I feel like mounting a horse and riding throughout the state of California shouting, “Inclusion is Coming!”
Twenty years ago I was struggling to make Sean’s elementary school understand what it would look like to have their first student with Down syndrome, or any disability for that matter, educated alongside his typical peers in a general education classroom. Thanks to great teachers who truly were called to TEACH and were up for a challenge his elementary school experience was a success…so much so that the entire school transformed to an inclusive school because of his model by the time he was in the 4th grade.
For many years the principal and school psychologist arranged for teacher and para-professional in-services on Positive Behavior techniques and worked collaboratively to modify curriculum and brainstorm accommodations so each student was able to access the curriculum. Sadly when the principal retired and the district transferred the school psychologist the new principal dismantled the entire masterpiece…the district didn’t care…it was up to the principal how the school would be run.
All the experts have told me, “Change comes from the top.” And I once heard a speaker say, “A parent trying to change a school system is like moving a graveyard—you’re not going to get any help from inside.”
THE TOP is bringing Change to California School systems. According to this website, “California’s Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) is a comprehensive framework that aligns academic, behavioral, and social-emotional learning in a fully integrated system of support for the benefit of all students. MTSS offers the potential to create needed systematic change through intentional design and redesign of services and supports to quickly identify and match to the needs of all students.”
In partnership with the Orange County Department of Education Inflexion is currently consulting with school leadership teams throughout California as they implement and scale up California’s Multi-tiered System of Support (MTSS) framework. This framework “aligns academic, behavioral, and social-emotional learning in a fully integrated system of support for the benefit of all students. MTSS offers the potential to create needed systemic change through intentional design and redesign of services and supports to quickly identify and match to the needs of all students.”
All Means All–YES This is from the SWIFT Model of education! I couldn’t be more thrilled! I hope and pray that the administrators and educators who have been less than enthusiastic about Inclusion in their school districts will become champions of change while implementing this Evidence-Based Educational model. For those parents currently embattled in a California School district, I hope this information empowers you, and bolsters your advocacy efforts. Three Cheers to Change!