This curriculum project was funded by 1) Best Practices Clearinghouse Grant and through the Department of Children, Families and Learning and the 2) Curriculum Completion Project Grant
funded by the Department of Education.
One of goals of the Best Practices Grant was to determine “gaps” in curriculum for students with Emotional Behavioral Disabilities (EBD) and Developmental Cognitive Disabilities (DCD) and to
then identify and/or create curriculum aligned with the Minnesota Graduation Standards.
Teachers from the three intermediate districts, 916, 287 and 917, were surveyed in the fall of 2001 to determine areas of greatest need regarding curriculum and instruction for these
targeted populations. Teachers were then identified to work collaboratively to promote the meaningful integration of graduation standards for these two groups of students with special needs.
The teacher teams adopted a definition of “learning standards” as “the core of what all people should know and be able to apply as a result of their education”. This guided the teachers working on this project in maintaining a focus on individual student priorities and ensuring priority attention for foundation and relevant skills development.
- The collaborative team of teachers serving students with EBD focused on identifying and field testing curriculum aligned with the graduation standards in 4 instructional areas:
Social Studies, Science, Math, and Arts and Literature. The team adapted MECR and CART assessments or created rigorous performance assessments for EBD students that were aligned with identified curriculum to address specific needs of students with EBD
- The DCD teacher team responded to the survey results by targeting three instructional higher need areas:
- Community Participation,
- Home Living / Daily Living and
- Recreation and Leisure
Each of the three instructional areas can augment teacher’s current resources and is comprised of the following components:
- Introduction / Beliefs and Assumptions
- Integrated Learning Continuum
- Skills Inventory
- Sample Assessment Reports and suggested focus for IEP goal and objectives
- Sample Instructional Activities
- Supplemental Resources
The current content is a first step in creating a learning continuum that 1) more closely reflects the wide range of skills of students with mild to significant cognitive disabilities and
that 2) then aligns these skills or performance indicators with pertinent “core” areas of instruction. The collaborative team chose these Core Learning Areas by determining the essence of relevant educational
These Core Learning Areas and the three performance levels used in the current Minnesota Alternate Assessment (emerging 1 -2, developing 3 -5, and mastery 6 - 7), were used to create the framework for the integrated learning continuum and the skills inventories which then align with the assessment, IEP and instructional activity samples created by the collaborative team.