TIES Inclusive Education Roadmap RETIRED

Overview of the IER Process

The IER is a set of tools, guidance, and processes, and capacity-building content to build inclusive education systems at the state, district, school, and team levels.  The IER integrates the stages and drivers of Implementation Science (State Implementation and Scaling-up of Evidence-based Practices, n.d.- c) with evidence-based educational and administrative practices that support building sustainable inclusive systems. Recognizing that each organization is unique and will use the IER having identified different priorities and processes, the IER is flexible enough to provide support regardless of an organization’s entry point. 

In implementation, a strong foundation is required - spending time upfront to create readiness, build a team, and start examining why and how the system operates will save much time when it comes to implementing inclusive practices. Initially, the focus is to examine the degree to which a particular program or innovation meets the district’s or school’s needs and whether implementation is feasible. In this stage,  districts and schools must assess the goodness of fit between potential programs and practices, and the needs of the students they serve.

While there is not a single way to implement system change, there are important steps that support building and sustaining effective systems. This process includes five steps: the first four are part of creating an Inclusive Education Action Plan, and the final step is to implement that Plan. 

Create an Inclusive Education Action Plan

  • Step 1: Organize an Equitable Inclusive Leadership Team (EILT)
  • Step 2: Utilize the TIES RISE (Parts 1 and 2)
  • Step 3: Conduct an Inclusive Education Initiative Inventory
  • Step 4: Complete the Inclusive Education Action Plan
  • Step 5: Implement and Improve the Inclusive Education Action Plan

Step 1: Organize an Equitable Inclusive Leadership Team (EILT)

A new Equitable Inclusive Leadership Team (EILT) can be created or an  existing leadership structure can be leveraged for this purpose.

Make sure that the EILT grounds its work by revisiting the organization’s mission and vision and considering it through the commitment to building an equitable and inclusive education system for all students, including those with significant cognitive disabilities. (Teams can consider the TIES Core Values as a resource when revisiting their own mission and vision.)

Step 2: Complete the RISE

The EILT should complete the RISE, which includes two parts:

Part 1: Completing the RISE Focus Areas Reflection Tool

Review key organizational data related to inclusive education, considering the five Focus Areas and identifying a priority Focus Area. 

Part 2: Completing the RISE Features Reflection Tool

Take an in-depth look at the priority Focus Area that was identified in Part 1 and discuss the strengths and challenges, rating each set of Features.  

Step 3: Complete the TIES Inclusive Education Initiative Inventory

A subset of the EILT will complete the TIES Inclusive Education Initiative Inventory. Their purpose is to understand: 

  1. Where the identified priority RISE Focus Area(s) integrates with other organization initiatives? 

  2. Where there are gaps or omissions? 

  3. How all initiatives might be aligned and leveraged so they “make sense” to stakeholders and accelerate building an inclusive education system for all students? 

Step 4: Complete the Action Plan

The Action Planning process pulls together the findings from the data, the RISE Part 2, and Initiative Inventory to develop the:

  1. Annual Goals 

  2. Action steps that will be taken to achieve the goals, including how the IER’s Inclusive Education Driver(s) and Capacity Building Resources (aligned with the RISE Focus Areas) can support the action steps, 

  3. Identification of key people who are taking the lead for each part of the plan, and 

  4. Dates that the EILT will review the Action Plan.

Step 5: Implement the Inclusive Education Action Plan

The Action Plan is a live document that is meant to be revisited to assure movement forward and progress on the desired outcomes of time in general education, increased instructional effectiveness and student learning, and engagement with peers in the general education curriculum. Also, formally reviewing the action plan brings together multiple voices to assure the sustained commitment that is necessary for complex system change. Each time that the Action Plan is reviewed it is also a good opportunity to review the priority RISE Priority Focus Area and Features.

During the first year, revisit the Action Plan two to three times at EILT meetings to assure progress, discuss what is working and is challenging, review current data, and modify the plan, if needed. The RISE is completed annually as a fidelity measure and to revise the action plan. 

In later Implementation Stages as momentum builds, formal reviews can be scheduled one to two times per year. This shift should not occur until there is evidence that the culture of the organization is changing so inclusive practices are evident in most aspects of the education system. Examples of a change in the organizational culture might look like inclusive education for all students is discussed routinely in district programs and departments, an inclusive expectation is foundational during all curriculum adoptions, or strategies for Universal Design for Learning are embedded and modeled in professional development across all departments. Again, the RISE is completed annually both as a fidelity measure and to revise the action plan