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Inclusionary Practices Project Newsletter | Summer 2021

September 2, 2021

We hope your summer was restful and rejuvenating! With sun, outdoors, time to think, and time to play, the season can be so refreshing. Now we must re-channel that energy into preparing for the school year and whatever adventures it may bring. As we think about our classrooms, students, and learning opportunities, let’s make sure we are looking through the lens of inclusion and equity and allow that view to guide us into some amazing opportunities for all students.

“Diversity and inclusion, which are the real grounds for creativity, must remain at the center of what we do. - Marco Bizzarri
Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash

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Student-Centered Classrooms

We know that inclusion is the belief that all students have a right to meaningfully participate in general education, and that all students should have supports in the classroom that lead to success. For this to occur, it means we need to reflect on our current practice. Are we meeting student needs, creating a learning environment that provides students with choices, and allowing for student voice?

In 5 Ways to Make Your Classroom Student-Centered, Marcia Powell (2013) poses five questions to consider when reflecting on your classroom and creating a student-centered learning environment. In each of these questions, the author describes what it should look like and identifies the teacher strength that makes it work.

The questions are:

  1. How does the classroom environment promote interaction among learners—and how do you operate in that environment?
  2. What kind of assessments do you use? 
  3. How do you respond to a lack of buy-in? 
  4. Which is more important to you: compliance or knowledge?
  5. If learners weren’t required to come to your class, would they?

Remember, strengths can be worked on and built to improve classroom effectiveness. Begin the journey with small steps, time to reflect, and someone who can keep you accountable.

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IPP in 2021-22

Since the start of OSPI’s Inclusionary Practices Project (IPP) in 2019, Washington state has significantly improved its rate of inclusion for students with disabilities in general education classrooms. The goal was to achieve full inclusion for 60% of students receiving special education services by spring 2021. That goal was met by the end of 2020!

Although we have made great strides, there is still work to do. Fortunately, the legislature extended IPP funding for two more years, although on a more limited basis. As a CCTS IPP Newsletter subscriber, expect to receive quarterly updates from us with the latest IPP news and resources. We’re also building asynchronous training materials that focus on Special Education and Career Technical Education collaboration. Stay tuned!

Throughout the year, we encourage you to visit the OSPI IPP website to learn more about IPP opportunities and resources that are available from partnering schools, districts, and professional development providers. Their site includes project highlights, such as:

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IPP on the CCTS Website

If you missed any workshops from the 2020-21 school year, PowerPoint slide decks from all our presentations are available on the CCTS website. Recording links are also available for many of the trainings.

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Registration Open: Equity and Universal Design for Learning

From the Washington Education Association Inclusionary Practices Project and Special Education Support Center, this series features eight sessions presented by Mirko Chardin and Katie Novak, Ed. D.

Sessions start this Thursday, September 9, from 4-5:30 p.m. PT and occur monthly through April 2022. For each session:

  • Registration is required
  • There is no fee to attend
  • ASL interpretation is provided
  • Up to 1.5 clock hours are available
  • Capacity is limited to the first 1000 registrants

View the WEA IPP Series Flyer for details and registration.

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