November 19

Chapter 2-Supporting Inclusion Schoolwide

This chapter goes through the roles and responsibilities of all of the key players in an inclusive school. From administrators to custodians and bus drivers, we all have important roles in our schools.


Administrators have probably the most important job within an inclusive school. Obviously they are in charge of the every day functioning of the school, but they are also in charge of supporting the teachers and students through the inclusion model. Administrators need to ensure that everyone in the school are providing students with educational experiences that are equal and diverse in nature. These experiences need to be engaging for all students and ensure that all students are learning what they need to learn. Administrators also need to ensure that teachers and support staff have opportunities to collaborate with each other in order to provide the very best programs for all.


Specialized Support Staff, including speech and language pathologist, occupational therapists, counsellors, and others (I would put the Learning Support Teachers, Resource Teachers and Integration Support Teachers in this category as well), also have important jobs within the inclusive schools. They must work very closely with the classroom teachers to help create and provide the supports necessay to ensure all students have access to the curriculum in a meaningful way. These specialized support staff also work closely with the paraprofessionals in guiding them on how to work with  and supportthe students with higher needs.


The remaining staff members, the custodians, bus drivers, maintenance staff and those who do not have an active “teaching-type” role are alos important in the inclusive school. This year, I have one of our bus drivers as a partner on an IEP goal-she is to help remind one of our students about her daily agenda, ensure that it goes home at the end of the day and comes back in the mornings. Since the bus driver is the last person who sees my student in the evenings and the first person to see her in the morning, what better way to make sure that this small piece of information is brought everyday?


All of these people are serve the improtant roles of making the school community one of safety, full of caring individuals who all care about student learning. We all must ensure that our language is clear, that our schedules are supportive of all students and that we have regular events, which again, include all students.


Mission statements discuss the school’s values and beliefs. They should be very clear and embody the school culture within them. One thing I know about our school’s mission statement is that it is very long and, although it embodies our values and beliefs, I wonder if there is abetter way to say the same thing?

What is the culture of your school? Do you have a mission statement? Does it fit with your school?

November 5

Chapter 1-Preparing for Inclusion

This chapter begins with a history of inclusive education from its very beginning, the complete segregation of students to the way things are in current days. Although this is an American history, there was a similar sequence here in British Columbia. In fact, British Columbia was cited as ahead of the game in this book. Yay British Columbians for the forward thinking!

According to Hall, inclusion means “Full membership of an age-appropriate class in your local school doing the same lessons as other pupils and it mattering if you are not there. Plus you have friends who spend time with you outside of school.” (page 6) We all know that every child, regardless of their abilities, are capable of learning and everyone deserves to learn with their peers in the general education classroom, with the appropriate supports. Inclusion requires that everyone, regardless of their abilities, has access to an engaging, rich and supportive educational experience.


There are many examples of people with disabilities who have been very successful in their lives. People such as Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking, Temple Grandin, and, more recently, Zack Anners have all done very well for themselves, and the rest of the world, through their accomplishments, in spite of their disabilities. This just goes to show, once again, that with equitable education, all children can do great things if given the opportunity to shine.


There are many benefits to inclusion. Emotional, academic, and social benefits occur for both children with disabilities and their peers. Inclusion allows children with disabilities to feel a sense of belonging, the ability to make and maintain friendships and the ability to increase their academic competence. It also allows children without disabilities to learn empathy, and increase their academic competence, among many other things.


“There is only one criterion required for being included: breathing.” (page 9)  Wow! That is powerful! Now, how do we do this effectively? I guess one response would be to continue reading through this book!


How does your idea of inclusion fit with the information given in this chapter?