Throughout the month of December, we are celebrating the 11th Annual Inclusive Schools Week and, as our theme for the month states, we will focus on a broader context of inclusion.


Although the Inclusive Schools Network has focused on inclusive practices for students with disabilities since its inception in 2000, the core beliefs and legal underpinnings relate equally to all groups. When I began my teaching career and for many years thereafter, my attention was fully occupied with the need for quality services for students with disabilities and their issues regarding equal access, opportunity, hours of instruction, teacher quality, and resources. I would admit to "compartmentalized" thinking that saw equity and equality primarily through the lens of children with disabilities.


I have spoken to many educators recently about what I will characterize as a shift in perspective - one that increasingly focuses on equity and social justice for any individual who is impacted by race, culture, religion, language, economic status, sexual orientation, gender, and any other way in which society has categorized individuals. In these discussions, we agree that it is becoming more and more difficult to think that we can be concerned for equality for one group without feeling the same level of passion and concern for social justice for all other groups.


We encourage the members of the Inclusive Schools Network to practice the following philosophies:

  •  It is not possible for a school to be excellent unless it is equitable.
  •  It is not possible to be inclusive for some children unless we are inclusive of all children.

We are proud to suggest these two outstanding resources for our members to consider in your own continuing efforts to fully understand and embrace the mindset and the practice of inclusive schools:

Equity Alliance

Teaching Tolerance





Thank you,

Frances Stetson, Ph.D.

President, Stetson & Associates, Inc.

 December 2011




about us






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



Reflection: Inclusive Schools Week

December 5-9, 2011

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We are eager hear about your Inclusive

Schools Week! Please send us details
about the activities and events that took place in your school and community, and we will post them on our website for others to read and enjoy. Email us at

Featured Resources: 
Inclusion Self Assessment Tool
Have you taken the Inclusion Self Assessment tool yet? If not, visit our website and complete the quick and easy tool which will guide your current practices regarding inclusive education. Learn More!
Teaching Diverse Students Initiative

The most significant educational challenge facing the United States is the tragically low academic achievement of many students of color. The Teaching Diverse Students Initiative (TDSi) helps educators meet this challenge by providing research-based resources for improving the teaching of racially and ethnically diverse students. 


These resources can also help school leaders, school improvement teams, college faculty and anyone or any group with an interest in maximizing students' learning opportunities to identify needed policies and practices that support effective teaching and high levels of student learning. Visit to find out more about this feature and for free educational materials that promote respect for differences and appreciation of diversity in the classroom and beyond.   

International Inclusive Education

The State of the World's Children 2011

The State of the World's Children 2011: Adolescence - An Age of Opportunity is a recent publication from UNICEF that examines the global state of adolescents; outlines the challenges they face in health, education, protection and participation; and explores the risks and vulnerabilities of this pivotal stage. There are 1.2 billion adolescents across the world, nine out of ten of these young people live in developing countries. Millions are denied their basic rights to

quality education, health care, protection and exposed to abuse and exploitation. The report highlights the singular opportunities that adolescence offers, both for adolescents themselves and for the societies they live in. This publication and the accompanying videos found on the website can be used as a springboard to discuss broader issues related to international inclusive education with faculty or high school students during Inclusive Schools Week or anytime throughout the year. Go to UNICEF's website for more information.





Gender Equality: Equal Rights, Everwhere!
What are you doing to fight for women's rights? Do you feel you are treated equally? Share your story on Voices of Youth and advocate for gender equality.

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