SWIFT Takes Off in New Hampshire
Summer has finally arrived in New Hampshire, and the SWIFT (Schoolwide Integrated Framework for Transformation) program is taking off. SWIFT is a national K-8 center that provides academic and behavioral support to promote the learning and academic achievement of all students, including students with disabilities, especially those with the most extensive needs. NH is one of five states collaborating with the national SWIFT Center to eliminate the silos in education, bridging general and specialized education to create powerful learning opportunities for students and teachers and to promote active, engaged partnerships among families and community members. This summer’s developments include a site visit from the U.S. Department of Education, partner schools and districts presenting nationally, and continuing to grow the number of SWIFT sites.
On June 1st, Grace Zamora Durán, who oversees SWIFT as a grant project officer within the U.S. Department of Education, visited several New Hampshire schools. She met staff and administrators from SAU 60 and toured the North Charlestown Community School, Charlestown Primary School, and Middle School. Among the many highlights of her trip, Durán was able to observe two SAU team meetings: one where leaders used SWIFT-tools to monitor their progress and plan for next steps of implementation, and another where they welcomed two parents as new team members.
Later that month, SAU 64 Superintendent Michael Tursi and Principal Jerry Gregoire of Wakefield Paul Elementary School presented at the University of Kansas’ Technology in Education Conference on how they used videos and technology to build buy in and participation for the SWIFT Framework.
New Hampshire Department of Education's Bureau of Integrated Programs has begun to implement their SWIFT sustainability plan! As of this writing, five new "New Hampshire SWIFT Development Sites" will begin the process of implementing the SWIFT Framework, and five more sites are finishing their application process to become SWIFT Development Sites. Equally exciting is that the Bureau of Integrated Programs has hired a full time “Innovation Coach” who will support the processes in these Development Sites.
Across the system, New Hampshire has reported growth and development, using the SWIFT Framework to support and build capacity locally. At the state level SWIFT allows for sustainable change to equity-based inclusive education. School leaders acknowledge that much work is yet to be done, but feel optimistic that the partnership with the SWIFT Center will continue to help them accomplish their goals as they exercise ownership of the process. They see the Framework as an organizing vehicle for implementing state and local priorities, rather than just one more thing to do.