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Diverse Learning.


What is Diverse Learning?

Diverse Learners require additional scaffolding and support in order to reach rigorous grade level benchmarks articulated by the Common Core State Standards. Whether due to poverty, low English proficiency, mild to moderate learning disabilities, or unknown factors that cause students to struggle, the Highlander Institute offers innovative teaching and learning methods that significantly impact the growth and performance of Diverse Learners. By connecting research and best practices with motivated educators and leaders, the Highlander Institute has become a catalyst for inspiring substantial and sustainable changes in the way Diverse Learners are supported in school. Critical hallmarks of our projects include data-driven differentiation, relentless progress monitoring, protected time for teacher collaboration, explicit instruction, research-based interventions, and heightened accountability structures.

Our Diverse Learning Services

Transformative Consulting: Our district and school-based partnerships have inspired significant gains in student proficiency while supporting high impact shifts in teacher practice. Our talented team offers support and infrastructure from the big picture district level down to the classroom and intervention level and everywhere in between.

We support projects in the areas of:
  • Elementary Literacy Reform
  • Elementary Math Reform
  • Response to Intervention Systems
  • Using Data to Differentiate Instruction
  • Technology Tools to Support Diverse Learners
  • Aligning Curriculum to the Common Core State Standards
Research & Development: We leverage the latest research and the creative, innovative minds of our team to design initiatives that transform schools, address complex challenges and pilot high potential concepts. Central to all of our projects is a commitment to increasing outcomes for students.

We can help:
  • Conduct comprehensive Needs Assessments
  • Develop detailed strategic action plans
  • Design, implement and evaluate pilot initiatives
  • Lead district schools in a charter transformation process
  • Conceptualize and realize innovative new education models
Professional Development: Topics are tailored to district, school and teacher needs and are delivered in the form of workshops, seminars, facilitated meetings, embedded modeling, conferences; we work within the opportunities and constraints present in our partner schools and districts. Professional Development workshops may be open to the public; sessions may be scheduled on demand. Through our special relationships with high quality training programs around the country, the Highlander Institute offers specialized professional development in Orton-Gillingham, Project Read strands, and Keys to Literacy.

Conferences & Workshops: Diverse Learners Conference, Project Read

We can help: The Highlander Institute values collaborative relationships between diverse stakeholders in an effort to produce policy, advocacy, training and reform initiatives that have broad impact and are widely sustainable. We work to further the causes of accessibility, empowerment and excellence in education. Contact us to learn how we can improve student outcomes in your school or district.

Diverse Learning Blog


    March 26, 2014
    Orton Gillingham Associate Course Applications Being Accepted
    Course Information: The Highlander Institute’s Orton-Gillingham course at the Associate Level is a one-year training program accredited by the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators. Upon completion of the course.. read more


    November 15, 2012
    What is an EdCamp?
      On November 3, 2012, a collaborative effort that included the Highlander Institute, hosted the first ever EdCamp in Rhode Island at Rhode Island College! Now, you may be asking.. read more


    September 12, 2012
    Reading and the Brain
    In October of 2011, Dr. Christopher Kaufman, Ph.D., licensed Psychologist and author of Executive Function in the Classroom, discussed how reading comprehension and the brain work together at the University of.. read more


    September 6, 2012
    The Highlander Institute’s Work with Fort Barton School
    Via Julia Steiny and The Highlander Institute has developed a process that helps all students – whether their struggling, academically gifted, or in between – get whatever they specially need... read more


    September 4, 2012
    Diverse Learners Conference
    On Saturday, November 3, the Highlander Institute will be hosting the Diverse Learners Conference. The conference will be held at the URI Providence Campus, (80 Washington Street, Providence, RI) and.. read more


    July 18, 2012
    Common Core or Guided Reading
    -By Timothy Shanahan, University of Illinois at Chicago (From Recently, I’ve been fielding questions about guided reading (à la Fountas and Pinnell) and the common core; mainly about the differences in how they.. read more


    July 8, 2012
    Highlander Dissemination Project Yields Strong Year 1 Results
    As part of a two-year charter dissemination project funded by RIDE, Highlander facilitator Dawn August has supported school-based literacy reform initiatives at Whiteknact and Oldham Elementary schools in East Providence.. read more


    June 29, 2012
    Ensuring Mastery of Early Numeracy Skills
    Research has clearly demonstrated the value of integrating Curriculum-Based Measurement Assessments (such as AIMSWEB, EasyCBM, TEN, DIBELS) in elementary classrooms to measure performance and growth in both math and literacy. .. read more


    June 25, 2012
    “Decision Driven Data Collection”
    Whether it’s due to a misunderstanding of its purpose or the fact that it takes too much prep and classroom time, formative assessment is often lost at the bottom of.. read more

    fort barton school

    May 5, 2011
    Highlander Dunn Celebrates Fort Barton’s Reading Scores
    TIVERTON — Test score success at Tiverton’s Fort Barton Elementary School is being touted by the Rhode Island Literacy Project (RILP) as evidence of the benefits of school-based literacy reform... read more