Webinar Slides

Resources to Support a StandardsBased Education for Students with
Significant Cognitive Disabilities
Ricki Sabia
edCount, LLC
Senior Associate and NCSC Technical Assistance
and Parent Training Specialist
NCSC Background
• NCSC received a federal grant in 2010 and began
developing a new alternate assessment in math and
ELA to be completed by the 2014-15 school year.*
• NCSC also developed curriculum/instructional
resources for teaching students with significant
cognitive disabilities for use by any state:
• Twenty-four partner states and five national centers
comprise NCSC: http://www.ncscpartners.org/.
*Individual states may have different implementation timelines for the
NCSC assessment.
NCSC Member States
• NCSC’s original states are Arizona, Connecticut,
District of Columbia, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana,
Pacific Assessment Consortium (PAC‐6),
Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina,
South Dakota, Tennessee, and Wyoming.
• States that joined later are Arkansas, California,
Delaware, Idaho, Maine, Maryland, Montana,
New Mexico, New York, Oregon, and the US
Virgin Islands.
Importance of NCSC Resources for
Parents and Advocates
• Free online curriculum and instruction resources
support access to standards-based education
for students with significant cognitive disabilities:
• Resources for parents (and others) summarize
NCSC curriculum and instructional resources,
assessment, and related issues:
• There is a lot of state discretion, so follow up
with your state’s Department of Education.
NCSC and Common Core State
Standards (CCSS)
• NCSC’s work is based on the CCSS because
almost all states had adopted those standards at
the time NCSC was created.
• Some partner states are no longer using CCSS,
but still value the NCSC resources.
• Much of the content covered by NCSC
instructional resources is covered in the
instruction for any state math and ELA
College and Career Readiness
Includes Community Readiness
• The NCSC definition of college and career
readiness includes readiness for success in the
• Without college and career ready skills, students
with significant cognitive disabilities will likely:
need greater supports throughout their lives;
live and work in more segregated environments;
have more difficulty finding and keeping employment;
have more difficulty learning about and engaging in
community activities; and
– be easier to victimize.
College and Career Ready Skills
Important skills for ALL students, including those
with significant cognitive disabilities, to obtain:
Communicative competence
Social skills to function well in small groups
Independent and teamwork skills
Problem solving
Reading, writing, and math
Skills for identifying and requesting supports
See Parent Resources on College and Career Readiness
and Communicative Competence
NCSC Framework for Assessment and Curriculum/Instructional Materials
Common Standards
Learning Progressions
Core Content Connectors
Grade-Level Lessons
Formative (ongoing during school
year, monitors learning)
Systematic Instruction (carefully
planned sequence for instruction)
Summative (end of year or course,
evaluates learning)
Communicative Competence
NCSC Curriculum and
Instructional Resources:
Learning Progressions Framework
• Shows the steps students typically take as they
progress in a content area (e.g. math) towards a
deeper, broader, more sophisticated
• Represents the essential core concepts and
processes learned in a content area (sometimes
called the “big ideas”)
Hess, Karin K., (December 2011). Learning Progressions Frameworks Designed for
Use with the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts & Literacy K-12.
Core Content Connectors (CCCs)
• NCSC used the LPF to identify key knowledge
and skills (the “big ideas”) in each grade of the
CCSS needed to make progress in later grades.
• The “big ideas” were broken down into more
teachable and assessable segments of content
called CCCs, which are relevant even with nonCCSS standards.
• CCCs operate as a starting point for instruction
based on the CCSS.
CCC Example
• CCSS – Read closely to determine what the text
says explicitly and to make logical inferences
from it; cite specific textual evidence when
writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn
from the text.
• CCC – Ask and answer* questions about key
details in a text.
*Instead of an oral or written response, some students may
use picture symbols, character figures, props, etc.
Content Modules
Modules provide teachers with a deeper
understanding of content to support effective
planning, teaching, and learning. The Content
Modules include:
• Explanations and examples of the concepts
• Key vocabulary
• UDL tables with adaptations and modifications for
a variety of student needs
• Ideas for linking academic activities to real-world
uses and college and career ready skills
• Additional resources such as links, articles,
PowerPoints, and sample lesson plans
Instructional Families
• Related CCCs grouped into families to show
how they develop and work together across
grades and grade bands (e.g. grades 6-8), and
within a grade
• Help educators see what is coming next so they
can prepare students for future learning
• Can be used to inform standards-based IEP
Grade-span Learning Target from
the Learning Progression
Instructional Families for Data Analysis I (K-4)
Reference to
related CCSS
Distribution of CCCs by
Instructional Families and grade
Element Cards
• Help teachers plan instruction that promotes
UDL and includes students with a wide range of
abilities and needs
• Provide suggested instructional strategies and
• Are already written for many CCCs; these are
meant to serve as models
• A blank template is expected to be available as
part of the post-project work by states
Element Cards
Curriculum Resource (CR) Guides
• Examples of how the content is taught by general
educators (e.g. essential knowledge, common
misunderstandings, prior knowledge/skills needed,
and activities used to teach the content)
• UDL tables with adaptations and modifications for
a variety of student needs
• Ideas for linking academic activities to real-world
uses and college and career ready skills
• CCCs covered in the topic and performance
Example of UDL Table in ELA
Curriculum Resource Guide
UDL Units and Lessons
For more info on UDL, please visit www.udlcenter.org .
• Purpose is to model how to plan for ALL students
using the principles of UDL (multiple means of
engagement, representation, and expression)
• Structure:
– One unit for math and one for ELA for each gradespan (ES, MS and HS)
– Several lessons in each unit plus a “culminating
activity” to tie the lessons together
• Provides additional considerations for Emerging
Readers and Emerging Communicators
• Contains objectives, essential questions, vocabulary,
and a list of materials
Math/Language Activities for Scripted
Systematic Instruction (MASSIs and
• Provide intensive instruction on key concepts
and symbols for use in any instructional setting
• Incorporate evidence-based instructional
• Provide teaching scripts to help teachers with
systematic instruction
• Designed with graduating levels of difficulty
• Can be used in any educational setting,
including general education classes and after
school or weekend tutoring
Math/Language Activities for Scripted
Systematic Instruction (continued)
• Provides examples of different ways a student
can respond (e.g. writing, typing, speaking, eye
gaze, and pointing)
• Explains how to use the least intrusive prompts,
to support independence
• Describes other instructional strategies
• Designed for use with MASSIs and LASSIs but
can be used with UDL lessons
Professional Development
• Communities of Practice in partner states
received professional development about the
curriculum and instructional resources via
webinars that are now publicly available at
• Interactive professional development modules,
including a communication toolkit, are available
on the NCSC wiki at
Note: Details regarding the assessment are subject to change.
NCSC assessments are in math and ELA, which includes
reading and writing, for grades 3-8 and one in high school.
NCSC Assessment Participation
• States that will use the NCSC test in Spring
2015 for accountability purposes: AR, AZ, CT,
DC, ID, IN, ME, MT, NM, PAC 6 (6 Pacific
territories such asGuam), RI, SC, SD, US Virgin
• A state partnership has formed that will take the
NCSC resources forward and secure a testing
vendor to administer the test in the future.
• Some states will secure their own testing vendor
and pay a fee to the state partnership .
• Other states may be continuing their existing AAAAS into the future.
Assessment Details
See parent documents about the assessment and talk to the
school or education agency for more information.
• Will contain 30-35 selected response (e.g. multiple
choice) and constructed response items (for
assessing writing skills – various ways to respond)
• Can be taken in one day or paused and resumed as
needed over multiple days
• Emphasis on optimal testing conditions for students:
built-in assessment features and accommodations
for individualization
• Taken online unless student has accommodations
for paper version/scribe
Parent Resources
Resources for Parents and Others
More information can be found mid-page at
http://www.ncscpartners.org/resources .
• NCSC Alternate Assessment
– NCSC Alternate Assessment FAQs
– NCSC Commonly Asked Parent Questions
– NCSC IEP Team Guidance For Participation in
Alternate Assessment
– NCSC Assessment Policies
• College and Career Readiness
– NCSC College and Career Readiness
– NCSC College Career Ready (CCR) Policy Paper
Resources for Parents and Others
• Communication Skills
– NCSC Commitment to Communicative Competence
• Tools for Sharing Information
– NCSC Newsletter and Website Information for
– NCSC Discussion Points with Research
– NCSC Value in States Without Common Core State
* There are also PowerPoints on the main topics and one that is
Parent Resources – NCSC Wiki
• There is also a link to the Resources for Parents
(and Others) from the main page of the wiki.
• Documents below will only be found through the
main page of the wiki:
– NCSC Wiki Navigation (single page and a more
detailed document)
– NCSC Tips for Parent Wiki Use – eight document
Wiki Navigation
How to Find the Wiki
• The NCSC wiki is an online site that is available
to the public.
• It can be easily accessed by entering
wiki.ncscpartners.org in your browser’s search
• You can also find it by searching for the term
“NCSC wiki.”
The Wiki Main Page
The main page of the wiki displays:
links to other pages in the wiki;
the NCSC schema;
the NCSC Partners website;
quick links to all resources by name;
a tool bar at the top of the screen; and
a search field is in the upper right corner.
The Wiki Main Page
The Wiki Main Page
The organization of the
wiki follows the NCSC
The schema is
displayed on the home
page to serve as a
visual content guide.
The Wiki Main Page
NCSC wiki main page menu
Can be found on the left side of the screen
Visible in all pages (or views) in the wiki
Has active links to pages in the wiki
Activated by clicking on the link
Clicking on “Main page” or the NCSC icon
will return the user to the home or main
The Wiki Main Page
There are four links at the top of the page in Wiki
• Curriculum Resources – resources found in the What
to Teach section of the schema
• Instructional Resources – resources found in the How
to Teach section of the schema
• Educator Professional Development and Parent
Resources – presentations and interactive modules
• Parent Tips and Tools – a long and short guide to
navigation for parents and the wiki tips series
The Wiki Main Page
There are three links in the Quick Links section:
• All Resources – a browser bar that displays curriculum
and instructional resources by name
• NCSC Partners – Parent Resources – the resources
that are hosted in the NCSC Partners website, which
include summaries, explanations, and descriptions of
work related to the NCSC project
• NCSC Partners – the NCSC partners’ website
homepage, which contains more information about the
National Center and State Collaborative
All Resources Link (Bar)
Once you are familiar with the names of the
resources, this is a very quick way to go directly
to the resource you want to view:
Finding What You Need
• Use the search bar in the top right corner of the
wiki page to search for content within the wiki.
• “Go” assumes you know the exact name of the
page or document, “search” will bring up
internet-like search results.
Searching the Wiki
Tools and Aids within the Wiki
At the bottom of the page, look for links to printable
materials that can be used with the NCSC resources, or for
links to printable versions of the online content:
At the top of the page, look for links to return you to primary
Tools and Aids within the Wiki
• Links to additional resources appear throughout the wiki.
• These links appear in lists and within the text.
Tools and Aids within the Wiki
The wiki provides references to assist with interpreting the
NCSC resources.
• The wiki provides a quick way to navigate a
large number of NCSC resources.
• The wiki provides links to helpful outside
• The NCSC Curriculum and Instruction resources
can be used by parents, as well as educators.
• The NCSC Partners website has a resources tab
that contains parent resources and other
informative/summarized information about the
work of NCSC Partners.

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