TIES Inclusive Education Roadmap
Step 5: Implement the Inclusive Education System
In Step 5, you will
- Step 5A: Conduct Continuous Learning (Plan, Do, Study, Act)
- Step 5B: Implement and expand the communication plan with multiple stakeholders
- Step 5C: Consider when to Scale Up or Add New Priorities
Congratulations! The EILT has accomplished a lot in a relatively short period of time. All that has been done sets the stage for a successful inclusive system of education. At this point, the focus shifts to implementing the Inclusive Education Action Plan and using cycles of continuous learning to determine the next steps.
During Step 5, the Action Plan is rolled out in a systematic way. Clear expectations regarding outcomes for students and the system, sufficient levels of support, data-based decision-making, and collaborative problem solving help to minimize the inevitable stress of systems change. Without sufficient support, it is likely that some practitioners may struggle with implementing the new practices or give up on the new inclusive practices and return to using their previous practices.
This initial implementation stage is an exciting time for some people and a challenging time for others. Continuing to message the why of inclusion, particularly for students with significant cognitive disabilities, and building a commitment to inclusive education is important. Some educators may not understand the importance of inclusive education for students with significant cognitive disabilities or see how educating these students is part of their responsibilities. This is often the case when special educators, general educators, English Learner teachers and others have practiced in separate educational silos, rather than a unified system. It is important to set a different vision for the system where all students are general education students and special education is a support service to meet the needs of students with disabilities, rather than a place to go.
Nothing stays static in systems. Change is inevitable. Inclusive systems of education sustain and achieve their outcomes when the components that made it strong are attended to continually. The steps in the IER provide resources for continuous learning and processes to build upon the strengths and expand an inclusive education system. For example, leadership return to Step 1 when they need to reinvest in forming a strong leadership team and processes because of staff turnover. They return to Step 1, when they need to consider reaching out to bring in new stakeholder groups to understand inclusive education. They revisit Step 2 when there is a need to revisit the organization's strengths and needs to set a new round of priorities. And, they return to Step 4 to updating the annual Action Plan to achieve their 3-year SMARTIE goals.