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ERIC Number: ED517334
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 245
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1097-6497-0
The Impact of Comer's School Development Program's Student Staff Support Team Process on High-Incidence Special Education Referrals in One Elementary School
Gibson-Robinson, Joi
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
This study examines whether the Comer (1996) placement model process reduces the overrepresentation of certain student groups into high-incidence disabilities programs. High-incidence disabilities are those disabilities which require an extensive degree of "professional judgment" by the teacher in determining whether or not a disability exists (MacMillan, D. L. & Reschley, D. J., 1998). High-incidence disabilities include: (a) speech and language impairments, (b) specific learning disabilities, and (c) mild/moderate mental retardation. This author conducted this study using semi-structured interviews with school-based administrators and faculty and staff, reviewed and analyzed archival data and observed two School Development Program's (SDP) Student Staff Support Team (SSST) meetings. Participants in this study included members of the Comer SDP's SSST in one elementary school. Team members included the school's principal, five regular education teachers, two special education teachers, the school's guidance counselor, a literacy specialist and the school's psychologist. The site that was studied is one of four elementary schools located in a rural community in North Carolina. This Title I school serves 462 students in pre-kindergarten through third grade. Overall, 80-percent of the school's population is comprised of minority students, with 1-percent Asian/Pacific Islander, 28-percent Hispanic and 52-percent African American. Twenty percent of the school's population is comprised of White students. Eighty five percent of the student population qualifies for free and reduced lunch and no students are identified by the state as Academically Gifted. To determine whether a relationship exists between the SDP's SSST process and a decrease in high-incidence referrals of students for special education services, the author formulated this research question: "Does the School Development Program's Student Staff Support Team's process decrease the number of students referred for testing for high-incidence disabilities in one elementary school?" Observations of SDP-SSST meetings and individual and focus group interviews provided a clearer picture of the positive results stemming from the Comer process. Archival data and data from the interviews and observations sustain the premise of Comer's theoretical framework which states that child centered planning and collaboration among adults foster positive results. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A