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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Engaging Students With Learning Differences Early On

PBS produced an excellent news piece on Engaging Students With Learning Differences Early On (you can read the full text of the story at that link). The story is about the William Henderson Inclusion Elementary School.

Studies have shown that students with learning disabilities drop out at more than twice the rate of their classmates.

This school practices early intervention by engaging students with technology and art to improve their chances of earning a diploma. All while being a fully inclusive school.

Interesting piece of information - Under federal law, a child identified with learning disabilities must receive a free and appropriate public education. Generally, the more disabled a child is, the more money is allocated for his or her education. There are many places in the country that don't spend that money wisely by segregating L.D. kids in special education classrooms, which costs more than spreading it around in inclusive settings.

My favorite quote from the article is from Dr Bill Henderson: "If we want kids to graduate from high school, then having a strong foundation at the elementary level is critical. And for kids with significant learning disabilities and significant attention-deficit disorders, having technologies, providing accommodations for reading and writing are critical."

This school is held up as a national model for what early intervention can do for children with learning difficulties.

My thought is the same as this commenter, "How is it that in an urban district like Boston, one school can shine for so many students....and it does not seem to be able to be replicated across the system or the state or the nation?"


Kayla's school is already an arts-infused school, now they just need someone from the William Henderson Inclusion Elementary School to come here and transition the school to a fully inclusive school.

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wendy said...

Thanks for sharing the video!

ckbrylliant said...

To answer your question....the model cannot be replicated because each school does not have the motivated administrators, teachers, and aides that the model school does. We must rely on the consciousness of humans which is usually what holds these models back. There are few public school systems with standards and or consequences for administrators, teachers, and certainly not for aides. Most places are happy to just put bodies in those positions. The turnover rate of special educators and aides is tremendous.

Thanks for posting this piece may I repost on my blog?

Mer said...

very interesting to see - thanks for posting!