January 2015 • Issue 17 View & Print
Teachers Meeting

The SWIFT in 60 poll results are in! When we asked our national SWIFT community how they are using the SWIFT in 60 videos to promote inclusive education in their school community, we had a three-way tie with 63% of people responding that they are using SWIFT in 60s:

  1. during team meetings to discuss their district status within each feature;
  2. in staff learning events for school-based educators and related service providers to illustrate inclusion; and
  3. in higher education teacher preparation coursework.

If you haven't had a chance to check out these valuable resources, they are free and available to download and share via the SWIFT Center website and YouTube channel.

Sharing the message of All Means All is happening around the country. The SWIFT Center was recently featured in keynote and breakout sessions at the national TASH conference and the 9th Annual Winter Institute of Missouri Council of Administrators of Special Education.

Michael Yudin, the Acting Assistant Secretary for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services at the U.S. Department of Education, and SWIFT's Michael McSheehan, kicked off the TASH national conference opening general session on December 3, 2014. McSheehan spoke about Equity in Education, sharing a vision of the future when ALL students are presumed to be competent learners and are welcomed and supported in general education classrooms. The following two days included a group of SWIFT colleagues presenting a strand about SWIFT's knowledge development study findings and current Center work to transform K-8th grade schools across the nation.

Dr. Wayne Sailor was the keynote speaker to the 9th Annual Winter Institute of Missouri Council of Administrators of Special Education: Transformation-All Means All! on December 4, 2014. Beyond the Medical Model described an "instructional match model" that is better suited to contemporary political and economic circumstances for students who require specialized supports and services. He presented data from this model suggestive of better outcomes than those attainable under the categorically differentiated medical model.

Discipline Considerations

The SWIFT Center is excited to announce the release of a new Issue Brief "School Discipline Policy Considerations in a SWIFT Framework" as another resource to contribute to the national conversation about school discipline.  This Brief offers a broad review of the current research on discipline, with a specific focus on policy, and it concludes with a variety of action steps that align with the SWIFT Domains and Features.

Discipline Considerations

When considering discipline challenges in your community, which strategy would you MOST like to learn more about?

Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS)
Developing a broader understanding of and support for cultural diversity
Adding social emotional learning strategies such as self awareness, resilience, social agility, and responsible decision making to your curriculum
Involvement of community stakeholders such as law enforcement and mental health professionals
Ongoing examination of data related to school discipline intervention outcomes
Sheldon Elementary Utilizing Farming in Vermont State Spotlight:
New Hampshire

In collaboration with the New Hampshire Department of Education, SWIFT is currently working with four school districts and providing on-going technical assistance to eight partner schools that are implementing schoolwide inclusive practices. One of these schools, Charlestown Primary School in the Fall Mountain Regional School District, is focused on developing a school culture focused on equity and excellence in education for all students. For the first time, children with extensive support needs in Charlestown are fully included in their neighborhood school and enrolled in age-appropriate general education classrooms. The school district literally shut down its self-contained "school" that served many students with significant disabilities.

Brenda Olson, a third grade teacher at Charlestown Primary, reflected on the first week of school. She was pleased with how well all the students in her class were doing and found that the student in her classroom who came from a segregated program was much more capable than what was documented in his IEP. Anticipating this type of mismatch, Charlestown's principal, Chris Young, directed planning teams for recently transitioned students to review and revise the IEPs for these children to reflect their new inclusive environment. The district also provided a stipend for teachers in inclusionary classrooms and special educators who worked with transitioning students to meet for a full day prior to the beginning of the school year. They discussed the teaching methods and accommodations that would best meet each of these students' educational needs, as well as how to make sure that these children would be fully included in all aspects of the classroom communities to which they now belonged.

SWIFT Partner School Principal Named NH Middle School Principal of the Year
On January 8, 2015, Charlestown Middle School Principal Paula Southard-Stevens, was recognized by the New Hampshire School Principal Association as the state's Middle School Principal of the Year.  Charlestown Middle School is a SWIFT partner school.
Schoolyard Quotes
Willard Schoolyard

"I have learned so much regarding Implementation Science, and the importance of following these principles in order to be successful and sustainable in our efforts."

- SEA Coordinator
Swift Talk
Community of Practice

In our latest Community of Practice discussion, Alison Posey, Susan Shapiro, and Newton Piper remind us that by using the lens of variability rather than disability to design our classrooms, students may be able to more fully express their potential as learners, and teachers will be better able to apply more flexible strategies for instruction.

Through the Lens of Variability is a terrific addition to our monthly series on Universal Design for Learning (UDL), while What Does Inclusion Really Look Like? Answers from a Second Grade Classroom puts these UDL practices into place to support all student learning. From a science class to the second grade classroom, these practical examples reinforce SWIFT's vision of schools as inclusive communities that care about and support all members growing to their potential. The blog Designs for Becoming Something More describes a vision for schools shifting from the current systemic focus on competition, performance, stratification, and acquisition to instead emphasizing and valuing the ethics of collaboration, mastery, unity, and "becoming."

Co-teaching at WISH Shout Out!
Partnership with Peak
The PEAK 2015 Conference on Inclusive Education: Inclusion, a Road Worth Taking is right around the corner and we couldn't be more excited to be presenting about the work of the SWIFT Center and learning from national leaders in the field of inclusive education! If you are passionate about launching or forwarding inclusive education in your classrooms, schools, and communities, PEAK's February 12-13, 2015 conference is for you. It's not too late to register!

Can't make it to Denver in Feburary? Consider attending other conferences where SWIFT's message of All Means All is on the agenda:
The SWIFT Center produced this document under U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs Grant No. H325Y120005. 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. (2015). SWIFT News, Issue 17, January 2015. Lawrence, KS: SWIFT Center.

Click here to unsubscribe from this mailing list.

SWIFT Center
1315 Wakarusa Drive, Lawrence, KS 66049