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Special Education School Improvement Specialists (SE-SIS)

Part of the mission of the Office of Special Education is to increase achievement and general education access in the least restrictive environment for all Students with Disabilities (SWD). New York State has developed Regional Special Education Technical Assistance Centers (RSE-TASC) throughout the state. Our center is located at the Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCES in Syracuse, NY. Through the work of Regional Specialists, as well as the Special Education School Improvement Specialist (SESIS), the staff at the RSE-TASC provides high quality professional development, information dissemination, and targeted technical assistance. These services are available to districts identified as ‘needing assistance’, ‘needing intervention’, or ‘at risk’ of not meeting state targets and the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The technical assistance provided will focus on supporting districts as they work toward meeting state targets for improvement as identified in the State Performance Plan (SPP). K-12 literacy instruction, effective behavioral supports, and special education service delivery are areas that will be focused on. Also, there will be an emphasis on research-based, data driven professional development and technical assistance to improve instructional practices that yield measurable results for SWD’s.

A Quality Improvement Process (QIP) identifying district specific school improvement activities (including school improvement goals, targeted improvement activities, and assessment of progress toward improving student outcomes) is used to document and monitor results. A data-driven, research-based quality improvement process supports the technical assistance and professional development provided by the SESIS. Working with the district team, the SESIS facilitates this process for a causal analysis, to develop goals, and to set targets based on data. The process will focus on:

  • Developing an understanding of the instructional and behavioral needs of students with disabilities through analysis of student performance and outcomes
  • Reviewing instructional practices and developing a Quality Improvement Process (QIP) plan using the researched based Quality Indicator Guides in literacy, behavior, and special education service delivery as a foundation for all QIP goals, activities, and expected outcomes
  • Monitoring implementation of the QIP and revising it as necessary based on progress toward expected changes to student outcomes and expected changes to systems practice/capacity

The QIP guides the work of the SESIS and builds capacity in the district to implement and sustain changes as the result of research-based best practices through high-quality professional development in the areas of literacy, special education service delivery and positive behavior supports. The focus is to improve access to general education curriculum resulting in increased outcomes for students with disabilities that are measurable and meet the benchmarks established in the State Performance Plan. The assistance of the SESIS includes:

  • Professional Development, including workshops
  • Facilitation and Coaching of individual and small groups of teachers
  • Professional Learning Communities
  • Classroom observations/consultations
  • Modeling of research-based instructional strategies
  • Leadership support to implement and monitor change
  • Presenters and/or training materials

*adapted from the Cayuga-Onondaga SE-SIS website, fall 2010






PO Box 4754
Syracuse, NY 13221
Phone: (315) 433-2600

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