It’s an exciting time for inclusive schools in Florida! Often, I am asked to explain and demonstrate how schools are successfully implementing inclusive practices. Effective inclusive schools reveal many positive outcomes of educating students with disabilities in age-appropriate, general education classrooms: student achievement, attendance, discipline referrals, collaboration among education teams, and teacher efficacy.
Successful inclusion takes teamwork, shared decision making, and shared responsibility for all the students in a given school district, school, or classroom. Inclusion works when school leaders and teachers are committed to helping every student reach their highest potential. In Seminole County Florida, several schools stand out as having made such a commitment to their students. Lawton Chiles Middle is one such school. Under the leadership of Principal Britt Smith and Assistant Principal Patricia Bowman, the school was able to establish meaningful, systemic, and inclusive practices to meet the needs of all students on their campus.
As Lawton Chiles Middle begins year two of their collaborative relationship with the Florida Inclusion Network, their new principal, Mrs. Robin Dehlinger, continues to support shared decision-making and shared responsibility within the entire school community.
To see just how much this inclusive school community means to one student, click on the link below and read Linsey Shelton’s story from the Lawton Chiles Middle School News. You’ll learn how this young lady is no different than other students: she is Just Sitting Instead of Standing! As you read the article, consider the author’s tone… Linsey is definitely a part of the Lawton Chiles team!!!
Click here for Linsey's Story.