Watch  Whatever it Takes  for equity-based inclusive education during academic instruction.  Be sure to share and discuss with family, school, and  community members to promote All Means All!

SWIFT Family/Community Feature

As a family or community member, have you been in the position of promoting equity-based inclusive education in your local school community?  SWIFT Center has evidence-based resources and information to assist you. For example, did you know:

  • 30 years of research shows us that ALL students, including students with the most extensive needs, can participate, learn, and excel within grade-level general education curriculum;
  • When students with and without disabilities learn together in general education classrooms, BOTH groups demonstrate increased academic achievement;
  • Students with disabilities who are included have better communication skills, higher academic achievement, wider social networks, more friends, and fewer behavior challenges.

This information and more can be found in the Research Support for Inclusive Education Brief on SWIFT Shelf.  Share with education leaders as part of the rationale for inclusive education. The Brief highlights research studies of inclusive education, Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) and four supporting domains of SWIFT’s framework.  Download and share with your school community!

What does the term MTSS have to do with equity-based inclusive education? 

Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) is a key SWIFT Domain and a way to meet the learning needs of all students.  When a school uses MTSS, all students are taught the same basic content, but some students may get extra help. To get involved, ask how MTSS works in your child’s school. What supports does the school provide? What data are used to decide whether students receive extra support? How are families kept informed about the support their children receive?

Learn more and share with your school community about MTSS here, here, and here!

“As a family, we trusted that the school had our children's best interests at heart and their learning was a top priority.  We were included as valued team members to assist in problem solving unique challenges that, for some, may have seemed insurmountable.”  

~ Beth Dixon

In Beth Dixon’s SWIFT Talk, she introduces another valuable SWIFT Issue Brief on the topic of Policies that Support Trusting Family Partnerships.  This useful Brief provides guidance to achieving what we know through research and direct experience to be true.  Family engagement is a strong predictor of positive student outcomes in the near-term and provides long-term benefits to students, families, educational systems, and communities. 

Engaging Families in MTSS

SWIFT Unscripted is our monthly podcast, and makes for a great listen while waiting in the school pickup line, during a morning walk, or while running errands! SWIFT Unscripted welcomes guests from our SWIFT community, and the latest podcast Engaging Families in MTSS—features Kimberli Breen, Regional Facilitator Director with SWIFT Center.  Kimberli’s lived experience, along with her professional role connecting with schools and families across the country, provides a wealth of tried and true strategies to support inclusive education.

You can listen on SoundCloud or iTunes, or visit the SWIFT Unscripted page to download the podcast to your computer.  A transcript link for each SWIFT Unscripted podcast is available at the end of its description. 

SWIFT Center has the latest and most relevant resources on equity-based inclusive education.  Please share these with your family and community networks to promote improved social, educational, and behavioral outcomes for ALL students!  If this SWIFT Family Feature was shared with you, don’t miss the next one — sign up here to be added to our mailing list. 

SWIFT is a national K-8 technical assistance center that builds school capacity to provide academic and behavioral support to improve outcomes for all students through equity-based inclusion 
The SWIFT Center produced this document under U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs Grant No. H326Y120005. OSEP Project Officers Grace Zamora Durán and Tina Diamond served as the project officers. The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the positions or policies of the Department of Education. No official endorsement by the U.S. Department of Education of any product, commodity, service or enterprise mentioned in this publication is intended or should be inferred. This product is public domain. Authorization to reproduce it in whole or in part is granted. While permission to reprint this publication is not necessary, the citation should be: SWIFT Center. (2017). SWIFT Family & Community, Issue 2, March 2017. Lawrence, KS: SWIFT Center.

 SWIFT Center
1315 Wakarusa Drive,
Lawrence, KS 66049