Leadership for
Inclusive Schools

Perhaps the most critical role in successful inclusive schools is the role of the principal. The school principal’s active participation is the single most important predictor of success in implementing change, improving services, or setting a new course. The school principal is central to facilitating systemic change and leading faculty to adopt new attitudes and new practices. 

With responsibilities widening each year, today’s principal must create the conditions for a positive learning environment, academic rigor, and set the standard for shared ownership across the entire faculty. This page explores the many facets of the role of inclusive principals.

Supporting a School-Wide System of Positive Behavioral Supports

How does the principal establish an effective school-wide positive behavioral support system? An effective school-wide positive behavioral support system consists of three parts: Shifting from a reactive stance to a responsive stance; Emphasizing proactive strategies, such as defining, teaching and supporting appropriate behaviors Establishing a continuum of positive behavior support for all students provided by… Read more

High Stakes Testing and Accommodations: Prepare for Success!

In this age of accountability, statewide student assessments have become a central focus every spring for students, teachers and families. High-stakes testing requires the school community to invest significant amounts of time and attention in this process, and so we want to ensure that students with and without disabilities have the best possible outcomes. For students with… Read more

Scheduling for Success: Common Planning Time

Common planning time among educators is a crucial element in the success of an inclusive school. Planning time helps improve instruction by allowing teachers to share best practices, look at students' work, and plan curriculum and lessons together. In order for planning to contribute meaningfully to curriculum development and implementation, sufficient time should be built… Read more

Using Video As A Powerful Self-Assessment Tool

Get off to a good start by reflecting on your teaching practices. Does your teaching style match the needs of all of the students in your classroom? Are you engaging all of your students during your lessons? If not, how will you know before it is too late? Engaging in self-assessment is a beneficial process… Read more

Celebrating Collaborative Teaching Success

Collaboration among people is one of the most important factors in successful inclusive schools. Inclusive Schools Week happens during a time that many cultures consider a season of celebration and giving. This is a perfect time to celebrate the people who you credit with being supportive of inclusive education in your school and community—the teachers… Read more

Inclusive Education Knowing-Doing Gap

Just over a decade ago, Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert Sutton authored The Knowing-Doing Gap: How Smart Companies Turn Knowledge into Action.  Their point:  we know a great deal, are generally well trained, yet despite all of our knowing, we still are not doing what we know should be done.  In the words of the authors… Read more

The Principal’s Responsibilities in Supporting Quality Instruction

Principals play a key role in the delivery of quality instruction. Their responsibilities include ensuring educational strategies are in place that support effective learning for all students. They serve as a facilitator, guide and supporter of quality instructional practices. Good principals understand that improved test scores are important but know that quality instruction is essential… Read more

Including Students with Disabilities: A Missing Link

Author: Tim LaCourt, M.Ed. In my career as a special education teacher, curriculum supervisor, and then principal, Inclusion was a priority focus; however, there always seemed to be a missing link in the process of including students with disabilities—especially more severe conditions—into the general population of students. I had an early spring meeting with a… Read more

SCHOOLBOOK REPORTS: SPECIAL EDUCATION OVERHAUL IN NEW YORK CITY PUBLIC SCHOOLS

SchoolBook, a New York Times and New York City Public Radio hosted news site, has been closely following the overhaul of special education practices in New York City public schools toward inclusive education as the norm, not the exception. This series of reports on SchoolBook has covered a variety of topics associated with the significant… Read more

Sustaining Progress Toward Inclusive Schools

Educators and parents agree that the initial work required to create inclusive schools often involves a shift in philosophy and changes in instructional practice. This work is not easy and the time frame for successful change from limited knowledge of inclusive practices to a smooth system of services and supports usually requires at least two… Read more