Dear TeachTown Community,
As we look back on the past 12 months, we are proud to be your trusted partner in delivering high-quality, individualized education for your students with disabilities. At TeachTown, we remain singularly focused on one mission – measurably improving the academic, adaptive, and behavioral functioning of students with disabilities. This letter highlights the major curriculum enhancements and platform investments of 2023. Our district partners now have access to a complete and comprehensive K-12 adapted core curriculum, benchmark assessments, standards-based reporting, breaking news resources, an in-app onboarding explorer, new UX/UI within the platform, and so much more!
Thank you for being an integral part of our TeachTown community. We look forward to continued innovation, growth, and unwavering commitment to student outcomes in 2024!
We completed the phased rollout of enCORE High School with the release of Phase 6 this fall. Districts now have access to a comprehensive, standards-first core curriculum for a population of students who previously did not have one accessible to them. Students with moderate to severe disabilities are now engaging in equitable, inclusive learning through appropriately challenging and engaging instruction. enCORE can – and does – change the trajectory of students’ lives. The significance of this milestone cannot be understated.
We listen carefully to the voices that matter most – the special education teachers and leaders who use our solutions every single day. As a result of educator feedback, we are pleased to share several key enhancements to enCORE:
enCORE Events are accessible news stories based on timely, real-world current events, such as Chinese New Year, the Super Bowl, or Women’s History Month. This spring, we launched This Just In! to complement enCORE Events. Designed to address national and global news stories that students may learn about in their everyday lives, This Just In! helps teachers share breaking news with their students as timely events occur. The most recent This Just In! features the life and work of former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, Sandra Day O’Connor. (Pictured here). This Just In!, available for K-12 students, provides the essential background knowledge and vocabulary necessary for students to be active consumers of mainstream media.
Annually each spring, enCORE releases brand new content for Extended School Year (ESY) services. The 2023 theme of ESY was Summer In My Community, and included 4 weeks of curriculum. Each week presented newsletters, mini-lessons, printable worksheets, and teacher-led & student-led technology lessons. Teachers delivered appropriately challenging and engaging instruction that was relevant to students’ lives as they continued learning over the summer months.
Just like enCORE K-12, enCORE ESY is standards-aligned, differentiated, and supports a blended learning model. Of note – enCORE High School launched its first-ever ESY content in May 2023!
Next year, the theme of ESY will be Summer Around the World. Your students will love becoming international travelers!
We understand special education teachers and administrators need access to clear, accurate data. You need to be able to pull reports that clearly show student progress towards standards so you can write progress monitoring notes, update IEP goals properly, and plan targeted instruction. This is why we created the Standard Alignment for Student Work report for all enCORE K-12 users. This standards-based reporting feature allows teachers to demonstrate and analyze student progress on lessons associated with state and/or national standards frameworks. Parameters can be set by subdomain, grade, date range, and standards framework. Student work progress is documented as In Progress, Passed At Pretest, or Mastered. Compliance just got a lot easier!
Over the summer, we launched TeachTown Benchmark Assessments to help special educators understand what their students already know and what they still need to work on. Meeting the highest standards of test construction, our benchmark assessments drive meaningful academic progress towards learning objectives and IEP goals by ensuring instruction is targeted to the appropriate level and specific skill area. Plus, reports provide teachers with the units and books that correspond with their students’ identified areas of need so they know exactly what to teach next. Highlights:
Note: TeachTown Benchmark Assessments are available to enCORE K-12 licensed organizations for use with their elementary students.
In October, we released 600 new functional academic lessons in Transition to Adulthood. The new functional academic content includes 300 Math and 300 ELA lessons that are available as student-led technology lessons.
As functional academic lessons, all skills directly relate to students’ everyday lives and support continued independence as they prepare for their postsecondary setting. Lessons are differentiated to level to mirror the personalized support available in enCORE.
All grade bands of enCORE are aligned to state and national standards frameworks. Periodically, state standards are revised. Our alignments team works diligently to stay abreast of all standards updates and systematically organize updates for curriculum analysis. The team regularly released updated alignments for educators to view how enCORE instruction adheres to the most current standards frameworks.
In January 2023, we began offering enCORE as a K-12 curriculum. Unlike competitors who require districts to choose just one grade band (or partial grade band) for their teachers, enCORE users now have access to ALL grade bands, regardless of the grade(s) they teach. Further, when districts choose the whole child package, they have access to a full suite of special education solutions: our adapted core curriculum and key supporting interventions that together support the whole child.
TeachTown is proud to support the continuity of service with license flexibility. Each student’s account provides access to as many teachers, paraprofessionals, related service providers, etc. as desired. When districts implement creative solutions to the nationwide special educator shortage through long-term substitutes, emergency certification teachers, and alternate pathway teachers, TeachTown is here to support successful implementation of evidence-based core curriculum. The backend of TeachTown streamlines and automates the licensing process, simplifying onboarding and implementation for new users.
In June, we released the Resource Center, an in-app onboarding explorer that provides easy access to on-demand training and professional learning content, along with answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.
Teachers and administrators will find product walkthroughs as well as the latest information about What’s New in the platform. There are also special resources just for administrators to get immediate support with beginning of year data management and other admin-specific tasks.
The Resource Center is a great place to explore when you’re just getting started with TeachTown or whenever you need a quick refresher on one of your solutions. It’s also where you’ll be among the first to know about important curriculum updates and newly released features within the platform.
We are proud to support multiple integrations, including Single Sign-On (SSO) and Rostering via Clever, OneRoster, and ClassLink. So, no matter your tech set-up, we’ve got you covered! We are continuously working toward a turnkey administration to reduce the number of clicks and time spent with manual data entry. In 2023, districts were able to run bulk import updates, utilize single sign-on for all apps, view pages as an admin, and experience continuous page performance updates. It keeps getting better!
The back to school sprint got a little easier this year with three brand new data management features within the learning platform: bulk import/ export, identifying duplicates, and merging when appropriate.
Administrators can now utilize bulk import and export of student and teacher lists, identify potential duplicates, and merge when appropriate to do so. These new tech tools support mass updates for licensing and rostering (and give you back hours of your time). To assist with the beginning of school year updates, TeachTown has also added advanced administration tools, including, including –
The enCORE Curriculum tab has a brand new look and feel! Releasing at the end of this month, the enCORE Curriculum tab is now easier and more intuitive to use in an effort to support more efficient planning and instruction. We incorporated teacher feedback to create a new design and organizational layout so teachers can easily map out instruction for the whole week. The new interface allows teachers to –
This year, we launched a brand new department within TeachTown. Our technical support team is dedicated to supporting customers every step of the way. The new technical support page & resources have improved the customer support workflow to automate case creation, case assignments, services level, and priority escalation. That’s tech talk for “Ping us with a question and we’re on it ASAP.” Contact information for support is available on our website.
In 2023, TeachTown provided 446 days of onsite professional development and 2,500+ hours of virtual training, coaching & solution engineer support. Professional development is available onsite, virtually and via on-demand webinars. Teachers consistently tell us they are loving the enCORE 101, 102, and 103 series that helps them get started with enCORE, build confidence in delivering both print and technology lesson plans, collect and analyze data, track IEP goal progress, and more.
In addition to delivering comprehensive professional development, we released an expansive set of thought leadership content and networking opportunities. Did we see you at our two virtual summits, one highly successful TeachTown Live event in NYC, numerous conferences throughout the nation, monthly thought leadership webinars, or other events?. Check out our end-of-year- resource guide for a glance at all the white papers, eBooks, guides, and other resources available to educators and administrators this year.
Our research team was hard at work this school year formally studying the effectiveness of enCORE Elementary, and the results prove what we already knew: enCORE works! The teacher in the study successfully delivered grade-aligned academic content and individualized instruction to meet the diverse learning needs of all students in a K-5 self-contained classroom. The students in the study gained, retained, and generalized targeted ELA and Math skills over a 6-month period. Special education teachers and leaders can be confident that the adapted core curriculum they’re utilizing with their K-12 students with moderate to severe disabilities is best-in-class – supported by formal research and grounded in evidence-based instructional practices. Read the summary here and the full report here.
TeachTown remains committed to providing the best-in-class special education solutions for your students with moderate to severe disabilities and the special education teams who serve them. Thank you for being an integral part of the TeachTown community. Cheers to a great year and continued innovation, growth, and unwavering commitment as we look to 2024!
Interested in sharing your feedback? Reach out to the product team at firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about participating in future development projects.