To help students with disabilities reach their potential in inclusive learning environments, CDS partners with the Delaware Department of Education to provide coaching and professional development to educators through the ACCESS (Adapting Curriculum and Classroom Environments for Student Success) program and the DE-PBS (Delaware Positive Behavior Support) project; offer instruction and encouragement to families invested in their student’s success; and support federally funded 21st Century Community Learning Centers.

Adapting Curriculum & Classroom Environments for Student Success (ACCESS)

Providing appropriate instruction and support to all students, including those with significant needs, is true access to education.

To ensure that students with disabilities receive that instruction and support, the CDS-DOE ACCESS program works to expose them to grade-level academic curricula in inclusive environments. ACCESS also develops resources and provides professional development so educators can meet the instructional needs of all students, including those with the most significant intellectual disabilities. Because individualized education programss are key to promoting access, educators through ACCESS’s WRITES program learn to create IEPs that identify supports and instruction strategies that help students learn core academic content. And because the ability to communicate enables students to meaningfully access their environment, ACCESS’s team-based SPEACS program gives young learners with communication challenges supports to move from pre-symbolic and emergent communication to symbolic communication.

For more information about ACCESS, contact Esley Newton.

Delaware Positive Behavior Support (DE-PBS)

Students with disabilities prosper more in schools that feature positive climates and proactive programs that support all students. In those schools, there’s less bullying, an enhanced sense of belonging among students and improved academic performance.

CDS works to foster those environments and outcomes through its implementation of the DE-PBS project, which provides coaching and professional development in school districts. Its goal: instituting a strategic multi-tiered approach that prevents problem behaviors that impede learning. When students need more help, group interventions and individual behavior support plans are available, as are IEPs that address behavior and build social and emotional skills. Delaware School Climate Surveys also give schools a way to identify needs and guide improvements by measuring how students, educators and parents perceive areas spanning school safety, positive relationships and bullying.

For more information about DE-PBS, contact Sarah Hearn.

Read PBS Instructional Coach Megan Pell’s op-ed in The News Journal on making social and emotional learning a priority here.

Follow the DE-PBS project on Twitter.

Out-of-School Programs

All families should have access to quality out-of-school programs. Whether they’re offered before or after school or during the summer, the programs provide opportunities for additional social and academic learning.

CDS partners with DDOE to support 21st Century Community Learning Centers, federally funded programs designed to give children, particularly students attending high-poverty and low-performing schools, academic enrichment opportunities. 21st CCLCs include partnerships between school districts, community-based and/or faith-based organizations that go through a competitive grant application process. CDS provides technical assistance to grantees, helping them observe, assess and compile data on their program. The goal for programs is to help students meet academic standards in core subjects, such as reading and math, and provide an array of enrichment activities that support character development and career and college readiness.

For more information about 21st CCLC, contact Teresita Cuevas.