The first time I was asked the question conveyed in the title – it was by a campus principal that I have great respect for, and it stopped me in my tracks. I quickly realized that the question was asked because as a professional learning community with collective responsibility for all students we now have systematic practices beginning at Tier 1 that were previously reserved for only a few students. I recognized that we had many reasons to celebrate – but we also had more work to do. The question prompted a great collaborative team meeting which resulted in improved data monitoring for students needing intensive intervention. My experience answering this question is becoming the norm across the nation. With the increased focus on creating multi-tiered systems of support for at-risk students, schools are beginning to re-examine and re-imagine the role of special education.
Paula Rogers is deputy superintendent for instruction, accountability, and personnel for Hallsville Independent School District. She works with schools to implement professional learning communities and response to intervention.
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It has been an honor to lead a team in planning and opening a public virtual high school available to any student in our state. Our commitment is to offer an education to our virtual students commensurate to that offered at our highly successful brick-and-mortar high school.