Districts Support Access and Equity
During the 2017-2018 school year, Portage Lakes Career Center and nine districts are participating in a series entitled “Leading Reform in Least Restrictive Environment Practices” led by State Support Team, Region 8 (SST-8). These districts include Barberton City Schools, Copley-Fairlawn City Schools, Kent City Schools, Manchester Local Schools, Medina City Schools, Rootstown Local Schools, Tallmadge City Schools, Wadsworth City Schools, and Waterloo Local Schools. An additional 10 districts attended this series last year.
Since the Education for All Handicapped Children Act was passed in 1975, schools have been required to provide children with disabilities with a free appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment (LRE). With the current focus on standards and accountability, a “key aspect in thinking about achievement of students with disabilities is access – access to general education curriculum, access to high quality instruction, and access to peers.” (Theoharis and Causton, 2014)
Throughout this four-day series, district teams will analyze both school and district level data to determine the current status of student services and student opportunities for learning, facilitate conversations to raise equity awareness within their district and investigate the research of highly effective practices in integrated schools. The teams will then work to draft action steps that will ensure the needs of all students are met appropriately within their buildings.
This year’s session is currently closed to new registrants; however, if you would like to learn about how your district can begin examining LRE or become a part of future SST-8 events on this topic, please contact Stephanie Denham, Educational Consultant with SST-8, by email at StephanieD@sst8.org.