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THE LADDER

A
Magazine
for and
about
Future
Teachers

Los Angeles Unified School District


Career Ladder Office Spring 2007
FROM THE DIRECTOR

FIRST RUNG
Rumor has it that the teaching shortage has disappeared, but I California State University, Los Angeles, has been a strong
don’t think that’s true. According to Education Week, 2 million partner in our efforts. Dr. Diane Fazzi, the Special Education
of the 3.4 million teachers in the United States will be leaving Chairperson, organized a committee which designed the
the profession in the next ten years. One part of this is due to Early Experiences and paid internships. Dr. Margaret Clark
an extremely low retention rate nationwide. The other part is led the committee, bringing with her a wealth of experience
due to the fact that the baby boomers are starting to retire and and knowledge. Joseph Staub, Deborah Pandullo, and Myra
there are a lot of them. If you want to become a teacher, if that Helguera, all experienced in the classroom, were the LAUSD
is your passion, go for it. LAUSD needs dedicated, credentialed representatives. Steve Goin and Gwenda Cuesta from the
teachers ready and willing to educate our children. The Career Career Ladder Office rounded out the team. These efforts are
Ladder is here to help you make it happen. being made in order to create a Career Technical Education
course which will be part of the curriculum at all of the Teacher
With this issue of THE LADDER, we come back to the topic of Career Academies by the 2008-2009 school year. This means
special education and, yes, there is still a shortage of teachers that students will have the opportunity to learn about special
to serve children with special needs. The Career Ladder is education in a course that also fulfills a graduation requirement.
doing its part to ease the shortage. We support paraeducators

“...2 million of the 3.4 million teachers


in the United States will be
leaving the profession in the
next ten years.”
studying to become special education teachers and help Lastly, I have some bittersweet news. Two years ago, I managed
universities recruit candidates. In 2006, with funding from the to convince Jacinta Brunkala to leave the Carson High School
U.S. Department of Education, we initiated the Early Deciders Teacher Career Academy, which she initiated ten years ago, to
Teacher Recruitment Program (EDTRP) which provides Early coordinate teacher academies citywide. I knew from the start
Experiences to high school Teacher Career Academy students. that she would be with us a short amount of time and then
These are three-day events which begin with a briefing provided would retire. Well, she retired on April 20th, but not before
at California State University, Los Angeles, led by university placing all of the academies on a strong foundation. The depth
faculty and LAUSD teachers. Then, the students spend two of knowledge that she brought to the task, along with her ability
days shadowing a classroom teacher. At the end of each day, to work with high school faculty and administration, made it
the students have the opportunity to discuss their experiences. possible for her to move the programs forward and even initiate
So far, over 200 students have completed an Early Experience. a new academy at Jefferson High School. I am sure that all of the
Twenty-one of these students are about to graduate and begin academy coordinators and lead teachers appreciate the work
their studies towards earning a credential. It looks like one in that she did. We wish her well in her retirement, and we will
ten decides that special education is the field for them. The certainly miss her.
others have widened their experience and at the very least are
now more sensitive to the needs of children with special needs.
CONTENTS
THE LADDER
FEATURE ARTICLES A Publication of the
Career Ladder Office
Los Angeles Unified School District

Fostering Independence in LAUSD


page 9 Students with Special Needs Board of Education

Marlene Canter, District 4, President

Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte, District 1

Creating a Circle of Friends Mόnica Garcia, District 2

Jon Lauritzen, District 3


page 11
David Tokofsky, District 5

page 18 Julie Korenstein, District 6


Embracing the Concept of Inclusion Mike Lansing, District 7

David L. Brewer III


Superintendent of Schools
page 20
Effective Inclusion in the
Secondary Classroom Don Davis,
Chief of Staff

Dan M. Isaacs,
Chief Operating Officer

Clarifying the Role of a Co-teacher


Roger L. Buschmann,
page 22 Chief Human Resources Officer

Building Schools... Vivian Ekchian


Deputy Chief Human Resources Officer

One Teacher at a Time. Career Ladder Office


333 South Beaudry Avenue, 14th Floor
(213) 241-4571 FAX (213) 241-8465
Email: steven.brandick@lausd.net
Mount St. Mary’s College has been preparing students to www.teachinla.com/ladder

become exceptional teachers for more than 80 years. By taking THE LADDER Staff

courses in our Graduate Education program you will have the Steven Brandick, Director
opportunity to earn your Teaching Credential and Masters Julia Shin-Koreen, Editor-in-Chief
Degree at the same time. To meet the needs of your busy Shiwonda Sanford, Layout and Design
lifestyle classes are offered during the Evening and Weekends. Eddie Dunzo, Layout and Design

Jacinta Brunkala, Contributing Editor

Gwenda Cuesta, Contributing Editor

Steve Goin, Contributing Editor

Joseph Ryan, Contributing Editor

Cover photo by Dave Blumenkrantz

The publication of this magazine is funded by


advertising revenue.

SPECIAL FEATURE
ARTICLE
The 9th Annual
LAUSD Paraeducator
• Elementary Credential / M.S. • Secondary Credential / M.S. Career Ladder Conference
• Special Education / M.S. • Instruction Leadership M.S. Highlights
• Intern Programs page 14

>ÊÕÃÊvœÀʓœÀiʈ˜vœÀ“>̈œ˜Ê>ÌÊӣΰ{ÇÇ°ÓǙ™ÊœÀÊۈÈÌÊÕÃʜ˜Ê̅iÊÜiLÊ>ÌÊÜÜÜ°“ÓV°>°i`Õ
Mount St. Maryʼs College • Doheny Campus •10 Chester Place Los Angeles CA 90007
EDITORIAL
On the Outside, Looking In

Before coming to work for the Career Ladder in late March, I spent a year as a math coach at two different elementary schools,
one of which was Marlton, a special education school for the deaf. I had initially been placed there on a temporary assignment,
but ended up staying for the whole school year. Never having worked with special ed. students before, I was nervous about
what to expect, but I wanted to stay open-minded and, thus, embraced the challenge with open arms.

Within a few hours of my first day, I had already learned some sign language phrases, and within a few days, I had made friends
with students who were teaching me to communicate with them! I worked mostly with the hearing general education
elementary students, but often interacted with the special ed./deaf/hard of hearing high school students in the hallways and in
the main office. They were just like any other students, joking with each other, sharing fashion tips, being silly, and making plans
for the weekend. The students’ willingness to take me in as a friend taught me a first-hand lesson on inclusion, and the impact
it has on learning.

Many of the high school students and teachers were very friendly, but some simply ignored me. In the land of the deaf, I was
the outsider, and there were times when I felt a deep sense of alienation, especially at faculty meetings, where most of the
teachers were deaf. When the meetings were held in sign language, I would usually just look on helplessly, and try my best to
understand, but at times, I felt uncomfortable and out of place.

Reflecting on it now, being able to experience that isolation and relate it to what others must feel like when they are “outside
of the circle,” was very profound and meaningful for me. Marlton is a unique school and an exceptional place for DHH children
and adults to be. My experiences there further shaped my views on education and the dynamics of basic human interaction.

Over the years, I have become fascinated with pushing the boundaries of my own comfort level and trying as many new
and unfamiliar things as possible while I am still alive. I think the best part of personal growth is being able to look back on
something you thought was so difficult at first, and acknowledging how far you’ve come. Now, that is an amazing feeling.

In this issue, we are graced with the wisdom of university professors, advisors, and administrators who focus on the often
mystified realm of special education. Their experiences illustrate the significance of stepping beyond that comfort zone and
thinking outside the box to ensure that inclusion and collaboration are taking place in our schools. By reading these poignant
articles, it is easy to see the importance of teamwork by parents and educators, along with the essential friendship of peers in
helping our special ed. students achieve independence and success. Also, we recap the highlights of our hugely successful 9th
Annual Paraeducator Career Ladder Conference held on April 21st on pages 14 and 15.

As the new Editor-in-Chief of THE LADDER magazine, I, too, am slowly making my way into a new circle. I hope you enjoy the
Spring 2007 issue. Thank you for your interest in education and your commitment to ALL of our students.

ON THE COVER: Special Education

Stevan Skendzic, Jr., a 6th grade student at Irving Middle School, works
on math with his classroom paraeducator, Ms. America Marquez, a
devoted member of SEIU Local 99.

3
CONTRIBUTORS

Mary “Kate” Esposito, Ph.D., is an Beth Lasky, Ph.D., is an Associate Belinda Dunnick Karge, Ph.D., is
Assistant Professor and Special Professor in the Department of a Professor in the Department
Education Coordinator of the Special Education at California of Special Education, College of
Transition to Teaching Program State University, Northridge. She Education, at California State
at CSUDH . She has a Bachelor’s has been training and supervising University, Fullerton. Her
degree in Elementary Education teachers for 25 years. Her other research interests include
and a Master’s in Special Education areas of interest include working instruction, general education/
from Loyola Marymount University. with school administrators, the special education collaboration
She earned her Doctorate in Strategic Instructional Model, bully and early intervention. She
Educational Psychology from the prevention programs, and effective has been teaching, training and
University of Southern California. practices for inclusion. You may supervising general education and
Dr. Esposito taught as a special contact her at beth.lasky@csun. special education teachers for
education teacher for 10 years in edu. twenty years. You may contact
southern California. She conducts her at bkarge@fullerton.edu.
and publishes research in the areas
of Inclusion and Effective Teacher
Preparation.

Wendy Murawski, Ph.D., is a tenured Rachel Friedman Narr, Ph.D., Sally Spencer, M.A., was a special
Associate Professor and Graduate Assistant Professor, earned her education teacher for LAUSD
Coordinator at California State Doctorate in Special Education/ for more than 10 years, teaching
University, Northridge in the Deaf Education from the University in a variety of communities
Department of Special Education. of Arizona in 1999. Her research and classroom settings around
Wendy holds a Ph.D. in Special emphasis includes exploring the city. Since 2000, Sally has
Education with an emphasis in explicit reading instruction with been a full time faculty member
Research, Collaboration, and students who are Deaf/Hard in the Department of Special
Co-teaching. She has published of Hearing. Rachel has been a Education at CSU Northridge,
numerous articles in the area of co- Speech/Language Pathologist, teaching courses in assessment,
teaching, collaboration and teacher Program Specialist, and has taught special education teaching
training, and was the 2004 California in classrooms with DHH students. methods, reading instruction, and
Teacher Educator of the Year. She collaborative processes.
is also Director of Research for the
CHIME Institute.

4
COMINGS...
COMINGS ...

Pedro Subuyuj has been working for LAUSD for a year. His first position with LAUSD was in Local District 3
at Community Magnet Elementary School, and as a summer Office Technician at Cienega Elementary School.
Pedro began his service with the Career Ladder office in December 2006 as an Office Technician. Currently,
he is in charge of doing payroll, tuition reimbursement, accounts payable, budget, ordering supplies, posting
calendar meetings, and more.

Steve Goin began his career with LAUSD as a summer program swimming instructor. He worked as a
Resource Teacher at Irving Middle School for the last eight years. He also taught in various elementary schools
in the summer in the general education setting as well as in the special education setting. Steve wore various
hats at his former positions that included Math Department Chair, as well as other coordinatorships. He
has joined the Career Ladder as a Teacher Advisor in the area of Special Education. It is his hope that many
LAUSD graduates will become special education teachers as a result of his efforts.

Maria Palomares joined the Career Ladder team as our Student Aide in January 2007. She has been lending
a helping hand to all of the staff by doing a little bit of everything. Maria is finishing up her senior year at
Belmont High School and worked full-time in the Career Ladder during her off-track time. Back at school
now, Maria has been working half-time and tries to keep her life balanced. This has been an ideal situation
for her since the office is close to her house and she has enough time to get her schoolwork done at the
end of the day. She hopes to become a Registered Nurse one day.

The Career Ladder welcomes Julia Shin-Koreen as a Teacher Advisor. She will also be the new Editor-in-Chief
of The Ladder magazine. Julia has a Bachelor’s degree in English from UC Berkeley and her Master’s degree in
Education from UCLA. After several years of teaching the 4th and 5th grades at Westminster Magnet in Venice,
California, she jumped at the chance to teach English at a university in South Korea. Upon returning to Los
Angeles after living abroad for three years, she worked as a math coach at Wilshire Park and Marlton School,
until she eventually found her way to the Career Ladder office. Julia has had her writing and photography
published in various local magazines as well as in other publications online. She feels that her new job here at
the Career Ladder is a perfect marriage of her dedication to education and her passion for publishing. Julia is
thrilled to be here!

Tiffany Thomas is the latest addition to the Career Ladder staff and we are very lucky to have her as our new
Office Technician. She is currently completing a dual degree at UCLA in Philosophy and African American
Studies. Previously working in the private sector, this is her first time working with the Los Angeles Unified
School District. Tiffany brings many years of customer service experience with her and looks forward to
becoming a great asset to this delightfully unified department!

5
...AND GOINGS
The Career Ladder office sends its best wishes to Judy Huang, a key staff person who recently accepted
a promotion as Financial Manager at South Gate Adult School. Judy was responsible for monitoring the
Career Ladder budget, ensuring that its member participants received stipends and reimbursements in a
timely manner. To do this, Judy became an expert at juggling numerous software programs and maintaining
a communication link with the payroll department, just in case. Additionally, Judy was the staff’s resident
Chinese cuisine expert when it came to ordering food for special department events. Congratulations, Judy.
Bon appetit!

After two years of outstanding service with the Career Ladder team, Anthony Silva was recently promoted
to Coordinator for the Language Acquisition Branch. Anthony helped to make tremendous contributions to
this department and to the soul of The Ladder magazine. As Editor-in-Chief, he moved the publication from
a black and white newsletter to glossy color, increasing distribution from about 4,000 to 27,500. Anthony
also acquired many advertising partnerships and recruited instructional experts to contribute articles. Setting
a new precedent for the Retirement Reception and conferences by increasing sponsorship, Anthony truly
made his mark. Although his talents are now being employed on a much larger scale, Anthony will always be
considered a part of the Career Ladder family and he will be missed tremendously.

For the past two years, Jacinta Brunkala has been busy here at the Career Ladder helping the fourteen
Teaching Career Academy coordinators with the day to day running of their Academies, a job she has loved.
As the former coordinator of the Carson High School Teacher Academy, she had a great deal of first hand
knowledge and enjoyed sharing her expertise and helping others to start or expand the concept of the
Academy. Now, after 28 years in education, she is retiring on April 20, 2007 to begin a new chapter of her life
on the East Coast with her husband Jerry. We, at the Career Ladder, want to thank her not only for the work
she has done with the high schools, but for all she has contributed to our department. We wish her all the
best in her retirement; she will be missed!

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age of ten, I immigrated to the U.S. and have lived in California
since. My ultimate goal is to become an Assistant Principal at an
TOP OF THE LADDER elementary, middle, or high school and write my autobiography.

Sylvia Figueroa Q: Why did you choose to become a Special Education


teacher?
A: I found myself becoming knowledgeable about IEPs
(Individualized Educational Programs) due to my son’s early
diagnosis: Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a progressive muscle
Q: How did you find out about the Career Ladder? deteriorating condition, which requires him to use a motorized
A: When I was hired as a classroom assistant, the Career wheelchair for mobility. Through being involved in his education,
Ladder’s monthly newsletter was posted on one of the bulletin I learned about the IEP process, the IEP meetings, parents’ rights,
boards in the teacher’s lounge at my son’s elementary school. investigating about advocacy, the least restrictive environment,
annual goals, periodic objectives, addendums, three-year
Q: How did being a CSPTTP scholarship recipient help evaluation IEPs, and so forth. Before I knew it, I had become my
you? son’s advocate, and that helped me get all the services he needed
A: When I found out I had been selected, in that moment, I and meet all the right people to make his education a success. I
made the commitment to become a teacher. At the time, I had wanted my son to be a role model, and in the end we succeeded!
resigned to an 8-hour secretarial position to dedicate time to my
Kindergartner. Even though it was difficult to make ends meet Q: Many paraeducators are challenged by juggling work,
with a 3-hour position, it was all worth it! school, and family. What advice can you give them?
A: It is quite a sacrifice to choose a career as a teacher because,
Q: Tell us about your background. Where were you indeed, there is juggling involved. The best advice I can offer to
raised and educated? What are some of your hobbies? anyone in this situation is to get organized and do one thing at a
A: I earned my A.A. Degree in Journalism from Los Angeles time.
Valley College in 2000. With the help of the Career Ladder’s
program and scholarship, I went on to California State University, Q: What would you say is the most important thing for
Northridge (CSUN) and Charter Oak State College to obtain a new teacher to do or remember?
my Bachelor of Science in Child Development and Family Studies, A: The most important thing for a new teacher to do or
and my Mild/Moderate Special Education Credential in 2004. I remember is: BE CONSISTENT. Being consistent has helped
have been teaching as a special education teacher since then. I me become an effective teacher. Children expect discipline,
am currently enrolled in the Clear Credential/Master’s program consistency, and organization! They will work hard in any
for Special Education at CSUN. I was born and raised in San classroom if these things are in place. When you plan a routine
Salvador, El Salvador, Central America. In December 1975, at the and a class schedule, stick to it.

FRIEND OF THE LADDER


The Career Ladder is fortunate to have Dr. Joan S. Bissell as a Friend of
the Ladder. Dr. Bissell is the Associate Director for Teacher Education and
Public School Programs for the California State University Chancellor’s
Office. She works with the campuses in the CSU Mathematics and Science
Teacher Initiative and assists them in such other areas as the Ed.D in
Educational Leadership. Dr. Bissell has assisted the Career Ladder with
the development of mathematics and science programs, and especially
our partnership with CSUDH. She also arranged for a highly successful
financial aid seminar which was held at Dominguez Hills last February.
Based on the work that she did, we have developed a Career Ladder
financial aid workshop that we hope to disseminate during 2007-2008.
Dr. Bissell, we appreciate all that you have done for us and hope that our
friendship lasts a long, long time!

7
District Intern Program
Welcomes
Paraeducators for Special Ed.
by Lele Mach, Special Ed. Specialist, Individuals interested in teaching Moderate-to-Severe Special
District Intern Program Education through the District Intern program will apply through
the same process as Mild-to-Moderate candidates: Completion
The Special Education component of the District Intern Program
of a B.A. or B.S. degree with a 2.7 GPA, passage of CBEST and
continues to grow in size and may soon account for half the
CSET (Multiple Subjects), online application, and an interview
teachers prepared each summer.
with a recruiter in addition to other requirements.
Paraeducators who are considering Special Education know
The Moderate-to-Severe program was approved by the
that our program offers one of the best options for pursuing
California Commission on Teacher Credentialing and was rolled
a teaching credential. There are two separate pre-service
out to teacher candidates last summer for the first time. It is
Orientation programs this year, beginning on May 14 and July 9.
currently being offered only to new teacher applicants who do
Our program expanded last year to include Moderate-to-Severe not have a credential.
Special Education credentials, in addition to the Mild-to-Moderate
The District Intern program, which has been filling the needs
credential.
of LAUSD and teachers seeking a credential since 1984, also
The Moderate-to-Severe credential encompasses a new range of offers credential programs in Elementary, Bilingual Elementary
classrooms and disabilities, in addition to the Mild-to-Moderate (Spanish), Middle School Core, Special Ed. (Mild-to-Moderate
credential program we have offered for a number of years. and Moderate-to-Severe), English, Math, Biology, Chemistry,
Included in Moderate-to-Severe: Geoscience, and Physics.
• Autism There is also a program for Credentialed Educators Now
• Community Based Instruction Teaching Special Ed (CENTSE), encompassing those switching
• Developmental Impairment from General Ed. to Special Ed.
• Emotional Disturbance
For information on the District Intern program, call Lele Mach,
• Early Education
Special Ed. Specialist, at 213-241-5581, or send her an email at
• Multiple Disabilities
lele.mach@lausd.net.
• Mental Retardation (Severe)

© National University 2007


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by Rachel Friedmann Narr, Wendy W. Murawski, and Sally Spencer

Although experts may disagree on the placement decisions. The continuum is a for consideration: academic outcomes,
best way to deliver services to students dynamic model that doesn’t view a child’s social and behavioral outcomes, self-
with special needs, most will concur placement as static—for example, a child esteem, and community integration. In
that the ultimate goal for all students is not designated as “an SDP student” any given setting, one domain or another
is independence. We propose that (Special Day Program) or “a Resource may be problematic. For instance, in a
collaboration be viewed as a primary tool student.” Instead, a student’s needs special day program, a student may have
for increasing students’ independence, are examined separately in each of the high academic outcomes due to intensive,
and that it take place across a continuum school-related areas, the best service small-group instructional opportunities,
of placements and services depending delivery option is chosen for each given but may have diminished social and/or
on the needs of a student in any given area, and the level of collaboration needed behavioral outcomes due to a lack of
circumstance. Although educational to sustain that option is determined. The appropriate role-modeling. Parents
collaboration comes in a variety of type of collaboration needed to help a and educators must consider benefits
forms, Friend and Cook (2007) define it student achieve maximum independence and drawbacks of each carefully when
simply as “two coequal parties voluntarily will change according to his or her making placement decisions across the
engaged in shared decision making as strengths and needs in any given area. continuum. Table 1 presents a sample
they work toward a common goal” Though proponents of collaboration worksheet that collaborators can use
(p.5). As such, collaboration can occur and inclusion, we recognize the various to consider each of the domains while
in almost any context where people are barriers often identified by other experts they discuss a student’s options in
interacting; equally important, however, in the field (see Spencer, 2005). In fact, the individual academic subjects. We
is the understanding that it may not be too many educators appear to either look recommend that collaborators (to include
occurring, whether or not the label is to inclusion as an all-or-nothing activity, parents, special and general educators,
applied. If adults are not truly sharing rather than focusing on it as a philosophy special service providers, and the student
decision-making responsibilities, if their and a process that needs baby steps for whenever possible) discuss their concerns
opinions are not given equal value, success (Murawski, 2005). We believe that and ultimate goals related to each domain,
or if they don’t share a common set establishing a collaborative continuum is in order to determine which setting is
of goals, actual collaboration will not exactly what more schools need for those most appropriate for each of the school-
occur (Friend, 2000; Friend & Cook, baby steps to occur. related areas. Simply deciding a student
2003). All too often, schools label their is an “SDP student”, “Resource student,”
programs “collaborative” without having Obviously, there are advantages or should be “fully included” is a simplistic
the elements in place to guarantee that and drawbacks to any option along answer to a complex issue – the issue of a
authentic partnerships exist. the continuum. When considering student’s well-being.
various placement and service delivery
The model presented here defines a alternatives, we strongly encourage In planning placements that meet a
continuum of service delivery options, collaborators to keep the whole child in student’s specific needs, a variety of
all of which involve collaboration mind when thinking about independence. collaborative opportunities should be
between parties and are tied closely to We have identified four primary domains considered. If a minimally inclusive
9
setting (e.g., an SDP) is determined optimal for a student for certain subjects, teachers can collaborate with service providers such
as Language and Speech providers, Adaptive Physical Educators, and Occupational Therapists to provide services for the whole class,
small groups, or individual students as needed to promote independence in a variety of specific areas. SDP teachers can collaborate
with grade level general education teachers to plan field trips, special units, or plays (Huber, 2005). IEP (Individualized Education
Program) teams are encouraged to identify as many opportunities as possible for a student to receive inclusive experiences with the
appropriate supports to ensure success.
Additional opportunities for collaboration occur all along the continuum. General and special education teachers may collaborate to
plan and staff a Learning Center for students with and without disabilities. Collaboration can occur between teachers as they create
a schedule to ensure students do not miss out on critical information when pulled out for remediation. Collaboration can also
occur between teachers and paraprofessionals to ensure the generalization of skills and to provide in-class support as appropriate
(Giangreco, 2003). Finally, co-teaching between the general and special education teachers may take place, which requires significant
collaborative planning and assessing (Murawski, 2003). We also encourage collaboration (e.g., cooperative learning – see Johnson,
Johnson & Stanne, 2000) between students with and without disabilities who are in the same classroom.
Before closing, it is important to acknowledge that “real life” may impose barriers to any collaborative effort. Experts have identified
several strategies that can help establish the mindset for successful collaboration: for example, educators should refer to all students
as “ours” and not “yours” or “mine” (Murawski & Dieker, 2004). When creating a program, teams need to consider the four domains
outlined above and constantly prioritize and re-prioritize; we emphasize here the dynamic nature of the collaborative continuum.
Finally, it is critical that team members acknowledge each other’s contributions and clearly outline how they will work together
throughout the year to achieve maximum outcomes for the student (Friend & Cook, 2007; Murawski & Dieker, 2004). In this way,
families and educators can truly collaborate, working together toward the common goal of independence for all students, including
our students with special needs.

Figure 1: The Collaboration Continuum

Xavier
Special Education Learning Center Co-Taught Supported 3x/wk Monitored
Class for Math Pullout for LA/Eng. Social Sciences Science for Elective

References
Friend, M. (2000). Myths and misunderstandings about
professional collaboration. Remedial and
Special Education, 21(3), 130-132, 160.
Friend, M., & Cook, L. (2007). Interactions: Collaboration
skills for school professionals (5th ed.).
Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Giangreco, M. F. (2003). Working with paraprofessionals.
Educational Leadership, 61(2), 50-53.
Variety of needs & goals = Variety of Services But Collaboration is required throughout!
Huber, J.J. (2005). What works for me: Collaborative
units for addressing multiple grade levels. Appendix A. Case Example of Xavier
Intervention in School and Clinic, 40(5),
301-308. Xavier is a youngster just entering middle school, identified with a specific learning disability. In collaboration with
Johnson, D. W., Johnson, R. T., & Stanne, M. B. (2000). his parents, it is determined that they are particularly interested in Xavier increasing his academic outcomes in Math
Cooperative learning methods: A meta-
analysis. Retrieved January 7, 2007, from
and Language Arts, his weakest areas. On the other hand, they are also very interested in improving his social and
http://www.co-operation.org/pages/cl- behavioral skills and would like him to be exposed to same age, nondisabled peers as much as possible. They are
methods.html. concerned about his self-esteem and think it would be best if he had a strong amount of support in his weakest
Spencer, S. A. (2005). An interview with Dr. Lynne Cook
and Dr. June Downing: The practicalities
areas (i.e., Math and LA), while he generally feels secure in the other content areas. Xavier’s parents have also
of collaboration in special education indicated an interest in community integration, and would like to see him capitalize on his interest in computers.
service delivery. Intervention in School Xavier’s math skills are at the first grade level and he requires intensive, small group instruction for math; thus, the
and Clinic, 40(5), 296-300.
Murawski, W.W., & Dieker, L.A. (2004). Tips and strategies
collaborators determine he should attend the special education math class (often in the special day program) on his
for co-teaching at the campus for that subject. His decoding skills are a couple years below grade level, so he will go to a learning center
secondary level. Teaching Exceptional daily to receive remedial reading instruction alongside students with and without identified disabilities. Xavier’s
Children, 36(5), 52-58.
Murawski, W.W. (2003). School collaboration research:
listening comprehension skills are very strong, so he requires less intensive assistance in the other content areas. He
Successes and difficulties. will attend social studies in a general education classroom that is co-taught daily by a special education teacher, and
Academic Exchange Quarterly, 7(3), 104- in science, a subject of high interest to Xavier, support is available to him from a special education paraprofessional
108.
Murawski, W. W. (2005). Addressing diverse needs through
who will be present in the general education classroom three times a week. In his elective Computers class, Xavier
co-teaching: Take ‘baby steps!’ Kappa Delta has achieved a high level of independence, and his performance is monitored in that setting by the special education
Pi Record, 41(2), 77-82. teacher via monthly “check ups” with the teacher. The Computers teacher will be able to use Xavier as a tutor for
other students in the class who are not as adept as he is, thereby increasing his self-esteem.
10
n g a Circle of Fri
e a ti end
Cr s

Welcome Educational
to Leslie Programs
Baldwin’s (IEP’s) and
classroom how each IEP
at Carson High determines the
School. As you enter modifications for
the brightly painted by Jacinta Brunkala the individual student.
red and white room, you are She also explained that for
greeted by smiling teenage faces and her students, what might seem like
shy waves of hello. Leslie is asking one of smaller accomplishments are actually
the teacher assistants to please go to Ms. Ms. Baldwin agreed to spend four
hours with the class discussing very big steps. One of the techniques she
Beasley’s room to pick up the cabbages shared was the use of “sight words.” She
that have just come in. Something very different disabilities, accommodations,
modifications, and differentiated demonstrated to the students how she
different seems to be going on here. uses song, visual aides, and kinesthetic
There is definitely a sense of anticipation instructional techniques that are used
in special education classes. She shared moves to teach to each of the different
and excitement in the room. modalities. The goal of the unit was for
some of the individual talents and
As Ms. Baldwin introduces her visitor and strengths of her students, so that the the ATCA students to not only have an
explains the reason for the visit, questions Academy students could relate to the understanding of different disabilities,
start to fly. “Are we going to Ms. person and not just to the disability. Ms. but also to create lessons that they
Rendon’s room? Are they coming here?” Baldwin’s students then came and spent would teach to Ms. Baldwin’s students
She quickly answers with, “Not today, but a class period in Ms. Rendon’s room. utilizing the Alternate Curriculum Guide
today is movie day and we will be going This gave the students a chance to meet for students with moderate to severe
to the movies later.” Being typical high each other as teenagers first and to get disabilities. She emphasized that in CBI,
school students, they are pleased with this to know each other. Both teachers felt the ultimate goal is to have each student
answer. that this was a very important part of become as independent as possible.
the experience. As Ms. Carole Mastio, Ms. Rendon then chose two areas, Social
Nothing surprising here, except that Ms.
Assistant Principal in charge of Special Skills and Science. Each group of ATCA
Baldwin, a Nationally Board Certified
Education, said, “It breaks down barriers students chose a standard that they would
Teacher and graduate of the LAUSD
and concerns about being different.” address in their lesson. For Science,
Special Education Intern Program, is the
She commends both teachers for their the students chose to work on the five
instructor for the Community Based
foresight and planning in putting together senses. They developed lesson plans for a
Instruction class (CBI). Ms. Rendon’s
the experience and strongly supports full week. Kool Aid was used as part of a
students are all part of the Accelerated
their efforts. The ultimate outcome of kinesthetic lesson on the concept of liquid
Teaching Career Academy (ATCA) at
all education, according to Ms. Mastio, to solid. The students mixed Kool Aid in
Carson High School.
is to prepare all students to be viable bottles, froze it into popsicles, and even
This truly collaborative idea came to contributors to society. This project used Bio colors to make ice paintings.
fruition with Ms. Rendon asking Ms. definitely fulfills that goal. For the sense of sound, equipment
Baldwin to be a guest speaker on Special was borrowed from the band. Drums,
“The Academy students will take this
Education in her Child Psychology class. keyboards, and a xylophone were set up
experience with them into adulthood,
A number of ATCA students recently in the garden area behind Room L3. Ms.
regardless of whether or not they decide
participated in a Special Education Early Baldwin’s students were encouraged to
to become educators.”
Deciders Teacher Recruitment Program use the instruments, and even Ms. Baldwin
(EDTRP) experience while in 10th grade, As Ms. Baldwin worked with the ATCA was surprised when one student started
and because Special Education is a students, she focused on how a regular playing complete songs on the xylophone!
shortage area for LAUSD, Ms. Rendon education lesson might differ from one
wanted to give her students a more “in that a special education teacher might For the area of Social Skills, the ATCA
depth” experience. prepare. She talked about repetition, students built a small scale shopping
and eye contact. She discussed Individual mall complete with grocery store, shoe
11
Hometown Buffet to continue the development
of social skills. The ATCA students had a chance
to see how lesson planning really works. Some
were excited about parts that went well, while
others reflected on areas they felt needed
improvement. Ms. Rendon explained to them
that this is exactly what teachers do on a daily
basis. She also felt that this was a really good
learning experience because the students had
Schools FCU has the best the opportunity to use what they have been
learning since they entered the program in 9th
selection and lowest rates grade.
on loans for everything from The best thing about this collaboration is that
new and used cars, to Visa it is not just a one time deal. The CBI students
are now a part of the Teaching Academy Small
Credit Cards, Home Equity Loans Learning Community. As second semester
and First Trust Deeds. continues, the 11th grade ATCA students move
into their internships: three in her Period 3 class
and another group in her Period 5. The intern
Apply online and students accompany their CBI friend, along
get $50 upon funding with the one-on-one T.A., to a mainstreamed
class such as Foods or Ceramics. The intern’s
of any consumer job is to assist and make sure that their
loan advance of student understands and participates in the
lessons. As every high school teacher knows,
$5,000 or more. students are often able to get other students
to understand what is happening in class better
than the teacher. Both students benefit from the
Proudly serving the educational friendship, and the other students in the class
community since 1939
also have opportunities to see that students with
special needs are very much like them.

Several other new things are happening as well.


Ms. Baldwin has started up a “Best Buddies
Call Us Anytime, Toll-free Club,” which is an international organization
founded by the Kennedy family. The club
866/ 459-2345 matches up students with disabilities with
general education students in one-to-one
Aubreyco.com SCH-457c

SchoolsFCU.org friendships. Ms. Baldwin was impressed by


the ATCA students, saying that she has never
If the loan becomes delinquent or is paid off within 12 months, the $50 incentive will be charged back.
taught such attentive and receptive students.
Terms and conditions may change without notice All the students were engaged completely in
store, and burger joint in Ms. Baldwin’s classroom. “The materials were so real. the lessons. She was thrilled that the ATCA
We had aisles in the stores, shoe boxes, the whole thing,” said Ms. Baldwin. students were able to see the person behind the
The Academy students were the shop keepers and the CBI students role disability.
played the customers. The Teaching Assistants helped some of the students
to communicate what they wanted to purchase and also assisted them with Now there is a difference when Ms. Baldwin’s
calculating how much the purchase would cost. kids walk across campus. The sounds of, “Hello,
Keith,” and the response, “Hi, Andrea,” are
On the final day, the Academy students set up a sandwich shop and used it to heard. Her students feel a part of Carson High
teach a lesson called, “Making Your Own Sandwiches.” This was followed by a School, a part of the Carson community, and like
picnic where all the students had a chance to visit, share music, and dance. Like teenagers everywhere, they are delighted to visit
all great teachers, Ms. Baldwin asked for permission to keep and use the lessons with friends. As Ms. Mastio said, “It’s like that old
herself next year! When I asked if she thought it went well, she answered, “I story about dropping the pebble in the pond, the
could retire! They amazed me. Their lesson plans were on par with what I had ripples keep getting bigger and bigger.” These
done in college.” High praise indeed for high school juniors. circles of friendship will hopefully stay with the
students and grow throughout their lives.
As part of the “follow up activity,” the ATCA students and CBI students visited
the Science Center at the Museum of Science, and also went to lunch at the
12
We’re dreamer friendly.

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9th Annual Paraeducator Career Ladder
On Saturday April 21st, 2007, the Los Angeles Unified School District held
its 9th Annual Paraeducator Career Ladder Conference at the Downtown
Marriott Hotel. Organized by Julia Shin-Koreen, Teacher Advisor for the
Career Ladder, the conference offered LAUSD paraeducators the unique
opportunity to network with colleagues, meet with local colleges and
university recruiters, visit a variety of exhibitor tables and participate in
professional development workshops presented by instructional experts, all
in one action-packed day. More than 400 paraeducators, aspiring teachers,
high school students, and their parents were in attendance, and they listened
attentively as Superintendent David L. Brewer delivered his inspiring and
exciting keynote address during the lunchtime proceedings.

During the Awards Ceremony, one outstanding paraeducator, Damaris Castro


from Aldama Elementary, was selected as Paraeducator of the Year and
received a monetary award of $500. She was nominated by the literacy coach
at her school and was duly selected amid many other qualified nominees.

Also, Early Teacher Contracts and certificates of recognition were awarded


to 296 high school students from LAUSD Teacher Career Academies. 19 of
these students also received an In-house Teacher Recruitment Program (ITRP)
Scholarship which provides a $3,000 annual monetary award, a part-time
job as a district paraeducator, and ongoing guidance and support. This event
culminates a four-year process where high school students complete a college
preparatory sequence of studies, apply and receive admission to a college,
and declare their continued dedication and commitment to becoming a K-12
teacher.

The Los Angeles Unified School District is the only district in the country to
offer select high school students with early teaching contracts.

Paraeducators attend workshops;


Presenter, Carlos Guzman (center)

Superintendent Brewer takes the stage


to speak face-to-face with the future
educators of Los Angeles.

14
Conference 2007
Conference 2007 Highlights
Highlights Conference photographs
Photographs
David Blumenkrantz
by
and Jay
David Blumenkrantz Yarnell
and
by
Jay Yarnell

Our sponsors
meet with
conference
participants.

Paraeducators visit
Georgette Baker, a
workshop presenter,
at her exhibit table.

“I thank the Career


Ladder for guiding me
as a paraeducator.
I love working with
children and I feel I’m
making a difference in
their lives.”

-Damaris Castro,
Paraeducator Paraeducator of the Year,
Damaris Castro, with Career
of the Year Ladder Director, Steve Brandick
& Superintendent David L. Brewer.

Alicia Loncar, Legislative Advocate


ITRP Scholarship Recipients proudly display
for SEIU Local 99, gets the crowd
their award plaques.
fired up about union support.
14
Special
Education by Steve Goin

It is a clear, beautiful Monday morning in March as the Early The classrooms that the students work in for the month vary
Deciders Teacher Recruitment Program (ITRP) internship begins in their type of setting. Some are Learning Disability (LD)
at San Fernando High School. The room, quaint and small, resource classrooms, or Mental Retardation (MR), and others
seems to be tailor-made for the group that is gathering here. are part of different types of settings. The students stay with
The students are anxious and ready to begin the process of the the same classroom for the entire four week period, but are
internship. The plans set for the day ahead are spread out like a able to reflect as a group about the experience. This reflection
banquet of information waiting to be devoured by the interns. A is an important part of the experience as it allows the students
unique experience is about to unfold. to air their feelings about the worksites and talk about how the
different classes are similar in many ways. They begin to see
The intent of this internship is to create a fully involved that the purpose of teaching is the same no matter what the
experience that recreates as closely as possible a special students are like. It is the teacher’s job to find the tools and
education teaching experience. The students work in special pathway for the student. The sharing of these experiences helps
education classrooms as teacher assistants for four weeks all participants in ways that their own experience alone cannot
and are involved in the day to day activities of the classroom. achieve.
Students even have to sign in and out as teachers do. The
internship replicates the actual teaching experience as much The next thing the students discover is the importance of
as possible. Statistics have shown that the more classroom understanding the six California teaching standards that make
experience an individual has at any level, the more likely the up the foundation of teaching, which are considered imperative
future teacher will stay in teaching. The retention percentages for the job of a teacher. These standards address instruction
move from fifty percent retention, for those lacking such and also many other aspects of the teaching profession. With
experience, to more than ninety percent for those with the standards fresh in their minds, the interns are better able to
classroom experience. The same is true in special education. understand the teaching setting that they are observing. Since
If individuals know what to expect, then it is easier for them the internship is often the first real job for many of the students,
to prepare for the reality of the classroom. Those who have it is important that the students have a positive and successful
not spent time in the special education classroom may have work experience.
preconceived stereotypes, which may impact their ability to
In the process of helping, the students develop an understanding
understand and address the issues.
of the reality of the educational setting. The discussion becomes
The purpose of the internship experience is to move the more about teaching, especially in the area of special education
interns’ thinking away from the stereotypes associated with teaching. Students discover that it takes longer to obtain
disabilities and other aspects of special education and to focus a special education credential because of the great need to
on the reality in the classroom. The special education classroom understand the various issues. Great needs and great fulfillment
is often misunderstood by many in education, and even more so are all a part of special education. Dr. Margaret Clark, Associate
by those outside of education. Professor at California State University, Los Angeles states, “You
are never going to get rich, but (you will) get up every morning
The internship orientation starts with the understanding that and know that (you are) doing something important.”
misconceptions people have about students with disabilities are
incorrect. The students begin to realize that they themselves The process of instruction, coupled with classroom experience,
have the same misconceptions which have made them hesitant helps the students gain a greater understanding of the special
about being a part of the special education world as well. Now educational setting. At the start of the internship, the students
realizing that students with disabilities are no different than any want to find out more about education, teaching, and the area of
other students, this opens them up to the possibility of pursuing special education. Midway through the internship, the students
a teaching job in the field of special education. As the interns focus on the educational process and discuss why they want to
work through this thought process, they come to have a greater be a part of the internship program. In the end, the fact that
understanding of the special needs students that they work they all still want to be part of the educational setting is what
with. This not only makes them feel more comfortable in the really makes this internship program special.
classroom, but also helps them understand and relate to the
students.
16
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Embracing
the Concept
of Inclusion by Belinda Dunnick Karge and Beth Lasky

Mariposa Elementary School in Brea past four years. For several years, a
Unified School District received the sprinkling of parents had requested
Schwab Award in 1999 for their inclusive inclusion in general education grade
practices. The following year they won appropriate classrooms as the placement
the state Title I award for improvement of choice for their children. The faculty
of lowest performers and EL students. and staff recognized that the successes
Their API scores jumped from a 7 in 1999 of these included students and decided
to a 10 in 2003 and 2004. The staff at to explore options to provide more
Mariposa believe the philosophy behind inclusive efforts at the site. The school
successful special education inclusive set out to design a plan. In the spring of
practices at their site is based on the 2001, staff representatives visited several
teacher driven model that ALL children model schools that provide excellent
can learn and inclusion is what society inclusive services to children with special
is all about. After all, we do not have needs. In August 2001, a Site Leadership
banks or grocery stores for persons with Committee was formed to plan steps
disabilities, why do we have special classes? in the school transition process. They
The staff at Mariposa believes the use of examined full inclusion literature and
research based effective teaching practices began a library of resources for the faculty

N
is the primary reason for success in their and staff. In October 2001, grade level
inclusive environment. A longitudinal meetings were held to fully discuss the
study was completed to compare an impact of inclusion and freely share the
experimental group of students who were pros and cons as perceived by the staff.
fully included at Mariposa Elementary In November 2001, the Site Leadership
umerous researchers from the time they were in first grade Committee met to review the grade level
advocate for a school wide approach to grade seven; compared to a similar notes and chart what the school site was
where students with disabilities are control group of students who were already doing with regards to inclusive
not removed from general education in Special Day Classes during the same services, special education services, and
classrooms and all supports and services length of time. Substantial growth in what the next steps would be if the
are provided to enhance the learning of reading and mathematics was seen by the school was to provide increased inclusive
all children, not just the students with students who were fully included. This services. A common theme emerged; in
disabilities (Gartner & Lipsky, 2002; led the district administration to support every case, grade level teams discussed
Halverson & Neary, 2001; Hunt, Soto, inclusive practices at the middle and high the excellent progress of the students that
Maier, & Doering, 2003; Sailor & Roger, school levels. Brea High School recently were currently included and talked about
2005). These authors analyze special received a Promising Practice Award from the “what if” as they provided examples of
education as a service (not a place) and California Services for Technical Assistance specific children in their grade level. The
feel the service must be brought to the and Training (CalSTAT) for their inclusion progress of the children who were already
child with special needs in the general systems. Brea High School is a feeder included motivated the team to continue
education classroom. The philosophy of school for all students attending Mariposa researching and exploring models that
educating students alongside their peers is Elementary. might work at their school. After a year
honorable; yet sometimes very challenging of planning, the school implemented an
to implement. However, several Southern Corey Elementary School in Buena inclusive program at the beginning of the
California schools have been successful in Park Unified School District has had 2002-2003 school year. Immediate results
their implementation. a successful inclusion program for the were seen. The school has been honored
18
and receive the specialized instruction
delineated by their individualized Ideas for Inclusion: The School
education programs (IEP’s) within the Administrator’s Guide
context of the core curriculum and Beninghof, A. M. & Singer, A.L.T.
general class activities” (pg 1). “When Sopris West
you see the amazing growth, both 4093 Specialty Place
academically and socially, the students Longmont, CO 80504
with disabilities are making in the general www. sopriswest.com
education classroom, alongside their ISBN#1-57035-042-6
at the state and national levels for their general education peers, you do not Successful Inclusion: Practical
successes with increasing API scores and even consider changing the program!” Strategies for Shared Responsibility
classroom improvement scores when (Resource Specialist teacher, Kay Santos, C. A. Kochhar, L. L. West, J. M. Taymans
children with disabilities are included. 2006). Merrill Publishers
www.merrilleducation.com
CHIME Charter Elementary School, Additionally, all three campuses have ISBN# 0-13-921172-1
located in Woodland Hills, and its sister educators that believe all children
campus, CHIME Charter Middle School, can learn and administrators eager to Successful Inclusion Strategies
are independent schools that provide free provide leadership in school wide change. for Secondary and Middle School
public education through an affiliation with Literature has documented that principals’ Teachers: Keys to Help Struggling
the Los Angeles Unified School District. attitudes and their leadership as change Learners Access the Curriculum
The U.S. Department of Education agents greatly effect school wide reform M.C. Gore
recently recognized CHIME as a national (Lasky & Karge, 2006). Corwin Press
model for full inclusion of students www.corwinpress.com
with disabilities. For years, the CHIME “... inclusion is what ISBN# 0-7619-3973-3
Institute has provided a fully inclusive
Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE)
society is all about. After Teaching Content To All: Evidence-
program which is located on the Cal all, we do not have banks Based Inclusive Practices in Middle
State University, Northridge campus. This and Secondary Schools.
ECSE program was so successful that an
or grocery stores for B.K Lenz & D.D. Deshler
elementary school, and eventually the persons with disabilities, Allyn & Bacon
additional middle school, were added. www.ablongman.com
The CHIME Institute prides itself on
why do we have special ISBN# 2-205-39224-5
cutting-edge research and practice to classes?” References
support all children to achieve their DuFour, R. (2004). What is a professional learning community?
maximum potential. Their website There are many resources available to Educational Leadership, 61(8), 6-11.
Deno, E. (1970). Special education as developmental capital.
(www.chimeinstitute.org) lists several support inclusive practices. However, the Exceptional Children, 37, 229-237.
Gartner, A. & Lipsky D. (2002). Inclusion: A service, not a place: A
statements describing the programs, key to success appears to be in school whole school approach. Port Chester, New York: Dude
including: a caring, nurturing, intellectually wide reform; especially the sharing of Publishing.
Halverson, A. T. & Neary, T. (2001). Building inclusive schools:Tools and
challenging, community centered student outcomes. As DuFour (2004) strategies for success. Boston: Allyn and Bacon Publishing.
Hunt, P., Soto, G., Maier, J., Doering, K. (2003). Collaborative teaming
environment; collaboration between reports, “to create a professional learning to support students at risk and students with severe
families and educational teams and the community, focus on learning rather than disabilities in general education classrooms. Exceptional
Children, 69(3), 315-332.
support for inclusive learning communities teaching, work collaboratively, and hold Lasky, B. & Karge, B. (2006). Meeting the needs of students with
disabilities: Experience and confidence of principals.
with some children in each class receiving yourself accountable for results” (pg 6). National Association of Secondary School Principals Bulletin,
special education services alongside their When the results yield excellent growth 90(1), 19-36.
Sailor, W. & Roger, B. (2005). Rethinking inclusion: School wide applications.
gifted and typically developing peers. academically and socially by students with Phi Delta Kappan, 86(7), 503-509.
Santos, K. (2006, February). Collaboration between general education and
The schools serve as demonstration disabilities, and the scores are viewed special education teachers, presentation at the California
and teacher-training sites for Cal State by all school personnel, the progress Association for Resource Specialist Conference,
Burbank, CA.
Northridge’s nationally acclaimed cannot be denied and the program is
Michael D. Eisner College of Education. strengthened.
Last year, CHIME Charter Elementary
was named “Charter School of the In addition to the references cited in
Year” by the California Charter Schools this article, the following resources are
Association. recommended:
How to Reach & Teach All Students in
All three of these campuses honor the the Inclusive Classsroom: Ready to
Halverson & Neary (2001) definition Use Strategies, Lessons and Activities
of inclusive education: “students S. F. Rief & J. A. Heimburge
with disabilities are supported in The Center for Applied Research in
chronologically age-appropriate general Education www.phdirect.com
education classes in their home schools ISBN# 0-87628-385-7
19
Effective
In
Inclusion
in
Secondary
Classrooms
by Dawn H. Berlin and Mary C. Esposito

T he Education of All Handicapped Children Act of 1975


(subsequently reauthorized as the Individuals with Disabilities
“tier,” the teacher must have a clear understanding of the
students’ PLOPs. Teachers can identify students’ current levels
Education Act, 1990, 1997, and as the Individuals with by reviewing the students’ IEP, 504 Plan, or Passport. If general
Disabilities Education Improvement Act, 2004) mandates that education teachers are not provided with these documents
students with disabilities be educated in the least restrictive they should seek assistance from the Bridge Coordinator,
environment (LRE). LRE, although determined on an Resource Specialist, or Special Day Class Teacher. These
individual basis, has become widely interpreted as the general documents provide a teacher with the student’s estimated
education classroom (U.S. Department of Education, 2002). grade level proficiency in reading, writing, and mathematics.
This placement emphasis, coupled with No Child Left Behind These indices are essential tools when assigning independent
legislation calling for increased educational outcomes, suggests practice and homework. If material above the students’ current
the number of students with disabilities “included” in the ability level is assigned, the students will not be successful in
general education setting will continue to grow. completing the work. This is not because they don’t “want” to
complete the work, but because they are unable to access the
Placement in general education classrooms, while necessary, concepts presented. Examples of tiering include changing the
is not sufficient. True inclusion can only be achieved when product required, such as oral presentations instead of papers,
students with disabilities have full access to the general or modifying assignments to accommodate multiple levels of
education curriculum. This often requires that general concept development.
education teachers modify both their pedagogical practices
and their methods of assessment. The purpose of this article Using high-interest materials is another method of engaging
is to provide secondary general educators with research- all students in the curriculum. By tapping students’ funds of
based best practices for classroom modification and effective knowledge - their cultural and experiential resources - we can
implementation of inclusion in their classrooms. promote students’ development of a deeper connection to
the content presented (Moll, Amanti, Neff, & Gonzalez, 2001).
Pedagogy This culturally responsive pedagogy ensures a richer, more
Pedagogy encompasses presentation of the curriculum as textured understanding of key concepts. By simply talking to
well as the strategies provided for accessing this curriculum. the students about their interests, or using student interest
There are multiple methods of ensuring active participation inventories, we can uncover the knowledge they bring to the
in the standards-driven general education curriculum. One classroom and use it to inform our materials and assignments.
such method is “tiering” (Lewis & Doorlag, 2006), defined as
the practice of differentiating assignments based on students’ Graphic organizers also aid in full access to the curriculum
present levels of performance (PLOP). In order to effectively content, particularly for students with learning disabilities.

“TRUE INCLUSION CAN ONLY BE ACHIEVED WHEN STUDENTS


WITH DISABILITIES HAVE FULL ACCESS TO THE GENERAL
EDUCATION CURRICULUM.”
20
These visual tools can illustrate relationships between concepts, Communicating the rubric to students ahead of time tells
classify prior knowledge, and categorize new information. students where to focus their efforts, and ensures that the
Advance organizers, such as semantic maps and anticipation product will better conform to teacher expectations. An online
guides, can prepare students for lessons by activating and source for pre-designed rubrics is: http://school.discovery.com/
focusing their prior knowledge. Other organizers, such schrockguide/assess.html.
as framed paragraphs and matrices, can assist students in
integrating and applying what they have learned. Many of these Because it is likely that a greater number of exceptional
organizers are available on the web (http://www.eduplace. students will receive their education in the general education
com/graphicorganizer) or located in the textbook instructors’ setting, general education teachers must strive to meet each
manuals. student’s unique learning needs. True inclusion requires a great
deal of effort on the teachers’ part. We encourage teachers
Assessment to seek out knowledge either through additional coursework,
Appropriate assessment enables teachers to evaluate both independent reading, or research. Many websites such as the
student learning and efficacy of instruction. Many students National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities
with academic challenges can not be accurately assessed using (http://www.nichcy.org) offer resources for parents, teachers
standardized tests or summative evaluation. Research indicates and students specific to each area of disability. We also
several preferred methods of monitoring student progress in encourage teachers to observe model inclusive classrooms
diverse classrooms. on their campus. Above all, we encourage general education
teachers to be flexible with themselves and with their students.
Ongoing assessment values growth over time. It is a reiterative Implementing effective instruction is a craft, which only gets
process taking place over the course of a given semester better with practice and self-reflection.
allowing for multiple opportunities, in varied contexts, for
students to demonstrate understanding of the concepts
presented. One type of ongoing assessment is Curriculum
Based Measurement (CBM). CBM provides current information
on student progress by testing students briefly each week
and graphing students’ scores. This graphic representation of
student progress enables both the teacher and the students
to see if performance is improving as expected. Additionally,
information gained from ongoing informal assessment is
a valuable tool for IEP and Section 504 development and
implementation. When reporting student progress in
annual IEP or 504 meetings, this information can be used to
modify goals, placement options, or accommodations and
modifications.

Alternative formats and response modes also provide the


opportunity for more students with disabilities to demonstrate
learning. Short answers rather than essay exams, oral rather
than written tests, and collaborative rather than individual
projects are just a few ways to modify in-class assessment. If
we define learning as change in participation over time (Rogoff,
1990) we must be prepared to assess process in addition References:
to product. It is only through broadening our perspective Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 42 U.S.C. 12101 et. seq.

of evaluation that we can actively identify demonstration of Lewis, R. B. & Doorlag, D.H. (2006). Teaching special needs students in
learning. general education classrooms. (7th eds.) Upper Saddle
River, N.J: Prentice Hall.

Students must also be aware of what, exactly, is being assessed. Moll, L., Amanti, C., Neff, D. & Gonzalez, N. (2001). Funds of knowledge
Too often grading consists of subjective judgments and vague for teaching: Using a qualitative approach to connect
explanations. Teachers should create rubrics for each task, homes and classrooms. Theory Into Practice, XXXI, 2,
132-141.
or type of task, being assessed and provide clear examples of
what each number on the scale represents. Providing students Rogoff, B. (1990). Apprenticeship in thinking: Cognitive development in
with a work sample of a “perfect” score and explicitly stating social context. New York: Oxford University Press.
U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education
how the sample met each criterion is beneficial to all students, and Rehabilitative Services (2002). 24th Annual Report to
particularly exceptional students who have a difficult time Congress on the Implementation of Individuals with
making inferences about teacher expectations. In written Disabilities Education Act.

assignments, for example, the teacher might assign points


for grammar, clarity, use of references, and content. For oral
presentations they might look for creativity in explaining key
concepts, preparation and overall command of subject matter.
21
Simply put, co-teaching is when two or
more educators co-plan, co-instruct,
and co-assess a group of students with
diverse needs in the same general
education classroom (Murawski, 2003).
Both teachers share the responsibility,
the workload, the accolades, and the
disappointments (Friend & Cook, 2007;
Murawski & Dieker, 2004). The general
education teacher is not supposed to

the
be “in charge,” spending precious time
trying to decide what to tell the special
education teacher to do. The special
education teacher is not supposed to be
a “glorified assistant,” wasting the talents
of a trained teacher doing little more
than walking around the room providing
proximity control. Yet, that is what is
often seen in the “co-taught” classroom
(Spencer, 2005; Weiss & Lloyd, 2002).
Both teachers are in the room to TEACH;
each provides an area of expertise that

r
needs to be tapped to demonstrate why
they are both there in the first place,
rather than a single teacher or a teacher
and a paraprofessional (Murawski, 2005).

If it is so simple, why then are co-teachers


nationally struggling with the concept?
Because collaboration is easier said than
done; in fact, many situations are said
to be “collaborative” and yet lack the
qualities required for true collaboration
(Friend, 2000). Special and general
education teachers are typically trained
separately and then thrown together in
the same classroom and told to “play
nice.” Each one wonders what they
are expected to do as a co-teacher and,
by Wendy W. Murawski without training, they tend to resort to
what they have seen others do or what
“I’m co-teaching this year. What does that mean? What’s my role?” These questions they are most comfortable doing (Weiss
are asked by more and more teachers nationally, both those in special education and & Lloyd, 2002). The general education
those in general education! Without meaning to sound glib, the answer is relatively teacher often goes back to traditional
simple: your role is to TEACH. Co-teaching is just what it sounds like – teaching that instruction and the special education
occurs collaboratively. teacher pulls small groups of students
with special needs for remediation and
To get more specific, however, consider the job of a teacher. Clearly, a good teacher is re-teaching. Sure, they are in the same
someone who does more than just stand up and impart knowledge. Good teachers classroom - but nothing is really different!
are those who (a) plan instruction, keeping in mind their diverse learners, (b) instruct,
using strategies designed to promote active learning, and (c) assess, using the knowledge What should be happening for true co-
gained through assessments to plan for better instruction and increased learning. This is teaching to occur, and for the reported
a difficult job for any one person. When students with disabilities, students with English benefits of co-teaching to be gleaned?
language issues, students with unique gifts or talents, and students with other special
needs are added to the mix, this job becomes complicated, at best. Hence, the need for
co-teaching.

22
Here’s an example:
Ms. Farrell, the Science teacher, meets with Mr. Hutchinson, the special educator, a week before instruction. Ms. Farrell brings in her
lesson plans from last year and says, “This is what I typically do. The standards and pacing plan dictate that we cover Chapter 4 on
rays. Kids have trouble understanding this.” Mr. Hutchinson smiles, “I do, too. I will have to read this chapter to remind myself, but
what is the ‘big idea’ here so I know what we want to emphasize?” Ms. Farrell states, “The kids need to understand that rays travel
at different lengths but ultimately at the same speed.” Mr. Hutchinson frowns: “You mean, like if one person takes one big, slow step,
another person takes two medium steps and a third person takes four small, quick steps – they all end up in the same place at the
same time but took different length steps?” Ms. Farrell laughingly agrees, “That’s exactly it!” Mr. Hutchinson looks at Ms. Farrell’s
plans and says, “OK, why don’t we meet in two days and I’ll have a proposal for how we might teach this together. Obviously you
are our content expert but I will be able to come up with strategies of how to teach the content using strategies that will engage
our different learners so that the whole class can learn the content the first time, rather than either of us having to re-teach it later.
OK?” They agree and set a time to meet.

This interaction demonstrates that both teachers are engaged in planning and both will have a role in instruction. Mr. Hutchinson
does not need to be an expert in the content area; Ms. Farrell has that covered. On the other hand, if Mr. Hutchinson is able to
proactively know what needs to be taught, he can have an active role in helping to come up with strategies for HOW it will be taught.
Two teachers in the room allows for more creativity, more differentiation of instruction, more kinesthetic learning, more small group/
cooperative learning, a greater variety of assessment techniques, and improved academics, behavior and social skills (Gately & Gately,
2001; Murawski, 2006; Rea, McLaughlin & Walther-Thomas, 2002). It does, however, mean that each co-teacher needs to be willing
and able to do something different. When done well, co-teaching will result in teachers who feel rejuvenated, students with and
without disabilities who are benefiting in a variety of ways, and schools that are more collaborative in nature (Murawski, 2006; Rea, et
al., 2002).

In sum, what is your role? General educators – your role is to know your content and standards and what typical learners should
do in your grade and content…and to share that knowledge with your co-teacher. Special educators – your role is to know the
students, their special needs, and the strategies that allow for differentiation and individualization…and to share that knowledge with
your co-teacher. Ultimately, both of you have the same role: TO TEACH ALL STUDENTS USING YOUR AREAS OF EXPERTISE AND
TRAINING. Go to it!

References Please submit all correspondence to:


Friend, M. (2000). Myths and misunderstandings about professional
collaboration. Remedial and Special Education, 21(3), Dr. Wendy W. Murawski
130-132, 160. Department of Special Education
Friend, M., & Cook, L. (2007). Interactions: Collaboration skills for school Michael D. Eisner College of Education
professionals (5th ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
California State University, Northridge
Gately, S.E., & Gately, F.J. (2001). Understanding coteaching components. 18111 Nordhoff Street
Teaching Exceptional Children, 33(4), 40-47.
Northridge, CA 91330-8265
Spencer, S. A. (2005). An interview with Dr. Lynne Cook and Dr. June
Downing: The practicalities of collaboration in special (818) 677-7037
education service delivery. Intervention in School and wendy.murawski@csun.edu
Clinic, 40(5), 296-300.

Murawski, W.W., & Dieker, L.A. (2004). Tips and strategies for co-
teaching at the secondary level. Teaching Exceptional
Children, 36(5), 52-58.

Murawski, W.W. (2003). School collaboration research: Successes and


difficulties. Academic Exchange Quarterly, 7(3), 104-108.

Murawski, W. W. (2005). Addressing diverse needs through co-teaching:


Take ‘baby steps!’. Kappa Delta Pi Record, 41(2), 77-82.

Murawski, W.W. (2006). Student outcomes in co-taught secondary


English classes: How can we improve? Reading and
Writing Quarterly, 22(3), 227-247.

Rea, P.J., McLaughlin,V.L., & Walther-Thomas, C. (2002). Outcomes for


students with disabilities in inclusive and pull-out
programs. Exceptional Children, 72(2), 203-222.

Weiss, M. & Lloyd, J.W. (2002). Congruence between roles and actions
of secondary special educators in co-taught and special
education settings. The Journal of Special Education, 36(2),
58-68.

23
California School
Paraprofessional Teacher
CSPTTP Training Program
TALK (CSPTTP) Scholarship

Do you have questions?


Contact Joe Ryan at 213-241-4571

Question: What is the maximum dollar amount of scholarship and


loan support that is immediately available to LAUSD paraeducators
planning on becoming K-12th grade teachers?
Answer: Of course, there is no maximum amount IF an individual
decides to seriously research and apply for scholarships and loans.
However, for LAUSD paraeducators new to scholarship and loan
programs, the Career Ladder’s CSPTTP scholarship is the simplest for
starters.
Future Teacher
Depending on what year an individual is registered at a college or
university, CSPTTP money is significant. For example, paraeducators Scholarships Available!
who are freshmen at four year universities can anticipate $12,000-
The California School Paraprofessional Teacher
$15,000 ($3,000 per year), depending on whether they are enrolled in
Training Program (CSPTTP) is a state-funded
a four or five year program.
scholarship program that supports future K-12th
grades teachers studying at local community colleges
Plus, there are additional CSPTTP-compatible programs with current
and universities.
open enrollment and reasonable requirements:
• APLE – Assumption Program of Loans in Education
Participants are employed as paraprofessionals with
(http://www.csac.ca.gov/doc.asp?id=111 ) offers loan
Los Angeles Unified School District and can receive
forgiveness in amounts between $11,000 -$19,000
up to $3,000 per year as a reimbursement for
• TEAMS - the University of San Francisco’s AmeriCorps
educational expenses.
program (http://www.teamsusf.org/) which offers a
maximum of $9,450 in loan credits.
CSPTTP recipients:
• pursue a career in elementary education,
Question: When can CSPTTP participants anticipate their next
special education,foreign language,secondary
stipend reimbursement?
mathematics, science or English;
Answer: CSPTTP stipend reimbursements are dispersed twice
• maintain a minimum 2.75 grade point
annually – each July after completing the winter/spring academic
average;
session, and each October in anticipation of the fall session.
• complete eighteen semester or twenty-four
quarter units per academic year; and
Question: What is the most common impediment preventing
• agree to work as an LAUSD teacher one
CSPTTP participants from receiving their stipend reimbursement?
year for each year of support received.
Answer: Not completing a Performance Assessment (PA) based
on the number of college/university units completed is the main If you believe you qualify, forward an unofficial copy of
reason participants don’t receive timely stipend reimbursements. For your most recent college/university transcript to the
example, participants who have completed 65 semester units, but Career Ladder office, attention Joe Ryan.
haven’t completed PAs 1 and 2, will not receive their reimbursements
until they’ve done so. For more information, refer to the website link: If you have additional questions,
http://www.teachinla.com/ladder/oldsite/toconvert/support_services. call Joe Ryan at (213) 241-4571.
htm#Tuition%20Reimbursement

24
THE LADDER CLASSIFIEDS
Santa Monica College
W H AT T E S T S S H O U L D I TA K E ? CBEST Prep
by Henry M. Steinman, B.A., J.D.
CBEST
Candidates applying to the CA Commission on (310) 434-3400
Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) for any teaching $125* (Three Saturdays)
credential, or services credential. July 14, 21, 28 from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

CSET $65* (MATH ONLY, 3rd Saturday, July 28)


28
Candidates seeking an Education Specialist *Cost for books is extra
Credential, Single Subject Credential or Multiple
Subject Credential who choose to demonstrate
subject matter competence through examination.
All Multiple Subject candidates have to take the CSET. DID YOU KNOW?
RICA
Candidates seeking the Multiple Subject Teaching All of the forms you need
Credential or Education Specialist Instruction
Credential.
are available online!
VISIT:
SSAT
Candidates seeking a Single Subject Teaching
www.teachinla.com/ladder
Credential in subject areas not tested by the CSET
who elect to qualify by examination must pass
relevant subject matter test(s).
DID YOU KNOW?
The Career Ladder reimburses for:

- CBEST, CSET, and RICA test


preparation courses
All Multiple Subject candidates who did not
complete their credential program by July 1, &
2002 are required to take the CSET. -the CBEST test

The following is the test schedule for the CBEST,


RICA, and CSET exams. To obtain a registration
bulletin, please go to your nearest counseling office.
DID YOU KNOW?
Information can also be found on the following
websites:
If you teach in California,
- http://www.cbest.nesinc.com the State may help you pay
- http://www.rica.nesinc.com back your loans.
- http://www.cset.nesinc.com

TEST DATES Up to $19,000!


CBEST/RICA CSET For information and application,
*APRIL 14, 2007 *JULY 21, 2007 visit the CSU APLE website:
*JUNE 16, 2007
www.csusuccess.org/aple

25
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