An Inclusive School Climate


In the late 1970's, Roland R. Edmonds, Lawrence Lezotte, and others founded the Effective Schools Movement that proposed five correlates, or characteristics of successful schools.  These schools were identified as successful for all students and in some of the most challenging of settings.  This movement and the groundbreaking insights continue to influence education today.  Here is a current list of the effective school correlates:

  • Instructional Leadership
  • Clear and Focused Mission
  • Safe and Orderly Environment
  • Climate of High Expectations
  • Frequent Monitoring of Student Progress
  • Positive Home-School Relations
  • Opportunity to Learn and Student Time on Task



In one of his most quoted statements, Dr. Edmonds raised a compelling challenge to educators and communities:


"It seems to me, that what is left of this discussion are three declarative statements:  (a) We can, whenever and wherever we choose, successfully teach all children whose schooling is of interest to us; (b) We already know more than we need to do that; and (c) Whether or not we do it must finally depend on how we feel about the fact that we haven't so far."  

Educational Leadership (October 1979)


This thought seems particularly relevant to those of us committed to the creation of inclusive school communities.  For this month's focus - an inclusive school climate draws upon these practices and more to create a school environment in which every child belongs. 

Walk into any school or classroom and you will know if they were successful in creating this environment!  You immediately feel welcome, accepted, important to the group - or uncomfortable, almost as though you are intruding on someone else's space or activity.  In thousands of conversations with students, parents, and educators, we hear that the defining characteristic of inclusive schools must go far beyond the banners that proclaim each school's mission statement to the quality and intent of daily human-to-human interactions. 

Here are just a few questions to ask as we promote a more inclusive climate.

  1. Do all students feel a strong sense of belonging?
  2. Do all parents believe that the school values their perspectives and contributions?
  3. Do parents and educators leave meetings together with a renewed sense of shared purpose on behalf of the student?
  4. Do school purposively nurture positive student relationships and shared activities?
  5. Are all faculty members appreciative of diversity in student readiness and learning, language, race, culture, experiences, and more?
  6. Do student considerations take priority over adult considerations when concerns arise?
  7. Is shared ownership for all students clearly expressed as a non-negotiable by the superintendent and each school's principal?

This issue of Inclusive Schools Network features several new resources to support your work as an educator or parent to create a safe, welcoming, and inclusive school environment.  Please visit our website to learn more:


Take care of yourself and each other!





Thank you,

Frances Stetson, Ph.D.

President, Stetson & Associates, Inc.

 February 2012




about us






The Inclusive Schools Network  is a web-based resource for families, schools, and communities interested in the topic of inclusive education. 





Parent Perspective

A Safe, Caring School Environment 


Teacher Talk 

We Are Family


Leadership Perspective 

School Climate: Working Together for Success

Great Things Happen in Inclusive Schools! 


Inclusive Schools Network products boast our logo "Great Things Happen in Inclusive Schools" and are available for purchase throughout the year. New products this year include colorful posters, travel mugs, tote bags, USB drives and other materials to help you promote inclusive practices throughout the year. Go to  The ISN Shop to order your supplies now!


Make sure to mark your calendars for the 12th Annual Inclusive Schools Week to be celebrated December 3-7, 2012!


Our 2012 theme will be "Awareness to Action: Strengthening Relationships & Results"!



Teaching Tolerance


Teaching Tolerance is sponsored by the Southern Poverty Law Center and offers a varied collection of web-based and print resources on reducing prejudice, improving intergroup relations and supporting equitable school experiences for children.  They provide free educational materials, including a magazine, classroom curricular kits and activities and professional development materials, to teachers and other school practitioners in the U.S. and abroad.   The teaching materials produced by Teaching Tolerance have won two Oscars, an Emmy and more than 20 honors from the Association of Educational Publishers.  Check out their website to download the free educational materials at 




Youth Work Booklets

Inclusion for ALL


Salto-Youth is a network of 8 Resource Centers working on European priority areas within the youth field. The network provides youth work and training resources and organizes training and networking activities to support organizations and National Agencies within the frame of the European Commission's program and beyond.

Salto-Youth's Inclusion for ALL publication series includes practical manuals to support international inclusion projects for socially excluded youth. Topics include employment, international travel, inclusion in international youth projects, and many more. Many of the publications are translated into several languages and all are available for free download. Visit Salto-Youth's website at





Celebration of Teaching and Learning

New York City, March 16-17, 2012


The Seventh Annual "Celebration of Teaching and Learning" sponsored by WNET, NY & NJ Public Television, is a large professional development conference that brings together expertise and content from the Arts, English Language Arts, Global Awareness, Health & Wellness, Instructional Technology, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, Social Studies, Special Education and Whole School Issues. During the two day conference for educators across the nation there will be six plenary sessions, 40+ Featured Speaker sessions, over 100 hands-on "In the Classroom" workshops, and two filled exhibitor halls featuring the latest in educational tools, interactive events and book signings. To find out more and to register go to




2012 International Summit on the Teaching Profession

New York City, March 14-15, 2012


The second annual Summit on the Teaching Profession will be held in NYC this March preceding the Celebration of Teaching and Learning Conference (see Featured Event section) later that week.  The Summit, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and Education International and in partnership with American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association, Asia Society, The Council of Chief State School Officers and WNET in NY , will bring together education leaders from over 29 countries.   This year's theme "Preparing Teachers and Developing School Leaders" will examine how to improve teacher preparation and support the recruitment and retention of committed school leadership staff. For more information on the Summit visit:

Inclusive schools promote respectful and supportive relationships, avoid the bullying epidemic, and build the attributes of positive peer-to-peer interactions.  This month we will explore effective practices and school success stories.  



Special Olympics Project UNIFYŽ is an education-based project that uses sports and education programs to activate young people to develop school communities where all youth are agents of change - fostering respect, dignity and advocacy for people with intellectual disabilities. 

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