As mentioned last month, the Office of Special Education is sharing inclusive practices with several model school sites, as well as with all APS staff members and families of students receiving special education support.
This month’s Inclusive Practices guidance is focused on collaboration and establishing team norms to promote inclusive practices within APS. Parents and members of the community are critical partners in the collaborative process to support all students. Prioritizing inclusive practices is a direct result of the APS Comprehensive Special Education Review conducted during the 2018-2019 school year.
Staff were asked to read High-Leverage Practices in Special Education Collaboration: Research Syntheses, and to consider what steps could be taken to establish effective, collaborative partnerships that reflect seven principles outlined in the literature:
- Communication: Teachers and families communicate openly and honestly in a medium that is comfortable for the family.
- Professional competence: Teachers are highly qualified in the area in which they work, continue to learn and grow, and have and communicate high expectations for students and families.
- Respect: Teachers treat families with dignity, honor cultural diversity, and affirm strengths.
- Commitment: Teachers are available, consistent, and go above and beyond what is expected of them.
- Equality: Teachers recognize the strengths of every member of a team, share power with families, and focus on working together with families.
- Advocacy: Teachers focus on getting to the best solution for the student in partnership with the family.
- Trust: Teachers are reliable and act in the best interest of the student, sharing their vision and actions with the family.