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School mainstreaming contest winners, 1992.

Carrie E. Tompkins Elementary Croton, New York

The Carrie E. Tompkins Elementary School includes children with disabilities in all aspects in school life: students ride the "regular' school bus, spend the bulk of their day in the typical classroom, have a part-time aide and consultant special educator, and therapies have been split up so that part takes place in the classroom milieu. The school also provides caring and dedicated personnel who are committed to making inclusion work.

Croton's school district is moving toward total inclusion for all of its students. This year there were only two self contained classrooms in Carrie E. Tompkins elementary school that were mainstreamed in various subjects. A few special ed children were also included in a regular homeroom and taken out for their individual tutoring. A model is being implemented where there will be a special education teacher assigned to two or three grades to oversee that the needs of children requiring special assistance are being met. The special ed teacher will act in the consultant role to assist the regular teachers in helping these students by creatively meshing the necessary services into the regular curriculum.

"They always highlight Michael's assets and use them so the children view Michael's strengths first before acknowledging the differences," said a student's mother. "The parents of the 'typical' children must also be applauded for accepting our son and passing this on to their children." Contact: Peter Hanly, Dir. of Pupil Personnel, Croton Harmon School District, Gerstein Street, Croton, N.Y. 10520, (914) 271-6675.

RESURRECTION SCHOOL PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA

The 1991/1992 school year began a two-year program for inclusive education in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. The goal was to place the children from the segregated setting into a typical Catholic school at both the elementary and high-school level. After a year-long planning process, the plan was put into action. In the spring of 1ggI, the two sites were announced. Approximately 20 children were moved from the main site into their neighborhood schools. The children were then chosen by location, not by ability or parental desire.

The St Anthony Program offers a support staff of one teacher, two full-time aides, a floating instructional group leader, a half-day nurse, a speech therapist twice a week and a counselor. An adaptive physical education teacher and a music therapist both go to the school once a week to help both the teachers and children adjust. A resource room teacher and aide work to ensure the child's acceptance and to help skeptical and wary parents adapt. Each child's individual needs are considered and met in order to have a successful program.

"This year can be summed up in the laughter heard in the halls of Resurrection," wrote Jaret's mother. "The children have learned to laugh with our children -- not arthem."

Contact: Sister Lynn Rettinger, Principal, Resurrection School, 1100 Craedmoor Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15226, (412) 563-4402.

CENTENNIAL ELEMENTARY MOUNT VERNON, WASHINGTON

Centennial Elementary School, serving about 650 students, supports 11 children with moderate to severe disabilities in a regular classroom setting. Children participate fully in all aspects of school life, including after-school activities such as sports and scouting. The program evolved from a grassroots effort on the part of parents and educators to an "inclusive" education program based on effective teaming and collaboration.

A school inclusion team is composed of all the child's classroom teachers, paraprofessionals, support services teacher, and school principal. There are regular progress meetings discussing success stories, program business and concerns. Once a month, the team meets with parent representatives and district administrators.

The paraprofessionals and support services teacher meet every day to discuss individual student progress, successes and concerns. Individual programs are modified. The support services teacher also meets with the classroom teacher weekly to discuss individual children and their progress. In addition, the support services teacher observes the child in the classroom setting once a week and shares her review with the classroom teacher.

"in the inclusive educational program at Centennial, and, hopefully its extension into the adult community, l will no longer have to worry that my sen may be ostracized, manipulated or abused simply because he is labeled," said one parent. "Only through complete acceptance and assimilation, as seen daily at Centennial, can we achieve this goal."

3100 Marten Road, Mount Vernon, Wash. 98273, (206) 428-6138.

CENTRAL VALLEY SCHOOL BUXTON, NORTH DAKOTA

The special education department for Central Valley School is part of a tri-county cooperative called Griggs-Steele-Traill (GST) Multidistrict. The special education district has implemented a program of full-inclusion. Students who were once bused to centralized self-contained special education rooms now attend their neighborhood schools, in regular classrooms whenever possible.

During the transition period, special education teachers visited classrooms to speak to the students about how all children are different and alike. They explained that some students have special needs. The special ed students also visited the school for a half day a week to become familiar with the setting and to get acquainted with teachers and students.

A team approach at Central Valley has given children with disabilities opportunities to interact with their classmates throughout the day. Support services from the special education staff (teacher, occupational, physical and speech therapists) have became part of the regular classroom. The children are rarely pulled out of the classroom. Even therapies are done right in the classroom and are integrated into real life activities. Through the efforts of the special ed unit, school administration, special ed and regular teachers and parents, students with disabilities are involved in as many academic and extracurricular activities as possible.

"It isn't a problem getting enough children to help and get involved, but rather too many," wrote Angie's mother. "They learned and took lots of interest in our kids. They were invited to birthday parties!" Contact: Mary Stammen, Director, Griggs-Steele-Traill Special Education Unit, P.O. Box 308, Portland, N.D. 58274, (701) 786-2004.
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Title Annotation:mainstreaming in elementary schools
Publication:The Exceptional Parent
Date:Sep 1, 1992
Words:978
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