Instructional Resources

Instructional Resources

Published: 10/12/2022 11:58 AM

​​​Academic and Content Resources

The IRIS Center - Developed in collaboration with nationally recognized researchers and education experts, the Center’s resources about evidence-based instructional and intervention practices—Modules, Case Study Units, Activities and others (including a number of Web-based tools)—are specifically created for use in college instruction, professional development activities and independent learning opportunities for practicing educators.

  • High-Quality Mathematics Instruction: Module describes the components of high-quality mathematics instruction: a standards-based curriculum and evidence-based practices. It also highlights several evidence-based practices and other classroom practices for teaching mathematics. 
  • MTSS/RTI: Mathematics: This Module describes the RTI framework as applied to mathematics. It includes discussions of instruction, assessment and data-based decision making at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels.
  • CSR: A Reading Comprehension Strategy: This module outlines Collaborative Strategic Reading (CSR), a strategy for helping students to improve their reading comprehension skills. In CSR, students work together in small groups to apply comprehension strategies as they read text from a content area, such as social studies or science.
  • Improving Writing Performance: This module highlights the differences between students who write well and those who struggle. Elements of the writing process are discussed, as are the prerequisite skills students need to write good papers. The module outlines and describes the process for teaching students the POW+TREE strategy, a writing strategy to help students produce better persuasive essays.
  • Cultural and Linguistic Differences: What Teachers Should Know Module
  • Culturally Responsive Classroom Management Strategies document
  • IRIS Resource Locator

Mathematics Assessment Resource Project: The project provides tools for formative and summative assessment that help support students’ mathematical knowledge and reasoning. It also provides resources for teachers that help them grow their ability to teach mathematical concepts. 

IDEAs that Work (from OSEP): The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) is dedicated to improving results for infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities ages birth through 21. OSEP, directly and through its partners and grantees, develops a wide range of research-based products, publications, and resources to assist states, local district personnel, and families to improve results for students with disabilities. ​

National Center on Accessible Educational Materials (AEM) for Learning: AEM provides resources to promote equitable opportunities for children with disabilities to participate in high-quality early learning programs, be involved in and progress in the general education curriculum, prepare to meet college and career-ready standards, participate in assessments and transition to postsecondary education and the workforce. Resources include Best Practices for Educators & Instructors which provides information on how to create accessible educational materials.

​English Learners with Disabilities

English Learners (OSEP)​: This webpage includes a variety of resources to support English Learners with disabilities from the U.S. Department of Education includin​g the Q&A Regarding Inclusion of English Learners with Disabilities in English Language Proficiency Assessments and Title III Annual Measurable Achievement.

Culturally and Linguistically Responsive RTI within MTSS (OSEP)​: These presentations and briefs focus on tiered approaches to improving reading and language outcomes for English Learners (ELs). These projects support the development and implementation of culturally and linguistically responsive models for multitiered system of supports for ELs, including those with or at risk of having a disability.

Kentucky Coalition for English Learners (KY-CEL): KYCEL provides networking, professional learning and advocating opportunities to improve the learning experiences for English Learners. Resources specific to EL’s with disabilities include:
Tools and Resources for Addressing English Learners with Disabilities​: This chapter of the English Learner Tool Kit is intended to help state and local education agencies meet their obligations to English Learners (ELs). This resource includes questions ARC’s may want to consider for identification and evaluation, as well as tools and resources for referral, identification and assessment. This tool kit should be read in conjunction with the Dear Colleague Letter on “English Learner Students and Limited English Proficient Parents,” (2015)​

WIDA and English Learners with Disabilities: The following resources from WIDA provide information and research on supporting English Learners with Disabilities:

Collaboration Resources

Co-teaching Models: This resource outlines strategies that support best practices of co-teaching in the classroom. 

Collaborative Teaching Practices for Exceptional Children Question and Answer Document (2011): This Question and Answer Document (Q & A) is intended to guide implementation and documentation of Collaborative Teaching/ Co-Teaching Practices for students with disabilities in Kentucky.

High-Leverage Practices in Special Education: Collaboration: This resource includes information and tools to support the implementation of collaboration practices among educators. 

Specially Designed Instruction (SDI) Resources: 

Teaching LD: Students with disabilities can demonstrate their knowledge when provided with uniquely tailored tools and strategies that support their learning. This page contains information and resources for teaching students with Learning Disabilities, including supports for content instruction, transition and behavior. Specific resources include but are not limited to Vocabulary Instruction (Reading), Mnemonics (Reading), Graphic Organizers and Explicit Instruction/Modeling (Math).

Intervention Central: Includes resources for various academic interventions. These resources can be used for both RTI and SDI.

SPLASH: The SPLASH initiative is grounded in research-based practices to increase teacher skillsets and administrator understanding of indicators of high-quality teaching and learning for students with moderate/severe disabilities (MSD).

Specially Designed Instruction (SDI): Improving Outcomes for Students with Disabilities: This graphic provides basic information and resources to support Administrators' understanding of SDI.  

Evidence-Based Practices (IRIS): These research summaries - covering instructional strategies and interventions - offer information that includes levels of effectiveness as well as the age groups for which a given strategy or intervention is designed. Links to the original reports are also provided for those who might wish to explore further. 

High-Leverage Practices (IRIS): This interactive alignment tool identifies which IRIS resources provide information on High-leverage practices. High-leverage practices are 22 essential special education techniques that all K-12 special education teachers should master for use across a variety of classroom contexts. Learn more about these practices in the guidance document High-Leverages Practices in Special Education. 

Transition and Post-Secondary Resources

CTE, Accountability and Transition Readiness: Kentucky’s accountability system provides students with multiple, meaningful opportunities to engage in pathways that build awareness of career opportunities, provide real-world instruction and lead to credentials with labor market value. This KDE webpage provides information and resources to support Career and Technical Education (CTE) pathways. 

Transition Resources (KDE): Webpage provides supports for families and districts as they develop meaningful transition plans for students with disabilities.

Office of Vocational Rehabilitation: The Kentucky Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) assists Kentuckians with disabilities (beginning at age 16) to achieve suitable employment and independence.

Social, Emotional and Behavioral Resources

IRIS Center: IRIS Center offers a wide variety of resources about evidence-based instructional and intervention practices to support behavior and classroom management, including modules, practice guides and research summaries to support students with disabilities.  See the “Resources Locator” for information and training on how to support behavior and classroom management.  Some resources include:  

Intervention Central: Includes a wealth of resources from self-management to school-wide behavior intervention approaches.

Kentucky Academic and Behavioral Response to Intervention (KY-ABRI)

The KY-ABRI project is focused on providing technical assistance (TA) and support to all Kentucky schools and districts in developing a multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS). KY-ABRI scales up to create a three-tiered service delivery model:  
  • Tier 1 - all districts and schools have access to online tutorials and in-depth training in various locations across the state;  
  • Tier 2 - online consultation with content experts or state-wide consultants; and 
  • Tier 3 -specific districts receive on-site coaching and training.  

The goal at KY-ABRI is to ensure all Kentucky districts and schools have access to quality training and coaching to successfully implement an MTSS. ​

Students with Disabilities and the Use of Restraint and Seclusion in K-12 Public Schools: This webinar from the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) reviews implicated issues and requirements relating to the use of restraint and seclusion of students with disabilities. The webinar provides a brief description of OCR’s Civil Rights Data Collection System and some overall guidance regarding data reporting of restraint and seclusion. ​

Special Olympics Kentucky (SOKY): The mission of Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community. The Unified Champion Schools (UCS) initiative strategically supports inclusive sports, youth leadership and whole-school engagement. 

Preschool Resources

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library of Kentucky mails free, high-quality, age-appropriate books monthly to children from birth until age 5.

Preschool PBIS webcast: This webcast highlights key features and benefits of Preschool PBIS as well as additional teacher training information through the Preschool and Kindergarten PBIS Academy.

Early Childhood Environments - Designing Effective Classrooms (IRIS): This module includes videos, information and resources on designing effective early childhood environments.

Early Childhood Behavior Management: Developing and Teaching Rules (IRIS): This module includes information on how to create developmentally appropriate behavior rules for early childhood classrooms so that they link to a given school's behavior expectations. The importance of communication with families about rules and expected behaviors is also stressed. 

Preschool/Primary Resources (KDE): The preschool program is designed to be developmentally appropriate for young children. "Developmentally appropriate" is defined in law to mean that the program focuses on the child's physical, intellectual, social and emotional development, including interpersonal, intrapersonal and socialization skills. This page provides information and resources to support young learners. 

U.S. Department's Early Learning Website: This site includes the latest information about the U.S. Department of Education’s work in supporting our nation's youngest learners, as well as a variety of resources.

Family Engagement Resources

KDE Parent and Family Resources: This site includes a selection of resources in support of Special Education, tailored to meet the needs of families. 

KDE Parent and Family Rights: This site provides information about the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) and Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE), tailored to meet the needs of families. 

Family Engagement Resources (OSEP): This site includes a variety of resources including those from Federally Funded Projects and Centers, U.S. Department of Education and Early Childhood Resources.

Global Family Research Project: This site contains resources and related research for building and evaluating family, school and community engagement practices, programs and policies; for strengthening professional and organizational development; and for creating a more equitable anywhere anytime learning ecology for all children and families.

Partners in Education: A Dual Capacity-Building Framework for Family-School Partnerships: For schools and districts across the U.S., family engagement is rapidly shifting from a low-priority recommendation to an integral part of education reform efforts. This resource from the U.S. Department of Education offers information and resources on how to build and strengthen family-school partnerships. Additional information can also be found in the Dual Capacity Framework for Family-School Partnerships, Version 2.

Kentucky Collaborative for Families and Schools: The Kentucky Collaborative for Families and Schools is a network of partners focused on increasing open communication, learning opportunities and shared decision-making power across the Kentucky Education system. Their site includes a variety of resources and engagement opportunities that promote the growth of partnerships between families, schools and communities.  

National Association of Family, School and Community Engagement (NAFSCE): The mission of NAFSCE is to advance high-impact policies and practices for family, school and community engagement to promote child development and improve student achievement. Their site includes a variety of resources including webinars and toolkits. 

Non-Traditional Instruction (NTI)/Distance Learning Resources

COVID-19 Considerations for Reopening Schools - KDE Parent QA Document (October 16, 2020): This document is intended to support parents of students with disabilities during the 2020-2021 school year.

Virtual IEP Meetings: This page from the Center for Parent Information and Resources (CPIR) includes “tip sheets” on conducting virtual IEP meetings in both English and Spanish. 

COVID-19 Resources for Special Education and Early Learning: This KDE webpage includes a variety of resources related to COVID-19 including Frequently Asked Questions, National and Kentucky resources. 

Special Education Regional Cooperative Webcast Series: This webpage includes webcasts and connected resources around a variety of topics related to distance learning. 

Comprehensive Integrated Three-Tiered Model of Prevention (Behavior): The Ci3T Strategic Leadership Team and Ci3T Research Team are developing materials to support educators and families as we transition to a world of online and continuous learning. The site includes resources for teachers, administrators and families (English and Spanish).  

Early Childhood Regional Training Centers Webcast Series: This webpage incudes a series of webcasts and connected resources around a variety of topics. 

Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

CAST: The CAST organization is focused on transforming educational design through the Universal Design for Learning framework and UDL Guidelines. See Learning ResourcesTechnical Assistance for Accessibility and Online Tools for information and support on implementing UDL. Specific resources which may be of interest include:

UDL Toolkit (OSEP): This toolkit from OSEP provides information and resources on the UDL framework and principles of UDL, with a focus on UDL teaching and assessment methods. 

Universal Design for Learning: Creating a Learning Environment that Challenges and Engages all Students: This module from the IRIS Center explores the three principles of UDL and how to apply those principles to learning goals, instructional materials, instructional methods and assessments.

Universal Design for Learning Course Enhancement Module (CEM): This CEM from the CEEDAR Center explores how UDL can be used to make curriculum design and classroom design accessible for students. Section 1 includes an introduction to UDL and an overview of the UDL Framework, while Section 2 provides participants an opportunity to practice planning instruction with UDL. Both sections include an anchor presentation, facilitation guide and participant handouts. 

Individual Education Program (IEP) Resources

Guidance Document for Individual Education Program (IEP) Development: The IEP Guidance Document provides instructions and examples for developing IEPs for Admissions and Release Committee (ARC) members, including chairpersons, teachers, related service providers and parents. 

Developing High-Quality IEPs (IRIS): The IEP serves as the blueprint for the services and supports necessary to meet a student’s unique needs and guides every facet of their special education program. This module provides information on how to develop a high-quality IEP. 

Guidance for Monitoring and Evaluating Accommodations (KDE): This document provides a list of questions to consider when making determinations for student accommodations. 

Kentucky Department of Education Autism Guidance: This document provides non-regulatory guidance specifically related to the unique needs of learners with Autism.

Related Services Guidance Documents: The Kentucky Eligibility Guidelines for Students with Speech or Language Impairment 3rd Edition (KEG-3) and Guidance for Special Education Related Services Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy and Speech-Language Therapy provide guidance to support the delivery and implementation of related services. 

Assistive Technology (AT): Assistive technology is any device, software or equipment that helps people work around their challenges and is often essential for the success of students with disabilities. This page links to information and resources to support the use of AT. 

Kentucky Alternate Summative Assessment: This site includes resources to provide assistance to teachers and administrators who support students participating in the alternate assessment.​

IEP and Lesson Plan Development Handboo​k: This handbook provides information and examples of many facets of Special Education. Some information includes Specially Designed Instruction (SDI), Supplementary Aids and Services (SAS), IEP goals and objectives, etc. 

Administrator Resources

Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) Principal Leadership Standards in Support of Students with Disabilities: This document details Promoting Principal Leadership for the Success of Students with Disabilities and conveys high expectations for school leaders and administrators. The resource provides concrete examples and vignettes of how principals have worked to develop and demonstrate competencies and skills to better meet the needs of students with disabilities.

Promoting Principal Leadership for the Success of Students with Disabilities: This resource is a part of the CCSSO document above. It is a crosswalk chart that lists PSEL standards for Principal Leadership. There are 10 overall standards, and each standard is broken down more concretely into 3-4 proficiencies which describe in greater detail the competencies/skills that administrators should possess when leading their school teams to successfully meet the needs of students with disabilities. ​

​Webcast Series

Special Education Webcast Series 2020

Early Childhood Webcast Series 2020

General Resources

Kentucky Academic Standards: The Kentucky Academic Standards contain the minimum required standards that all Kentucky students should have the opportunity to learn before graduating from Kentucky high schools. 

Characteristics of Highly Effective Teaching and Learning (CHETL): The CHETL focuses on the instructional core and is organized around five components: learning climate; classroom assessment and reflection; instructional rigor and student engagement; instructional relevance; and knowledge of content.

The IRIS Center: The IRIS Center provides an abundance of resources for teaching students with disabilities. The website is searchable and provides resources for transitions, diversity, behavior and classroom management and Specially Designed Instruction (SDI), among other topics. The types of resources vary from computer learning modules, information briefs, interviews, videos and activities. 

WestEd Special Education Resources: WestEd provides information and resources to improve developmental and academic outcomes for young people with disabilities. This page includes webinars and resources on a variety of topics, including Supporting English Learners with disabilities, distance learning, improving teaching and learning and more. 

Council for Exceptional Children: The Council for Exceptional Children is a professional association of educators dedicated to advancing the success of children with exceptionalities. They offer a variety of resources including information on advocacy, standards and professional development.


Natasha Menifee
Office of Special Education and Eary Learning
300 Sower Blvd. – 4th floor
Frankfort, KY 40601
Phone: (502) 564-4970
Fax (502) 564-6721

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