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Building a Community of Inclusion Lynchburg City Schools Dana Guarino-Murphey, ECSE Teacher Polly Smith, ECSE Teacher.

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Presentation on theme: "Building a Community of Inclusion Lynchburg City Schools Dana Guarino-Murphey, ECSE Teacher Polly Smith, ECSE Teacher."— Presentation transcript:

1 Building a Community of Inclusion Lynchburg City Schools Dana Guarino-Murphey, ECSE Teacher Polly Smith, ECSE Teacher

2 Objective A Switch In Thinking Beginning Considerations: Switch by Chip Heath and Dan Heath Virginia Council of Administrators for Special Education announces early learning is “IN”… High School reform is “OUT”… START EARLY Inclusion early = inclusion later A supportive administration is essential Where are you now in providing ECSE services?

3 What Do You Want For Children? Individually circle five characteristics In a small group come to a consensus of 3-5 characteristics Creating a unified list How do we achieve these characteristics for children? Inclusive Practices

4 Benefits to Children With Disabilities Experiencing a more stimulating environment with a broader range of learning experiences Forming a wider circle of friends Serving as role models Learning to be more independent and to rely more on peers instead of teachers Learning age-appropriate social and play skills Acquiring developmentally advanced skills Exhibiting higher levels of social participation Opportunity for the child to be assessed in the natural environment DEC/NAEYC. (2009) Early childhood inclusion: A joint position statement of the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina, FPG Child Development Institute.

5 Benefits to Children Without Disabilities Having more chances to be leaders, teachers or role models, thereby increasing their self-confidence Making normal or greater than expected developmental progress Learning to appreciate the similarities and differences between people at an early age Developing favorable attitudes and increasing their comfort level around people with disabilities Becoming sensitive to the needs of people with disabilities Having opportunities to form friendships with children with disabilities DEC/NAEYC. (2009) Early childhood inclusion: A joint position statement of the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina, FPG Child Development Institute.

6 Benefits for Your School System Financial Benefits LCS has experienced zero mediations and/or denials at the preschool level as well as during transitions to kindergarten Budget Savings - Ten classrooms emptied from school building; lessening bus transportation, custodial care, secretarial, electricity, cafeteria needs, etc. (Varies for each locality) Educational Benefits Children with disabilities develop knowledge from peers; language, social, and school functioning skills Improvement of State Performance Plan outcomes and requirements from federal/state Community of inclusion (Ownership from all stakeholders): Foundation for inclusive practices throughout the educational system

7 Lynchburg City Schools Our Journey First Inclusion Site Established Eight ECSE children included within a community preschool (four classrooms) 1 teacher and 1 teacher assistant assigned to the community preschool financial resources provided Expansion to an Additional Community Preschool Site Eight more ECSE children included in regular education classrooms Services in community settings as well as public pre-kindergarten classrooms were supported as opportunities were available Both of these sites continue to collaborate with LCS at this time.

8 Lynchburg City Schools Our Journey DSS Funded Training for Community Preschools LCS provided and staffed training justified through Child Find Training on high quality early childhood programming Child development, room arrangement, daily routine, adult child interactions, conflict resolution… 2007 Information and Support from JMU-T/TAC Inclusive Placement Opportunities for Preschoolers (IPOP) Self Reflection: 85% of children being served in self-contained classrooms Visited other systems: Augusta County, Montgomery County and Chesterfield County Identified the key players in our community: the relationships that had been built through LCS providing training for quality programs. This became our foundation to expand into community settings.

9 Lynchburg City Schools Our Journey Created an IPOP Team of Key Players T/TAC LCS administration LCS transportation department ECSE teachers Parents of preschool children with disabilities Community preschool directors, Head Start, Smart Beginnings, regular education staff Developed Community Collaboration Models Sites that hold 6-8 slots in their enrollment specifically for LCS ECSE placement. Qualities to look for when identifying a potential community program to collaborate: quality, professionalism, initiative Grew from 2 sites to 9 sites Natural Environments: Where children are, prior to being identified to include; home, child care setting, community preschools

10 Lynchburg City Schools Our Journey Community Trainings Provide community training that supports best practice: child development, room arrangement, daily routine, adult child interactions, conflict resolution (Through these trainings key players are identified to build relationships and collaborative agreements.) Identify Available Resources People power: Training ECSE staff (co-teaching, collaboration), reconfigure staffing Knowledge Materials

11 Lynchburg City Schools Our Journey Then 85% of children serviced using a self contained model 15% of children included % of children are included and 15% serviced using a self contained model

12 Continuum of Services – Service Options Service OptionDefinition Self-Contained ECSE classroom with 8 children with disabilities and significant adult support. Home Based Service for younger children who are not enrolled by their family in a community preschool program. Playgroup Provided in conjunction with home based services to provide social experiences. Ideally with same aged typically developing peers attending in a community atmosphere. Resource Itinerant service provided to families that have placed their child in a childcare/preschool facility. Inclusion SitesPlacement provided to older preschool aged children with a range of disabilities that require significant support. Inclusion sites are programs that LCS has collaborative relationships. These sites hold 6-8 slots in their enrollment specifically for LCS ECSE placement. In essence we are dispersing/including a center based classroom through the program. This guarantees that the staff that would have been assigned to a self-contained classroom is assigned to a community site. Tuition for these slots is supported through 619 funds.

13 Our 3 Key Elements for Success in Collaborative Inclusion Models Training: Offer training to support the staff at the community inclusion sites. Access T/TAC and other local sources to create training opportunities. ECSE teachers attend trainings alongside the practitioners from their community sites Resources: Children MUST come with resources. Knowledge, materials, ideas and additional staff come into the center to enhance the program Support for ECSE staff: Due to alternative staffing configurations, ECSE staff will need training and a new skill set: transitioning from a primary to a co-teaching service model, sharing control, collaboration skills, and knowledge of typical child development

14 Implementation Plan What is your system doing well in regards to providing inclusive services? How can you do more of it? Looking at our program model what do you think may work for your locality? Identify YOUR key players.

15 Contact Information Lynchburg City Schools Hutcherson Early Learning Program 409 Perrymont Avenue Lynchburg, VA (434) Dana Guarino- Murphey, ECSE Teacher Polly Smith, ECSE Teacher Judy Trent, Principal Wyllys VanDerwerker, Director of Special Education

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