IPP Demosites

High Schools

Evergreen High School

School District: Evergreen

ESD: #112

Description: At Evergreen High School, we have essentially two different strategies we have used to improve inclusion in our school. The first is creating a master schedule that allows for something we call a Gateway to College Block. That block classes consists of 4 teachers (2 content, 1 academic support, 1 special education) and 60 students over 2 periods per block. We have about two thirds of our freshmen in these block classes and it is the normal track for all 9th graders. The only students who are not scheduled in the block classes are students in honors or advanced level courses. Our Gateway to College Block provides for nearly all students receiving special education services to be enrolled in the block classes and have the benefit of 4 teachers over two periods. Besides the content teachers, our academic support teacher works specifically to help students complete their work and deepen their understanding and learning while the special education teacher works to improve students’ executive functioning skills all within the context of general education English and Math courses. We are only in year 2 of shifting our practice and at this point we only have this available for 9th graders, but are looking to increase our block classes to include 10th grade next year and up from there. 

In addition to our block model, we have also implemented a co-teaching model. We’ve used this model for a number of years now and it has done well to help shift the mindset of our staff. 

This coming year we are looking to alter our co-teaching model by changing the role of the special education teacher. Instead of having that person teach with a general education teacher, he or she will act more as an instructional coach to help provide our general education teachers with the skills in lesson modification and accommodations so that they will be able to better instruct our students with disabilities. By shifting our practices our teachers have been placed in a situation where they’re able to collaborate more specifically around individual students. These practices have reduced the student to teacher ratio allowing more focused contact within each class period. Teachers are planning together rather than in isolation where they focus on pedagogical strategies to ensure students meet standards as well as content. 

Highlighting the following inclusionary practices: 

  • Coteaching and coplanning, 
  • Master scheduling to support inclusion, 
  • Flexible service delivery model.

Sehome High School

School District: Bellingham

ESD: #189

Sehome High School is located in Bellingham, WA.  The Sehome community has four core covenants are: We commit to perseverance, inclusivity, integrity, and respect. We have done some real work around what each of these things mean- especially inclusivity. Our student leadership class has been working on what it means to create events and an environment where this is realized. Our students are leading this work and it is beautiful to watch. 

Our journey started because our students with disabilities were not experiencing success in the general education setting and students in the resource setting were self-contained. Our students were not accessing rigorous higher-level curriculum and their postsecondary experiences were suffering because of this. Students with disabilities were seen as belonging to the special education department. We knew this needed to change.  We began to really push on thinking and ideas. We also knew that we wanted to build capacity within our general education staff to support the learning needs of a diversifying student body. The evolution over the past 4 years has been extraordinary – seeing special education and general education come together and build inclusive systems rooted in equity and belonging.

We have worked over the years to develop a master schedule and provide professional development that supports co-teaching, co-planning, co-assessing and inclusive practices for all students. We work to manage teacher work assignments and the number of co-teaching relationships. We also provide time for teachers to collaborate before the school year starts, to strengthen partnerships and collaborative systems. We continue to look at the best way to provide services for all students and are on a path of continuous growth where we are always looking for new opportunities to strengthen our impact and ensure that all students are represented in our four core covenants. 

We continue to work to show that when we provide inclusive systems, it benefits all students. We are seeing the impact.  Students are accessing higher levels of Math and English classes and are making progress in those classes. Our teachers are seeing more and more students as OUR students. Our teachers are enjoying working with another adult and see it as a benefit rather than a burden. The majority of our families are onboard based on the collaborative work we have done with our families. We look forward to sharing our journey, what we have learned along the way and to work with the Haring Center for Inclusive Education to continue to strengthen our impact.

Highlighting the following inclusionary practices:

  • Inclusive master scheduling
  • Co-planning
  • Co-teaching
  • Co-assessing