Tri-State Consortium visit
In Chappaqua, we believe in providing an inclusive experience for all children. We view inclusion as an extension of one's Civil Rights, with exclusionary practices considered in a sense, a form of segregation. This stance is at the very core of our program. The District's inclusive framework was established almost two decades ago and is consistent with the spirit and intention of IDEA. We know from the research that students with disabilities, and students without disabilities, do better academically and socially when educated in an inclusive general education program.
During this visit, the District had the unique opportunity to not only showcase some very powerful teaching and learning but also to evaluate best practices and then to select and refine them based on the needs of our students so they can then become next practices.
As we receive feedback, the Chappaqua Central School District will reflect on the team’s input as it relates to our values that are driven by our Board of Education strategic questions:
- How can the District ensure that all students think deeply, support their thinking, apply problem-solving skills, and actively participate in their learning as they acquire content knowledge?
- How can the District ensure continuing excellence in academic and extracurricular programs while developing a budget that is fiscally responsible?
In considering essential questions for this visit, the District had multiple stakeholders involved in crafting these inquiries based on feedback from our faculty, staff, parents, and administrators. The thought and spirit behind our essential questions focus on all students and we asked the Tri-States team to look at how we provide supports to our students and faculty members, in order to effectively educate all students in an inclusive educational environment. The answers to the following questions will help guide and refine our work:
- To what extent is our inclusive approach to special education having a positive impact on the academic and social/emotional learning of ALL students?
- To what extent do general education and special education faculty share responsibility for the academic instruction and social integration of students with disabilities?
- To what extent are instructional staff members prepared and supported to work with students of varying levels and abilities within our inclusive educational setting?
- To what extent do the building based services and supports for struggling learners reinforce the inclusive practices of the District and ensure that all students have the supports necessary for academic success?
There was a tremendous amount of work involved in preparation for this visit by the District’s Tri-State Steering committee. Thank you to Dr. Heidi McCarthy, Director of Special Education and Related Services, and all of the committee members for facilitating this complicated process for our District.
The District’s Tri-State Steering Committee Members:
- Rosa Amendola
- Care DiNapoli
- Jamie Edelman
- Megan Emerson
- Kristie Evers
- Martin Fitzgerald
- Tricia Greco
- Amy Kaiser
- Heidi McCarthy
- Ellen Moskowitz
- Colleen O’Connor
- Adam Pease
- Gail Schlenger
- Sherry Schur
- Gerard Shine
- Jim Skoog
- Heather Strickland
- Liz Wright
About the Tri-State Consortium
With a total of 42 participating districts in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, the Tri-State Consortium is devoted to assisting its member school districts in developing a framework for systemic planning, assessment, reflection, and continuous improvement that will lead to sustained accreditation. The Consortium has developed an alternative assessment model designed to enhance student performance in high-performing school districts. In addition to its focus on student performance, the Tri-State model also includes an examination of the educational supports, both inside and outside the classroom, that contribute to the overall learning experience for all students.
Member school districts function as critical friends--trained educators from within the Consortium who evaluate and report on district programs using eight “indicators” to measure the degree to which the district is utilizing multiple forms of student performance data as the basis for its planning. They advance teaching and learning and share best practices among member districts, and assist member districts in using quantitative and qualitative data to build a rigorous framework for planning, assessment, and systemic change.