• Common Core State Standards, Factors Influencing Student Achievement, Responsive Coaching, Teacher Evaluation, Autism

  • JP Associates offers our sites grant writing assistance. Take advantage of our experience writing successful grant requests.

  • JP brings together several critical factors in the development of an effective school.

  • JP works with schools providing training on how to ameliorate teacher weaknesses brought to light through the process of teacher evaluation.

  • JP partners with schools and districts across the country to provide intensive professional development for scientifically-based programs.
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Effective Reading Interventions for Kids With Learning Disabilities

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A worried mother says, "There's so much publicity about the best programs for teaching kids to read. But my daughter has a learning disability and really struggles with reading. Will those programs help her? I can't bear to watch her to fall further behind."

Fortunately, in recent years, several excellent, well-publicized research studies (including the Report of the National Reading Panel) have helped parents and educators understand the most effective guidelines for teaching all children to read. But, to date, the general public has heard little about research on effective reading interventions for children who have learning disabilities (LD). Until now, that is!

This article will describe the findings of a research study that will help you become a wise consumer of reading programs for kids with reading disabilities.

Learn about: 

  • The best approach to teaching kids with LD to read
  • A strong instruction core
  • Improving word recognition skills: What Works?
  • Increasing word recognition kills in students with LD
  • Improving reading comprehension in students with LD

 

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JP Can help you make the best use of Teacher Evaluations

Recent research identifies a challenge for both principals and teachers when it comes to the evaluation process.  For a variety of reasons a percentage of principals don't give teachers the truth about their performance.  Over the last quarter of century JP's team of School Improvement Specialists have worked with administrators and teachers developing and implementing strategies that result in "supportive supervision." The process is about knowledge sharing and personalized feedback to teachers with specific information addressing their needs.  It works!

Here is what the research is telling us: 

  • Even with the push in recent years to improve teacher evaluation, principals say that being honest with educators about their performance is too time-consuming, writes Jay Mathews for The Washington Post.

  • study by Matthew Kraft of Brown University and Allison Gilmour of Temple University shows that some principals are reluctant to tell teachers that they need improvement based on observations and that observing, documenting and helping unsatisfactory teachers grow can become “overwhelming.”

  • A separate study by Jason Grissom of Vanderbilt University and Susanna Loeb of Stanford University finds that teachers who are rated ineffective on a low-stakes evaluation are often given more positive ratings on a high-stakes evaluation.

Contact us at  and learn how we might be able to help you. 

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The Leadership Imperative

 

 

During my tenure as the Washington Principal Ambassador Fellow, I have found myself frequently reminded of a hard truth: teachers do not quit students or schools, they quit leaders. Teacher shortages are a national concern within the educational landscape. According to the Learning Policy Institute report, 40 states, as well as the District of Columbia, reported teacher shortages in mathematics, science and special education.  Another study suggests ”school leadership… [is] independently associated with corresponding reductions in teacher turnover.”

To solve this problem, we must be willing to ask hard questions that directly address leadership capacity and its impact on teacher turnover. What experience do leaders have in induction programs, building effective teams, and instructional supervision? Are principals being prepared to be managers or leaders? Do school leaders know how to build authentic collaboration with their staff members? These questions are important because the implications of ineffective school leadership mean more than a loss of teacher talent; it causes ripple effects that impact school climate, student achievement, and learning communities across the nation.

During the 2016-2017 school year, I met a first-year teacher who transformed from an energetic and ambitious burgeoning educational star to a “one-and-done” disengaged skeptic of the educational process. The cause: a school leader who overlooked innovation and ignored what was best for students and teachers. The effect: a first-year teacher who resigned and committed to not returning to PK-12 education. This is just one example of how quickly bad leadership can snuff out what could otherwise be a candle in the dark for many students and fellow educators.

Good leaders manage people and general operations.
Great leaders inspire and energize constituents.

Good leaders stand on the shoulders of competent personnel.
Great leaders build up others for leadership and support their success.

Good leaders accept things for what they are in the present.
Great leaders are visionaries who seek to inform the future with innovation, creativity and strategic planning.

Good leaders know that their actions will spark a reaction.
Great leaders know how to cause an effect that will inspire and motivate the hearts of staff, students and the community.

 

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Differentiation, individualization and personalization: What they mean, and where they’re headed

differentiation

How do differentiation, individualization and personalization differ? And how do they scale in terms of complexity?

 

Throughout the education sector, we hear a lot about “differentiation,” “individualization” and “personalization.” But what do these terms really mean, and how are they different?

At their core, they all deal with a similar overarching concept: customizing students’ learning experiences to address their particular learning needs.

Customization is incredibly powerful, and educators have long understood that custom-tailored lessons can drive student success more effectively than virtually anything else. But as the degree of customization increases, so too does the complexity of implementation – it’s no small feat for a single teacher to deliver perfectly customized lessons for a class of 30 students.

In response to this challenge, educators have been using a variety of approaches, including: differentiation, individualization and personalization, all of which can scale in terms of complexity.

These are not new concepts; in fact, various forms of differentiation in the classroom have been around since  the 1960s, and individualization and personalization also have been used for some time. Today, with technology, educators now have new opportunities to broaden their use of these methods to reach more students than ever before.

I’ll elaborate on the power of personalization and the role of technology in a moment, but first, let’s define these three distinct terms.

Differentiation, Individualization and – Most Importantly – Personalization

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A Case for Finger Counting

Photo of a girl’s hands as she uses her fingers to do math

 

New research suggests that young children may make gains in math by counting with their fingers.

Teachers generally start telling children to stop counting on their fingers around the end of first grade—they’re learning to do math in their heads, and finger counting is sometimes seen as a crutch or even a sign of weak math ability.

A new British study published in Frontiers in Education suggests that this may be a mistake because finger counting seems to boost math learning when paired with number games.

In the four-week experiment, 137 6- and 7-year-old children were split into five groups. One group participated in finger-counting exercises such as counting from 1 to 10 using each finger, showing the correct number of fingers when told a specific number, and doing simple addition or subtraction problems using their fingers. The second group played number games (e.g., dominoes and card games). The third and fourth groups did both—they performed finger-counting exercises and played number games. The final group was the control and didn’t participate in either the exercises or the games.

 

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JP’s Services

  • Detailed Needs Assessment
  • Customized Professional Development
  • Grant-writing
  • Strategies for serving students with Autism
  • Creating a positive school/classroom culture
  • Leadership training and coaching
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Effective Instructional Practices
  • Differentiating Instruction
  • Effective Reading Instruction
  • Job-embedded, side-by-side, onsite coaching
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