Parents, Teachers, And Parents Support School Board's Inclusion
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
December 6, 2006
PALM BEACH, FLORIDA--"It's going to make the world better for all of us."
That quote is from Palm Beach County School Board member Sandra Richmond, talking Wednesday about her district's plan to include all 24,000 students with disabilities in regular classrooms in all of its 161 public schools.
Principals, teachers, and parents attended the board meeting to talk about how inclusive education has worked for them and to praise the board for taking that important step toward full inclusion, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported.
Carol Blarcharski, the principal at Loggers Run Middle School, said that regular and special education students have improved dramatically on the Florida Comprehensive Achievement Test and on meeting grade level requirements in the year since her school decided to eliminate separate special education classrooms and move special education teachers through the regular classes during the day.
The behavior of students with disabilities has also improved, thanks to peer pressure, Blarcharski told the board.
"Sometimes they would act out in a special education class because they thought they could get away with it," she said. "In middle school, it's about looking good for your peers, so now they have role models in their friends who are working hard and trying to learn."
Sue Davis-Killian explained how her daughter Lisa, who has Down syndrome, immediately excelled in a regular classroom.
"I tried to teach Lisa to write her name before kindergarten and she couldn't. But kids in kindergarten write their name on the top of their papers several times day," she said.
"By the end of September, Lisa was writing her first name. By Christmas, she was writing her first and last name."
"Palm Beach School district wants students with disabilities in regular classrooms" (Sun-Sentinel)