Raising Student Achievement Through Intensive Professional Development

Three women standing next to each other
  • Rose Tree Media SD

    IU25 - Delaware County Intermediate Unit
    Rose Tree Media SD
    308 North Olive Street
    Media, PA 19063

  • Success Story Contact

    Steve Taylor
    Phone: N/A
    Email: staylor@rtmsd.org
    School Website:

  • BSE/PaTTAN’s Role in Success:

    PaTTAN works with Arcadia University to support inclusive practices in Pennsylvania schools.

When Rose Tree Media School District saw that 16 percent of their students were requiring Individualized Educational Programs (IEPs), they decided their teachers would benefit from an intensive professional development program that would raise all student achievement in six years. They turned to Arcadia University for guidance in fulfilling that need.

Arcadia’s Annual Inclusion Institute (AAII) is a year-long professional development program on inclusive practices. Participants attend in school-based teams comprised of the building principal, special and general education teachers, a parent of a child with a disability, and other school personnel. The teams learn how to make full inclusion happen in the schools and the school district. The school district saw the partnership with AAII as an opportunity to reevaluate the building infrastructure. One of the first changes they made was to relocate special education services from the pupil services division to the teaching and learning division. This changeover enables special education services to be proactive instead of reactive, a completely different shift for the district. Currently, each school-based team is in the process of creating a unique action plan that will be implemented in their respective schools. While there are many components of AAII’s instruction, one key initiative is promoting and implementing co-teaching as an effective tool. Co-teaching promotes differentiated instruction, more access to teacher/adults for all students, more opportunities for students to engage in discussion and responses to questions, increased student self-esteem, and a sense of accountability for all.

While it is still too early to quantify the benefits of working in collaboration with AAII, Rose Tree Media School District has seen progress already. Students scored higher on the PSSAs; there was more growth in a year’s time than before AAII was involved. Congratulations to Rose Tree Media School District and Arcadia University for their success story!