Significant Disabilities Community of Practice Meetings

Our SCD CoP typically meets the 4th Wednesday of the month during the school year at 4:00 for approximately one hour. The purpose of these meetings is to connect special education professionals around the state by providing them with announcements, trainings and events, and information related to a chosen topic which they can discuss and share. During each meeting, REACH MS shares announcements shared from around the state as well as trainings and other events in the state that are specific to supporting students with significant disabilities. Each meeting has a topic that is decided upon by CoP participants or from a list of requests and contains about 15-20 minutes of best practice, strategies, examples, etc. related to this topic. CoP participants are encouraged to ask questions, make comments, and provide additional examples related to the given topic.

Each CoP is recorded so that those unable to participate live can have access to the information. For more information about SCD CoP meetings or to obtain a pdf copy of a previous meeting, email Brittany Herrington at


ESY, Compensatory Services, and Summer Learning

This CoP will provide guidance on determining and providing ESY and compensatory services for students with disabilities. Our discussion will also include other types of learning and enrichment activities that can be provided over the summer.


Distance Learning for the Remainder of the School Year

This CoP will provide ways special education professionals can implement distance learning practices to best meet the needs of a varied tech-abled student roster including instruction, assessment, and logistics. Strategies presented will include the use of collaboration among school staff and how best to utilize and support family members. This CoP will be aimed at supporting students with significant disabilities; however, many of these strategies can be implemented with all students with IEPs.


Resources and Strategies to Support Distance Learning for Students with Disabilities

We will provide resources and MDE procedure updates as well as strategies that can assist schools and parents with learning at home. We will discuss questions and collaborate together in efforts to help each other help students.


Using Sensory Rooms in the School Setting

This CoP will provide information on items to put in a sensory room, arrangement of the room, and the logistics of using the sensory room.


Executive Functioning Skills in Significant Disabilities

This CoP will provide information on fun experiences that can be incorporated in the classroom to increase executive functioning skills.


Should I be in a Self-Contained Classroom? What Will I Learn in There?

In this CoP, we will discuss ways each district can make decisions regarding the best placement of students to ensure each student is able to reach his or her potential. We will touch on curriculum, specifically the differences in the curriculum for students in a self-contained classroom versus those in general education and how to communicate this difference to families.


Supporting Communication and Behavior of Non-verbal Student

In this CoP, we will discuss how communication impacts behavior, the importance of providing communication opportunities for non-verbal students, and strategies to use to build communication skills and decrease inappropriate behaviors related to a lack of communication.


Developing Manageable Student and Classroom Schedules

In this CoP, we will discuss how to develop student and classroom schedules that provide successful groupings of peers and provide time for needed non-academic skills.


Increasing Job Skills

In this CoP, we will discuss selecting jobs, individually assessing the skills needed for jobs, teaching pre-requisite skills in the classroom, and providing opportunities to practice skills in the classroom.