Successful Inclusion Translates to Higher Graduation Rates for Students with Disabilities

A recent article in the Reno-Gazette Journal investigated how successful inclusion of students with disabilities translated in a higher graduation rate for students with disabilities.  In the article several experts are interviewed who believe there is a positive link between inclusion and graduation rates. Below is an excerpt from the article by Siobhan McAndrew titled “Districts that prioritize inclusion cited for high graduation rates for children with disabilities” Deborah Telfer, director of education at the University of Dayton in Ohio, said the conversations about special education need to change. Telfer was the principal investigator for the National Center on Educational Outcomes, a federally funded research group that studies school outcomes for children with disabilities. She also worked on the national report, Moving Your Numbers, a research project that profiled districts that have improved graduation rates for students with disabilities. “We spend all this time on where kids are going to sit and what program,” she said of discussions about special education. “If we change the mentality in special education and know that children are going to be side-by-side in the classroom, there’s less angst and time wasted on finding the golden ticket,” she said of segregated programs that often group children with disabilities together. “Instead, the conversation should be, they are going to be in that class, in that seat. What do we have to do to make it work?” Click the link below to read the entire article.

Students Temporarily or Permanently Displaced by Hurricane Harvey are Protected Under the McKinney-Vento Act

Students who are temporarily or will be permanently displaced by Hurricane Harvey are entitled to full protections under the federal McKinney-Vento Act that covers homeless students. “The law, which was renewed in 2015 along with the Every Student Succeeds Act, categorizes as homeless any student who “lives in temporary shelters and those who use places not designed for sleeping as their regular nighttime residence, such as a car, park, abandoned building, bus, train station, airport or camping ground.” It also qualifies as homeless students who “double up” during financial hardships or natural disasters, meaning those living with relatives or family friends. Homeless students under the act, no matter what their economic background, have a number of rights, including to free lunch and transportation to either their new school or to their school of origin. It falls on the homeless coordinator in each district to ensure students get what’s required under the law. ” To read more about the McKinney-Vento Act & school district responsibilities click the link below to read the article by Daarel Burnette II for Education Week. The article also includes some resources for parents & school districts to further aid in understanding the law.