Diverse Learners Cooperative

DLC Impact Story: Comprehensive Resources for Success

Read this DLC impact story to see how we partner with school teams to develop custom, learner-centered resources that drive progress toward learning goals.

As a network leader, Allie supports teachers and paraprofessionals, and navigating their varied needs while they navigate students’ varied needs is a big job.  When it came to building out new programs and their curriculum, in addition to developing people to lead these programs, she turned to the DLC for help.   

“Our program continues to grow and get bigger every year, and a lot of it honestly comes down to capacity.  I’m just one person, and when I was managing across the network, I had over 10 paras to manage, over 15 teachers, there was just no capacity for me to support in curriculum building.”

Starting with a small curriculum project, Allie leveraged partnership with the DLC to get what she needed for the programs and her staff – resources that she recognized would be vital for effective and efficient operation.  That small project grew into additional curriculum development, behavior support, and comprehensive training for paraprofessionals.

“At the high school level, the DLC team helped to build out all of our scope and sequences for curriculum for AAD (Alternate Academic Diploma) standards, which was incredible – building course calendars, assessments, scoping out objectives, etc.  And at the middle school level, they supported us in working on some team frameworks for paras, professional development with the life skills teachers, and then some really specific behavior plans for students in that class and then behavior training on those plans.”

These resources and professional development experiences were customized to Allie’s specifications, something she had been explicitly looking for in a professional partner. 

“We could contract with the DLC for exactly what we needed.  There’s been a ton of collaboration work around what exact outcomes we want from this project, how the DLC is going to work to get us there, and then the execution of making it happen.  It’s focused on us, which has been amazing.”

We don’t want to send our whole team of SPED teachers to generic professional development when some of them could use that but things weren’t always specific to us.  The DLC is wonderful because we don’t need to create content for just the couple new teachers or come up with a separate professional development that not all of our teachers need.  Instead, this intensive training catches them up to speed and gets them that intensive support.”

Resourcing could have easily felt piecemealed, impersonal, or distant, but Allie saw the experience as a true partnership focused on her, her staff, and her students’ needs.

“I feel like it’s easy when you contract work to feel like there’s not this connection between you and the person, or they’re just completing the project.  But there was a continuous follow up from the DLC team: Are you getting what you need?  What can we do to support?  What do next steps look like?  That made me feel like there was a partnership between us.  And even coming into the building – being there with us – made me feel like we had that connection with them.” 

The resources she needed coupled with the partnership she developed had the downstream impacts she envisioned.

“The DLC has made us a stronger team.  The resources and support are things that I personally would not have been able to provide my team with, and now they have them.  In providing those resources, we now have stronger teachers, which leads to putting stronger content information in front of our kids or following through with behavior plans of higher quality.” 

Perhaps even more important to Allie, though, was the effect the DLC resource partnership had on her ability to do her developmental work in a more effective, purposeful, and fruitful way.

“What it’s allowed me to do is be more people focused.  It’s really easy in roles like mine to get so caught up in project work or needing to do project work to support my teachers, and instead it’s opened up my time so I can spend more face-to-face time with them, or supporting them in other areas that they need, more time in the classroom with them, and more time coaching them because these projects have been taken off my plate.” 

Allie cites her engagement with the DLC and the resources developed as part of the partnership as integral to her work, her staff’s progress, and her students’ successes, and she knows that impact is palpable. 

“It’s so valuable.  Principals were asking for it – they all saw the benefits to us using the DLC.  When you’re getting the whole team involved and broadening the service while still having it be as specific as possible, everyone saw the benefit – everyone wanted the service back again.”

The DLC aims to have a similar and significant impact within all school partnerships, equipping and empowering teams to improve outcomes for diverse learners. Interested in seeing this kind of success in your space? Contact us!