2020 Tennessee

PR Award #
Grantee Name
Tennessee Department of Education
Project Title
Teaching All Students project will improve academic and postsecondary outcomes for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities.
Project Director
Kate Martin
Project Director Email


The Tennessee Department of Education is pleased to submit its fourth State Personnel Development Grant (SPDG). Previous grants have been leveraged to affect significant change in outcomes for students with disabilities, particularly students with specific learning disabilities. While work from the most recent SPDG will continue with state support, with this grant we seek to focus on increased graduation rates and postsecondary opportunities available to Tennessee students with the most intensive needs, including academic and communication skills. We anticipate a transformative shift in high school culture to an inclusive mindset, with all students engaged in meaningful grade level instruction using high-quality instructional practices to meaningfully engage and teach diverse learners.


We intend to conduct two cohorts of intensive, three-year, school-team training to improve academic and postsecondary results for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities and complex needs. Training will be provided to fifty school teams representing 20 percent of local educational agencies (LEAs). Priority will be given to high-need LEAs; those with the highest percentage of students participating in the alternate assessments, lowest inclusive least restrictive environment, and/or identified as needs intervention through the local determination process. The project design includes development of synchronous training, online asynchronous modules, self-monitoring, and fidelity of implementation tools. This plan will support sustained systemic change and the ability of the department to scale up the work to all schools statewide. Partnership with the University of Kentucky, Human Development Institute will ensure ongoing formative and summative assessments to evaluate overall program effectiveness and provide critical periodic input to maximize results.

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