Hernando County Philosophy
Inclusive education means that all students in a school, regardless of their strengths or weaknesses, become part of the school community. They are included in the feeling of belonging among other students, teachers, and support staff.
The federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and its 1997 amendments make it clear that schools have a duty to educate children with disabilities in the general education curriculum, if appropriate, as determined by the Individualized Education Program (IEP) team.
Inclusion is most successful for children when based on collaborative efforts between parents and school personnel. Inclusion is a team effort that should involve working together and providing mutual support. As a parent, keep in mind that you are a valuable member of your child’s education team. Your input is needed.
Inclusion looks different for every student.
First, at the IEP meeting, parents and staff determine the “least restrictive environment” plan appropriate for the student. Placement decisions focus on the level and nature of supports needed by the student rather than on a predetermined label or program.
Second, the IEP team will choose a placement from a continuum of service delivery models.
This continuum is:
- Full inclusion in general education classes with minimal supports needed by the student.
- Full inclusion in general education classes with support provided by ESE staff in the general education curriculum.
- Partial inclusion in general education classes; the student spends some time with general education students and some time in a separate ESE class.
- Separate ESE class for most of the school day.
The U.S. Department of Education – Office of Educational Research and Improvement offers an online brochure Including Your Child at http://www.ed.gov/pubs/parents/Including/title.html