The Vermont State Personnel Development Grant (SPDG) is composed of three aligned initiatives, each designed to support the Vermont Agency of Education’s efforts to scale up the use of multi-tiered systems of support across the state. The initiatives focus on early childhood programs, K-12 schools, and post-secondary transition efforts in the K-12 schools.
State Personnel Development
The Bridge Project is intended to serve as a bridge between the MTSS implementation work begun during the last State Personnel Development Grant and the next SPDG project for Vermont. The Bridge Project coordinates technical assistance, resources, professional learning, and guidelines to Supervisory Unions’ and Districts’ leadership teams to support tiered systemic approaches to initiating, implementing, and sustaining school-wide efforts consistent with Title 16 and Vermont’s Education Quality Standards. In addition, the Bridge Project work is designed to facilitate the implementation of coordinating initiatives, including Early-Aligned MTSS as well as literacy, math, and Universal Design for Learning for building-level instructional coaches. The Bridge Project MTSS professional learning will focus on the systemic and comprehensive approach of the SU/SD transformation/leadership teams. The Bridge Project MTSS professional learning will be offered in a way that we hope will be individualized and differentiated to meet the specific needs of each site. We recognize that after three to five years of being involved in this project, sites are in very different places in their implementation of MTSS. We also recognize that there is a need for professional learning to emphasize the manner through which seemingly disparate initiatives support each other in the service of Vermont students. We are still planning to provide some form of external systems coaching to help the SU/SD implementation/ leadership team support the school teams in their implementation of MTSS.
The Early MTSS initiative has provided professional development on the Pyramid Model of social/emotional development during 2015-16. The VT SPDG contracted with content experts from the Universities of Florida, South Florida, and Illinois, as well as Vanderbilt University to provide training and support related to implementing the Pyramid Model.
The primary outcome measure at this stage of the VT SPDG is the VT MTSS-RTII Implementation Rubric, a set of rubrics that serve as a guide for determining system capacity for implementing an MTSS-RTII approach. These rubrics are aligned to the five components and the key characteristics of the VT MTSS-RTII Field Guide and Self- Assessment. Each rubric, using a set of guiding questions aligned to Implementation Drivers, describes what MTSS-RTII looks like across the five components of the VT MTSS-RTII Field Guide and Self- Assessment and corresponds to the Implementation Drivers across four growth stages (i.e., emerging, developing, operationalizing, optimizing).
1. Secondary Transition
The Secondary VT MTSS Academy is an online community of secondary-level educators and community partners in Vermont (e.g., general and special educators, administrators, counselors, vocational rehabilitation) seeking to improve college and career readiness (CCR) practices to support all high school students in meeting proficiency in the Common Core Standards and graduating with the skills necessary to achieve their post-secondary goals. Participants committed to participate on a weekly basis for a total of 30 hours for the fall Academy, 30 hours for the spring Academy, or 60 hours if they participated in both sessions. As part of the application process, participants were asked to describe what they hoped to gain from participation as well as their current teaching roles. Participants were encouraged to apply with others to form school teams to facilitate collaborative action planning. Applicants belonging to school teams were given priority.
2. Project Search
Project search is a workplace immersion program for students with intellectual disabilities in their final year of high school. It is a collaborative program between Education, Vocational Rehabilitation, Developmental Services, and a local business.This one-year program offers career exploration, job skill training, and job coaching through business-based internships.The goal is to have students learn transferable skills via internships that lead to complex competitive employment. Contact John Spinney, (802) 479-1495 for questions about transition.
Email Meg Porcella, SPDG Co-Director or call (802) 479-1870.