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Getting Started with IC Teams

Making the Decision
School/ District Commitments
Cost Considerations
IC Team Model Description
Interactive Overview of IC Teams (Please allow time to load)
Instructional Consultation Teams represent a way for schools to organize and deliver services to support students and teachers. By restructuring and refocusing resources, students achieve academic and behavioral success within the general education environment; teachers assume the primary role of planning and accounting for student performance, and schools allocate resources through accountable decision-making procedures.

IC Teams (Rosenfield, & Gravois, 1996), is theoretically grounded in, and serves as a delivery system of, instructional consultation (Rosenfield, 1987; 2002) and instructional assessment (Gravois & Gickling, 2008). The model is based upon the premise that quality instruction matched to a student's assessed entry skills, increases student success, reduces behavioral difficulties, and avoids the need for special education evaluation and placement.

Step 1: Make an Informed Decision

Initiation is the process leading up to the decision to proceed with a particular innovation. Emphasis in initiation of IC Teams is given to what Fullan (2007) refers to as the "three R's:" relevance, readiness and resources.

Relevance
Relevance refers to the actions used to clarify and assess system needs in relation to the innovation being considered or proposed. Related to IC Teams, the following actions are recommended.
  • Self-Assessment. Schools considering IC Teams should define and specify the outcomes they wish to achieve and then compare, contrast and assess how and in what ways does the adoption of IC Teams "fit" their intended outcomes.
  • Review publications. Published resources can be accessed through libraries providing descriptions and information about IC Teams, training, research and implementation.
  • Attend awareness sessions. Approved IC Team Trainers1 and professionals from districts implementing IC Teams frequently present and are invited speakers at various professional conferences and associations. These types of presentations are not considered skill development activities, and should not be confused with the decision to adopt or implement IC Teams.
Readiness
Readiness refers to the actions taken to assess the capacity for change at the individual and organizational level. Readiness actions for IC Teams can include:
  • Conduct a Book Study. The text Instructional Consultation Teams: Collaborating for Change (Rosenfield and Gravois, 1996) provides a comprehensive description of the model.
  • Contact those who are Implementing IC Teams. ICAT Resources® maintains a list of individuals and schools that have initiated and implemented IC Teams, and are willing to be contacted.
  • Contracted Readiness Training: Prior to committing resources to the full implementation of the IC Team process, some districts elect to contract for strategic readiness training for a selected number of participants. Such readiness training may include Phase 1 activities.
Resources
Schools and districts must assess the commitment of resources, both financial and personnel, to carry out the implementation. Several resource considerations that must be addressed prior to committing to implementing the IC Team model:
  • Commitment to Readiness. Without adequate understanding of the IC Team model, there is very little chance of success in training and implementation.
  • Commitment of District Superintendent and Administration. IC Teams requires a two-year commitment for implementation. The district superintendent, curriculum director, instructional director, special education director and participating Principals must all be informed and committed to the work involved.
  • Commitment to Allocate Personnel. Personnel need to be identified to be the IC Team Facilitator. This position requires a minimum of half-time allocation to each project school. Many districts dedicate a full-time person to the IC Team Facilitator role.
  • Commitment to Provide Financial Support. District will need to pay for the consulting and associated training costs to develop and deliver the two-year training and technical support of the IC Team model.
  • Commitment to Participating in Comprehensive Professional Development. The IC Team Facilitator, the Principal of the school and another school-based staff member are required to attend training sessions, practice and apply skills and receive feedback. The IC Team Facilitator is expected to participate in approximately 26 days of training during the first year in addition to applying skills and knowledge within their assigned school.
  • Commitment to Program Evaluation. Part of the IC Team program is a commitment to evaluate the program's implementation and outcomes. Each school and district must commit to collecting required program evaluation and commit to on-going program evaluation beyond the initial training.

Step 2: Make the Commitment

District Commitments
  • Identify designated number of schools to participate over a two-year period
  • Allocate personnel for IC Team Facilitator (minimum 1/2 time per school) to support the development and implementation of the team
  • Written commitment from superintendent and designated district contact
  • Thoughtful selection of key personnel to receive advanced training as IC Team Facilitators
  • Resources dedicated for:
    • External professional development (trainers and consultants)
    • Stipends/ Workshop wages for release and training of team members.
    • Travel costs for on-site training located at project schools (as appropriate)
  • Commitment to participate in all IC Team Evaluation activities
  • 3-5 year project commitment to resources for teaming and to assure continuity in school administration supportive of IC Team model.
  • Negotiation of "hold harmless" for improved service delivery within IC Team project schools
School/ Principal Commitment:
  • Written commitment from principal
  • Principal as active participant in training, team meetings and case management
  • Team participation in designated training
  • Representative team
  • Weekly team meetings
  • Classroom teachers as active team members
  • Participation in IC Team evaluation activities
  • 3-5 year school/ principal commitment

Step 3: Commit to Share the Costs

Quality professional development has a cost. However, poor professional development has an even higher cost in the form of wasted time and money. Few districts have the capacity to support the comprehensive ICAT® Professional Development Sequence described — when working in isolation.

However, when districts collaborate and join resources, the comprehensive professional development plan is affordable and can be adopted with integrity. ICAT Resources® encourages multiple school buildings and districts to create an IC Team Consortium. Such consortia require the registration of a Cohort of schools (minimum of 10 schools, and a maximum of 12), to commit to the two-year training sequence.

IC Team Consortium
Districts within an IC Team Consortium commit to share training and technical support experiences. This requires districts' commitment to:
  • working together for at least two years,
  • a single yearlong training calendar (see for example Appendix B),
  • travel to one another's' schools and training sites, and
  • support each other in developing a shared set of skills and knowledge.
Budget Considerations:
There are several budget considerations. Some are time-limited, designed to support professional development while others are long-term and require restructuring and re-allocation of resources.

Personnel Considerations:

Impact: Ongoing, requires restructuring of resources
  1. On-site IC Team Facilitator (1/2 time per school)
    Options:
    • Directly fund position
    • Re-allocate existing resource position (i.e. Title 1, reading specialist, mentor teacher, psychologist, special educator, etc.)
Professional Development Considerations:

Impact: Two years; decreases in 2nd year
  1. Workshop wages/ stipends for team members to be trained (only team members requiring release/ stipend)
    Options:
    • Special education funds for disproportionality/ early intervention
    • Funding for at-risk/ low achieving populations
    • Funding for targeted poverty/ No Child Left Behind
    • Professional development funds
    • Comprehensive Title 1

  2. ICAT® Professional Development
    Year 1 ICAT® Training costs include:
    • 25-28 on-site training and technical support dates (includes cost of trainer, travel, lodging, etc.)
    • Cost to provide semester of on-line coaching experience (university credit may be available)
    Year 2 ICAT® Training costs include:
    • 8-10 on-site training and technical support dates (includes cost of trainer, travel, lodging, etc.)
    • Cost for ICAT® Tools, program evaluation and management system




1 Approved IC Team Trainers have received certification by ICAT Resources® based upon demonstration of skills at seven specific levels of functioning.

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