Excellence in Co-Teaching Initiative

You Are Cordially Invited to Meet Real Co-Teachers of Virginia

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Cohesive Collaboration for Co-Planning

Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.

Abraham Lincoln

Importance of Co-Planning

The importance of planning cannot be overstated. When identifying 22 high-leverage practices for K-12 special education teachers, McLeskey et al. (2017) pointed to collaboration with professionals to increase student success as the very first. Collaboration calls for “use of effective collaboration behaviors (e.g., sharing ideas, active listening, questioning, planning, problem solving, negotiating) to develop and adjust instructional or behavioral plans based on student data, and the coordination of expectations, responsibilities, and resources to maximize student learning” (McLeskey et al., 2017, p. 17). [Read more…]

Sustaining a Quality Co-Teaching Program — Recommendations by Marilyn Friend

Ever wonder what makes co-teaching easier and more effective to implement?  We asked Marilyn Friend, Ph.D., and her answers may surprise you! Listen to this short, three-minute podcast to discover the top three recommendations that support implementing and sustaining a quality co-teaching program. Marilyn Friend is the author of many books, articles, and resources on co-teaching and inclusive practices, including the video series, The Power of 2.  Many of these resources are available at no charge through the T/TAC W&M leading library. [Read more…]

A Self-Reflection Tool to Facilitate Growth as a Co-Teaching Team (Podcast included within article)

By Daria Lorio-Barsetn, M.Ed., and Mary Murray Stowe, M.Ed.

Growth and self-transformation cannot be delegated.
Lewis Mumford*

Self-reflection and continual growth are critical to success for educational professionals.  To facilitate this process, this article provides an introduction to a self-reflection tool to guide co-teachers through personalized professional improvement as a co-teaching team. [Read more…]

Co-Teacher Leaders – Livingston Elementary School

By Donni Davis-Perry, M.Ed. and Shelley Littleton, M.Ed.

Are you interested in learning ways to provide specially designed instruction within the co-taught classroom? Watch as co-teacher leaders Michael Hurley and Carolyn Laudicina describe in the video below how they co-teach and monitor the progress of students with disabilities within the general education setting. [Read more…]

Co-Teaching Demonstration Sites in Regions 2 and 3

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) has identified co-teaching demonstration sites throughout the commonwealth in the Excellence in Co-Teaching Initiative. There are six demonstration sites locally in Superintendents Regions 2 and 3 (see Table 1).  These model sites provide opportunities for co-teaching partners across the state to observe effective co-teaching. The sites highlight research-based inclusive practices to meet the needs of all students within the general education classroom. At each model site, the co-teaching teams share with visitors co-planning, co-instructing, and co-assessing practices that have helped their students succeed. [Read more…]

Co-Teacher Leaders – Page Middle School

By Shelley Littleton, M.Ed. and Donni Davis-Perry, M.Ed.

T/TAC William & Mary is highlighting a team of co-teacher leaders from Page Middle School in Gloucester County, Virginia.  Dana Cooper and Brian Teuke are part of the Excellence in Co-Teaching Initiative, sponsored by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE). [Read more…]

Co-Teaching Demonstration Sites in Regions 2 and 3

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) has identified co-teaching demonstration sites throughout the commonwealth in the Excellence in Co-Teaching Initiative. There are ten demonstration sites locally in Superintendents Regions 2 and 3 (see Table 1).  These model sites provide opportunities for co-teaching partners across the state to observe effective co-teaching. The sites highlight research-based inclusive practices to meet the needs of all students within the general education classroom. At each model site, the co-teaching teams share with visitors co-planning, co-instructing, and co-assessing practices that have helped their students succeed.

For more information about the Excellence in Co-Teaching Initiative, or to arrange a visit to a model site near you, please contact Donni Perry or Shelley Littleton, at T/TAC, College of William & Mary. Co-Teaching and Inclusive Practices materials are available on the VDOE website and at Real Co-Teachers of Virginia at T/TAC Online.

Co-Teaching Excellence Demonstration Sites regions 2 & 3 (2017-2018)

Co-Teaching Excellence Demonstration Sites in Region 2
Division School Subject/Grade T/TAC Liaison
Chesapeake City Greenbrier Middle School Math 8 ODU
Chesapeake City Western Branch Middle School Science 8 ODU
Isle of Wight County Westside Elementary School 5th grade Language Arts and History W&M
Suffolk John Yeats Middle School Math 8 ODU
Virginia Beach City Three Oaks Elementary School Math 4 ODU
Virginia Beach City Three Oaks Elementary School Math 5 ODU
Co-Teaching Excellence Demonstration Sites in Region 3
Division School Subject/Grade T/TAC Liaison
King William Cool Springs Primary 2nd Grade All Subjects ODU
Gloucester County Page Middle School 8th Grade Civics W&M
Spotsylvania County Livingston Elementary School Math 5 W&M
Gloucester County Gloucester High School English 10 W&M

Balanced Rosters in Co-Taught Classes: A Critical Factor in Successful Co-Teaching

Administrators consider a number of factors when planning for co-taught classroom assignments. At the top of the list is thoughtful personnel assignment. While matching co-teaching partners based on their skills and collaborative styles is extremely important, careful consideration of the students assigned to their classes is just as critical. Administrators should not automatically place every student with an Individualized Educational Program (IEP) in a co-taught class (Friend, Hamby, & McAdams, 2014). Similarly, they should avoid the temptation to assign students with 504 Plans, students who are English Language Learners (ELL), students with behavioral concerns, and other struggling learners to co-taught classrooms. [Read more…]

Specially Designed Instruction: Realizing the Potential of Co-Teaching

The principle of least restrictive environment (LRE) requires schools to provide instruction in the general education classroom for students with disabilities unless the “nature and severity” of the student’s disability prevents it (Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act [IDEA], 2004). Additionally, the IDEA mandates access to the general education curriculum with instruction from qualified teachers. To meet the LRE and access requirements, many schools choose co-teaching as a service delivery model. Access to a co-taught classroom alone, however, does not satisfy the legal requirements. Access must also result in improved academic outcomes for students with disabilities.

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