Association of Washington School Principals
Volume 3 – 2020-21
Inclusionary Practices Project
Data Presentation and Testimonials
As part of our action planning with leaders, and to further evidence the impact of the learning they are engaged in, we asked them to identify their beliefs shifts in inclusion work over time and we are witnessing school/district teams continue to shift their perspective from what students/systems can’t do to what students/systems can do:
  • “We used to think inclusion was having students with IEP in classes and allowing them to connect with GenEd students. But NOW! inclusion is a whole child experience, building a community of learners, and tailoring support strategies for the betterment of all.”
  • “We used to think that SMART Goals were to measure and assess students’ progress We think and wonder how we can write goals that are related to Person-Place model that are more relevant and helpful to ALL students.”
  • “We used to think inclusion was just about students with IEPS going to general education classes, but now we think it is about increasing teachers’ instructional strategies to limit barriers to educational opportunities.”
Throughout our comprehensive offerings to educators, we are also seeing an increased eagerness to engage in reimagining what school systems look, feel and act like through the lens of inclusion and inclusionary practices. Mindsets are shifting into possibilities for change; what was scary or felt unattainable is now becoming tangible and manageable. When we asked school leaders to categorize their inclusionary problem of practice within a culture/systems/learning lens, participants (from 8 out of the 9 ESD regions) responded: 50% of respondents categorized it as a culture issue, 25% categorized it as systems issue, and 25% categorized it as a learning issue. This affirmed our project’s prioritization on focusing on the school leader’s inclusion journey with culture.
From survey data, we know that participants are identifying their inclusionary problem of practice through analysis of data from LRE (50%), State assessments (55%), District assessments (20%), classroom based assessments (45%), student interviews (35%) and family engagement (10%) to develop their theory of action. Engaging in reflective practices, educators are creating inclusive theories of action that have the potential to increase inclusion within their school context through continued on-going, job-embedded, learning and professional support.
  • “If we view all students as one big classroom in which all students must have a space and voice of belonging, then our culture, systems, and practices will create pathways and opportunity for all students to be together in all spaces.”
  • “If students can remain in their general education classroom for the majority of their day, then they are exposed to the CORE curriculum while having their individual needs met through UDL.”
  • “If we challenge our biases and assumptions of inclusion and presuming competence, then we will create/develop culture, systems and learning with a more equitable approach.”
  • “If we focus on a strategic, systems approach to inclusion then we will see inclusion practices spread with more intention and sustainability.”
Mindsets are shifting into possibilities for change; what was scary or felt unattainable is now becoming tangible and manageable.
Our biggest impact right now is the transition from shifts in beliefs to actual actions in schools and classrooms with leadership action planning and accounting for what they are shifting in their system. The cohort members are setting action items each session to try out within their context. Some examples are:
  • Survey teachers/students/community
  • Article/video for Mindset/presumed competencies with vocab, reflections, and possible next steps Use site council to guide systems/build capacity Talk about this process with our teams - get them onboard and engaged in what they’re doing. Make a list of what our students “CAN” do and how our perceptions may be wrong. Be a treasure hunter for all kids. Have small teams visit classes with kids with ID to look for what they can do.
  • Start integrating inclusion videos and discussions at each staff meeting.
This learning has the potential to directly impact each and every students’ access to quality core instruction. While we are clearly seeing the impacts on leaders’ beliefs on inclusion, our collective learning journey is far from over.
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Association of Washington School Principals
Washington Principal | Volume 3 – 2020-21