5. ACCOUNTABILITY Each Vermont educator carries out professional responsibilities ethically. Each educator demonstrates professional growth over time in each of the Five Standards for Vermont Educators and in the competencies for his/her endorsement(s). This growth is documented through a professional portfolio that includes evidence of rigorous professional development, reflective practice, and adaptation of practice to improve student learning. In addition, a portion of each educator’s IPDP and professional portfolio is connected to his/her school’s initiatives for improving student learning. Principle #14 The educator grows professionally, through a variety of approaches, to improve professional practice and student learning. Quality is indicated when an educator: Develops and implements an Individual Professional Development Plan (IPDP) that addresses each of The Five Standards for Vermont Educators, the knowledge and performance standards required for his/her endorsement(s), and the school’s action plan. IPDP goal: I will use best practice strategies in individualized assessment and instruction to improve student performance. Action Plan connection: The work shown in this portfolio connects to the school’s action plan because staff members are expected to participate in high quality and ongoing professional development. All of my opportunities have had a focus on instruction and assessment. Activity or artifact (attached): My artifact for ACCOUNTABILITY is my professional portfolio. Reflection: I feel that my LEARNING, PROFESSIONAL KNOWLEDGE, COLLEAGUESHIP, and ADVOCACY examples just touch the surface of what I have been able to learn and work at over the past seven years. Everything I have discussed and shown as artifacts in my portfolio are things that I am still working with or toward in my professional practice today: Math Recovery, Inclusive practices (Circle of Courage), Vermont Alternate Assessment Portfolio, COACH, and MAPS. I found it very difficult to choose the specific artifacts for my portfolio. When I actually sat down and looked at all the professional development I have been involved in, I realized that it all fit somewhere in the reflection of the Five Standards for Vermont Educators and my IPDP goals. I feel like I have grown as a professional exponentially in the past 7 years and I look forward to continuing that growth. I feel that I have been able to take advantage of excellent learning opportunities through the St. Johnsbury School. I finished the work for my Master’s Degree in Special Education through UVM in December 2007. The focus of my Master’s was Intensive Special Education. For most of my classes, I worked with a small group of other special educators from across the state of Vermont in courses taught mostly by I-Team members who are in the field daily working with students and school teams. I have been very involved in the school community in many different capacities, worked in every house in our building, and take pride in knowing the names of everyone in the building. I have students on my caseload from Pre-Kindergarten up through age 21. I case manage students within our building and at alternative locations such as LEARN, Cornerstone, and Easter Seals of NH. My responsibilities also require me to consult with teams throughout the building and provide support and services to our students with the most significant disabilities. Currently I have been involved at some level with at least 7-10 students in our building in addition to those on my caseload. I have also had the opportunity to consult with teams and students in our local preschool classrooms at Dipper Doodles, Lincoln Street, and New Beginnings. I enjoy this aspect of my job as I am able to get out into the community and work with colleagues from our school as well as community members to support students who will be entering our school at age 4. I have been Co-Chair of the St. Johnsbury School Local Standards Board since the 2005-2006 school year, have been a member of the St. Johnsbury Education Association Executive Board from 2008-2010, a member of three paraeducator and two teacher negotiating committees, a member of the committee that helped devise the VTAAP in 2009-2010 with the VT DOE, and a scorer at the alternate assessment portfolio institute for 5 years for the VT DOE, serving as a Table Leader for three years. The past seven years, my first cycle on a level II Special Educator license, has been one of great learning. I added Intensive Needs Special Educator to my level II license just last year and have proceeded to keep my focus in this area. Those practices that are best for students with significant disabilities tend to be best practice for all students. I know that working closely with classroom teachers and other professionals truly has a great impact on students. In my professional development, I have learned that Formative Assessment really “is” special education in many ways. When working with students on IEPs, I am essentially assessing them moment to moment and because I am mostly involved in 1:1 instruction right now, I can make instructional decisions to meet the student’s needs as I see fit. In the next seven years, I see myself continuing my work with alternate assessment. I hope to be able to work more closely with colleagues (special educators, classroom teachers, SLPs, OTs, VT DOE, and the VT I-Team) to support inclusive programs at the extent possible for students with intensive needs. Through this, I hope to continue to become more familiar with classroom curriculum and supporting teachers to include students with intensive needs. I also see myself working on my integration of technology into my day-to-day programming with students and continuing to work on assessment strategies to address individualized programming for students on IEPs.