Using an Informed Decision-Making Model To Maximize Success in the Schools

Mark Strait

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Course Credits: 0.3 ASHA CEUs (3 hours)

This course will provide an overview of how to utilize an informed Clinical Decision-Making Model to maximize outcomes for students who have speech and language deficits.  This course will walk the SLP through the process from interventions through MTSS, to direct service, to gradual release of support and finally, dismissal. 

Instructor Information

Dawn M. Callahan Dennis EdD CCC-SLP – Dr. Callahan Dennis is a Regional Director with The Stepping Stones Group in the Kansas City area.  She has a successful career that has spanned working in hospitals, private practice, schools and universities.  She received her B.S. and M.S. from Boston University (‘90 & ‘91) and completed her doctoral degree in Educational Leadership at Baker University in Baldwin City, KS (2012). Her passion is empowering others, which she fulfills through providing mentorship, guidance, and collaboration with SSG staff.  She is sought out by school districts for consultation and professional development in topics of speech language pathology and education, including IDEA Compliance, Stress and Trauma Informed School, Tiered Interventions and Collaborative Teaming.  She currently resides in the Kansas City area. 

Financial Disclosure: Shellie is an employee of the Stepping Stones Group and receives a salary for her position with The Stepping Stones Group.
Non-Financial Disclosure: Shellie has no other non-financial information to disclose.

Learner Objectives

Following instruction, participants will be able to:

  1. Discuss how the speech and language needs of students are best met through MTSS.
  2. Explain the need for collaboration with general education staff and how what happens in the classroom informs the Problem-Solving Team and Evaluation Process.
  3. Explain the need for goal sensitivity and alignment of IEP goals to learning standards and outcomes.
  4. Discuss the decision-making processing for exiting students.


  • 10 minutes: Introductions and meeting norms and Pre-test
  • 30 minutes:  Define Least Restrictive Environment, MTSS, RTI
  • 10 minutes: Explain benefits of MTSS
  • 15 minutes: Identify roles of staff and importance of problem-solving teams
  • 15 minutes: Discuss how speech and language needs are best met through MTSS
  • 15 minutes: Discuss collaboration and how classroom events inform the Problem-Solving Team and Evaluation Process
  • 15 minutes:  BREAK
  • 25 minutes: Creating a Culture of Fidelity and Support Staff Enhancing Student Outcomes
  • 10 minutes: Medical Model vs. Educational models
  • 10 minutes: Caseload vs. Workload models
  • 10 minutes: Alignment of IEP goals to learning standards and outcomes
  • 10 minutes: Goal Sensitivity: Writing relevant goals
  • 20 minutes:  How do we exit students from services?
  • 5 minutes: Post-test
  • 5 minutes: Questions and Discussions