The Kansas State Personnel Development Grant (SPDG) facilitates effective learning support for students with and without disabilities in academically demanding learning environments and ensures district personnel have the knowledge and skills needed to provide high-quality education for all students. The Kansas SPDG supports the knowledge, skills, and practices necessary for implementation of the current KSDE statewide priorities (e.g., Kansas Multi-Tiered System of Supports, Kansas College and Career Ready Standards, and the Kansas Educator Evaluation Protocol) and aligns with the State Board of Education’s goals and the State Performance Plan. Specifically, the Kansas SPDG focuses on three primary objectives, with family engagement practices integrated throughout each activity. Within each activity, educators from early childhood through high school are encouraged to participate.
Statewide implementation of evidence-based mentoring for early career special education teachers. Year-long online mentoring is available to all early career special educators. Additionally, teachers of the visually impaired and deaf are recruited and supported to obtain endorsements prior to participating in mentoring.
Implementation of effective co-teaching methods across districts. Teacher teams assisted through administrative support expand the implementation of evidence-based instructional strategies through structured co-teaching processes.
Expansion of tertiary behavior supports within MTSS. Building upon the MTSS framework and universal-level implementation, district teams (including parents) integrate effective processes for the identification of students’ tertiary behavior support needs and the implementation of evidence-based behavior support strategies.
Evaluation within the Kansas SPDG has been conducted by Research Collaboration since 2009. These activities have included a statewide needs assessment, the development of a holistic logic model, and the implementation of qualitative and quantitative measures within all levels of the logic model. Additionally, the evaluation team supports each service provider to build and implement project-specific logic models, which are updated and reported to the Kansas Department of Education on an annual basis.
Furthermore, the SPDG evaluation team works collaboratively with the Kansas Technical Assistance System Network (TASN), an overarching network of all service providers within KSDE, to support the fidelity of implementation and service coordination for all areas of the State Performance Plan. Implementation outcomes and fidelity of implementation are measured at all levels (state, district, school, and individual educator) to create self-correcting feedback loops used to continually improve the activities. The impact on students is evaluated within each activity as well as within the Kansas Educator Evaluation Protocol to identify teacher professional development needs and continually improve SPDG implementation.