A place for teachers and other providers of special education services to support each other, share information, and discuss topics, including assessment.

Full Inclusion

Janet

Curious to see how full inclusion is working at your school. Especially elementary level. With all the behavior problems and need of extra support, I just can't see it.

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Cross Categorical/self-contained - Teacher

Well.. I just found out that

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Well.. I just found out that if students are under a Self-Contained category then they have to be supported for at least 4 hours a day by myself or one of my TA's. Which is going to make it more difficult to mainstream unless I am able to cluster students. Usually, I start by taking 1 or 2 students in for Safety lessons or science. Gradually increasing their time until we can fade the support. It is difficult especially with budget cuts, and large class sizes. Materials are usually an issue (not enough for the extra kids).

Secondary special ed, and english teacher from Cape Cod, MA

I believe that full inclusion

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I believe that full inclusion is the way to go. resource rooms and self contained categories only help to isolate students. done properly, full inclusion can work well, with differentiation strategies and the proper support.

Its wonderful to hear a

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Its wonderful to hear a teacher say that thank you

Elementary Special Education Teacher, Self-Contained (K-5)

I try. When I do IEP's I try

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I try. When I do IEP's I try to schedule, if appropriate, inclusion for one period at least. I usually put a phrase, "access to ________ activities as appropriate for ______," on the schedule page under subjects that the student can be successful in. I agree with Patricia that if done right with the proper support from the general ed teacher as well, full inclusion is appropriate for most students and opportunities for inclusion is appropriate for some students. In the end all students should have the opportunity. At the same time, I wish our students weren't counted as 'extra students' cause they are not. They are part of the student body and textbook counts, information flyer counts, classroom worksheet counts, and any other counts should not be in hind sight. I am so tired of 'oh, I'm sorry I forgot about your group'! I have one student who melts down when he is left out with class supplies such as just getting his textbooks this spring because they were given to him when the teacher lost a student then taken away when she gained a new student. Oh man, I was mad and my assistant worked his but off to correct it. People stayed clear of me for a while.

Elementary Interrelated Special Education

Elementary Interrelated Teacher

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The thought of full inclussion is wonderful. If someone could tell me how to do that with 18 students spread over 6 classrooms and with the support of 1 para and 1 part time LREA I would love to try it. When a student is working 2 to 3 grade levels (or more) behind there has to be constant support in the classroom for all core subjects.

Cross Categorical/self-contained - Teacher

I am an advocate for

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I am an advocate for inclusion. But I have found that if GE teachers are already overwhelmed by the demands put on them by adminstrators to have all students at benchmark by Spring it is tough. I struggle with the lack of support. The 2 students I have included this year have not received as much support as I would like them to have. I feel that they are gaining more in GE than they would in my SC room where we are dealing with disruptive behaviors for a large portion of the day. I do try and divide and conquer by moving students into the GE classroom for a portion of the day. We have a Resource Teacher who has up to 25 students and our SLP who has up to 60 students and me with 12 students on the self-contained roster (they are mild/moderate to severely delayed). Inclusion works if there is adequate staff to support and enough time for the Special Ed teacher to consult with the GE teacher this means the SPED teacher needs to have aworking knowledge of the grade level curriculum. I manage 3 grade levels and there is no way I can attend all 3 grade level meetings. I would never have time for my own planning time. I get to 1 or 2 grade level meetings a year for each of the 3 grades, and that is stretching it. I am open for suggestions.

Inclusion

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I would love to include my 12 students more. But like some of you said there is just not enpough support. I have 3 paras but I butt heads with them when it comes to inclusion, they either push the students to melt-downs or do not want to make them try. I also am in a school where many of the staff and community seem to believe that my students have somethoing contagious. It is very frustrating and difficult to work around thew staff issues to be able to provide the LRE for each student. The two I do include are usually shipped off to the LD teacher because the GE says she cannot find the time to help them.

Pleas let me know how others deal whith these issues

Cross Categorical/self-contained - Teacher

Inclusion

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Melanie take heart and don't stop trying. People are afraid because they lack knowledge about people who appear/act differently than the typical person. They have generally not sat and watched people who are survivors and live in Shanty's. I make it my lot in life to give as much information as possible to others. I recently found out that if I include students who are on my caseload I must also provide 4 hours of support in the GE setting or change their status to Resource only (2 hours max). LRE should include a range of services available to students based on Individual needs. I will be relooking at how I provide students with opportunities to be with their peers. Our Resource teacher has his own case load. I spend a great deal of time developing TEAM - Together Everyone Accomplishes More. I model, talk and listen to what they have to say. I realize that the Para's are way underpaid for what they do, and I encourage them to fight for pay increases through the union negotiators. I have been in their shoes so it gives me perspective. It takes time to develop a strong team.

4th/5th grade Full Inclusion

I teach at a district in Ohio

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I teach at a district in Ohio that supports full inclusion. I started at the same distict 31 years ago in a completly self contained classroom. I knocked on doors asking if they had a student who had been banned from public schools. I taught during mainstreaming as well. Inclusion is the best education my students can get. Behaviors are reduced, vocabulary and content knowledge exceeds all expectations.Is it hard at times, yes. Is it best, YES.I have 31 students across two grade levels,all disability categories and 78% passed the reading and math State tests.I have no classroom assistents. What makes this successful is and administration and staff that supports the idea. My district started pushing this idea 15 years ago. When I get students who have been self- contained it is very apparent that they learn more and behave in more socially accepted ways in an inclusive setting.

10th grade English inclusion teacher, department chair

I love inclusion!

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Janet, I think the idea of full inclusion is great, and that we should all be aiming toward it, but I also feel that for some students, it just isn't appropriate. I agree with what many others have posted; support from staff is very important. At our school, the push for inclusion came down from admin, along with training on co-teaching and differentiation to give the teachers the tools they would need to handle new challenges. (We had a rough start and failed with our first attempt, but with more support and training, we are doing much better.) I have worked at all grade levels, although I am currently at the high school level. I am not sure what other options there are for students at your school, but I believe that the earlier we deal with behaviors, the better off the students will be. We have been rolling out full inclusion for all diploma-track students at my school for the past 3 years. Students with severe behavior problems/emotional issues, learning disabilities, and some other unique needs are in the regular education classroom for most of the day. The only special education setting is for elective classes to support them in reading and writing, and the use of the Sped learning labs during class and before and after school as needed. For some students, it was a rude awakening. They had been in sped classrooms for so long with the same kids with similar behavior issues, that they didn't know what to do at first. Some acted out more and just couldn't handle, it's true. (There are alternate reg ed placements for student who don't do well in a traditional setting.) But others really benefited from the positive modeling that goes on in a classroom with non-disabled peers. I have seen students who never had very high expectations placed on them just blossom in an environment where they were expected to act and perform with everyone else. Sped-certified co-teachers who know the students and can help the teacher plan, differentiate, etc are very helpful. (I have had so many moments as a co-teacher where I've thought "That student never wrote that nicely for me in the sped setting!" I love seeing students attempt to rise to the level of the class.)In other classes we have EAs to support them, and then we have EAs to help in pull-out learning labs. When I articulate with the intermediate and elementary teachers, one thing I always tell them is the more inclusion at their school levels, the better. I think that regular ed teachers need more training in how to handle all kinds of students. So often, with all the pressures of coordinating learning in a classroom of 20+ students, reg ed teachers don't feel like they can take on one more behavior issue, and that's how so many students end up in sped classrooms. Now there are cases where students with severe mental or physical needs may not be appropriately placed in an inclusive setting for the whole day. With skills trainers or other 1:1 assistance provided by an extra adult, I think all students can benefit from the positive peer modeling that occurs in the reg ed classroom, but maybe for certain parts of the day, as appropriate. We still have two self-contained classrooms, but one is for community-based instruction where the students go off-campus and the other is for severe needs where personal hygiene and daily living routines need to be addressed in a more private setting. In each of these classes, the students interact with regular ed students in some way; via "reverse mainstreaming" with reg ed students doing activities in their classroom, or by attending certain classes during the afternoon, after their CBI excursions. I think the term "full inclusion" should be a goal, but that we can't say EVERY kid should have it because that takes the focus away from the individual. Too often, it is the school's model that dictates the least restrictive environment of a student, and not the IEP team. It's important to have a balance, and that is something our school continues to work on. Hope that helps . . .

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