News & Announcements
Co-Teaching Demonstration Sites are Open for Visitors
Twenty-four classrooms are available for on-site visits. Co-teaching teams will model best practices in co-teaching, provide distance mentoring and share resources. Contact your regional TTAC to schedule a visit.
According to Regulations Governing Special Education Programs for Children with Disabilities in Virginia, Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) means that to the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities, including children in public or private institutions or other care facilities, are educated with children who are not disabled, and that special classes, separate schooling or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular educational environment occurs only when the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily. (34 CFR 300.114 through 34 CFR 300.120)
Inclusive Practices Partnership Project
On October 27, 2017, the Virginia Department of Education’s Superintendent of Public Instruction released a Superintendent’s Memo covering Virginia’s Statewide Inclusion Action Plan. In this memo, the Inclusive Practices Partnership Project was announced, and a call for applications was delivered. The Inclusive Practices Partnership Project was established in order to “recognize outstanding schools and/or educators who have developed programs that have been designed to ensure students with disabilities, especially those with more significant academic and behavior needs, have access to inclusive education with their peers in general education settings”.
Inclusive Practices for Preschool Programs
Preschool refers to the time before a child is old enough to go to kindergarten or elementary school. In Virginia, preschoolers who are eligible for special education and related services are entitled to placement in the LRE alongside their peers without disabilities with supplementary aids and services. Inclusion in early childhood programs is supported through years of research and reinforced by a strong legal foundation and can set a trajectory for inclusion across the life course.
The resources available in public school systems and communities vary; thus, localities may offer inclusive early childhood services in programs administered by public schools, Head Start, or community-based entities (e.g., community-based preschool or child care). Preschoolers with IEPs may attend and receive their special education services within any of these early childhood programs provided they are of high quality. The projects depicted below demonstrate inclusion of preschoolers in a variety of contexts.
- Tykes on Trikes Video | Transcript-This is a Word document. - Tikes on Trikes is an inclusive preschool program provided by Montgomery County Public Schools Preschool that demonstrates the collaboration of the preschool team which includes the special education teacher, parents, paraprofessionals, and related service providers.
- Wesley Preschool Partnership Video | Transcript-This is a Word document. Colonial Heights Public Schools has a unique partnership with Wesley Preschool, a local preschool and daycare program that offers an inclusive preschool opportunity to students who qualify for Early Childhood Special Education services.
- Preschool Power Play Video | Transcript-This is a Word document. Harrisonburg City Schools share their push-in inclusion model for transitioning three- year- old students with disabilities into the regular preschool classroom environment.
- Expect Success - The New London Academy in Bedford County shares tips on how to Expect Success when creating a successful inclusion preschool classroom.
Inclusive Practices for K-12 Students
Best practice in inclusive education requires access to and implementation of three major components: academic inclusion, social inclusion, physical inclusion. The following inclusive practice partnership projects provide examples of inclusive practices in all aspects of the k-12 school community.
- Welcome Home - John Gandy Elementary in Hanover County provides the viewers with a collection of videos that share the process of creating an inclusive school environment.
- Adapting for Inclusion Success Video | Transcript-This is a Word document.
- Inclusion in the Classroom Video | Transcript-This is a Word document.
- Inclusion in the Community Video | Transcript-This is a Word document.
- Planning for Inclusion Success Video | Transcript-This is a Word document.
- Staffing for Inclusion Success Video | Transcript-This is a Word document.
- Friends Forever Video | Transcript-This is a Word document. - Friends Forever (FF) is a mentoring program for elementary students at Westbriar Elementary in Fairfax. The program teaches empathy and inclusion while also developing students as leaders and role models.
- Learn-Create-Share Video | Transcript-This is a Word document. - Goochland Elementary co-teaching team shares an instructional process using flexible grouping technique that encourages inclusive practices in the general education classroom.
- Pocahontas Elementary Inclusive Practices Video | Transcript-This is a Word document. - Powhatan County teachers provide a glimpse into the day in their Inclusive classroom.
- Math Inclusive Practices Video | Transcript-This is a Word document. - Tabb High School in York County share their Inclusive Math Practices for Algebra 1 and Geometry.
- The Active Learning Academy Video | Transcript-This is a Word document. - Staunton River Middle in Bedford County has designed a program in which students participate in a blended learning environment that focuses on engagement and individualized student pace.
- Southampton County High School team share their journey of addressing the needs of a student with a vision impairment in a two part video
Webpages & Blogs
- Block Code Matters: Heritage High School in Newport News shares information on a website for an Innovative Music and Coding Program developed to teach computational thinking and computer science techniques to students with disabilities.
- Raiders Fitness for All: Atlee High School in Hanover, Virginia designed and implemented a fully inclusive PE collaborative class to instruct ALL students in the areas of health, fitness, and physical activities. A web page and blog have been developed which will house future resources for teacher use.
Excellence in Co-Teaching Initiative
During the 2017-2018 school year, the teachers and building level administrators involved in the Excellence in Co-teaching Initiative were instrumental in providing professional development opportunities and creating resources for co-teachers across the state and nation.
- They hosted approximately 70 visits at their demonstration sites.
- Videos and sample lesson plans teams created were viewed by more than 3,000 visitors to elementary and secondary e-workshops (see links below).
- Math co-teachers created sample co-taught mathematics lesson plans reflecting 2016 changes in the Mathematics Standards of Learning, which can be viewed on the VDOE website during this school year (see link below).
- Co-teachers in the initiative provided more than 80 professional development presentations on co-teaching in their schools, divisions and professional conferences.
- Co-teaching teams served as distance mentors for co-teachers across the state, problem solving and sharing resources through email and other electronic means.
Contact your regional TTAC to schedule a visit to a demonstration site or to arrange for distance mentoring or professional development in your school or division.
Excellence in Co-Teaching Online Resources
- Real Co-Teachers of Virginia-Elementary
- Real Co-Teachers of Virginia-Middle and High
- Co-teaching Mathematics Instructional Plans (2016 SOL)
More on Inclusion in Virginia
- Inclusion Project and Inclusion Day Resources and A Guide to Planning an Inclusion Project-This is a PDF document.: The goal of this planning guide is to give practical information and resources for developing and implementing a successful Inclusion Project event.
- Virginia Early Childhood Inclusive Practices-This is a PDF document. – This document is designed to assist Virginia’s school divisions and early childhood communities in identifying, developing, and sustaining inclusive opportunities within high-quality early childhood programs for children with disabilities.
- Inclusion: What, Why, and How? – An article from William and Mary Training and Technical Assistance Center newletter
- The Inclusion Story of Montgomery County, Virginia – Cindy Pitonyak describes the inclusion story of Montgomery County Virginia, a school division that has been practicing full inclusion since 1990.