• McKinley Special Needs (SEN) Agreement


     I.  Philosophy-

    We believe that all learners have unique needs to consider when helping them to meet / exceed their academic and non-academic potential.  To provide access to the IB Primary Years Program at McKinley Elementary, we apply approaches and support systems that address the individual needs and varied learning styles of students, including those identified with special needs (special education and gifted).  By recognizing the diversity of our collective learning community, we support the development of internationally-minded people.


    II.  Purpose –

    Our SEN agreement guides our practice:

    • To maintain open access to the Primary Years Program for all students.
    • To create an environment that meets the special education needs of each identified child.
    • To ensure that the special education needs of children are identified, assessed and provided for.
    • To make clear the expectations of each stakeholder (staff, students, parents, special education providers, school officials).
    • To define the structures and systems needed to support all students.
    • To follow the state and federal mandates that govern special education in Ohio.

    III.  Practice -

    A.  Differentiation -

    At McKinley Elementary, all students receive instruction that enables them to succeed within the range of their approaches to learning, abilities and interests.   By utilizing formative instructional practices (FIP), teachers gather and respond to evidence of student learning. With these practices, teachers use tools, strategies, and resources to determine what students know, identify possible gaps in understanding, modify instruction, and actively engage students in their learning.  Differentiated instruction is the practice of modifying and adapting instruction, materials, content, student projects and products, and assessment to meet the learning needs of the individual students to ensure both academic growth and success in their community and world.  In a differentiated classroom, teachers recognize that all students are different and require varied teaching methods to be successful in school. They see their role as creating that environment for their students. Some examples of differentiation might be; dynamic groupings within classrooms, tiered lessons, use of pre-assessments and formative assessments to discover students’ strengths and areas to focus targeted instruction on, open-ended learning engagements, and provisional materials (such as leveled reading materials, enrichment packets, choice menus, and online reading / math programs) designed to address students’ level of readiness

    B.  PBIS –

    PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention and Support) is our framework for organizing evidence-based behavioral interventions into our integrated continuum which enhances academic and social behavior outcomes for all students.  The purpose of our school-wide PBIS is to establish a climate in which appropriate behavior is the norm. Our McKinley PBIS provides a variety of opportunities to affirm and support the diverse affective needs of our students.

    • School wide celebration assemblies focused on demonstration of the IB learner profile and PYP attitudes.
    • McBucks given for individual excellence in demonstrating the IB learner profile traits; paired with school-wide rewards / events, and other forms of recognition.
    • Positive Referral Shout Out to recognize demonstration of the learner profile attributes and PYP attitudes around the school.
    • McKinley Think  Tank receives visitors who share experiences in leadership and community service.  Think tank plans and executes some of our PBIS events.
    • Global lessons provide information and activities related to international-mindedness.
    • Sensory group using research based kinesthetic movement activities and patterns based on education methodologies.
    • Skill streaming social skills in practice, specific to the needs of each student.
    • Crossroads- Fairport Harbor Schools have partnered with Crossroads to provide support to both staff and students.  A qualified Crossroads provider will be in the district five days a week, shared between all grade levels, to meet with students who are identified as benefiting from improving their overall social-emotional, behavioral and academic functioning.  (See our school website for a list of detailed services.)

    C.  RTI / MTSS



    Response to Intervention / Multi-Tier Support Systems (RTI / MTSS) is a multi-tier approach to maximize achievement in academic and behavior goals.  All learners are provided with interventions and /or enrichment at increasing levels of intesity to accelerate their rate of learning. These services may be provided by a variety of school personnel.

    Our RTI / MTSS process includes these essential components:


    • All students receive high-quality, research-based instruction in a general education classroom.
    • Assessment data are used when determining which students need closer monitoring and / or intervention.
    • Tiered instruction is used to efficiently differentiate for all students
    • Schools provide parents information about their child’s program, instruction, and intervention.


    Testing for speech, behavior and physical / motor skills are also included if determined to be appropriate.

    D.  Special Education Services –(needs identified, assessed and provided for)

    Students who qualify for special education services  receive daily or weekly support from the school special education staff. (The time and frequency of services are based on individual needs.)   Students’ academic deficits are addressed with research-based curriculum in reading, math, writing and speech using push-in and pull-out models.  Whenever possible, students are not withdrawn from the classroom situation. The special education staff collaborates with grade-level teachers to help provide modifications in the classroom so a student can participate in the general / PYP curriculum. However, we recognize that there are times when, to maximize learning, children need to work in small groups or in one-on-one situations outside of the classroom in order to close significant achievement gaps.  

    E.  Gifted and Talented

    • Screening / Identification

    The Fairport Harbor Exempted Village School District follows eligibility criteria as prescribed by the Ohio Revised Code and Ohio Department of Education to identify youngsters who are gifted. The District identifies students in grades kindergarten through twelve that may be gifted in one or more of these areas:  superior cognitive ability, specific academic achievement, creative thinking ability, and/or the visual or performing arts. All students’ standardized test scores and other school performance measures are reviewed to determine the need for gifted screening and identification. In addition, parents, students, and/or teachers may recommend students for screening for possible identification.

    All students will be screened for gifted identification through testing in grades 2, 5 and 7. Parents have the right to request testing twice a year for the purpose of gifted education. Students are identified gifted in an academic area with an achievement score in the 95th percentile or higher on nationally- normed standardized tests. Students are identified cognitively gifted with a score at or above two deviations above the mean, minus the standard error of measure on the cognitive test.

    We will be using the Iowa Test of basic skills which measures Specific Academic Ability and the CogAT for Superior Cognitive Ability. The Cognitive Abilities Test™ (CogAT®) Form 7 reflects the most current industry research in the measurement of cognitive abilities and learning styles. Every student assessed with CogAT receives an Ability Profile score that highlights both the level and pattern of a student's ability. CogAT is unique in offering this score, which helps provide educational guidance for all students, not just those with high ability.

    • Service Plans

    McKinley Elementary ensures equal opportunity for all students identified as gifted to receive any services offered by the district for which the student meets the criteria.  Subject and grade level acceleration as well as curriculum compacting will be addressed in the regular classroom through multi-faceted criteria and various services providers

    • Written Education Plans

    When students identified as gifted are reported to parents and the Ohio Department of Education as served, they must have a Written Education Plan in compliance with the Operating Standards for Identifying and Serving Gifted Students.

    • District Enrichment Plan

    Enrichments are activities purposely designed to expose students to a wide variety of disciplines, issues, occupations, hobbies, persons, places and/or events. They may expand the score of the regular curriculum or introduce topics not covered in the general education program. Any staff member may be the originator of enrichment, and the student audience will vary depending on interest and ability.  Enrichments are not reported to the Ohio Department of Education as gifted services.

    IV  Responsibilities

    At the heart of the work of every successful program is a continuous cycle of planning, teaching and assessing which takes into account the wide range of abilities, aptitudes and interests of children.  In order to ensure that all students have equal access to the curriculum and are successful, we recognize the need to be purposeful in our planning and instruction for students with special needs.

    A.  The school will:

    • Provide training for personnel to successfully implement intervention and support student needs
    • Raise staff awareness of the needs to differentiate and to work effectively to provide regular training, coaching and staff development
    • Ensure staff compliance with state and federal requirements
    • Support the RtI process within the building including:  time, resources and training

    B.  The teachers will:

    • Comply with state and federal assessment requirements
    • Participate in provided trainings
    • Regularly provide formal and informal assessments
    • Provide differentiation to meet learner needs in their classrooms
    • Identify struggling learners within the classroom
    • Implement appropriate interventions
    • Regularly progress monitor student growth
    • Refer students who are not making adequate progress to the Response to Intervention team
    • Actively participate in the Response to Intervention process
    • Maintain accurate records of student progress

    C.  The Special Education Team will:

    • Follow state and federal laws governing special education
    • Work collaboratively as a team to support students with special needs
    • Collaborate and share resources with teachers and personnel at McKinley Elementary in order to provide a more inclusive and accessible learning environment for all students
    • Actively participate in the Response to Intervention process
    • Develop Individual Education Plans (IEPs) per state and federal laws
    • Provide instruction and support in the least restrictive environment
    • Provide differentiated instruction to meet the specific needs and goals of learners identified as having special needs
    • Provide related services (OT, PT, etc.) in accordance with team determination of student need
    • Monitor progress toward goals
    • Exit students from special education who have met goals and have demonstrated the ability to be successful in their classrooms without support from the special education team
    • Maintain accurate records of student progress

    V.  SEN Policy Review

    The staff  at McKinley Elementary will annually reflect upon the Special Education Needs agreement, ensuring it fully articulates current practices and is a “living” document fully serving McKinley’s students, staff and families.

  • McKinley Language Agreement

     I.  Philosophy

    Language is fundamental to learning.  It is a tool used to communicate needs, feelings, ideas and experiences and to develop an understanding of the world. Every staff member at McKinley Elementary is a teacher of language and all students are language learners. Language is best taught in a language-rich environment through a variety of modalities including listening, speaking, reading, writing, presenting, and viewing.  It is an essential element included in all transdisciplinary units.

    Language is a key tool in the development of international-mindedness.  Requiring students to study a language other than the language of instruction enables those students to develop a deeper understanding of language, culture, and many attributes in the learner profile such as thinker, communicator, and risk-taker that contribute to international-mindedness.

    II.  Language Instruction

    A.  Classroom Instruction

    All instruction at McKinley Elementary is done in English, with the exception of foreign language class.  Language is a part of all areas of the curriculum including reading, writing, science, social studies, math, music, art, physical education, lunch recess, and school sponsored events.  Effective language learning will enable students to become fully functioning members of the global community. The following practices reflect our beliefs:

      • Staff has high expectations for each student’s language learning
      • Staff provides a school environment that is print rich and encourages language development.  
      • Teachers use a variety of texts (both print and digital) in direct language instruction
      • Staff model and teach appropriate use of language (ex. writing, reading strategies, listening skills, appropriate speech)
      • Explicit language instruction occurs across all disciplines
      • Students have access to a variety of texts (both narrative and informational) and classrooms have labels / signs / anchor charts
      • Students are provided choices in how they want to communicate their learning and express themselves (oral, written, visual, etc)
      • Students are frequently engaged in collaborative conversations that deepen their learning
      • Staff and students use language as a means to reflect upon their learning and self, using the IB vernacular in context to show understanding
      • Reading at home is encouraged through the use of reading logs or other systems
      • Students fully engage in learning a second language

    B.  Mother Tongue / Native Language Support

    Support for students whose mother tongue is not English is provided through differentiation and intervention.  Students that qualify as English Language Learners will receive support services from a TESOL certified teacher.  The amount and intensity of the services are determined by student needs and may take the form of small group instruction, in-class support, teacher collaboration, and/or monitoring of academic progress.  The classroom teacher and the ELL teacher will collaborate on a regular basis to support student success, including providing language support for the program of inquiry.

    III.  Second Language Instruction

    Spanish is offered as an additional language in grades Pre-K through 5.  Our goal in teaching Spanish is to promote an exposure to a foreign language and develop an understanding and appreciation of the global community. Children learn the basic language necessary for simple day-to-day communication (speaking and listening).  Exposure to another grammatical structure can strengthen the grasp of English syntax. Success of language acquisition varies from child to child. Visual labels in Spanish are used throughout the school and within classrooms to reinforce Spanish instruction.

    IV.  Assessment

    Each student’s language development will be assessed according to our assessment agreement.

    V.  Language Agreement Review

    The Language Agreement will be reviewed by all staff on an annual basis.  


  • McKinley Assessment Agreement


    I.  Beliefs / Philosophy:

    Assessment involves the gathering and analysis of information about student performance and is designed to inform practice. It guides thoughtful planning to form instruction and allow for meaningful learning.  It should take place frequently to promote a community of learners. Assessment is integral to all planning, teaching and learning.  

    II.  Purpose:  

    Our mission is to “monitor student progress toward specific learning targets and create a data-driven environment where learning is constant.”  Therefore, we must assess students to look for achievement of this mission. Children, teachers, parents and administrators must have a clear understanding of the purpose of assessments, practices of assessments, and criteria for success.  

    The prime objectives of assessment are to promote student learning and provide regular and prompt feedback on the learning process and individual needs to students, parents, teachers and administration. Assessment should effectively guide students through the Learner Profile and the five essential elements of the PYP written curriculum:

    • the understanding of concepts;
    • the acquisition of knowledge;
    • the mastering of skills;
    • the development of attitudes;
    • the demonstration of action as a result of learning.

    The Learner Profile and the five essential elements of the written curriculum are addressed through the collaborative planning of units of inquiry as defined by the International Baccalaureate.

    III.  Types of Assessment:

    A.  Pre-assessment

    Pre-assessment takes place at the beginning of instruction to find out what students already know in order to plan the next stage of instruction.  Pre-assessments occur in a variety of ways including but not limited to:

    • Pre-tests
    • Anticipation guides / Provocation
    • Class discussions based on inquiry
    • Thinking routines

    B.   Formative Assessment

    Formative assessment and teaching are directly linked and function purposefully together.  It aims to promote learning by giving regular feedback to help learners improve knowledge and understanding.   Formative assessments provide feedback to the instructor for guiding future instruction. Formative assessment includes but is not limited to:

    • Students demonstrations / presentations
    • Quizzes
    • Exit slips
    • Teacher observations
    • Journal responses
    • Homework assignments
    • Class discussions
    • Running records / Benchmark assessments / Writing samples

    C.  Summative Assessment

    Summative assessment is used to communicate how much content the learner has acquired.  It is the culmination of the teaching and learning process, and gives students opportunities to demonstrate what has been learned.  Summative assessments include but are not limited to:

    • Essays
    • Student presentations / demonstrations
    • Multi-media projects
    • Research activities
    • Models
    • Running records / Benchmark assessments / Writing samples
    • Inquiry assessments

    D.  PYP Exhibition

    In the final year of the PYP, students participate in a culminating project, the PYP exhibition.  The exhibition unit takes place under any transdisciplinary theme at the discretion of the school. It requires students to synthesize their prior knowledge and apply it in an independent manner with the assistance and guidance of mentors.  The subject of the exhibition is a student-selected issue that has global and local relevance.  The exhibition is a project in which the student demonstrates engagement with the five essential elements of the PYP; knowledge, concepts, skills, attitudes and action.

    As the culminating PYP experience, it is required that the exhibition reflects all the major features of the program.  Therefore, it must include regular and carefully planned assessment, both on-going formative and summative with reflection on the event itself.  

    IB PYP Making the PYP Happen, 2009

    E.  Standardized Assessments

    The students of McKinley Elementary School will participate in state and locally mandated assessments.  These assessments may include but are not limited to:

    • Kindergarten Readiness Assessment (KRA)
    • i-Ready Diagnostic Assessment for Reading and Math (Fall, Winter, Spring)
    • IOWA Test of Basic Skills
    • CogAT (cognitive abilities test)
    • State Achievement Tests (English / Language Arts, Math, Science)
    • State Diagnostic Assessments (Reading, Math, Writing)

    F.  Reflection

    Reflective Assessment occurs throughout an entire unit of inquiry (UOI).  Reflection allows students to understand what they have learned and how they will use knowledge gained in real contexts.  Reflective tasks include but are not limited to:

    • Time provided for students to reflect on their learning
    • Reflect on the PYP Attitudes and the IB Learner Profile.
    • Collaborative reflection among stake holders.
    • Written conclusions
    • Self-evaluation
    • Class discussion
    • Teacher recording of class feedback

    IV.  Student Progress

    Effective reporting should:

    • involve parents, students and teachers as partners
    • reflect what the school community values
    • be comprehensive, honest, fair and credible
    • be clear and understandable to all parties
    • take place regularly throughout the year.


    Grades fall under various academic subjects, including but not limited to: Science, Social Studies, Reading (or other Language Arts / Spelling), Mathematics, STEAM, Music and Physical Education.  The criteria for evaluating student achievement are as follows:

                                                  A 90-100                                                                                 O 95-100

                                                  B 80-89                                                                                   S+ 90-94

                                                  C 70-79                                                                                   S 80-89     

                                                  D 60-69                                                                                   S- 70-79 

                                                  F 0-59                                                                                     N / I 0-69


    Parents view progress in real time on Infinite Campus, an online service which allows registered users to log in to access a variety of student information.

    A.  Portfolios  

    Portfolios are used as a method of collecting and storing information which can be used to document and assess student progress and reflection.  They are a record of students’ involvement in learning which is designed to demonstrate success, growth, high-order thinking, creativity, achievement and reflection.  Portfolios provide a picture of each student’s progress and development over a period of time both as individuals and group members. (See the McKinley Portfolio Assessment Essential Agreement for more details.)  Portfolios include student selected and teacher selected work.

    B.  Conferences (Parent / Teacher)

    Parent-teacher conferences are designed to give the parents information about the student’s progress development and needs, and about the school’s program.  Teachers should take this opportunity to gather background information, to answer the parents’ questions, to address their concerns, and to help define their role in the learning process.  The parents should take the opportunity to provide the teacher with the cultural context of the student’s learning.

                                                                                                                                                                           IB PYP MPYPH, 2009

    C.  Feedback Cycle

    Student / teacher conferences are designed to give students feedback so they can reflect back on their work and further refine and develop their skills.  It is important that these individual conferences occur frequently in order to support and encourage the student’s learning and teacher planning.

                                                                                                                                                                           IB PYP MPYPH, 2009

    D.  Response to Assessment (RTI / MTSS)

    Response to Intervention / Multi-Tier Support Systems (RTI / MTSS) is a multi-tier approach to maximize achievement in academic and behavior goals.  All learners are provided with interventions and /or enrichment at increasing levels of intesity to accelerate their rate of learning. These services may be provided by a variety of school personnel.

    Our RTI / MTSS process includes these essential components:


    • All students receive high-quality, research-based instruction in a general education classroom.
    • Assessment data are used when determining which students need closer monitoring and / or intervention.
    • Tiered instruction is used to efficiently differentiate for all students
    • Schools provide parents information about their child’s program, instruction, and intervention.


    V.  Agreement Review Statement

    The assessment agreement will be reviewed on an annual basis by all staff.


  • McKinley Academic Honesty Agreement

    I.  Philosophy / Beliefs


    The International Baccalaureate Organization upholds principles of academic honesty, which are seen as a set of values and skills that promote personal integrity and good practice in teaching, learning and assessment.  In accordance with this view, all McKinley students and staff will adhere to the principles and practices outlined in the policy.

    II.   Rationale / Statement of purpose


    At McKinley Elementary, all teachers and students are committed to the promotion of academic honesty in the learning process, in the product(s) of learning and in daily personal and social interactions.  The purpose of this agreement is to ensure that our school’s procedures for this practice are transparent, fair and consistent. This agreement will describe the rights and responsibilities of all of the members of the school community so that everyone understands what constitutes good practice and misconduct, as well as what actions will be taken if there are transgressions.

    III.  Definition

    A.  Academic Honesty - being “principled”, striving to “act with integrity and honesty” as we question, inquire, and act

    B.  Intellectual Property - intangible property that is the result of creativity (such as trademarks, patents, or copyrights)

    C.  Plagiarism - using the ideas or work of another person as your own, such as copying language from a book or website and not citing where it came from

    D.  Authenticity - being credible, genuine, original

    E.  Collaboration - the act of working jointly

    F.  Misconduct - improper behavior or intentional wrongdoing

    G.  Teachable Moment - an unplanned opportunity that arises in the classroom where a teacher, parent, or mentor has an ideal chance to offer insight to his or her students

    H.  Citation - reference to the author, title, and other details about a source


    IV.  Principles of Academic Honesty: How it relates to the PYP and the Learner Profile


    By promoting the qualities of an IB learner, McKinley seeks to foster academic honesty and integrity. The learner profile is prominent in the classroom and evident in the general language of the school.

    V.  Roles and Responsibilities

    A.  Role of Faculty/Staff: Ways to Promote Academic Honesty

    At McKinley Elementary, academic honesty is to be both modeled and explicitly taught.  Faculty/Staff will address academic honesty or dishonesty in authentic contexts.  Instances of academic dishonesty are to be regarded as opportunities for “teachable moments.”

    • Faculty/staff will model the practice of academic honesty with their words and actions by acknowledging the ideas and work of others.
    • Faculty/staff will provide opportunities for students to demonstrate academic honesty by developing  age-appropriate learning tasks that require that students synthesize information and put those ideas into their own words.
    • Faculty/staff will explicitly teach the expectations for academic honesty both when communicating ideas in words and writing, and when creating art.
    • Faculty/staff will take advantage of teachable moments to reinforce integrity and discourage dishonesty.
    • Faculty/staff will develop an essential agreement with students regarding academic honesty.

    B.  Role of Students: What We Believe Students Should Do

    The Learner Profile and the attitudes are the basis for the development of academic integrity in our students.

    • Students take responsibility for their own work.
    • Students work individually unless otherwise instructed.  
    • Students recognize the difference between individual work and group work.
    • Students give credit to other people working in the group.  
    • Students do not copy other people’s work.  
    • Students reference sources according to agreed‐upon (age‐appropriate) bibliographic formats for each grade.    
    • Students use information technology and library resources responsibly.

    C.  Role of Families: How to Help Students

    It is important for families to encourage academic honesty and support their child(ren) by modeling personal integrity.

    • Families should develop an understanding of academic honesty in the school setting and beyond.
    • Families should model the practice of academic honesty with their words and actions.
    • Families should encourage academic honesty by recognizing academic honesty and using instances of dishonesty as “teachable moments.”
    • Families should help their child(ren) access resources for personal inquiries - people, places, media, and information.
    • Families should encourage independent inquiry and respect their child(ren)’s ownership of the (inquiry) process (from IBPYP Exhibition Guidelines).

    VI.  In Practice


    1. Students have various tasks they need to accomplish with information:
    • Comprehend informational and fictional text;
    • Express information to demonstrate their connection and application to primary and secondary sources;
    • Research and fact-find during inquiry;
    • Share information through oral, written, and creative presentations.
    1. Each year, teachers will lead discussions and model how and when to convert information to original text. Teachers will use age-appropriate expectations.  (See grade-level scope and sequence.)
    2. Knowing that students can struggle with forming original thoughts from various sources, they will be coached on the importance of intellectual property.
    3. Grades 4-5 will sign and comply with a grade-level appropriate Academic Honesty Agreement and / or students and teachers will add the idea of academic honesty to the class essential agreements.
    4. In fifth grade, a specific document ensuring academic honesty will be signed by students and parents as part of Exhibition.  


    Grade-level Scope and Sequence




    Citing Sources


    Begin teacher-directed conversion of text into own words (literature) and encourage independence when appropriate.



    Begin independent conversion of literature

    Begin teacher-directed conversion of informational text.

    Encourage independence when appropriate.



    Independent conversion of literature

    Begin conversion of informational text with teacher support.

    Teacher introduces how to credit sources.


    Independent conversion of literature

    Begin independent conversion of informational text.

    Begin teacher-directed citing of sources.


    Independent conversion of literature

    Independent conversion of informational text

    Begin independent citing of sources for all individual and collaborative inquiries


    Independent conversion of literature

    Independent conversion of informational text

    Cite sources for all individual and collaborative inquiries

    VII.  Consequences of Academic Dishonesty


    Although we expect our students to choose, act, and reflect in an ethical manner, students must also understand that there are consequences for unethical behavior. Any cases of cheating and plagiarism will be treated seriously and will be appropriately disciplined.  Although each case will be evaluated on an individual basis according to relevant circumstances, it should be noted that if a student cheats or plagiarizes he or she may receive a zero for the assignment; making up or giving an alternative assignment is at the discretion of the teacher.

    VIII.  Policy Review Statement


    The academic honesty policy will be reviewed on an annual basis by all staff ensuring that it fully articulates current practices and is a “living” document, fully serving McKinley’s students, staff and families.