AIR Experts to Give Several Presentations at Council for Exceptional Children’s Annual Convention

Washington, D.C. – Special education experts from the American Institutes for Research (AIR) will discuss how intensive intervention can be used to support students with learning needs at this year’s Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) annual convention and expo, which is taking place April 9 - April 12 in Philadelphia.

The CEC is the largest international professional organization dedicated to improving the educational success of individuals with disabilities. The annual conference provides sessions on the latest evidence-based practices, technology, products and resources. 

The following is a list of the subjects and times of presentations involving AIR staff: 

April 9, 2014

Early Warning Systems: Lessons Learned From 5 Years of Implementation Efforts
2:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.
Philadelphia Convention Center
Room 201A

Since 2007 states, districts and schools have used early warning systems to improve graduation outcomes for students and many lessons have been learned from this process. Presenters will discuss the components of a comprehensive early warning system and also share the four general and 10 specific lessons learned at the state, district and school levels applicable to all users.

AIR Presenters: Mindee O’Cummings and Amy Szymanski

April 10, 2014

Aligning the Common Core with Standards for Students with Learning Disabilities
9:15 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.
Philadelphia Convention Center
Room 103B

Common Core State Standards signify a move toward greater national consistency for grade-level proficiency. Panelists from the Professional Development Standards and Ethics Committee of the Division for Learning Disabilities will provide a crosswalk between CCSS and CEC's Initial and Advanced Special Education Learning Disability Standards. AIR Presenter: Rebecca Zumeta

Take a Stance! Division for Learning Disabilities Position Statements
10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Philadelphia Convention Center
Room 103B

Presenters will share their views on two position statements: one on what special education should be for English language learners with learning disabilities, and the other on intensive intervention for students with disabilities. AIR Presenter: Rebecca Zumeta

April 11, 2014

What’s Happening in Washington?
8 a.m. – 11:30: a.m.
Philadelphia Convention Center
Room 201A

This is a multi-panel session. The schedule is as follows:
Session I - Improving Results for Children with Disabilities: Where We Were, Where We Are, Where We’re Going
Session II - From the U.S. Capitol to Main Street: Education Reforms
Session III - Education Reforms and Their Impact on Special/Gifted Education

AIR Presenter: Tracy Gray

Interventions to Effectively Serve Students with the Most Intensive Needs
10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Philadelphia Marriott Downtown
Franklin Hall 13

Presenters will discuss implementation features critical to install, support and sustain practices that allow educators to serve students with intensive academic and behavioral needs. They will describe the critical content knowledge and systems features that comprise approaches to evaluating implementation fidelity. Another topic of discussion is how to use fidelity data to improve implementation, and the need for future technical assistance efforts. Finally, the panelists will address unique considerations associated with implementing change to a component (i.e., services for students with intensive needs) of a larger changing system (i.e., a school or district undergoing reform).

AIR Presenters: Louis Danielson and Rebecca Zumeta

The following is a series presented by the National Center on Intensive Intervention, which is housed at AIR. These sessions are conceptually linked and are part of a “strand” called, “Using Intensive Intervention to Meet the Academic and Behavior Needs of Struggling Learners.”

Addressing the Needs of Students with Persistent Math Difficulties Through Intensive Intervention
8 a.m. – 9 a.m.
Philadelphia Downtown Marriott
Franklin Hall 2

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) indicates that students with disabilities have chronically low mathematics achievement, suggesting a systemic need for more intensive academic support. Participants in this session will learn how to implement and evaluate intensive intervention in mathematics that is both data-driven and responds to individual needs.

AIR Presenter: Rebecca Zumeta

Addressing the Needs of Students with Persistent Reading Difficulties Through Intensive Intervention
9:15 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.
Philadelphia Marriott Downtown
Franklin Hall 2

Despite the best efforts of teachers to differentiate core instruction and provide quality secondary interventions, many students require additional support to develop reading skills. Panelists will discuss how to apply intensive intervention principles to plan, deliver, and evaluate individualized programs to meet the needs of this population.

AIR Presenter: Laura Magnuson

Planning Function-Based Interventions for Students with Intensive Behavior Needs
10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Philadelphia Marriott Downtown
Franklin Hall 2

The hallmarks of function-based interventions are the processes of identifying environmental events that predict and maintain patterns of problem behavior and teaching skills to achieve desired outcomes. This session will address foundational behavior principles, their role in planning interventions for students with intensive needs and evaluation of progress.

AIR Presenter: Gail Chan

Confronting Implementation Challenges When Providing Intensive Intervention
1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Philadelphia Marriott Downtown
Franklin Hall 2

Panelists will discuss common issues and respond to audience questions about challenges schools and districts face when planning and delivering intensive supports, including resource, policy, and structural barriers, among others.

AIR Presenters: Louis Danielson, Rebecca Zumeta and Allison Gandhi

For more information about the conference, visit

About AIR 
Established in 1946, with headquarters in Washington, D.C., the American Institutes for Research (AIR) is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that conducts behavioral and social science research and delivers technical assistance both domestically and internationally in the areas of health, education, and workforce productivity. For more information, visit



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