April 2016, Issue 31
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All Means All for Students who Follow Alternate Standards in Cecil County

This school year, Cecil County leaders created a district-wide team to address how students who follow Alternate Standards can experience greater membership in general education classrooms and participate in Tier 1 instruction alongside their non-disabled peers. With overt support from district leaders and school principals, general and special education instructional specialists were matched with one student each at seven schools. The team created Key Indicators of Membership and Participation for teams to complete monthly for each student. Indicators are analyzed and strategies are designed with the school-based teams to implement and refine for each individual student. All students in this pilot are now spending more time in general education. In fact, each student is spending 80% or more of their day in general education. All of the students with limited or no speech have enhanced communication supports, including electronic devices and word/symbol communication boards. One student has shown significant learning of general education standards and has been transitioned from following Alternate Standards to following Maryland College and Career Ready Standards.



Professional Learning Institute logoHave you registered for the SWIFT Professional Learning Institute "Better Together," July 21-22, 2016 in Arlington, Virginia? 

We are excited to invite you to the 2016 SWIFT National Professional Learning Institute! Expect to be inspired by educator and administrator presentations from SWIFT partner states, districts, and schools — panel discussions around hot topics in inclusive education and school reform — inspiring speakers and films — working sessions with like-minded colleagues — and more.

If you live in a SWIFT partner state, contact your SEA or LEA Facilitator to access a free registration link. If you are from anywhere else in the world, click here to register for the 2-day conference for only $250. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with a link to use to reserve a hotel room in the SWIFT block at a significantly discounted rate. Not sure where you fit in or have a question about attending SWIFT PLI? Contact swiftpli@ku.edu

We Are Better Together!

SWIFT's Better Together Task Force is working to create recommendations and support for our partner schools to effectively include students with extensive needs in their neighborhood schools and general education classrooms. As you engage in this work, consider the following questions ~ adapted from ideas generated by the Better Together Task Force:  

School/Student/Teacher/Family Consideration Questions to Guide Including Students with Complex Needs


  • How does my school community actively promote their values for inclusive education?
  • Do job descriptions and performance systems reflect all personnel having responsibility for all students, including those with extensive support needs?
  • If students with complex needs are receiving supports for any or all of the school day outside of the general education classroom, are you asking the question, “What would it take to change this?” and creating an action plan for equity-based inclusion?


  • Are all students assigned to age-appropriate general education classrooms as their primary base and recognized as a member in that class by teachers and peers?
  • Do all students — including students with complex needs — have the opportunity to demonstrate reciprocity? To be the classroom helper AND helpee? To give and receive?
  • Do all students have a way to express themselves that is easily understood by others? If not, are we seeking out innovative strategies and expertise that focuses on communication competence?


  • Are classroom teachers provided with real-time expert coaching and support on instruction, behavior, communication strategies, and promoting positive peer relationships?
  • Are school personnel deployed creatively and effectively throughout the day having a strong sense of strategies to support students with diverse needs in the school?


  • Are family members of students with complex needs encouraged to participate in all aspects of the school community, such as the PTO, school leadership teams, volunteer experiences etc.?

Remember: The success or failure of equity-based inclusion has little to do with student characteristics and almost everything to do with the commitment, creativity, and flexibility of educational teams.

Have you read about the recent study demonstrating the benefits of equity-based inclusive education?

Did you know that SWIFT in 60s in the Field Guide are closed captioned AND translated into Spanish!

Catch Up With SWIFT


Scaling Up in New Hampshire

Fall Mountain Regional School District is scaling up! SAU 60 used the District Capacity Assessment as a starting point to have all 12 of its schools — including the pre-school and regional high school — align their district priorities to the SWIFT Framework. The “A-Team” met in mid-April and clarified, aligned, and used an “energy vote” to focus collectively on their top five district priority areas — the first of which is the implementation of the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Framework. The team is excited to lead the way in New Hampshire as one of the first SWIFT districts to scale up. The vision of fully inclusive schools is alive and well in Charlestown!

All 17 of the New Hampshire Development Sites — those that are in the first cohort of the New Hampshire Sustainability Plan — are wholly focused on developing the groundwork and infrastructure to create fully inclusive schools. All Development Sites now have Building Leadership Teams who meet regularly and are finalizing their Vision Statements. The Building Leadership Teams are gathering baseline data. To complete their first SWIFT Fidelity Integrity Assessment (SWIFT-FIA), Development Sites are dividing the questions into segments that coincide with each of the "SWIFT in 60" videos, providing the teams with learning opportunities as they gather their baseline data. As these Development Sites enter year two of transformation, they will have Drivers of Implementation ready to support and sustain evidence-based practices to meet the needs of ALL students!


Last month's SWIFT Poll wanted to know if YOUR school community uses an MTSS framework for academic instruction? We are glad to report that 87% of you responded YES!

For those of you who would like to go deeper into MTSS for academic instruction, be sure to go to SWIFT Field Guide to learn more and to download some of the many free resources to help you start or improve your MTSS practices.


SWIFT is working hard to make sure that resources are available in alternative and accessible formats. Have you or any members of your team utilized our Spanish language materials?

Yes No


Are you downloading SWIFT Unscripted podcasts from iTunes? This month's podcast features SWIFT filmmaker Dan Habib sharing stories from the field about his experience filming in SWIFT partner sites and what drives his passion for All Means All.

The transcript link for each recording can be found in the podcast description.

"Including Students with the Most Significant Needs in General Education" is both the title and the topic of Dr. Andrea Mayfield’s latest post. Learn how Mississippi realizes this goal from educational leaders Drs. Mayfield and Alvin Taylor via April’s SWIFT Talk Community of Practice. Hint: focusing on vision statements is a vital step to achieving a reality where All Means All!
My Brother's Keeper Task Force: Using Data to Promote Equity in Portland, Oregon

The recent SWIFT webinar reviewed the process, recommendations, and tasks of the SWIFT My Brother’s Keeper Task Force. Lisa McCall, Senior Director for Portland Public Schools (PPS), shared how PPS increased family engagement, ensured culturally relevant pedagogy, and used equity as the lens for school and district decision making. She provided compelling examples of this work in action and its impact on boys and young men of color attending PPS.

SWIFT offers free monthly webinars via Adobe Connect on topics related to the domains and features of schoolwide integrated framework for transformation. Recordings all webinars can be downloaded in the Multi Media section of SWIFT Shelf on our website. You might want to host a webinar viewing at your school or watch a few from the comfort of your living room. Be sure to let us know if you have topic areas that you would like SWIFT to address in future webinars!

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 31, April 2016. Lawrence, KS: SWIFT Center.

SWIFT Center
1315 Wakarusa Drive,
Lawrence, KS 66049

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