Skip to main content
Heartland Area Education Agency Print Header
Main Content

Collaboration Spotlight: Supporting New Special Education Teachers in Carlisle With Guided Practice

Heartland AEA and the Carlisle Community Schools have collaborated to support teachers who are new to the teaching field and have requested supports to enhance their practical special education experience. The collaboration included guided practice and coaching in Compliance Required Practices, Instruction and Behavior/Classroom Management, such as:  

  • IEP teacher training provided by Heartland AEA with a member of the AEA’s school-based team to enhance communication and clarification on IEP practices.

  • AEA staff modeling in writing a quality IEP, conducting an initial and reevaluation IEP meeting, developing work tasks for students with significant needs and managing multiple student groups so all students receive appropriate instruction and materials.

  • AEA staff consultation on proven classroom management practices and systems for individual teaching styles and student needs.

  • Updated behavior intervention plans and modeling implementation of the behavior plans by school psychologists and social workers.

As a result of the collaboration, teachers entering the field of special education had positive first year experiences. Sound educational practices are being implemented and students are making academic and behavioral progress. Carlisle special education teachers state that collaboration was essential for the district programs’ quality and enrichment.

“The relationship between Heartland AEA staff and Carlisle district staff has been an overwhelmingly positive experience. As new special education teachers, we have experienced many challenges, but working with AEA staff has enriched our own learning. They are always open to supporting Carlisle staff and students. Their supports range from simple IEP questions to full consultation on IEP supports, educational decisions and behavior plan decisions. They always make themselves available no matter how big or small the problem. As a result of AEA support, our IEP writing has improved, and IEPs are more enriching for students, families and teachers. With help from Heartland AEA, teachers are able to develop well-rounded plans for furthering students’ learning and growth. Special education teachers at Carlisle have been able to better differentiate instruction for students and have impacted instruction overall.”

~ Kassie Kellis, 9/10 Special Education Teacher and Donald Stalter, Secondary Level III Special Education Teacher, Carlisle




“Carlisle is a district that strives to improve student outcomes and ensure progress. It is a growing district that values research and the use of best practices.”

~ Deb Kieler, Heartland AEA Special Education Consultant


© 2018 Heartland AEA 11. All Rights Reserved.