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Name:  Iowa Department of Education
PR Award #:  H323A150009
City, State:  Des Moines, IA           
Project Director:  Barbara Guy
Project Director email:

The purpose of this project is to improve practitioner abilities to diagnose, design, and deliver high-quality specially designed instruction (SDI) for diverse learners so that learners with disabilities are successful.  Short-term outcomes include the establishment of a statewide system to effectively develop, implement, and support personnel preparation and professional development in the area of specially designed instruction.  This will result in consistent professional learning materials and practices statewide, increased and ongoing support to educators and parents, increased engagement between parents and schools, increased selection of effective practices, and increased integrity of implementation of effective practices.

To increase the effectiveness of specially designed instruction, the project will:  (1) Establish a technical assistance system; (2) Build capacity of Iowa’s coaching network; and (3) Deliver high-quality professional development.  Three cohorts of schools will participate:  PK-6 in Cohort One, PK-8 in Cohort Two, and PK-12 in Cohort Three.  A strand specifically for students with significant cognitive disabilities will run across all three cohorts.  Each cohort will include 70 buildings, for a total of 210 buildings.  Nine buildings per cohort will also work to increase school/family partnerships.  Project success will be determined on implementation fidelity and changes in student learning.