Link Lines-September 2019 Issue

Link Lines – Profile of a Graduate (September, 2019 Issue)

 

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Inclusion Benefits Everyone: Educators’ Perspectives

By Shelley Littleton, M.Ed., and Donni Perry, M.Ed.

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Have you ever wondered what inclusion looks like in other schools?  Many schools in Superintendent’s Regions 2 and 3 have been recognized by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) through the Inclusive Practice Partnership Project for including students with disabilities in general education classes.

When asked to use one word to describe their overall experiences with inclusion, the educators responded with: “student-centered,” “hopeful,” “amazing,” “progress,” “challenging,” and “wow!”. They also agreed that inclusion benefits teachers, parents, staff members, and students with and without disabilities.

Why do so many educators believe in inclusion and how do they know it works? Find out by reading their answers to three critical questions:

[Read more…]

Inclusion Project Event Mini-Grants – Application Due November 15, 2018

The Virginia Department of Education, in collaboration with the Partnership for People with Disabilities, supports the Inclusion Project, a youth-led initiative to increase disability awareness in schools. More information about the Inclusion Project can be found here.

This year, the Inclusion Project is pleased to announce it is offering up to 10 mini-grants (max: $2,000) to support schools interested in planning an Inclusion Project event. If you are interested in promoting inclusion in your schools, please apply for a mini-grant here.

Applications due November 15, 2018

 

Inclusion Project: Mini-Grant Application NOW LIVE!

The Virginia Department of Education, in collaboration with the Partnership for People with Disabilities, supports the Inclusion Project, a youth led initiative to increase disability awareness in schools. Find out more information about the Inclusion Project.

Beginning January 2018, the Inclusion Project is pleased to announce it is offering up to 6 mini grants (max: $2,000) to support schools interested in planning an Inclusion Project event.  Application deadline is January 29, 2018.

Application:  https://goo.gl/forms/lO5xPT4uWLQeppvf1

Inclusion: What, Why, and How?

Inclusive practices are vital to providing students with authentic experiences in diversity and meeting the unique needs of all learners (McGregor & Vogelsberg, 1998; Staub & Peck, 1995). With ongoing collaboration and strategic planning, school communities embrace inclusion by adopting a growth mindset to address student needs. Inclusive schools welcome all local students, with varying performance levels and learning styles, to attend their neighborhood schools, which is why a shared ownership mentality is imperative for success (Janney & Snell, 2013). [Read more…]

Creating a Master Schedule that Supports Inclusive Practices

Creating a Master Schedule that Supports Inclusive Practices, an article from the May/June 2012 edition of Link Lines, provides steps for ensuring that the master schedule supports inclusion of students with disabilities in general education classrooms.  This article includes detailed tips for balancing class rosters.

Strategies for Creating Inclusive Schools

This Considerations Packet provides educators with information, recommendations, and tools to expand inclusive practices within their schools. The recommendations outlined in this packet, and described in the IRIS online learning module referenced therein, equip school leaders to create concrete plans for leading the implementation and sustaining an inclusive school.

The Nuts and Bolts of Co-Teaching

Co-teaching is first and foremost a special education service delivery model, whereby students with disabilities receive the specially designed instruction needed to address specific skill deficits (Friend, 2014). Co-teaching involves a partnership between two licensed educators, usually a general education teacher and a special education teacher, sharing responsibility for one classroom of diverse students. These professionals share the planning and delivery of instruction as well as accountability for student learning. Such a partnership between professionals with different areas of expertise is necessary for some students with disabilities to access and make progress in the general education setting.

[Read more…]

Lesson Design for an Inclusive Classroom

Inclusion is a belief system that values diversity and fosters a shared responsibility to help all students to reach their potential (Villa & Thousand, 2005).

Creating an inclusive classroom requires the orchestration of multiple fundamental practices, including:

  • Flexibility of teaching modes, learning styles, assessment, and grouping;
  • Ongoing assessment, both formal and informal;
  • Grouping by readiness, interests, learning styles, and size – whole class, small group, pairs, individual;
  • Appropriate challenge with interesting and engaging learning tasks that take students from where they are to where they need to be;
  • Student-teacher collaboration where students are consciously providing information about their learning, and making responsible choices, and teachers are assessing, conferencing, and adjusting accordingly.

(Adapted from Fattig & Taylor, 2008) [Read more…]

Creating an Environment of Inclusion

Have you ever created a Wordle?  Wordles provide a visual means of representing text through word clouds.  Words that appear more frequently in text appear larger in the cloud.  For example, I created the following Wordle using the principles of effective inclusion from a number of resources (Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth, 2014; Halvorsen & Neary, 2009; Peterson & Hittie, 2007; Salend, 2008): [Read more…]