Date of Award

Summer 7-24-2020

Document Type

Project (696 or 796 registration)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Special Education


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Marci Glessner


High Leverage Practices, Early Childhood Special Education, Distance Learning


In the late winter of 2020, the introduction of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) also introduced families and educators across the nation to the concept of distance learning. While some had already chosen distance learning as the best option for their child, this was the first time in history that it was the sole option for the delivery of instruction. As districts and teachers began to prepare, there were many uncertainties for what distance learning would look like. This was especially true for our youngest learners that were receiving special education services.

While High Leverage Practices (HLPs) in Special Education were developed specifically to support school-based learning, it is reasonable to assume that these could also be applied to distance learning. Ball & Forzani (2009) states, “Skillful teaching requires appropriately using and integrating specific moves and activities in particular cases and contexts, based on knowledge and understanding of one’s pupils and on the application of professional judgement” (p.497). Combining the Council for Exceptional Children’s (CEC) High Leverage Practices, with Early Childhood best practices, Early Childhood Special Education teachers are able to adapt their approaches to best meet the needs of their preschool-aged students and their families.



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