Co-Teaching is an approach to inclusive practices that speaks to the requirement to educate special needs students in the Least Restrictive Environment (Individuals with Disabilities Act, 2004). Co-teaching is two or more professionals delivering substantive instruction to a diverse group of students in the same physical space. It is often a general education teacher and a special education teacher who share responsibility for educating the same students. Research shows that students with disabilities can acquire increased social and emotional skills in a co-taught classroom, as well experience greater academic success (Friend, 2014; Murowski, 2009).
Virginia’s Excellence in Co-Teaching Initiative
About 64% of Virginia students with disabilities spend 80% of more of their days in the general education classroom (Virginia Department of Education, 2018). Co-teaching has frequently been chosen as a service delivery option for these students. For several years, the Virginia Department of Education has chosen certain schools throughout the state as co-teaching demonstration sites, as part of its Excellence in Co-Teaching Initiative. These demonstration schools provide opportunities for co-teaching partners to observe inclusive practices in action. They model co-teaching, welcome visitors, and produce lesson plans and videos of co-planning, co-assessing, and co-instructing.
Region 4 TTAC and Co-Teaching
Region 4 TTAC supports co-teaching school sites currently participating in the Virginia Department of Education’s Excellence in Co-Teaching Initiative. Teachers and administrators may visit to discuss co-teaching and to observe.
Visits to Demonstration Sites
Co-Teaching teams in Region 4 that are participating in the Excellence in Co-Teaching Initiative for school year 2018-19 are listed below. To arrange a visit, contact Diane Loomis (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Eastern View High School, Grade 9 Algebra (Culpeper County Public Schools)
- Harmony Middle School, Grade 8 English (Loudoun County Public Schools)
- Emerald Hill Elementary School, Grade 1 Math (Culpeper County Public Schools)
- Discovery Elementary School, Grade 3 ELL/LA/Math (Loudoun County Public Schools)
- Discovery Elementary School, Grade 2, All (Loudoun County Public Schools)
Regional Community of Practice for Co-Teaching
Region 4 TTAC conducts a regional online community of practice in co-teaching.
Resources for Co-Teaching
- Self-Assessment of Quality Indicators of Co-Teaching
Schools may assess their own progress in co-teaching through this checklist on Quality Indicators for Co-Teaching.
- Real Co-Teachers of Virginia –Middle & High
Videos from Virginia co-teachers show them in action. Teachers have created videos and sample lesson plans for co-teaching English, Math, Social Studies and Science at the secondary level. Additional resources for co-teaching in middle school and high school are offered.
- Real Co-Teachers of Virginia—Elementary
Videos from Virginia co-teachers show them in action at the elementary level. Teachers have created videos and sample lesson plans for co-teaching English, Math, Social Studies and Science at the elementary level. Additional resources for co-teaching in elementary school are offered.
- Friend, M. (2014). Co-Teach! Building and sustaining effective classroom partnerships in inclusive Schools. Washington, D.C.: Marilyn Friend, Inc.
- Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1400 (2004).
- Murowski, W. (2009). Collaborative teaching in secondary schools: Making the co-teaching marriage work! Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.
- Virginia Department of Education (2018). Special education performance report 2016-17. Retrieved July 31, 2018, from http://www.doe.virginia.gov/special_ed/reports_plans_stats/special_ed_performance/division/2016-2017/index.shtml#state
For additional information on the Excellence in Co-Teaching Initiative or on co-teaching practices, contact Diane Loomis.
Transition Coordinator and Co-teaching Lead