Professional Development Program for Special Education Teachers Will Focus on Best Practices for Teaching K-12 Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities.
September 15, 2019 – Catapult Learning, a leading provider of special education, instructional intervention, behavioral health and professional development solutions, today announced the U.S. Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) awarded a contract to the company to provide professional learning for special education teachers. The professional development will concentrate on the use of Dynamic Learning Maps Essential Elements (DLM/EE) standards for teaching K-12 students with the most significant cognitive disabilities.
DoDEA is a federally operated pre-K-12 school system responsible for 164 schools in 11 countries, seven states, Guam and Puerto Rico. It serves more than 71,000 children of active duty military and DoD civilian families.
Building on the existing relationship between Catapult Learning and the DoDEA, the program will consist of a series of workshops, starting this October, delivered virtually for educators in Europe, the Pacific and the Americas. The professional development sessions are designed to support teachers’ efforts to successfully integrate research-based practices into daily instruction.
“Designing rigorous, high-quality learning experiences for students with severe cognitive disabilities poses unique challenges for teachers,” said Jeffrey Cohen, CEO of Catapult Learning. “Our team of experts has a proven track record of understanding the specific needs of these students and training teachers on how to positively impact their education and quality of life.”
The program is slated for implementation in three phases: years one and two will focus on mathematics, while years three and four will highlight literacy. The fifth year will emphasize science and social studies. The curriculum has a spiral structure to cover all subjects in nearly each year of the program and deepen understanding across critical content areas.
For all subjects, the DLM/EE standards are applied. The DLM tests are assessments for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities whom general state assessments are not appropriate, even with accommodations. The program also focuses on grade-aligned alternate achievement and how teachers can design and deliver instruction that promotes the application of learning to everyday life.
“At Catapult Learning, we have a deep understanding of meeting the academic and social needs of special education students coupled with developing and delivering professional learning for teachers,” said Diane Rymer, Catapult Learning’s Vice President of Operations. “Additionally, our long-standing relationship with DoDEA has enabled us to acquire insight into the specific needs of students with military connections.”
Under the new contract, Catapult Learning will provide virtual coaching sessions for DoDEA’s estimated 137 special education teachers. Additionally, teachers from around the world will be able to communicate with one another and share their experiences and expertise through an online community Catapult will adapt to DoDEA’s learning management system, Schoology. Other resources, such as access to websites, research articles, videos and more will be included.
Previously, Catapult Learning secured a contract with DoDEA to deliver professional development for K-12 teachers, focused on literacy. That program provides learning on standards-based, data-informed instruction proven to lead students to successful transitions to college and career.
About Catapult Learning
Catapult Learning, Inc. provides education and behavioral health solutions for children and their families, leading to better life outcomes, regardless of the learning obstacles and other challenges they face. The company’s team of over 5,000 education and healthcare professional work to achieve measurable and sustained academic and behavioral gains through evidence-based programs that include special education, Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapies, intervention services, and professional development. Founded in 1976 and headquartered in Camden, New Jersey, Catapult Learning supports more than 200,000 children and families, over 500 school districts, and more than 25,000 teachers annually. Catapult Learning is accredited by AdvancED. www.catapultlearning.com
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