District Administration April 2018 - 60

ProfessionalOpinion
District designs model
to better serve special populations
Dearborn's 3D Community brings specialists together to close achievement gap
By Rose Aldubaily and Glenn Maleyko

S

triving to ensure the implementation of best practices that support
all learners is critical to academic
achievement for diverse populations.
Dearborn Schools is committed to ensuring that all students reach academic
success. With a population of 20,907
of which 50 percent are English learners (several refugees and newcomer
students), 8 percent special education
and approximately 73 percent below the
poverty level, it's even more important
for us to continually explore avenues to
support students to become successful.
Ensuring that staff is meeting the
needs of every student, the district
brought experts from various departments to work as a team. We created
building leadership teams that support
teachers in the core instructional classroom and targeted interventions to close
the achievement gap.
The 3D experience
The district established a "3D Community" consisting of English language
development specialists, instructional
literacy coaches and special education
resource teachers. The goal is to bring
these three departments together as a
team to close the achievement gap of our
various at-risk populations.
This model is aligned with our collaborative professional learning community model. These highly trained
specialists collaborate monthly with one
another in order to meet the needs of

DAmag.me/model
60 April 2018

The 3D Community
incorporates many
instructional practices
that can be adapted
by large groups,
small groups, or with
individual students.
all students in our district. During the
collaborative meetings they share areas
of expertise and strategies that can be
adapted within each department.
All the shared strategies are evidence-based best practices that focus
on student engagement, growth and
achievement. The shared practices focus
on providing teachers and support staff
with strategies that will allow students to
develop proficiency in reading, writing,
listening and speaking.
Matching interventions to student
needs can be very challenging. As a
district we are aware that the high levels
of student achievement and growth will
occur only when instructional practices
are defined, supported and implemented. The 3D community incorporates many instructional practices that
can be adapted in whole groups or small
groups, or with individual students.
These routines are often shared with
classroom teachers at MTSS meetings
and professional development as well
as through our districtwide co-teaching
model. All members of our 3D Community co-teach in classrooms with the
classroom teacher. They pair and collaborate in lesson planning, lesson delivery

and formative assessment. Co-teaching
allows teachers to see the impact of actual implementation of these strategies.
Serving all students
One practice that has been highlighted
is the specially designed instruction
model. The English Language Development Department created a framework
for working with newcomers in small
groups. It's similar to the specially designed instruction model for students
with disabilities. The framework is
specific to student needs and includes
ongoing formative assessments that drive
instruction. For example, a 45-minute
lesson includes phonics, word work, a
reading strategy, oral language development and a structured writing task.
The specially designed instruction model is aligned with the reading
foundational skills standards from the
Common Core. The English language
development specialists design instruction for newcomer sessions that ensure
the development of a balanced literacy
model. In addition, members of the 3D
community have supported teachers in
adapting and implementing lessons that
meet the various needs of all students.
Ensuring academic achievement for
all learners requires our educators to
improve their knowledge and skills on
the ever-changing best practices that
support all learners. A district's capacity
to learn is a collective task rather than an
individual one. DA
Rose Aldubaily is director of English
learners and compensatory education,
and Glenn Maleyko is superintendent of
Dearborn Public Schools in Michigan.
District Administration


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of District Administration April 2018

District Administration April 2018 - Cover1
District Administration April 2018 - Cover2
District Administration April 2018 - 1
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