TIES Inclusive Education Roadmap

Inclusive Education Initiative Inventory

Initiative Inventory Process

Initiative fatigue is real. Educators are unlikely to buy into a new practice if they view it as just another thing that will be gone in a year or two when everything will go back to normal. 

Creating inclusive and equitable schools is a unique initiative that often overlaps with many initiatives in which a state, district, or school is engaged. To ensure that initiatives are aligned, the Equitable Inclusive Leadership Team (EILT) will need to identify what initiatives are currently in place in an organization that relates to increasing the time, instructional effectiveness, engagement in the curriculum and with peers, and support for inclusive school community practices or policies. This activity is called an initiative inventory and is a first step in supporting the alignment and integration of efforts within an organization. A one-hour initial meeting is recommended to complete the initiative inventory and a second one-hour meeting to review, analyze, and act upon the results.

The initiative inventory process includes four main activities:

  • Prepare- an implementation team is identified 

  • Do- the team completes the initiative inventory

  • Analyze- the inventory results are reviewed and analyzed

  • Plan Action Steps- the team engages in a decision-making process that identifies priorities to be undertaken that align and support coherence with other initiatives in the organization and with the organization’s overall strategic plan

Initiative Inventory Process: Prepare, Do, Analyze, Plan

The primary purpose for completing an Initiative Inventory is to identify initiatives in the organization related to increasing inclusive school community practices or policies. These might be initiatives that focus on general education students without identified disabilities; general education students with identified disabilities, including significant cognitive disabilities; or a combination of both sets of general education students. The use of general education first language is intentional so that teams not only consider each and every student as a general education student as they work through this process together but also make it easier to analyze initiatives that currently do not support the target population of students with significant cognitive disabilities to the greatest degree possible. Information and data collected can be used by the organization to explore the fit of additional initiatives with current work, expand the focus of current work, guide decision making to make room for new work, and assist with alignment of efforts within and across levels of the organization.

Evaluate the representation of the interdisciplinary EILT. The EILT or a subset could conduct the inventory.  This group should be familiar with and/or impacted by the organization’s priorities and work. The inclusion of families and community members in this activity is critical for ensuring a deeper understanding of the effect of initiatives. The team engaging in the initiative inventory should include:

  • Leaders (for example, school board member(s), superintendent, director, principal), 
  • Practitioners (for example, general and special educators, union representatives, specialized instructional personnel),
  • Parents/families (with children with and without identified disabilities), and
  • Community members (for example, employers, agencies, family supports, clubs, self-advocates)

This team would also take responsibility for maintaining, monitoring, and regularly updating the information that was collected as part of the inventory, as it makes sense in support of the action plan(s).

An initiative inventory begins by the team considering any organizational initiative in the areas of increasing the time, instructional effectiveness, engagement in the general education curriculum and with peers, and support for inclusive school community practices or policies. Those pertinent organizational initiatives are added to the Initiative Inventory spreadsheet (tab 1, Column A) and then the team considers the following questions for each initiative (Columns B-P). 

  • What are the expected outcomes?

  • What are the key activities to support outcome attainment?

  • What data sources will be used to measure outcomes?

  • Does the target student population include General Education students without identified disabilities? With identified disabilities? With identified significant cognitive disabilities? 

  • Who is the target audience? Examples of potential target audiences could include; all teachers, special educators, general educators, specialized support personnel, media specialists, support staff such as paraprofessionals; families, and community members

  • Who provides initiative leadership?  In addition, identify internal and external partners

  • Identify the extent of implementation; 1=beginning, 2= ongoing, 3=completed

  • Identify resource commitment (for example, personnel, financial); 1=low, 2=moderate, 3=high

  • Identify relation to the organization’s priorities & strategic plan; 1=low, 2=moderate, 3=high

  • Does this initiative connect to increased (a) time in general education, (b) instructional effectiveness, and (c) engagement with general education curriculum and peers? An initiative can connect to multiple areas.

Once the Initiative Inventory spreadsheet has been completed, the information from columns A, E-G, and M-P will auto-populate to the T-I-E Synthesis spreadsheet (tab 2). These two spreadsheets will be the basis of discussion for the remainder of the analysis portion. Ensure that all team members have copies of the completed forms for their reference.

This concludes the initial meeting and allows team members to consider the guiding questions on the T-I-E Synthesis spreadsheet before moving forward to the analysis stage together in the second meeting. During the time between scheduled meetings, team members can reflect upon the questions on the T-I-E Synthesis spreadsheet individually and/or share the materials and questions with other stakeholders, inclusive of those who are not a part of the implementation team, for feedback and consideration. By using the time between meetings to consider the following questions in relation to the Initiative Inventory Map and T-I-E Synthesis, it builds on people’s unique learning styles and gives an opportunity for reflection time before moving onto the next step of analysis and action.

The purpose of this stage is to identify alignments and gaps across initiatives as well as make recommendations for next actions as a whole group. It is important to realize that additional initiatives or resources may not be necessary. The questions are how do we ensure what is happening includes each and every student, including students with significant cognitive disabilities, and specifically how can we improve the outcomes related to T-I-E? With a focus on the value of what already exists, the team considers If current initiatives can be improved upon to address T-I-E, and if not, creating new initiatives may be necessary. 

Depending on the nature of your meeting (in person or virtual), create a way for the large group to record thoughts/answers for the following questions together. This may be using posters on the wall,  an online whiteboard (such as Jamboard), designated note-taker, or using highlighters on the actual copies of the Initiative Inventory Map and T-I-E Synthesis to collect the group’s responses.

Guiding Questions: Have team members share their thoughts on the guiding questions related to T-I-E.

  • Who participated in completing the inventory? Was family voice included? General Education? Special Education? How do your responses to these questions impact your recommendations to inform action planning? 
  • Is sufficient focus being expended upon the Time, Instructional Effectiveness, Engagement with general education curriculum and peers (T-I-E) themes?  If not, what recommendations for expansion might be considered? To what extent are general education students with identified disabilities, especially those students with identified significant cognitive disabilities, being addressed within those projects?   If needed, how can the target student population be expanded?
  • When considering implementation and outcomes related to T-I-E, what opportunities might be leveraged to share and/or align:
    1. Activities (for example, professional development or technical assistance)
    2. Information (data)
    3. Resources (for example, leadership, partners, financial resources)
  • Are there any initiatives that should be reconsidered, due to a low connection with the organization’s priorities/strategic plan?

Recommendations to Support Action Planning: 

Based on the review and analysis of the initiative inventory, what are recommendations for consideration in the following areas?

  • Expansion of focus related to Time, Instructional Effectiveness, Engagement with general education curriculum and peers (T-I-E)
  • Expansion of target student population

Opportunities for leverage across:

  • Activities (for example, professional development, technical assistance)
  • Information (data)
  • Resources (for example, leadership, partners, financial resources)
  • Initiatives reconsidered due to a low connection with the organization’s priorities/strategic plan

Engaging in the discussion with the implementation team and completing the inventory and synthesis provides specific information that can assist in identifying what is already being done in the organization, and where gaps exist in focus, targeted students, and targeted audiences. Additionally, the questions provide information in the areas of monitoring impact and collaborative support. Based upon the recommendations - actions, persons responsible, and timelines should be identified to ensure that alignment and coherency are supported as discussed.  A component of the action plan would need to be a communication plan that shares the recommendations and next steps for implementation.


Initiative Inventory and TIE Synthesis

Activity 4: Ideas to Inform Action Planning

Inclusive Education Action Plan