Special Education / Inclusion

SFUSD K-5 Public Elementary School

At Sloat, kids with different needs or learning disabilities are part of the general education classrooms. They receive the assistance they need from in-class paraprofessionals as well as pull-out time with resource specialists. All students benefit from being participants of the classes and all students benefit from being exposed to the different ways we all learn. This is different from a non-Inclusion school, in which kids with special needs or learning disabilities are put in a completely separate Special Education class.

Commodore Sloat is an inclusion school, which means all students are integrated into the age-appropriate general education classrooms. Students who need accommodations and/or modifications receive these within their classroom as well as pull-out time with various resource specialists as needed.

At Sloat, we define “inclusion” as the acceptance of each and every student for all their differences: learning differences, culture, medical conditions, personality, you name it.

The school put together the following information to provide more details about inclusion.

Educating students with disabilities in their neighborhood schools. Sending students to regional programs or centers to receive services based on their disability level.
Placing students in their age-appropriate grade classrooms with a daily schedule that is like other students in the grade. Placing students in self-contained classes — assigning students to general education grades or classes based on eligibility rather than chronological age.
Providing the special education services and supports in general education classes. Pulling students out to go to special education rooms in order to get special education services.
Providing planning time for teachers and other service providers to plan for the implementation of special education services in general education classes. “Dumping” a student in a general education class without planning for the meaningful delivery of special education services and supports
Providing regular collaborative planning time for teachers to communicate about the design of lessons and accommodations for individual students Expecting teachers to plan in the hallway, at lunch, before or after school
Providing professional development opportunities for both special and general educators on strategies to use inclusive instructional practices Providing separate professional development for special and general educators, reinforcing the notion that they are separate systems
Having all staff members support the inclusion of all students, understanding that this may mean learning new strategies and collaborating with others Denying services to students in general education settings because staff are not willing or haven’t learned to differentiate and modify instruction to meet the needs of all learners
Using “person-first” language when referring to students with disabilities (e.g., student with Downs Syndrome, not “a Downs student”) Referring to students who receive special ed. services in stigmatizing ways or by their disability label (instead of their name or “third grade student who has…”)
Actively encouraging and implementing activities that promote social acceptance and the development of friendships between students of different abilities Considering it the “fault” of the student with the disability if he/she is unsuccessful at initiating or responding appropriately to social encounters in school