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Evolution of Inclusive Practices at Connect Charter School

Abby Saadeh ~ Inclusive Practices Coach

When starting the position of the Inclusive Practices Coach at Connect Charter School in 2012, I was
asked time and time again, “What does Inclusive Practices mean exactly?” And to be honest, at first
there was a struggle to give it a definition. After months of work in this position I have realized that this is a field that is constantly evolving and adapting to respond to the needs of our school.

Some of the things that I learned over the past few years are that it is not only about making sure that every student has an opportunity to learn, it is a proactive process with the intention of valuing and motivating learners while fostering and advocating for their independence in an environment where everyone can feel safe and accepted. How we do this, starts with understanding who our students are. We do this through Learner Profiles, relationship building, Student Resource Group Meetings, past history, student and parent interviews, STAR reading assessments etc. Then, partnered with students and parents, we mutually agree on goals, and come up with an implementation plan that is tailored to the individual student’s learning style.

One of the most crucial elements in making this a successful process has been our school culture. Having a strong school community has always been a necessary foundation of our teaching and learning practice. It also means that it would be a holistic approach to student success. It takes a team to support the students at our school. At Connect Charter our Student Services Team consists of our Assistant Principal, who is the Student Services Lead, School Counselors, our Educational Assistant, and the Inclusive Practices Coach.

Future posts are in the works about resources we've used, an explanation of our Student Resource Group (SRG) process and more. We are always interested in growing our professional network, please comment below or contact Abby Saadeh:


Garry McKinnon said...

Abby, I appreciate the insights you share based on your experiences as Inclusive Practices Coach and teacher as you make meaning of inclusive practices. As you observe, in providing opportunities for every student to learn and experience success you need to take a proactive approach in developing and considering personalized learner profiles and implementing learning strategies based on the student’s learning style. As well, you highlight the importance of teamwork and the collaborative culture of the school.

Scott Petronech said...

Hi Abby,

I agree with your suggestion that school culture has been a critical component to the success of this program. What your post did not mention was the important contributions you have made to set this up. Your adaptability and willingness to support both classroom teachers and students however possible has been greatly appreciated by everyone. You also make a great point as to the importance of being proactive in your approach. If you are always 'putting out fires', it is difficult to get ahead of the smoke. Your active engagement with all members of the school community has been critical to the student success we are experiencing.

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