[NEWARK, NJ – December 4, 2017] Newark Public Schools today launched Inclusive Schools Week, highlighting the 2017 theme, “Stand Tall Sit Up for Inclusion.” Inclusive Schools Week, recognized from December 4 – 8, celebrates the progress schools have made in providing a supportive and quality education to an increasingly diverse student population, including to students who are marginalized due to disability, gender, socio-economic status, cultural heritage, language preference and other factors.
“The Office of Special Education (OSE) is continuing to make great strides in expanding the reach, curriculum and programs to ensure we are an inclusive school district,” said Christopher D. Cerf, Superintendent of Newark Public Schools. “The workshops held by OSE provide an opportunity for engagement of the entire district on developing and delivering best practices for our students and families.”
As part of Inclusive Schools Week, the OSE held Team-Initiated Problem Solving (TIPs), a session on Universal Design for Learning and the Inclusive Practices Implementation Team held sessions to engage schools and teachers in improving educational opportunities for students and families.
The Team-Initiated Problem Solving (TIPs) including staff members from the 12 Inclusion Schools, together learned to identify, address and resolve student’s social and academic behavior challenges. This workshop included support staff, child study team members, principals and vice principals and OSE staff. In addition, a 2-part workshop on Universal Design for Learning was held to deepen teachers’ understanding of inclusive teaching through theoretical principles and practical applications of Universal Design for Learning for increased student access, engagement and participation. The Inclusive Practices Implementation Team, utilized school data to develop an action for improving inclusive practices at schools with a focus on educating students in the least restrictive environment and to ensure academic and social supports are in place and sufficient. Finally, teams will also participate in a workshop on various Models of Co-Teaching.
Carolyn Granato, Assistant Superintendent of Special Education said, “This is a breakthrough year for Special Education in Newark. This year’s Inclusive Schools Week is a preview of new, exciting, dynamic and inclusive programs and curricula that will give our students and families the best Special Education has to offer.”
For more information on the Inclusive Schools Network visit them on line at http://inclusiveschools.org/