University of Vermont

The Center on Disability and Community Inclusion (CDCI)

BEST: Building Effective Support For Teaching Students With Behavioral Challenges

A Running PersonBEST/MTSS Summer Institute 2015

Strand G

Ready…Set…Learn!  Enhancing Learning through Membership and Participation for ALL students, Including Those with Complex Learning Needs

Dr. Cheryl Jorgensen and VT I-Team Members


This strand focuses on ways to promote positive school climate through the use of tools and creation of school specific action steps to assist in creating an actively engaging general education instruction so that students truly belong to a social and academic learning community. This strand will also focus on the specific indicators of membership, participation and learning within the general education setting for ALL students, including those with the most complex learning needs. Team members will evaluate their own practices in each of these areas and use the results to inform action steps. Instructional routines will provide the context for learning a systematic process for instruction to support each student’s membership, participation and learning.


Team members may come together, or as individuals. Part of the action development process will include creating action steps for sharing the strand content with others on the team and in the school.


Participants will:

  • Learn the importance of practices that promote membership, participation and learning in a shared learning community
  • Integrate MTSS and UDL strategies in order to design instruction that will benefit ALL students
  • Learn how to assess features of membership, participation and learning at the student and classroom levels
  • Identify concrete action steps to improve practices in these areas
  • Apply a routines-based planning process to their curriculum


Participants will be supported by knowledgeable educational consultants during their small group work to ensure their work products reflect the principles being taught. Self-assessment tools reflect observable and measureable indicators to help improve the accuracy of implementation. Vermont I-Team members are able to support the implementation process for the teams of 175+ referred students across the state as well. 


Teams will be provided with examples of school/classroom/student/family application through the involvement of educators and family members in the training. Actual student/team situations will also be integrated into the strand to demonstrate examples and non-examples. I-Team consultants and presenters can offer current, connected examples that relate to the target practices.


  • The principles of UDL and MTSS are foundational to this conversation – the guidelines of membership (belonging) and participation (engagement) to promote learning for all students provide a simple sequence for examining individual and school-wide practices.
  • Participants will be able to integrate the UDL and MTSS principles in a practical way, seeing how they can be incorporated into actual curriculum planning.
  • The content provides follow up on that presented at the Access for Success Conference 2014 (150 participants).



Check back after May 1st



Dr. Cheryl JorgensenCheryl Jorgensen is an inclusive education consultant in private practice, after being a project director with the Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire, and assistant research professor UNH’s Education Department from 1985 until 2011. During her tenure with the IOD, she was the director or coordinator of state and federally funded research, personnel preparation, model demonstration, alternate assessment, and in-service training grants totaling over $12 million. She was a founder of the National Center for Inclusive Education and collaborates with the SWIFT project

Dr. Jorgensen works with parents, teachers, and administrators to increase their commitment to and capacity for including students with significant disabilities in general education classes and to implement and sustain broad-based inclusive school reform.

Dr. Jorgensen has authored several books (including The Inclusion Facilitator’s Guide and The Beyond Access Model) and research articles; presents at state, national, and international conferences; and provides technical assistance in New Hampshire and many other states in the U.S. She recently authored a manual for the National Education Association on teaching students with autism in general education classrooms.

In 2008, Dr. Jorgensen received an award from the National Down Syndrome Congress for her contributions to inclusive education research.

Last modified February 23 2015 11:31 AM

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