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Steps to Get You Started: Fully Integrated Organizational Structure

Your school can take specific action steps to develop a fully integrated organizational structure.  Click on one of the steps below to learn more about how to get started.

Identify students who do not have a grade level classroom as their primary educational environment.

Identify any students in your school who do not have a grade level classroom as their primary educational environment or who are educated in self-contained classrooms, including those students with IEPs and the most extensive support needs.

Identify support systems that each student needs to be academically and socially successful in a general education setting and with the general curriculum.

Develop action plans to include the needed support in the classrooms and, as the supports become available, transition the students' educational environment to the general classroom and curriculum.

Find out whether any children in your neighborhood attend alternative public schools instead of your school.
Consider how you might transition them back into your school with the supports they need to be academically and socially successful.  

Gather input from families regarding their questions or concerns related to transitioning students to their neighborhood school or grade level classroom.  Include families in all decisions related to changes in a student’s primary educational environment. 

Use language and practices that reflect services are based on need, rather than disability labels.

Change language used in the building to reflect that additional supports are provided to students based on their needs.   For example, instead of having designated special education classrooms, you may instead use these rooms for intervention groups serving students with and without disabilities.  

Change personnel titles and building signage to reflect that educators with specialized expertise may support any student in any location.

Provide opportunities for general and special educators to participate in professional learning together.

Adopt policy in support of non-categorical language and service delivery.

Set expectations for collaborative instruction among peers.

Engage all students by using collaborative instruction among peers.  Inclusive school peers are generally students who are in the same age range, regardless of the supports each requires.

Provide professional learning opportunities on how to engage their students to work collaboratively with their peers and create a collaborative learning environment.  

Provide your students instruction on how to collaborate with their peers, taking into account a range of support needs. 

Use paraeducators to support inclusive education.

Include your paraeducators in professional learning and team processes that your general and specialized educators attend.

Establish a formal expectation in your school that paraeducators support any student, as needed, instead of assigning them to individual students in segregated settings.

Provide your paraeducators professional learning on how they can support students in inclusive settings.  For example, they may be asked to lead small groups or collect progress monitoring data.

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