September 2016, Issue 36
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Recent articles in USA Today and within the USA Today Network highlight the work of SWIFT. Our own Amy McCart makes an appearance in USA Today's piece, "Parents, experts make the case for inclusive schools." Dr. Amy McCart, SWIFT Director of Technical Assistance, explained that real inclusion involves all children, not just those with disabilities. It brings together general and special education in new ways to address each and every student. Read the rest of the story HERE.

Additionally, in an article in the Reno Gazette-Journal, a paper in the USA Today Network, SWIFT members Dr. Elizabeth Kozleski and Kari Woods refer to the evidence in support of equity-based inclusive education: "Our view: Schools need to stop segregating child with disabilities."

Where you can find SWIFT:

2016 RtI Innovations in Education Conference, Milwaukee, WI, October 6-7, 2016
2016 National PBIS Leadership Forum, Rosemont, IL, October 27-28, 2016
2016 TASH Gateway to Equity Conference, St. Louis, MO, November 29-December 2, 2016
2017 PEAK Parent Center Conference on Inclusive Education, Denver, CO, February 9-10, 2017


Newest Issue Brief for School Leaders

Our most recent issue brief—"State Education Agency Blueprint for Equity-Based Inclusive Reform"—addresses the need for educational leaders who can bring together stakeholders to create one whole and cohesive education system during SWIFT implementation. Such leaders guide participants in a transformation process by strategically convening the right people to have the right conversations across the system. This "blueprint" offers school leaders strategies and a time frame to build the foundation for equity-based inclusive education, to learn and innovate together, and to scale up SWIFT across the system.


Niix pachwy! (the afternoon greeting of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation)

Four years ago, just as SWIFT began its partnership with the Pendleton School District in eastern Oregon, the community passed a large bond that allowed the district to build two new elementary schools and an early learning center designed to welcome and support all students.

These changes allowed Washington Elementary School community to shift geographical boundaries yet remain a neighborhood school for the Native American population in the area, which makes up 13% of students in the district and 36% of the school's total student population. One district's priorities during the transition was to maintain and strengthen awareness of and exposure to Native American languages and cultures. The school added a Heritage Language program to teach native languages and cultures to every kindergarten student, and increased attendance and family participation by hiring staff who are Native American. One colorful example of this partnership was when Native American drummers from the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation joined student drummers to celebrate the opening of the new school and beginning of the school year.

The introduction of the new elementary schools also gave Pendleton School District the freedom to overhaul their behavior program. When the program began nine years ago, it had only one building for its five to twelve students with extensive behavioral support needs, and the building was not the home school for most of the students in the program. Thanks to the new schools, however, the district has been able to reallocate resources and redesign student supports, allowing students to return to their neighborhood schools and be welcomed as members of their respective general education classrooms.

In addition, the district provided targeted and enhanced professional development opportunities for and increased the capacity of all elementary school staff—from bus drivers to classroom teachers. Staff use positive behavior supports and interventions with an emphasis on providing Tier 2 supports to those students who need them. As a result, nearly all students, including those with extensive behavioral needs, are starting off this new school year in their home schools and in the general education classrooms, with new opportunities to learn and be successful!


SWIFT Unscripted is our monthly podcast featuring guests from among our SWIFT community and SWIFT partners. A transcript link for each SWIFT Unscripted podcast is available at the end of its description.

Listen to the recent podcast with Dr. Rob Horner from the University of Oregon for an in-depth conversation about the evidence behind the PBIS framework and how it relates to schoolwide transformation and All Means All.

SWIFT Talk is our blog where you can find excellent articles from various members of the SWIFT community.

Are you interested in supporting state education agencies (SEAs) in the journey toward excellent and equitable learning for all students? Dr. Linda Beitz's recent blog post introduces the SEA Blueprint for Equity-Based Inclusive Reform and can be found right here.

What makes an effective and efficient team where all members want to be there, contribute ideas, respect differences, and work together? Read about the key to implementing schoolwide transformation in SWIFT member Dr. Carol Quirk's blog post "SWIFT Implementation Begins with Teams."


SWIFT Webinars are offered free every month via Adobe Connect on topics related to SWIFT domains and features. Recordings of all webinars can be downloaded from the Multi Media section of SWIFT Shelf.

Dr. Kathleen Lane, Professor at the University of Kansas and leader in school-based academic and behavioral interventions, reviews the systematic screening tools available for use in multi-tiered systems in a two-part webinar series, "The Importance of Systematic Screening: Using Data to Support School Success." Dr. Lane illustrates how to use systematic screening data in conjunction with other data collected as part of regular school practices to examine overall level of risk, inform teacher-delivered strategies, and connect students to Tier 2 and 3 supports when Tier 1 efforts are insufficient.

(Click here to view Part 1)

(Click here to view Part 2)

The SWIFT Center produced this document under U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs Grant No. H326Y120005. OSEP Project Officers Grace Zamora Durán and Tina Diamond served as the project officers. The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the positions or policies of the Department of Education. No official endorsement by the U.S. Department of Education of any product, commodity, service or enterprise mentioned in this publication is intended or should be inferred. This product is public domain. Authorization to reproduce it in whole or in part is granted. While permission to reprint this publication is not necessary, the citation should be: SWIFT Center. (2016). SWIFT News, Issue 36, September 2016. Lawrence, KS: SWIFT Center.

SWIFT Center
1315 Wakarusa Drive,
Lawrence, KS 66049

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