The Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE): Division for Special Education Services and Supports is collaborating with local school districts and state, regional, and local partners to implement initiatives designed to improve results for children and youth with disabilities. These initiatives, which are funded by a five-year State Personnel Development Grant (SPDG) awarded to the state from the United States Department of Education, include professional development and technical assistance activities designed to provide school personnel and families with the knowledge and skills needed to implement educational programs and interventions that have proven to be effective in improving outcomes for children and youth with disabilities.
The Georgia SPDG, which is funded through 2017, includes GraduateFIRST, a nationally recognized project that utilizes a data-driven intervention framework developed by the National Dropout Center for Students with Disabilities to successfully address barriers to graduation for students with disabilities. Developed and implemented during the previous SPDG (2007 – 2012), the project expanded in 2013 when SPDG personnel partnered with colleagues from the Office of School Improvement to implement GraduateFIRST in Focus Schools identified as needing improvement based on performance of students with disabilities.
In addition, the SPDG will expand its graduation focus with the development of a College and Career Readiness Project that focuses on successful transition planning and improved postsecondary outcomes for students with disabilities. During Phase I of this project, technical assistance will be provided to selected school districts based on data indicating noncompliance related to the secondary transition requirements (e.g. measurable transition goals, assessments, and services) for students aged sixteen and above. In Phases 2 and 3 of the College and Career Readiness project, the districts will implement Project ASPIRE (Active Student Participation Inspires Real Engagement), a student-led IEP initiative that builds self-confidence, self-determination, and self-advocacy skills which are essential in preparing students for the educational, career, and independent living decisions that they will need to make in adulthood.
SEE-KS Video Modules - Early Childhood - SEE-KS Modules 1–6 provide an overview of the Social Emotional Engagement – Knowledge and Skills (SEE-KS) professional learning approach. This approach is designed to bring a positive school climate into the classroom and lesson planning. The focus is on increasing student engagement by fostering initiation, independence, and investment within instruction. Social emotional learning competencies are embedded within educational programming using current neuroscience to guide how to address these competencies in a development framework and within a Universal Design for Learning framework (UDL). These 6 modules focus on the implementation of this approach within an early childhood setting. These framework and tools, however, are applicable from early childhood through 12th grade. SEE-KS Video Modules - Early Childhood.
Go to the SPDG Website to learn more about the specific activities, participating schools, and resources.