The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) serves a total of 600,000 students and is the second largest school district in the United States. The district encompasses 30,000 teachers in more than 1,000 schools, and includes 9,000 students with a wide variety of special needs. LAUSD needed to implement a mandated district-wide special education curriculum to align special education offerings across the district, but faced nearly insurmountable challenges. One significant challenge was finding materials to address a broad spectrum of needs, the fiscal issues of resourcing 1,000 teachers, and the sheer logistics of providing all those teachers with training, encouragement and support.
Ultimately, the district chose n2y’s Unique Learning System, an online, dynamic, standards-based curriculum specifically designed for students with special needs. The solution features monthly downloadable instructional thematic units of study, each of which contains up to 30 special education lesson plans with three levels of differentiated tasks to accommodate a diversity of learners, plus downloadable materials supporting classroom learning activities.
In 2012, LAUSD launched a three-phase approach to mandate adoption of Unique Learning System, along with a plan to train and support teachers. The district worked with n2y to implement support options. With strategic planning to anticipate and overcome challenges, the district has seen the successful integration of Unique Learning System, and both teachers and students feel better supported.
After implementing the curriculum, LAUSD used monthly Unique Learning System Post-Test Checkpoint Scores, administered at the beginning and end of each month to measure students’ level of knowledge before and after instruction, to determine students’ levels of growth during the 2013–2015 school years. With average scores over the two-year period showing an overall 100 percent increase in accuracy for all special needs students, LAUSD considers its implementation of the Unique Learning System curriculum a success.
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