University of Vermont

The Center on Disability and Community Inclusion (CDCI)

BEST: Building Effective Support For Teaching Students With Behavioral Challenges

A person runningBEST/MTSS Summer Institute 2015

Strand I

Creating a Positive School Culture Through An Integrated Educational Framework

Michael McSheehan, Dawn Miller, and Michael Giangreco


An Integrated Educational Framework, the focus of this strand, is one building block of inclusive education and is defined as encompassing ALL students, personnel and stakeholders within a positive school culture that ensures full access for ALL students to participate in all culturally responsive school sponsored and related activities, with the expectation of collaboration among peers with and without disabilities.

The two features of an Integrated Educational Framework are:

Fully Integrated Organizational Structure
All students, including students with disabilities, participate in the general education curriculum instruction and activities of their grade level peers. The school embraces non-categorical service delivery to support the diverse needs of students with a priority on para-professionals supporting classrooms, not individual students.

Strong and Positive School Culture
All students, including students with disabilities, have equal access to extracurricular learning activities, with appropriate supports. All school personnel, i.e., instructional and other personnel, have shared responsibility to educate all students.

Essential to the development and sustainability of an Integrated Educational Framework is school and district collaboration and a whole system approach to change

Through this strand, participants will increase their understanding of the relationship among collaborative teaching, service delivery models, culturally responsive practices, inclusive education and positive school culture – and the necessity of whole system engagement to insure the success of this scale of change.

Session leads will incorporate into their sessions how the Active Implementation Frameworks can be used to guide school and district teams in their implementation of these evidenced based practices – and toward positive social and academic outcomes for all students.

Specifically, participants will:

    • Increase their understanding and skills with collaborative teaching for the full diversity of students.
    • Increase their understanding of staffing arrangements and service delivery models (for special education) that promote inclusive education and the effective use of personnel.
    • Increase their understanding of culturally responsive practices and be introduced to tools for engaging faculty and staff and for examining curriculum in light of those practices.
    • Increase their understanding of how an integrated framework ensures the participation of all students, including those identified as having emotional/behavioral disabilities and other extensive support needs.

Target audience: School and District teams comprised of general and specialized educators, other school personnel and family/community stakeholders.



My School's Data and My Reflections (docx)
Inclusive Service Delivery (pdf)
Constructively Responding to Requests for Paraprofessionals: We Keep Asking the Wrong Questions (pdf)
Proactively Building Inclusive Special Education Service Delivery Models and Staffing (pdf)
Your Words, Our Image (pdf)
Guidelines: How to Write and Report About People with Disabilities (pdf)


Co-Teaching is a Marriage (MP4)
20 Things (doc)
Co-Teacher Partnership Essentials (docx)
Co-Teaching Powerpoint (pdf)
Compass Points (pdf)
Consultancy Protocol (docx)
CoTeaching Reflection Tool Part 1 (doc)
Cultural Proficiency Receptivity Scale (pdf)
Culturally Responsive Teaching Matters (pdf)
Fully Integrated Organizational Structure (pdf)
Growth Mindset (pdf)
Links from Integrated Education Framework (pdf)
Strong Positive Culture (pdf)
Visible Learning Rating (docx)



Michael McSheehanMichael McSheehan serves as the Coordinator of Technical Assistance for the School-wide Integrated Framework for Transformation (SWIFT) Center, which was established in 2012. He is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of New Hampshire and has been affiliated with the Institute on Disability at UNH since 1993. Prior to working with the SWIFT Center, Michael led a variety of state and federally funded initiatives to advance research, policy, and practice in inclusive education, alternate assessment, collaborative teaming, and Response to Intervention (RtI).  For example, he was a developer, researcher, and co-author of The Beyond Access Model, an intensive supports planning model for teams working with students with significant disabilities. Michael also helped lead a five-year, state-wide project to develop and implement a Response-to-Intervention model for academic and behavioral supports with seven elementary schools and five school districts (SAUs) in New Hampshire.

Dr. Dawn MillerDr. Dawn Miller currently serves as a member of the SWIFT team at the University of Kansas. Prior to joining SWIFT, Dawn served as the Innovative Project Facilitator for the Shawnee Mission School District. In this role, Dawn was a district team member leading planning, staff development, implementation, and evaluation for MTSS efforts around integrated academic and behavior supports. Prior to joining Shawnee Mission, Dawn served as a project director for statewide implementation of the problem-solving process and developing a tiered system of support for literacy. As part of the statewide efforts, Dawn was involved with a statewide committee which led state regulation changes regarding child find and eligibility and has helped to translate these changes into district procedural changes linked to the School Improvement Process. Dawn has applied her skills to work as a special education teacher, a school psychologist, adjunct faculty member for administrative programs in Kansas, and district and building consultant/trainer. She has authored or coauthored published work regarding implementation and sustainability issues with MTSS, use of a problem-solving process, assessing written language, and family communication and involvement.

Michael GiangrecoMichael F. Giangreco, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Department of Education (Special Education Program) at the University of Vermont and is also affiliated with the Center on Disability & Community Inclusion. Prior to joining the faculty at UVM in 1988 he served in a variety of capacities (e.g., community residence counselor with adults with disabilities, special education teacher, special education administrator). His work focuses on various aspects of education for students with disabilities within general education classrooms such as curriculum planning and adaptation, related services decision-making and coordination, alternatives to over reliance on paraprofessionals and inclusive special education service delivery. Dr. Giangreco is the author of numerous professional publications on a variety of special education topics and has published a series of cartoons depicting educational issues and research findings.

Last modified June 23 2015 10:18 AM

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