TIES Inclusive Education Roadmap

Guidance on State EILTs

While Equitable Inclusive Leadership Teams operate at all levels of the system, they do not look identical due to the complexity of their work and the size of the organization. What are the membership “look fors” and potential members at the STATE/Regional level?

Membership, Knowledge and Skills

Member "Look Fors"

Potential Members on the State/Regional EILT (estimated size range between 12-25)

Decision makers

Special education and general education administrators or designees with the authority to make decisions regarding policy, procedures, and practices. 

State Superintendent or designee

Special Education Leaders

Curriculum and Teaching Leaders

State Alternate Assessment Coordinator

Professional Development Leaders

Teacher Evaluation & Licensure representative

Institutes of Higher Education representative

State Parent Group representatives, including parents of children with significant cognitive disabilities


District/Regional Representatives (consider geography)


Personnel implementing inclusive educational practices include district representatives, such as special education directors and principals.

Evidence-based practices in inclusive education for all students, including those with significant cognitive disabilities

Expertise and experience regarding inclusive education for all students, being explicit to include students with significant cognitive disabilities

Evidence-based practices in instruction for students with significant cognitive disabilities

Expertise and experience in the instruction of students with significant cognitive disabilities

Evidence-based practices in general education

Expertise and experience in general education instructional and classroom management strategies, including Universal Design for Learning and/or differentiated instruction

Best practices in implementation and systems change

Knowledge of local policies, systems, and supports. Access to relevant data systems. Expertise and experience in school reform and/or systems change in education.

STATES organize their EILTs differently depending on their needs and current organizational structures. Here are three examples of how states organized their EILTs based on their specific context. No one way is correct as long as the focus of the work moves forward. 

Below is an example of a state that has a central state Equitable Inclusive Leadership Team (EILT) to guide and prioritize the work. The large EILT includes multiple stakeholders from across the state agency as well as representatives from the district level. It uses smaller EILT Workgroups to move more detailed planning and implementation of the priorities forward. These smaller teams can be more nimble in targeting the priorities. Sub-groups are created as new priorities arise and sunset as the work progresses and pieces are moved into ongoing structures and processes. 

Example of the structure supporting a central state equitable inclusive leadership team (EILT). The state EILT is made up of 3 EILT work groups. The central state EILT collaborates with a State Equitable Inclusive Advisory Team and supports 4 district EILTs.

Below is an example of a state that is organized into regions. Each region supports the school districts in its region. 

  • The state EILT leads the inclusion work in the state, sets the scope of work, discusses data and progress, and identifies next steps.
  • The State Inclusive Education Advisory Team acts as a “critical friend” to the EILT throughout the process by providing feedback on the priorities and the work, assuring the comprehensiveness and depth of the implementation plan, and advocating that multiple voices that are representative of state stakeholders are included in the process.
  • Based on the priority, the EILT organizes workgroups to move priorities forward. These workgroups include both members of the EILT, content specialists from outside of the EILT, and other regional or district members who have a specialty in the focus of the workgroup. Workgroups are fluid and report to the EILT. They are formed and end their work based on their specific charge.
  • The State EILT works directly with the Regions. Each Region has an EILT to lead the work of inclusive education in its region. District representatives are included on the Regional EILTs. The Regional EILTs take state priorities and customize their supports to meet the needs of districts in the region related to increasing inclusive education for all students. 
Example of the structure of EILTs in a state divided by regions. The state EILT is made up of 3 EILT work groups. The state EILT collaborates with a State Equitable Inclusive Advisory Team and supports 4 regional EILTs. Each regional EILT supports 3 districts.

In 2019, Washington State prioritized increasing inclusive education statewide through its Inclusionary Practices Professional Development Project (IPP) . The TIES Center partnered with Washington’s Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) in their IPP work to focus on the inclusion of students with significant cognitive disabilities in inclusive schools.  

  • Washington has a Core Leadership Team (CLT) that leads the IPP work at the state level. The CLT included the TIES Center as part of the leadership team.
  • It formed a Washington State Advisory Leadership Team to act as a “critical friend” throughout the process to guide the work and assure the comprehensiveness and depth of the implementation plan.
  • As part of the IPP, the TIES Center and Haring Center at the University of Washington support a district and several of its schools to implement systems change related to the inclusion of students with significant cognitive disabilities.
  • The CLT addresses professional development through an array of professional and community organizations that provide professional development statewide to support the diverse needs of each district. This professional development cadre supports learning in any district. The districts include the pilot districts that prioritized inclusive education in their strategic planning. These demonstration sites are districts or schools that have aspects of inclusive education that are high quality and any other district that opts in for improving their data related to education in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE). 

Project overview of the team structures in place in the state of Washington. The Core Leadership Team - overall project design and implementation - OPSI, Special Education and Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession (CSTP). The TIES-Washington Partnership supports this Core Team. It provides technical assistance to the Lake Washington School District and three focus schools on the inclusion of students with significant cognitive disabilities - OPSI, Special Education, The TIES Center, and the Haring Center.

The State Leadership Team is an advisory group to the Core Leadership Team - OPSI Assistant Superintendents and Department Directors,  CSTP, and Community Advocates. The Core Team supports Pilot Sites. Pilot districts are provided with grant dollars to invest in professional development on inclusionary practices - 100 districts, 246 schools, 20,000 students. It also supports the Professional Development (PD) Cadre. The PD Cadre is responsible for the provision of statewide PD on inclusionary practices - Association of Educational Service Districts (AESD), Association of Washington School Principals (AWSP), Center for Change in Transition Services (CCTS), Collaborative Learning Solutions (CLS), Partnerships for Action Voices for Empowerment (PAVE_, Washington Association of School Administrators (WASA), and Washington Education Association (WEA). The Core Team also supports Demonstration Sites - Model Sites will highlight inclusionary best practices for schools and districts wanting to learn more about building inclusive systems - OPSI, Special Education, and The Haring Center.