Connection, relationships, and opportunities are tied to student success. While some of our students are thriving, others feel isolated. In particular, students of color, LGBTQ+ students, and students with disabilities report experiencing prejudice, bullying, and a lack of understanding from some staff members. They feel our schools need more diverse staff, curriculum, and approaches to learning. Across all groups, students say that staff members who care make a positive difference.
- “I want my child to be authentically included, not accommodated.” – family member, student with disabilities
- “I don’t feel safe and accepted here.” – student with disabilities
(From the Excellence and Equity Review in 2019)
Why is Bend-La Pine Schools shifting to a focus of INCLUSIVE PRACTICES?
- Inclusive practices result in better academic, social and emotional outcomes.
- Students have higher achievement of reading and math standardized scores when they are more engaged in the general education curriculum
- Student attendance improves when they are educated in inclusive settings
- Students with disabilities who are educated in inclusive settings have improved work habits, enhanced self-confidence, increased willingness to take risks, and more on task behavior.
(Cole et al., 2004; Cosier et al., 2013; Kurth & Mastergeorge, 2010; Sermier Sessemontet et al., 2012; Rea, Mclaughlin, & Walther-Thomas, 2002; Dore, Dion, Wagner, & Brunet, 2002; Foreman, Arthur-Kelly, Pascoe, & King, 2004; Waldron, McLeskey, & Pacchiano, 1999).
What do INCLUSIVE PRACTICES look like in spaces and structures?
- All classrooms and community spaces are physically accessible to all students.
- Each classroom has the resources to support sensory and regulation needs.
- There are visual displays that are diverse and inclusive of all students.
- Learning spaces are set up to meet needs of a variety of learners.
- Displays in classrooms create sense of belonging for every student in the class, regardless of quantity of time the student is in the class.
- All students who are part of the classroom community have a space to store their belongings and a designated space to access their instruction.
- Each student is represented visually within the classroom.
What do INCLUSIVE PRACTICES look like in instruction and assessment?
- The general education classroom is the first consideration when instructional settings are discussed.
- There is scaffolded instruction occurring in all classrooms.
- There are professional development opportunities that promote inclusive practices.
- There are heterogeneous groupings utilized in every classroom.
- Instructional accommodations and curricular modifications are appropriately applied for all students who require them.
What do INCLUSIVE PRACTICES look like in supports and intervention?
- There are supports utilized so that all students can be successful in all school settings.
- Regulation needs are met within the general education environment to the maximum extent possible.
- Supports and student plans are proactive, not reactive.
- High expectations are held for all students.
What do INCLUSIVE PRACTICES look like in equity and community?
- Every student has a general education teacher.
- There are no semantic barriers or labels assigned to classrooms or groups of students (“Life Skills kids,” “behavior classroom,” etc.)
- All students have the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities.
- Decisions about instructional settings are determined on the basis of student needs and not on the basis of labels or available services.
What do INCLUSIVE PRACTICES look like in collaborative partnerships?
- All teachers have opportunities to collaborate and plan with the service providers that support their students.
- Sufficient time is available to support quality planning for all teachers.
- Sufficient time is available for service providers to meet with all planning teams they are a part of.
- All faculty members are knowledgeable of the contents of each student’s IEP for whom they are responsible.
- Service providers (Learning Specialists, OT, SLP, etc) promote the use of their services within the context of the population of the whole school.
What do INCLUSIVE PRACTICES look like in team infrastructure?
- Case management structure runs across varying disability types and severity.
- Educational assistants are not assigned to support only one teacher or only one student.
- Inclusion is considered when determining the master schedule.
- Labels of programs and positions focus upon inclusive language (Learning Specialist VS. ERC Teacher/Life Skills Teacher, etc.)
- School team and service providers meet regularly to discuss students and have shared ownership over student needs in the school.