Equity. Excellence. Education.

Professional Learning

Official 2016-17 SERC Professional Learning Listings.

SERC believes the most effective learning opportunities are learner-driven, in a variety of formats. We offer comprehensive in-district technical assistance and support, online courses and learning modules, resources through the SERC Library and website, and other means to serve the unique needs of the learner.

This page features our online learning opportunities, for those who wish to access on-demand learning in a variety of topics. Registration is required. For traditional in-person learning sessions, use the month-by-month listings, above.

Online Courses

It's Never Too Late: How to Motivate and Teach Older Struggling Readers with SLD/Dyslexia

September 9, 2016

The literacy skills needed for success at the secondary level are complex and embedded in content subjects. The challenge for educators working with students with SLD/Dyslexia is to provide explicit structured literacy instruction, maintain the student’s access to general education content, and support their motivation to read and write.

In this 2¼-hour online video learning course, Dr. Margie Gillis reviews the components of comprehensive literacy instruction and the underlying phonological processing deficits that impact reading achievement. Within this framework, she discusses setting priorities for older students with SLD/Dyslexia and providing evidence-based instructional approaches most effective for this population of students.

Participants completing this online course will be able to summarize the structured literacy instruction that secondary students with SLD/Dyslexia need to simultaneously access general education content across the disciplines and improve their reading skills; identify the cognitive processes that affect learning (e.g., executive functioning; memory) and their impact on student success at the secondary level; and address the motivational challenges unique to secondary students with SLD/Dyslexia.

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ONLINE: 2016-2017 CSDE Usability, Accessibility, and Accommodations Training

August 30, 2016

This optional online professional learning opportunity* covers the accessibility options, including designated supports and accommodations, for students taking the Smarter Balanced assessments. It focuses on students with disabilities, students with a Section 504 plan, and students identified as English Learners, as well as general education students.

Participants will review legal and practical implications of providing accommodations; identify accommodations allowed on statewide assessments and the rationale for inclusion and provision to a student; identify designated supports allowed on statewide assessments and the rationale for inclusion and provision to a student; distinguish between accommodations for instruction and/or statewide assessment; and review the assessment selection process.

*This activity is 508 compliant, including closed captioning.

Multi-day Event:

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Identifying Students with SLD/Dyslexia: An Online Course

September 21, 2016

This 6.5-hour self-paced intermediate-level web-based course offers an early elementary case-study comprehensive approach to understanding reading difficulties and appropriately identifying students with SLD/Dyslexia by applying CT’s 2010 Guidelines for Identifying Children with Learning Disabilities.

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Assessing Student Hearing: Screening Procedures for School Nurses - An Online Course

September 21, 2016

Through this self-paced tutorial, school nurses can gain the expertise they need to conduct mandated hearing screening assessments as well as modify screenings for students with special needs and in early childhood programs. This online course provides a medical foundation for hearing acuity and hearing impairment, offers explicit instruction in audiological instrumentation and screening procedures, and outlines educational supports students with hearing loss need in school settings.

Completion of a final supervised practicum will enable participants to receive CEUs and a Hearing Screening Training Certificate, which fulfills Connecticut’s legislative requirement for hearing screening training [RCSA, Section 10-24-3(a)]. Registration for this course is ongoing.

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School Vision Screening: An Online Course for School Nurses

September 21, 2016

Connecticut school nurses can self-pace their learning about vision and school vision screenings by participating in this online course. Course content includes the anatomical and physiological bases for vision, distinguishing between typical and atypical development, common eye problems (symptoms, treatment, and complications), and recommended vision screening tests. The tutorial also describes students and staff that should be involved in the screening process, and procedures to modify vision screening for students with special needs and those in early childhood programs. Registration for this online course is ongoing.

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SLD/Dyslexia: Connecting Research to Practice in Connecticut

September 21, 2016

This advanced-level 12-hour professional learning opportunity is a comprehensive series of web-based learning modules that address the foundations of reading acquisition, identification of SLD/Dyslexia, and evidence-based instructional practices. The modules are suitable for educators with a broad understanding of SLD/Dyslexia (including general and special education teachers, student support services professionals, literacy specialists, and administrators) who are seeking to expand their knowledge base by examining seminal research and applying it to changes in their work with students.

In this training, Connecticut content experts and educational leaders synthesize research on reading and language development, subtypes of reading difficulties, implementation of core literacy instruction, assessment of SLD/Dyslexia, and the components of structured literacy instruction, including spelling and written expression. Each of the content-based modules are followed by reflection segments, content questions, and professional dialogue led by a literacy expert and a district professional to guide educators through the process of examining and altering current SLD/Dyslexia practices.

Participants completing this online course will: explain the domains of oral language and the components of reading and how they intersect; describe how a multi-tiered system of support (MTSS) is essential in providing tiers of intervention for students having difficulty learning to read, beginning with comprehensive “core” literacy instruction in general education; differentiate between the distinct types of reading difficulties students can experience, including SLD/Dyslexia; outline the elements of a comprehensive special education evaluation when SLD/Dyslexia is suspected; and summarize the structured literacy instruction that students with various profiles of reading difficulty need, including students with SLD/Dyslexia.

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ONLINE: 2016-2017 CSDE Alternate Assessment System Training

September 29, 2016

This training* is required for teachers who have primary responsibility for assessing students identified with significant disabilities and administering the Connecticut Alternate Assessment (CTAA) and the CT Mastery Test/CT Academic Performance Test (CMT/CAPT) Skills Checklist Science.

Participants in this online required professional learning will demonstrate their understanding of the following: the identification process for the CTAA and CMT/CAPT Skills Checklist Science; the alignment between Connecticut’s Core Standards and the CTAA; and the CTAA and CMT/CAPT Skills Checklist Science procedures, timeline, administration, accommodations, and resources.

*This activity is 508 compliant, including closed captioning.

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