Optimized Inclusive Practices: State-wide Technical Assistance Project

Pennsylvania piloted a state-wide project focused on inclusive educational practices for students with the most complex needs. The project was reviewed, revised and refined with an expert panel. The Optimized Inclusive Practices Framework describes eight dimensions of optimized inclusive practices. The emphasis is to provide cohesive professional development leading to sustainable state-wide implementation of inclusive practices. Come share lessons learned and ideas for moving forward. Participants will identify key components needed for sustainable systemic change that builds inclusive educational practices.

Participants will be able to use the strategies and insights gained from the expert panelists to evaluate their own systems in terms of: Leadership, School Climate, Student Placement Decisions, Purposeful Collaboration, Family and Community Involvement, Instructional Planning, Effective Instructional Practices, and Supplementary Aids and Services.

Participants will be able to review our Optimized Inclusive Practices Framework and the tools we are developing to support teams as they move to improve their practices.

Participants will be able to identify how one state struggled with and is working to overcome, the personality driven and transitory inclusive practices that so often seem to happen. In an effort to identify why change was not happening, even when trained facilitators were in place and participants were provided with technical support and professional development, the team determined that an outside perspective was needed in order to determine what could be done to improve the sustainability and fidelity of implementation needed for long-term change. Together, they brought together a panel of experts in the field of teaching students with the most complex instructional needs, culture change, policy, self-advocacy, and inclusive practices. Using this information they are improving their program to better address these needs.

Participants will be able to identify some common areas of need and explore the changes being made to improve inclusive practices across the state.

Deborah Taub, Jeannine Brinkley, Marcia Thomas, Jim Palmerio