Checking Your School's Readiness for Inclusion

Presented by Marilyn Friend at the 1995 R/CT Symposium

Is your school moving toward inclusive practices? These are some of the key questions to ask. The more positive responses you can make, the more likely you'll experience success!

  • Does your school have a mission statement that expresses the belief that the professionals and other staff strive to meet the needs of all students? Is this mission statement discussed by staff and used to guide instructional practices?
  • Have teachers had opportunities to discuss their concerns about inclusion and have steps been taken to address these concerns?
  • Has planning for inclusion included classroom teachers, special education teachers, other support staff, administrators, parents, and students?
  • Have you clarified the expectations for students with disabilities who will be integrated into classrooms?
  • Has shared planning time and possibly shared instructional time been arranged for teams of teachers?
  • Have staff members received adequate professional development on pertinent topics (for example, collaboration, behavior management, curricular adaptation)?
  • Have staff members become comfortable with working collaboratively?
  • Has the plan for creating an inclusive school addressed the needs of all students, not just the need of students with disabilities?
  • Has a pilot program been planned prior to full implementation?
  • Have start-up resources been allocated for the inclusion effort?
Reprinted with permission: The Collaborator, a publication of the Resource/Collaborative Teaching Masters in Education Program at The College of William and Mary, Vol.5 (2), Fall 1996.