600-616 Inclusive Education Program
HIBBING PUBLIC SCHOOLS
INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT 701
BOARD POLICY 616
SERIES:600 Education Programs
SUBJECT: 616 Inclusive Education Program
Minnesota Rule 3500.0550, Inclusive Educational Program, requires school districts to adopt a written plan to assure that the curriculum developed for use in Minnesota schools establishes and maintains an inclusive educational program. An inclusive educational program is one that employs a curriculum that is developed and delivered so that students and staff gain an understanding and appreciation of multiculturalism, gender fairness and disability awareness. The purpose of this policy is to inform students, teachers and parents of the District’s commitment to provide equal educational opportunities to all students attending the district, regardless of their cultural or socioeconomic background, gender or disability. Additionally, Hibbing Public Schools affirms the importance of multicultural, gender fair, disability sensitive curriculum and instruction.
II. General Statement of Policy:
The district acknowledges that all students must learn to live and work in a multicultural, gender fair environment. Furthermore, it recognizes the need for an educational program designed to help students acquire a realistic basis for understanding the culture and life styles of people of different racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Our goal is to provide an atmosphere for learning that is void of sexist, racist, and ethnic prejudices, discrimination and separatism. No student shall be denied enrollment in a class on the basis of gender, race, religion, color, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation or disability. The district has adopted this written policy to assure that curriculum developed for use with students establishes and maintains an inclusive educational program.
The curriculum content and instructional materials utilized reflect the cultural and racial diversity present in the United States and the variety of career roles and life styles open to all regardless of gender, race, religion, color, national origin, marital status, age, sexual orientation or disability.
III. Purpose of Inclusive Education Plan:
The purpose of the plan is to ensure that students and staff will gain an understanding and appreciation for:
- The cultural diversity of the United States and the wide range of contributions by American Indians/Alaskan Natives, Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders, Black Americans, and Hispanic Americans.
- The historical and contemporary contributions to society by both women and men.
- The historical and contemporary contributions to society by persons with disabilities.
IV. Strategies to Support the Inclusive Education Plan
The District’s Inclusive Education Plan incorporates the following strategies:
Student Academic Achievement
The district will set high academic standards and expectations for all students and will provide the supports necessary for all students to realize their full potential.
Intercultural Student Activities and Partnerships
The district will promote activities and partnerships that provide opportunities for intercultural contact and learning between students.
Intercultural Staff Development
The district will provide professional development opportunities for all staff that encourage the development of intercultural understanding.
Safe, Respectful, and Inclusive Learning Environments
The district will work to create safe, respectful and inclusive learning environments through district wide initiatives.
Recruitment and Retention of Diverse Staff
The district will work to recruit and retain highly qualified staff who reflect the diversity of the student body and the community and who have intercultural knowledge, skills and abilities to work effectively with students from diverse backgrounds.
Inclusive and Responsive Curriculum and Instruction
The district will implement strategies through the curriculum review and development process to ensure that culturally responsive and inclusive curricula, instructional materials and methods are used at all grade levels and subject area.
Communication with Staff, Families, and the Community
The district will implement strategies as part of the district’s communication plan to ensure that staff, students, families and community members have a clear understanding of the district’s diversity goals and initiatives.
V. Goals of the Inclusive Education Plan
Curriculum Goals: As a result of the curriculum delivered, students will:
- Develop an understanding of different cultures
- Accept diversity as a positive and desirable characteristic for the nation
- Respond to individual achievements rather than by using stereotypes
- Respect the dignity of each individual
- Explore the similarities among all peoples
- Listen to other’s opinions and beliefs and respond appropriately
- Get accurate information that discourages stereotyping and prejudices
- Act in a fair and just manner by supporting the inclusion of all students regardless of race, gender, religion, or disability.
- show respect for individuals and cultures
- Develop positive, accurate images of other cultural and racial groups
- Develop positive, accurate images of women and people with disabilities
- Understand, respect, and embrace differences among peoples.
Teacher Goals: Teachers will set a positive tone for interactions by encouraging tolerance and facilitating its development by:
- Promoting positive attitudes about human diversity
- Fostering classroom communities sensitive to the full range of diversity within groups
- Providing group learning experiences that accommodate varied learning styles and abilities
- Manifesting unconditional positive regard/acceptance of the student as a person
- Helping students convert positive commitments into actions
- Modeling comfortable and effective interactions with individuals from other cultures
- Helping students learn to think critically and reflectively regarding cultural or other groups.
Student Goals: Students will explore their own experiences with social boundaries, as well as dividing lines that exist in society at large, and recognize that these boundaries can have detrimental effects on people. Students will:
- Learn how to stand up to biased language and bullying
- Listen to or read and respond to literature from a variety of cultures
- Experience through instruction the commonalities and differences of cultures
- Learn the importance of speaking up and knowing what to say in a discriminating or bullying situation
- Accept personal responsibility for stopping discrimination
VI. Curriculum Review Committees, District Staff Development Committee, and District/School Improvement Teams
The Curriculum Review Committees, District Staff Development Committee and the District/School Improvement Teams along with school administration and staff are involved in and responsible for the implementation of this plan. These committees will review and recommend curriculum adoption that will provide students and staff an understanding and appreciation of multiculturalism, gender fairness and disability awareness.
The committees will recommend appropriate training in education that is multi-cultural and gender fair. These committees will have representation from the diverse population that makes up our community. The committees will seek input from a variety of resources representing the community. The District/School Improvement Teams will be responsible for gathering input through a staff/student needs assessment to systematically monitor and evaluate the plan. Teachers will be asked for examples of how the plan is being incorporated into their curriculum planning. This plan will be used as a resource for educators when they develop curriculum. Based upon this on-going evaluation, training and staff development will be provided. The goal of staff development efforts will be to provide training on diversity education which may include:
- Learning to accurately evaluate curriculum materials with sensitivity to diversity issues
- Strategies for implementing diversity education by curriculum integration
- Awareness exercises in appropriate literature and curriculum materials
- Sensitization to many stereotypes that abound in society
- Reflection of one’s own values and beliefs
This policy/plan reflects many goals and objectives already in place. The district believes that learning about diversity is a life-long process and will continually work towards evaluating and revising this plan as needed.