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Inclusion Statement

DRAFT Statement of Inclusion Principles and People First Language To secure inclusion, freedom and respect for all of our students

Frances Harper Junior High School is a full-inclusion school site. We believe that this practice can only come to fruition when there is a climate of understanding and acceptance. The following is a definition of terms as well as a declarative statement for a fully inclusive school site.

What does a full-inclusion school site look like? Harper Junior High will provide:

  • equitable opportunities to receive educational services
  • with needed supplementary aids and support services
  • in age appropriate classes
  • in our neighborhood school
  • in order to prepare students for productive lives as full members of society
  • for all students
  • including those with significant disabilities and/or learning disabilities.

Inclusion is not defined as being:

  • Dumped into general education classes without teacher preparation or specialist support;
  • Spending 100% of the day in general education no matter what s/he is NOT learning
  • Isolated in the general education class
  • Expected to learn the same thing at the same time in the same way as everyone else

We, the Harper Junior High PTO, wish to see:

  • Our students’ para-educators and/or general education teachers
  • are trained and given support;
  • are given reasonable time to read and review IEP’s and 504 plans;
  • collaborate with other professional staff and service providers
  • Our inclusion and resource specialists are viewed as specialists who provide services to students and to their teachers in the general education environment.
  • Our general education teachers are profoundly that – our students’ teachers, regardless of the disability.

Our values of inclusion are as follows:

  • We are all born as equals and are all part of the Harper community. Disability is a natural part of the human experience and in no way diminishes the right of individuals to participate in or contribute to society.
  • No one has to pass a test or meet a set of criteria to be eligible – everyone is ready to be a part of our Harper community and it is our community’s task to find a way of including everyone.
  • None of our students at Harper is fully independent. We are working towards positively improving our interdependence and working together to provide differing degrees and kinds of support as needed.
  • Each student has their own gifts and strengths and each student has a unique contribution to make. Our task is to recognize, encourage, and value each student’s contribution.

We do not believe the world, especially our school, is a better place if everyone is the same. We are not dreaming of a school where all differences are eradicated and all disabilities are “cured.” We believe that diversity brings strength and that we can all learn and grow from knowing one another.

Our children who access the inclusion specialist or resource services cannot be defined by their disabilities and their potential cannot be predicted by their diagnoses. We believe that children who have been diagnosed with conditions called “disabilities” are unique individuals with unlimited potential – like all of our children whom we call students.

Examples of People First Language Say Instead of:

Say Instead of
student receives special ed. services  inclusion student, special ed. student 
teacher(s)   general ed. teachers  
inclusion/resource specialist   full inclusion teacher/resource teacher  
para-educator   aide/helper  
people with disabilities   handicapped or disabled people  
student has an intellectual disability    
student is mentally retarded   student has autism (or a diagnosis of)  
student is autistic   parking student needs/uses special ed. services student has a problem/special needs 
student has Down’s syndrome   student is Down’s/mongoloid  
student has a learning disability   student is slow, not too smart student has a physical disability student is quadriplegic/is crippled student is of short stature student is a midget/dwarf student has a mental health condition student is emotionally disturbed/mentally ill, crazy, insane student uses a wheelchair/mobility chair student is confined to a wheelchair student without disabilities normal, typical, healthy student congenital disabilities birth defects brain injury brain damage accessible parking handicapped  

INCLUSION IS: Inclusion is the expectation that that all students can learn. Inclusion is being a whole person with special learning needs and personal goals to reach life dreams through IEP and 504. Inclusion is having the accommodations to bypass disabilities and creating the least restrictive environment to access curriculum at individualized pace. Inclusion is having curriculum goals, instructional materials, teaching methods and assessments designed from the start to make curriculum accessible by the widest range of students. (i.e., general ed. text ordered with CD/DVD for those with short-term memory loss, ADD/ADHD, auditory/visual learners, etc. and includes interactive opportunity for those students who need action to learn.) Inclusion is an individualized program in a general education setting. Inclusion is having a seat in class with a general ed. teacher who knows the student’s name, goals, learning style, and class progress. Inclusion is having a general ed. teacher who works with special ed. to modify curriculum insuring that this will be implemented by student or in many cases, implemented with a trained paraeducator with positive motivational skills. Inclusion is sitting with the group where the student’s learning needs are best met: i.e. student with ADHD would be placed away from fire alarm, student with visual impairment will be placed closest to teacher and board, student needing computer to access curriculum would have laptop or sit with classroom computer. Inclusion is going on the class field trip even when the para-ed has called in sick. Inclusion is going with peers to extracurricular activities and having shadow supervision. Inclusion is belonging.

This site provided with the assistance of the Davis Community Network.