Purpose

鶹ý Public Schools recognizes the importance of effective implementation of inclusionary instructional strategies and commits to supporting the growth of those strategies from the early elementary grades up through the secondary schools. The goal is for all staff to be able to use a variety of teaching methods to reduce and remove barriers to learning, enhance instructional flexibility, and provide each student with greater opportunities to be successful. To that end, the district will convene a standing committee in the spring of the 2022-23 school year charged with the purpose of shaping the direction and vision of inclusive instructional strategies and associated meaningful professional development for certificated and classified staff intended to achieve these results for students. While employees from all levels (elementary, middle and high) will be represented, the initial group’s focus will support planning for the successful inclusion of students in the early grades.

Basis for Establishment

The deputy superintendent will work with other district administrators and association leaders to identify participants based on their experience and expertise and establish meeting dates for the spring of 2023 and the 2023-24 school year (these dates are included below). Initial chairpersons will be Mike Copland, Deputy Superintendent, and Lisa Peterson, BEA President, and over time chairpersons may rotate from among group members. We further recommend that this group become a standing committee to help guide the work of inclusionary strategies.

Decision-Making Process

The committee decisions shall be made via a consensus model, informed by the ongoing work of the school district. A work team structure will be utilized, with representatives from the standing committee working along with others (included on a topical/as-needed basis) to plan and deliver professional learning focused on inclusive instructional strategies. The committee will meet on a consistent basis (monthly – see dates below) beginning in the spring of 2023; additional meetings may be added/scheduled based on consensus of group discussion. Any recommendations for changes to district policy will be advisory in nature.

Plan of Work

The committee will convene initially in the spring of 2023, with a focus on supporting the work of inclusion in the early grades. As students who have been traditionally served in developmental preschools through the age of four have been included in Promise K for the 2022-23 school year, the committee’s initial work will focus on the transition of these students into Kindergarten for the 2023-24 school year. During the spring of 2023, the committee will hold a series of foundational meetings that will review research on inclusive strategies and help plan professional learning experiences, focusing specifically on early learning.  Specifically:

  • The committee will establish a vision for how to grow the work of inclusive instructional strategies in 鶹ý Public Schools.
  • The committee will work from evidence in research and practice on inclusive instructional strategies that can guide the work of individual teachers and paraeducators, teacher/paraeducator teams, school staff and the district as a whole.
  • The committee will recommend professional learning experiences that can be accessed by district employees in support of growing our work in inclusive instructional strategies.
  • The committee will work from evidence to discuss the nature and quality of systemwide expectations, norms and commitments concerning the improvement of inclusive strategies.

The committee will delve into areas such as the following:

  • Effective implementation of inclusive instructional strategies.
  • Consistent, system-wide expectations, norms and commitments concerning classroom inclusion of all students in their attendance area schools.
  • Guidance to inform district-wide decision-making regarding appropriate professional development to support this work.
  • Focus on growing inclusive strategies and increasing the scope of inclusion over time, beginning with the early grades.

Meeting Dates

Members will need to be available from 4-5:30 p.m. on the following meeting dates:

2023-24

  • September 20, 2023: meeting notes
  • October 18, 2023: meeting notes
  • November 15, 2023
  • December 13, 2023
  • January 17, 2024
  • February 21, 2024
  • March 20, 2024
  • April 17, 2024
  • May 15, 2024

2022-23

Members:

The district and associations commit to annual review and recruitment of membership conditioned on the work underway. At this time, there is no membership of community partners or parents.

Membership includes:

  • Abigail Atkins, Teacher, Shuksan Middle School
  • Craig Baldwin, Principal, Cordata Elementary School
  • Ann Boustead, Human Resources Specialist
  • Monique Carpenter, Teacher, Options High School
  • Sarah Catudio, Teacher, Wade King Elementary School
  • Rebecca Champagne, Teacher, Happy Valley Elementary School
  • Sonia Cole, Principal, Sehome High School
  • Jill Conner, Teacher, Squalicum High School
  • Amy Connolly, Assistive Technology Support Specialist
  • Erin Connolly, Literacy Specialist, Cordata Elementary
  • Michael Copland, Deputy Superintendent
  • Arionda Feeney, Executive Director
  • Analisa Ficklin, Director of Teaching and Learning
  • Rachel Frye, Instructional Coach, Carl Cozier and Lowell Elementary School
  • Debora Haney, Assistant Director of Teaching and Learning
  • Kristi Holmes, Teacher, Sunnyland Elementary School
  • Breann Hulford, Assistant Principal, Whatcom Middle School
  • Atiavo Jude, Paraeducator, Carl Cozier Elementary School
  • Natalie Jude, Teacher, Parkview Elementary School
  • Jenny Lawrence, Director of Teaching and Learning
  • Molly Lynch, Teacher, Wade King Elementary School
  • Yana Mansfield, Instructional Coach, Fairhaven Middle School
  • Clare Martin, Teacher, Birchwood Elementary School
  • Laura Martinez, Paraeducator, Columbia Elementary School
  • Barbara Montfort, Teacher, Kulshan Middle School
  • Beth Nelson, Autism Specialist
  • Brian Pahl, Teacher, Shuksan Middle School
  • Alexandra Paulson, Dean of Students, Carl Cozier Elementary School
  • Lisa Peterson,  BEAʰԳ
  • Andrea Quigley, Teacher on Special Assignment
  • Helena Quigley, Teacher, Columbia Elementary School
  • Natalia Rios, Teacher, Alderwood Elementary School
  • Sarah Rose, Teacher, Alderwood Elementary School
  • Courtney Ross Webb, Principal, Wade King Elementary School
  • Kari Sachs, Teacher, Roosevelt Elementary School
  • Dana Smith, Assistant Director, Communications
  • Kyla Strupp, Paraeducator, District Office SST
  • Peter Sundberg, Teacher, Fairhaven Middle School
  • Bethany Verner, Assistant Director of Teaching and Learning
  • Jennifer Vivanco, Teacher, Parkview Elementary School
  • Jessica Wallace, Teacher on Special Assignment
  • Katie Wood, Occupational Therapist, Fairhaven/Lowell/Geneva
  • Sarah Zeller, Teacher, Whatcom Middle School

Responsibilities

To study and develop recommendations for implementation of inclusive instructional strategies, and associated professional development, for the employees of the 鶹ý Public Schools.

Timeline

Committee to meet monthly through the spring of 2024 (and likely beyond) to provide ongoing oversight, guidance and direction for professional learning efforts in the 鶹ý Public Schools. If approved as a standing committee, the group will establish membership protocols and meet beyond spring 2024.

Budget Implications

Costs associated with provision of substitutes for teacher and paraeducator representatives, if meetings occur during the school day.