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Inclusion Policy

Purpose of the Policy
The purpose of our inclusion policy is to communicate to all our stakeholders the expectations for creating an inclusive educational environment. The philosophy, principles and structures and practices at Thomas Jefferson are designed to ensure that all students, including students with special needs, are provided with rich and rigorous IB instruction, with the supports they need to be successful in the least restrictive environment.
Inclusion Defined and Core Beliefs

We identify students at the school and classroom level that utilizes evidence-based, system-wide practices to provide a quick response to academic and behavioral needs. These practices include frequent progress monitoring that enable educators to make sound, data-based instructional decisions for students. Students are selected for interventions through collaborative learning teams (CLTs) and grade level teams based on data driven inquiries into student achievement and well-being.

If a student continues to have difficulty following extensive intervention and progress monitoring, staff may make a referral to the student support committee. The purpose of the student support committee is to problem solve next steps that the school should take to support the student. Committee members consist of parents, classroom teachers, SPED teachers, administrators (LEA), school psychologist, social worker, school counselor and the student support coordinator. Identifying a student as eligible for special education services is a carefully managed process guided by State and Federal regulations, as well as APS Special Education policies and procedures (25 4.4). Evaluations required to make this determination are completed only with parent/guardian permission.Students who don’t qualify for an IEP may qualify for a 504 plan. The goal is for students to be educated in regular classrooms along with the services, accommodations, or educational aids they might need.

Rights and Responsibilities
Teachers will:

  • Differentiate or personalize instruction based on student need (additional strategies here)
  • Read, understand and implement student IEPs, 504 and/or individualized plans with fidelity
  • Participate in professional development opportunities to remove barriers to learning
  • Measure student growth toward individual goals
  • Foster positive relationships with students (check ins during TA, student-conference).

Students should:

  • Actively participate in learning activities
  • Self-advocate and take advantage of learning supports (Monday office hours, TAs)
  • Understand their individual learning goals and give feedback about these goals (co-creation, achievability).

Parents/Guardians should:

  • Actively participate in their student’s progress on their learning goals
  • Read and understand student IEPs, 504 and/or individualized plans
  • Collaborate with school staff to foster a positive learning environment for students.
Inclusion Model
Jefferson offers a continuum of services and placements for students with disabilities. To the greatest extent possible and in accordance with the requirements for Least Restrictive Environment (LRE), SWD are educated with their non-disabled peers. The full range of services and settings offered for students with special needs at Thomas Jefferson Middle: Co-taught content classrooms, self-contained classrooms, speech language services, occupational therapy, physical therapy, counseling services, hearing services, vision services.
Complete Inclusion Policy
Inclusion Policy – Updated October 2021