Effective Strategies for Improving Student Outcomes: A Q&A with Katie Clark

Katie Clark, M.Ed.

Intervention Specialist

Mentor Public Schools

1. How do I become an n2y certified educator?

You can become an n2y certified educator by registering and purchasing n2y’s Professional Development program online. This program offers about three credit hours or so of different classes and videos that explain different aspects of Unique Learning System. After each section, there are quizzes. And at the end of the courses you receive a certificate. Your district can also purchase the courses for you.

2. What is an ETR?

An ETR is known as an Evaluation Team Report in Ohio, but note it may not be called that in all states. When a student is diagnosed with a disability, their IEP team meets every three years to draft a multifaceted report. A school psychologist leads related testing and the team looks into every aspect of the student to determine their needs and whether or not they’re eligible for special education services. The IEP will reflect the needs and results of the ETR.

3. I am new to Unique Learning System. What does it cost?

The cost of Unique Learning System can be found here and is divided by licensure. That price for Unique includes the Student View that comes with the assessment tools, monthly lessons and the n2y library.

4. How do you print the monthly lessons and keep them organized?

As for myself, I don’t print out each lesson. However, my teaching partner would print all of them out and keep them in a huge binder. Instead, I print the lessons I need each week and organize them in different folders for each day. For the books, I bind them for my students and keep them in the room. You can also save all of the lessons on your computer.

5. Where can I view this webinar?

You can view the recorded version of the webinar for free here. You can also share the link with your colleagues or Administrators so they can have access to more information on Unique Learning System.

6. How do you keep track of answers and organize data in Student View?

To track answers and organize their data, I usually take a screenshot of my students’ answers and email it to myself from their iPads. This is quick and easy and then I can save for future reference.

7. How do you ensure your students receive a comprehensive curriculum?

I teach in a public middle school, so my teaching partner and I follow our bell schedule, which includes periods that are about 40 minutes long.

  • Advisory period: My day begins with an advisory period, which is like homeroom. During this time I get my morning work done.
  • 1st period: During 1st period, we go over the weather, calendar, etc.
  • 2nd period: This is a block period where I teach ELA.
  • 3rd period: My teaching partner and I co-teach 3rd period, which we leave open to rotate science, social studies and life skills. We use News-2-You and its extended activities during this time.
  • 5th period: After lunch is 5th period, when I teach math.
  • 6th period: During 6th period, my students go to their P.E. class.
  • 7th period: In 7th period, we have specials where we incorporate different activities and lessons such as yoga, speech therapy, cooking, art and music.
  • 8th period: The last period of the day (8th period) we call the Daily Buzz, where students take time to journal about the day’s activities.

Ultimately, with this system you have a lot of flexibility in how you decide to structure your classroom.

8. How do I use Unique Learning System with a classroom of students who have varying needs and disabilities?

I teach students with multiple disabilities too, and I’ve created a routine and setting my students are use to. I stand in front of the classroom to teach the lessons so everyone can see me. The lessons in Unique Learning System are delivered to students at differentiated levels so they always have their appropriate level at their desk. Having a teaching assistant also definitely helps to ensure each student can get the appropriate support and assistance with participation.

About the Author

Katie Clark is an n2y Certified Educator and an Intervention Specialist who has worked extensively with individuals who have mild to severe cognitive disabilities. Katie earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Kent State University and her Master of Education in Special Education, with a specialization in Autism Spectrum Disorders, from Bowling Green State University.