same will soon be true for education — if it isn’t already. Elevate K-12 is proactively positioning certified teachers via livestream to provide fully synchronous education in schools across the country, a model that may become commonplace as the teacher shortage continues increasing and schools are turning to new and creative solutions to ensure the best quality education for their students.
As equity is built into the mission of Elevate K-12, this also requires thorough preparation and support for students who may have a more difficult transition to virtual instruction and learning.
Families of students who require specialized accommodations or support in their classroom experiences will often seek out help from a range of educational professionals to provide services according to their Individualized Education Plans (IEPs). Within these plans, the developing team will identify the student’s current performance level and will set goals for planning, implementing, and monitoring a learning strategy. These IEPs are then used to inform classroom accommodations and help measure progress toward a student’s goals.
Tier 1 In-Class Individualized Education Plan Supports
Elevate’s Tier 1 systems rely heavily on the Classroom Coach and the school’s special education staff to provide the support that students with an individualized education plan need. Classroom Coaches help students by reading lessons and slide texts aloud, extending the allotted time for online assessments, providing assistive technology and adaptive tools for certain assignments, and facilitating more direct checks for understanding.
The Classroom Coach also works closely with the Program Coordinator to extend deadlines within assessment portals, allow for retakes when necessary, and to deploy some of the assistive tools within the Otus assessment platform to allow for text to be read aloud for a student to complete their tests and assignments more easily.
A great advantage that comes with the Elevate platform is that classes can be recorded upon request, and when these recordings are present, a Classroom Coach or student can download the class recording to refer to for additional study and reinforcement. Classroom Coaches are also able to download teacher notes and lesson plans ahead of class to best prepare themselves to provide student support throughout a class period.
Features exist within Elevate’s proprietary portal that allow for diverse students to participate fully in a range of ways. If students are uncertain about participating verbally, they can use tools like the class chat or in the private chat to communicate directly with a teacher without any peer observation. Lessons are often very visually interactive as well, allowing students to rely on graphics and images to reinforce class concepts. The learning portal is also WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) compliant, with accessibility features that allow for greater font sizes and color or contrast combinations.
With all these accommodations in place, students are much more supported for success within Tier 1 instruction, and Classroom Coaches are able to pull data from the Elevate portal to share with the school staff to monitor IEP progress.
Inclusive Learning Programs Support Students With Individualized Education Plans
Additional support comes from Elevate’s new Inclusive Learning Products specifically designed for special education. These new courses are crafted with two key goals in mind: to build foundational skills, and to reinforce grade-level concepts. In these courses, students work with a special education certified livestream teacher in an Elevate Resource Room with highly trained staff, adapted Tier 1 content, and physical resources like word walls, guided notes, manipulatives, workbooks, and other supplies. Where standard Tier 1 courses provide opportunities to support students who have individualized education plans, Elevate Resource Room special education programs are designed specifically with content adaptions and scaffolds to support students whose IEPs outline additional support.
Elevate’s Inclusive Learning programs are designed for smaller classes of approximately twelve students with mild to moderate disabilities who are performing one to two years below grade level. These programs provide opportunities for teachers and Classroom Coaches to meet daily to collaborate on classroom plans, and all key stakeholders are required to participate in continued professional development to ensure that teaching processes are always optimal. Elevate also employs an Inclusive Learning Coordinator for these special education programs, and collaboration between Elevate staff and school staff is ongoing and highly fluid.
After six months of successful pilots, Elevate’s Inclusive Learning team launched 19 special education programs this school year, always moving forward on the mission to increase access to high-quality instruction for all students across the country.
For more information on Elevate K-12 Special Education Resource Rooms or to bring inclusive instruction to your district, email [email protected].