Answers to our most commonly asked questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here you will find answers to the most commonly asked questions we get at Side-by-Side Educational Consulting on the types of services we offer and how our consulting services work. If you don’t see the answer to your question here, please contact us here by email or phone and we will promptly put you in touch with a consultant to discuss your questions or needs.

Does Side-by-Side Educational Consulting offer consulting in Canada?

We offer consulting services worldwide, in person and also via online webinars or Skype. Please contact us to discuss your project.

Do you provide support in Response to Intervention (RtI)?

Absolutely. We ground our work in the fact that when teachers implement high-leverage, evidence-based strategies and practices in all instructional tiers, it is possible to achieve success with students at all levels, regardless of race, background, or socioeconomic status. To this end, we are able to successfully guide schools and districts as they build and implement a solid multi-tiered system of support for RtI.  We also understand the reality of the school improvement process when the majority of students in a school or district qualify for Tier 2 and Tier 3 interventions. In this case, the RtI triangle may actually be inverted, with the majority of students needing intensive intervention. Consultants with Side-by-Side Educational Consulting are skilled in providing professional development and consultation that is designed to rectify this inverted triangle. We begin by concentrating efforts for improvement in Tier 1 instruction, while simultaneously helping the school plan and implement specialized intervention instruction intended to quickly accelerate student progress in Tiers 2 and 3.

Are you able to support the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)?

Yes. The Side-by-Side Educational Consulting, Inc., team has deep knowledge of scientifically based reading and mathematics research, standards, and the connected evidenced-based instructional practices that lead to significant increases in student achievement.  In addition, consultants understand the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and how this relates to school improvement. They understand the evidence-based instruction and interventions outlined within the three tiers defined in ESSA (tier 1 strong, tier 2 moderate, and tier 3 promising evidence), and are skilled at working with administrators and teachers in implementing these practices in classrooms.

Do your services center primarily around literacy improvement?

No. Although the majority of our past work has centered around literacy—and we view literacy as the foundation for any school improvement effort—we have many consultants who specialize in other high priority areas. Depending on your specific needs, we are able to provide consulting services for mathematics, social-emotional supports, STEM, etc. Moreover, we are able to provide these services in all grades, preschool through grade 12.

What is the educational philosophy of Side-by-Side Educational consulting?

We stand firm in the belief that the elements of race, poverty, limited English proficiency, and learning difficulties should not be predictors of low student achievement.   Thus, our philosophy centers around the use of evidence-based strategies that have been proven to significantly improve student outcomes. We use research as a driving factor in making recommendations for implementation at the classroom, school, or district levels.   Resources we use often reference in our work include:

  • Institute of Education Sciences (IES) Practice Guides for Math
  • National Research Council’s Summing It Up (2001)
  • NCTM’s Principles to Actions (2014)
  • Clements and Sarama’s learning trajectories in mathematics (2006)
  • National Governor’s Association Center for Best Practices & Council of Chief State School Officers (2010)
  • University of Arizona Progressions Documents for the Common Core Math Standards (2012).
  • Report of the National Reading Panel (2000)
  • CORE Teaching Reading Sourcebook (2nd Ed.) (2008)
  • Project CRISS (2010)
  • Research Synthesis on Comprehension from the National Reading Technical Assistance Center (2010)
  • Research Synthesis on Vocabulary from the National Reading Technical Assistance Center (2010)
  • Doing What Works (DWW) Library
  • Institute of Education Sciences (IES) Practice Guides
  • Steve Graham’s Meta-Analysis of the Impact of Writing and Writing Instruction on Reading (2011)
  • Evidence-Based Practices for Writing Instruction from Ideas that Work (2014)
What specific programs and materials are you able to support in schools?

We understand that the materials and programs used by teachers across a school district can have a powerful impact on students’ direct learning experiences.   These materials and programs can include core reading and math programs, targeted intervention programs, classroom reading books, math manipulatives, etc. However, we also understand that programs and materials alone don’t teach students—teachers do. As such, all consultation provided by Side-by-Side focuses on effective teacher delivery that is consistent with the evidence base in curriculum and instruction. Specifically, we have experience in the training and implementation of the following core and intervention programs:

Area of Focus Programs
Literacy Houghton Mifflin Journeys, McGraw-Hill Reading Wonders, Pearson Reading Street, SRA Imagine It, SRA Open Court, SRA Kaleidoscope, McGraw-Hill Treasures, Glencoe Literature, Prentice Hall Literature, Reading Mastery, Corrective Reading, Language for Learning, Step Up to Writing, Read 180, Language!, Six Traits Writing, Thinking Maps, CRISS, Rewards, Rewards Plus, Reward Plus Social Studies, Phonics for Reading, Read Well, Seeing Stars, Six Minute Solution, Visualizing and Verbalizing, LiPS, SRA Phonemic Awareness
Mathematics Eureka/EngageNY, Bridges, Envisions, My Math, Go Math, Stepping Stones, Investigations, Carnegie Learning Math Series, Connected Math Project, EveryDay Math, Big Ideas Math, CPM Integrated and Traditional, Bridges Intervention, Numeracy Project Intervention
What assessments are you able to support in schools?

At Side-by-Side Educational Consulting, Inc., we view assessments as a vital component for improving education and student achievement. As such, we have knowledge in a wide array of assessments (listed below) and are able to train schools and districts in the use, administration, and analysis of results. We are also proficient in guiding schools and teachers as they implement and analyze various curriculum-embedded and core program and intervention program assessments to determine student needs and plan aligned instruction to meet those needs.

Area of Focus Assessments
Early Childhood Developmental Indicators for Assessment of Learning (DIAL-4), Ages and Stages Questionnaires (ASQ), Devereux Early Childhood Assessment (DECA), TS Gold, Early Screening Inventory-Revised (ESI-R), Star Early Literacy, PALS-PreK, Individual Growth and Development Indicators (IGDI), Social Skills Rating System
K-12 Literacy Istations Indicators of Progress (ISIP), Dynamic Indicators of Basic Literacy Skills (DIBELS 6th Ed. and Next), AimsWeb, Measures of Academic Progress (MAP), Star Reading, i-Ready, Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS), Core Multiple Measures, Qualitative Reading Inventory
K-12 Mathematics AimsWeb, Measures of Academic Progress (MAP), Star Math, i-Ready, Primary Math Assessment (PMA), GloSS, IKAN, Math Reasoning Inventory

Additionally, we are experienced in the use and implementation of various tools to measure teacher-student interactions and classroom environments, such as CLASS and ECERS-R. Our consultants also have extensive experience in guiding principals to develop walkthrough forms driven by evidence-based instruction and student learning. Consultants are adept at coaching principals on how to provide feedback to teachers from walkthroughs that is specific, focused, and data-driven, with clear guidance on the next steps necessary to improve instruction.

In terms of instruction at the classroom level, we also understand that formative assessment is the most effective assessment type for improving student learning in all content areas. As a result, we center our professional development around in-class modeling and coaching for teachers on the use of formative assessment in the classroom to adjust instruction, provide feedback to students about progress, and guide decisions about next steps in the learning process. Ultimately, regardless of the content area, we understand that the breadth of learning in a curriculum will come with teaching depth within the standards.