Inclusive Education ASBA Issues Forum April 2016 In Alberta, Inclusive Education • Is a way of thinking and acting that demonstrates universal acceptance of, and belonging for, all children and students • Reduces barriers to participation and learning so that each and every student is a successful learner Policy landscape 1 Setting the Direction Framework (2009) Setting the Direction Government Response (2010) 2 Education Act (not yet proclaimed) Inclusive Education Policy (Guide to Education 15/16) Inclusive Education Policy Framework Six Policy Directions 3 4 5 6 Responsibilities of Alberta Education Legislation and Policy Funding (resources) Assurance Inclusive Education Policy Alberta’s education system is built on a valuesbased approach to accepting responsibility for all children and students. Inclusion is a way of thinking and acting that demonstrates universal acceptance of, and belonging for, all children and students. Inclusive Education Policy To support children and students in attaining the goals as stated in the Ministerial Order on Student Learning, school authorities must ensure that all children and students (Kindergarten to Grade 12), regardless of race, religious belief, colour, gender, gender identity, gender expression, physical disability, mental disability, family status or sexual orientation, or any other factor(s), have access to meaningful and relevant learning experiences that includes appropriate instructional supports. Value-based approach • • • • • • Opportunity Fairness Citizenship Choice Diversity Excellence Principles of inclusive education • Value diversity and learner differences • Set high expectations • Understand strengths and needs • Reduce barriers • Build capacity • Collaborate Inclusive Education Policy Framework A policy framework is … • A guiding document • Enabling • Flexible • It is not: – A set of rules and regulations Six Policy Directions 1. Learner-centred decision making 2. Engaging families and communities 3. Evidence-based practice 4. Professional learning and collaboration 5. Leadership and vision 6. Access to supports and services Aligns with: Education Act (proposed) Education Business Plan Inclusive Education Policy And standards and initiatives such as The Teacher Quality Standards School Leadership Standards Regional Collaborative Service Delivery Learning and Technology Policy Framework Welcoming, Caring, Respectful and Safe Learning Environments Memorandum of Understanding for First Nations Education in Alberta Programs of Study Accountability / Assurance Engagement process Phase 1: Inform and consult ASBA’s contribution Feedback from across Alberta Tells us that school authorities are committed to inclusion and they are looking for: A coordinated implementation plan Accountability One inclusive education system for all Cross Ministry coordination and alignment Engagement process Phase 2: Collaborate and revise A Working Group will be reviewing consolidated data from the submissions and will be developing a final draft for validation in Phase 3. Engagement process Phase 3: Validate Implementation (Next Steps) • Standards for children and students with disabilities are being developed. • A plan to engage with school authorities to develop implementation strategies is underway. Table Talk 1) What are the strengths and assets of your jurisdiction that facilitate inclusive education for all children and students? 2) Which policy direction would be the most challenging for your school jurisdiction? 3) Which of the policy directions would you choose to focus on first in order to have the biggest impact on inclusion for your jurisdiction?