AIR Experts to Present Research on Students With Disabilities at Council for Exceptional Children Annual Conference

Washington, D.C. — Experts from the American Institutes for Research (AIR) will present on a wide array of research involving students with disabilities during the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)’s annual conference in St. Louis April 13-16, 2016.

AIR presentations at the America’s Center in St. Louis include:

Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Good Behavior Game: Research to Practice
10:30-11:30 a.m. Room 241

The Good Behavior Game is a universal preventive intervention for use in the classroom. The intervention has shown both short- and long-term impacts in randomized field trials, particularly for male students who enter school already demonstrating aggressive and disruptive behaviors. Our panel will review the Good Behavior Game evidence base and share lessons learned from practitioner implementation. 

AIR Presenter: Anja Kurki and Naomi Jacobs

Tools for Choosing Evidence-Based Practices to Promote Access to the General Education Curriculum
1-1:45 p.m. Expo Hall 3, Poster 21

How do we connect what we know about our students to research-based strategies that most effectively support them? During this session, UDL-based concepts and tools will be presented, providing attendees with hands-on opportunities to create class learning profiles and connect to various UDL and research-based strategies to support student achievement. 

AIR Presenters: Melissa Edmiston, Kathryn Balestreri and Danielle Shaw

Using Intensive Intervention to Improve Mathematics Outcomes Under OSEP’s Results-Driven Accountability
1-2 p.m. Room 230

This session will review available tools to support state, district, school and community stakeholders in implementing evidence-based practices and intensive intervention for students with mathematics disabilities and difficulties. Tools will include intervention adaptation and intensification strategies, progress monitoring and measurement instruments and a review of the data-based individualization (DBI) process. 

AIR Presenters: Kathleen Pfannenstiel and Rebeca Zumeta Edmonds

Tools to Support Implementation of Intensive Reading Interventions and Progress Toward Results-Driven Accountability
3:30-4:30 p.m. Room 223

This session will review available tools to support state, district, school and community stakeholders in implementing evidence-based practices and intensive intervention for students with reading disabilities. Tools will include reading intervention adaptation and intensification strategies, progress monitoring and measurement instruments and a review of the data-based individualization (DBI) process. 

AIR Presenters: Sarah Arden and Jill Pentimonti

Friday, April 15, 2016

Strand G, Session 1: But They Need Everything! Keys to Providing Integrated Academic and Behavioral Intervention
8-9 a.m. Room 276

Although many intervention and problem-solving teams focus on either academic or behavioral concerns, students with the most intensive needs often require support in both areas. We will share how data-based individualization (DBI) provides a framework for integrating academic and behavioral support and will highlight tools to assist implementation. 

AIR Presenter: Amy Peterson
AIR Discussant: Lou Danielson

Strand G, Session 2: “Boots on the Ground”: Perspectives From District and School Leaders Implementing Intensive Intervention
9:15-10:15 a.m. Room 276

This strand session will highlight practical examples from district and school teams that are using data-based individualization to plan intervention for students with intensive needs. We will describe areas of impact, including improved problem-solving, increased systematic use of data and enhanced ability to identify appropriate evidence-based strategies, interventions and assessment tools. 

AIR Presenter: Teri Marx

Multi-Tiered Systems of Support and Educator Effectiveness Systems
10:30-11:15 a.m. Expo Hall 3, Poster 12

Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) and educator effectiveness systems are critical instructional reform initiatives that share a common goal of improving instructional quality to enhance outcomes for students with diverse learning needs. We highlight opportunities to create coherence and alignment across the implementation of these initiatives to maximize their transformative impact on student learning. 

AIR Presenters: Lindsey Hayes and Lynn Holdheide

Strand G, Session 3: Understanding and Operationalizing Evidence-Based Practices Within Multi-Tiered Systems of Support
10:30-11:30 a.m. Room 276

Panelists will use multi-tiered systems of support to make the case that standards of evidence for evidence-based practices (EBPs) need to vary by tier and present a more flexible and nuanced approach to identifying EBPs that allows practitioners to make better decisions about educational interventions and strategies.  

AIR Presenters: Allison Gruner Gandhi, Lynn Holdheide and Rebecca Zumeta Edmonds

Considerations for Students With Disabilities Acquiring English Within Results-Driven Accountability
2:15-3:15 p.m. Room 231

Addressing the needs of English learners (ELs) within State Systemic Improvement Plans (SSIP) is vitally important for many states. Connecting research to practice and policy, this session explores assessment and instructional considerations for students who are ELs with learning disabilities. Participants will engage via facilitated discussion throughout the session. 

AIR Presenters: Lauren Artzi and Jill Pentimonti

Dropout Prevention Through Early Student Engagement Among At-Risk Students With Disabilities
2:15-3:15 p.m. Room 120

Dropout prevention literature highlights student engagement as the most critical factor in preventing dropout. We share results of a mixed-methods study of early student engagement. Results of the study demonstrate the effectiveness of school-based mentoring on student engagement among at-risk elementary students with and without disabilities. We discuss strategies to increase student engagement (feelings of belonging and value) in schools for our most vulnerable students. Results and implications for next steps in research and teacher practice will be shared. 

AIR Presenter: Dia Jackson

Understanding Student Experiences With Read-Aloud Accommodations in Large-Scale Reading Assessments
2:15-3:15 p.m. Room 120

We will share results from a study that used a cognitive laboratory approach to (a) explore how students with word-reading disabilities use read-aloud accommodations on large-scale reading assessments; (b) examine whether the helpfulness of such accommodations varies by severity of disability; and (c) identify additional impacts from the students’ perspective. Implications are shared.  

AIR Presenters: Allison Gruner Gandhi, Robin Bzura, Laura Stein and Lou Danielson

DLD Showcase: “Do This, Not That!” Part 2: Differentiating Tier 2 and Tier 3 Interventions
2:15-4:15 p.m. Room 223

When implementing multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS), many schools struggle with the differentiation of Tier 2 and Tier 3 interventions. In this session, the DLD Professional Development Standards and Ethics committee will expand its popular “Do This, Not That!” series to illustrate key features of tiered interventions. 

AIR Presenter: Rebecca Zumeta Edmonds

Assessment Toolbox: Demonstrating Growth for Low-Achieving Students With Disabilities
3:30-4:30 p.m. Room 120

Program improvement for low-achieving students requires ongoing, sensitive assessment, and progress monitoring meets this need for individual students. We discuss aggregating these data for group-level decisions and other practical methods for evaluating program effectiveness. You will learn to monitor implementation and select and use appropriate assessments to inform programmatic decisions. 

AIR Presenters: Laura Berry Kuchle, Lou Danielson, Pakethia Harris and Kristin Ruedel

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Alliance-Building Strategies as a Component of Coaching: Effects of Feedback and Analysis
8-9 a.m.

Although the relationship between teachers and coaches, referred to as “alliance,” seems to play an important role in teacher practice, it is currently unknown if systematic attempts to improve coaches’ use of alliance strategies lead to improved teacher practice. We will share findings from a study that examined the effects of a unique intervention that aimed to increase coaches’ use of alliance strategies, thereby leading to improved teacher practice. Participants will learn how to incorporate the study intervention and teacher feedback to coaches into their existing coaching practice, and how to use alliance strategies to improve teachers’ practice.

AIR presenter: Jennifer Pierce

National Center on Intensive Intervention
9:15-10 a.m. Expo Hall 3, Poster 07

Join us and learn about the National Center on Intensive Intervention’s approach to intensive intervention involving data-based individualization (DBI), a method that uses data to determine how to intensify intervention in reading, mathematics and behavior. DBI relies on collecting student data, modifying intervention to inadequate responses and using teachers’ clinical experience to individualize intervention. 

AIR Presenters: Beyza Seflek and Nicholas Croninger

Implementation of Technical Assistance: A Process
2:15-3 p.m. Expo Hall 3, Poster 06

This session tracks the development of schools’ implementation practices in 12 districts across four states that received technical assistance from the National Center on Intensive Intervention. Implementation successes and challenges and key findings will be discussed. 

AIR Presenters: Nicholas Croninger and Beyza Seflek

Improving Graduation Outcomes: How Implementing an Early Warning System Can Help
2:15-3:15 p.m. Room 240

This session will discuss the use of early warning systems to inform instructional practices in an effort to ensure that all students, including those with disabilities, graduate high school ready for college and career. We will highlight parallels with multi-tiered systems of support, share lessons learned and provide resources to support implementation. 

AIR Presenter: Amy Peterson

For more information about the CEC conference, go to

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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