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What are appropriate professional and ethical practices related to special education? How can we assure that our students with disabilities receive an appropriate education in the least restrictive environment? How can we help parents be meaningfully involved in their child's education? What are the court cases and other legal foundations for professional and ethical behavior?This self-paced course will investigate these questions about professional and ethical practices and more. The course begins by examining the legal and ethical foundations for the delivery of special education programs and services.Then, participants will explore collaborative practices, and Individualized Education Program (IEP) development and implementation. Finally, participants will examine instructional and assessment practices."

Culturally Responsive Teaching (CRT) is much more than knowing all the world holidays, hosting a school culture day, or celebrating Black History Month. CRT is a brain and research-based pedagogy shown to reduce, and in many cases even eliminate, the underlying causes of the achievement gap that disproportionately affects our culturally and linguistically diverse students.

Teaching…What’s culture got to do with it?  will show you how to effectively reach and teach culturally and linguistically diverse students through teacher and educational reformist Zaretta Hammond’s research-based Ready for Rigor Framework (RFRF).  This course will help you: develop real cultural awareness; build culturally responsive alliances and learning partnerships with students; understand the neuroscience behind how culturally and linguistically diverse students learn best; know and use culturally responsive activities and teaching strategies; and establish a culturally and ethos friendly classroom. Becoming a culturally responsive teacher will give you the tools you need to engage your culturally and linguistically diverse students, develop their intellective capacities, turn them into independent learners and put them on the road to academic and lifelong success.

This is an on-line course based on Helping Students Overcome Depression and Anxiety, 2nd Ed. (2008) by Kenneth W. Merrell. The course focuses on how educators, counselors, social workers, psychologists and other behavioral/emotional support personnel in the schools can help children with anxiety and depression. Participants will learn about internalizing behavioral disorders in children and adolescents, and what techniques are best for dealing with them.

 

Students from poverty can be one of the most difficult populations to motivate and inspire. The consequences of living in poverty often result in increased transience, absenteeism, and high drop-out rates. The conditions and daily stress of living in poverty can leave students hopeless and disaffected. While engaging any student can improve academic achievement, students from poverty are some of the most vulnerable among us and engaging them will not only improve their academic achievement, but may very well change their futures. In this 3 credit hour course, participants will learn exactly how to motivate, energize and focus their students from poverty to improve engagement, cognitive skills and achievement.

How do we make homework relevant and effective for all students? How do we get more students to complete homework? Should we even be assigning homework? This 2 credit hour, self-paced course will investigate these questions about homework and more. Making Homework a Win/Win! begins by investigating the theories, purposes and myths about homework, how they compare to the research and how they apply to a new culture of diverse families, students and lifestyles. Then participants will learn how to make homework an effective tool, how to differentiate assignments and how to apply alternative grading methods. Finally, participants will examine ways to increase homework completion and effectiveness by implementing student and family supports.

The research is clear and it’s time for educators to rethink the body-brain connection! Sure, exercise and fitness build strong bodies, but they are also crucial to building strong brains and developing better learners. Examining: Ignite the Brain: Boosting Learning through Exercise & Fitness is a 3 credit hour course in which participants will explore exercise’s power to improve student learning and grades; help fight addiction; boost mood, and reduce symptoms associated with ADHD, depression, anxiety, and stress. Whether you’re a P.E. or classroom teacher, this course is for you.

A well-oiled teacher-paraeducator machine is good for students and good for morale. But school days are jam-packed, classroom environments can vary, and student needs can change. It can seem nearly impossible to find the time to get to know our teacher/paraeducator, let alone find the time to collaborate, communicate about students, and get on the same page with scheduling, lessons, and strategies.  Still, our students count on us to find ways to get it done. Examining: Making It Work! is a 2 credit hour, Self-Study/Instructor-Guided course that gives paraeducators and teachers tools and resources to help them communicate and collaborate more effectively.   Participants will learn to assess and compare work styles, preferences, and task confidence levels; develop clear classroom job descriptions; create working lists of academic and behavioral strategies and resources; identify areas of personal development; investigate a variety of collaboration and communication tools and ideas, and more! 

Examining: Poverty in Our Backyard is a 1 credit hour, Self-Study/Instructor-Guided Course (SS/IG) that examines the cumulative effects of poverty related stress on students and what educators can do about it.  As poverty continues to increase in our communities and more and more students in our classrooms come from low SES homes, it is important for educators to understand the effects poverty can have on their students and their students’ school success. Participants will first learn about stress-based factors that cause very real physiological changes in both the brains and bodies of low SES students causing them to lag behind same-age peers.  Next, participants will examine strategies, activities, and programs that provide the behavioral and cognitive supports low SES students need for success, as well as models for providing family support. Finally participants will have a chance to develop a plan for their classroom or school that  implements and/or integrates changes that will positively support low SES students and families.

How to Survive & Thrive in the Classroom is a 3 credit hour, Self-Study/Instructor Guided course that builds on the 7 principles employed by master teachers presented by Robyn R. Jackson in her book Never Work Harder than Your Students. The course begins by teaching participants how to assess students’ cultural and intellectual currency to determine where they are, what they value and where they are going academically. Next, participants will investigate how to use supports and feedback to get students where they need to be.  The culminating principle, never work harder than your students, will be discovered as teachers move through the guiding tenets for making students successful.

How to Survive & Thrive in the Classroom is a 3 credit hour, Self-Study/Instructor Guided course that builds on the 7 principles employed by master teachers presented by Robyn R. Jackson in her book Never Work Harder than Your Students. The course begins by teaching participants how to assess students’ cultural and intellectual currency to determine where they are, what they value and where they are going academically. Next, participants will investigate how to use supports and feedback to get students where they need to be.  The culminating principle, never work harder than your students, will be discovered as teachers move through the guiding tenets for making students successful.

This is 3 credit hour course based on Helping Traumatized Children Learn – A Report and Policy Agenda from the Massachusetts Advocates for Children: Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative.

Helping Traumatized Children Learn is the result of an extraordinary collaboration among educators, parents, mental health professionals, community groups, and attorneys determined to help children experiencing the traumatic effects of exposure to family violence succeed in school. Participants will have the opportunity to investigate the many aspects of trauma, including physical/mental health consequences, how trauma affects learning, how to help students suffering from trauma, current legislation, and numerous resources.

The number of children with Autism continues to rise. This course will examine trends in identification, but more importantly, how to effectively support the diverse needs presented by children with Autism, and challenges to families. Discussions around medical and behavioral, fad and evidence based, and interventions based on strategies or analysis, will help participants better understand Autism.

This course will provide a rationale for the use of Applied Behavioral Analysis within the classroom and its application to the school setting.  We will examine basic principles which include functions of behavior, antecedents, and consequences of behavior and how to apply to teacher practices.  After learning basic concepts, we will focus our learning on evidence-based interventions.