What is inclusion? And why does the research say it works, yet we struggle to implement it effectively?

Classrooms are diverse places, full of students with a variety of strengths and needs. What if we begin to think about inclusion as a process to find better ways to respond to that diversity and to remove barriers to participation and achievement for ALL learners? Let’s create classrooms where teachers feel confident anticipating the barriers to learning instead of responding to them after the fact; classrooms in which the special educator can focus on prioritized areas of need to support students with disabilities in making substantive, meaningful progress in grade-level TEKS.


What does that look like? How do all educators fit into that process? How do we do that with existing staff and schedules? Where do we even start?

The lead4ward Inclusion Academy is a 5-day instruction-focused academy designed to get the process started. The academy begins by activating inclusion systems of support at the campus and district level. Special educators are then engaged in an interactive, multi-day learning experience that includes implementation of intensive, focused instructional routines that prioritize the standards that give students access to the content and the rigor of the curriculum through the use of high-leverage and evidence based instructional practices. Finally, the academy guides classroom teachers in planning universally accessible instruction. This planning framework supports learning experiences that proactively meet the needs of ALL learners, which also benefits student memory, effort, and focus. Using a learn-practice-do-reflect model, academy members will gain the confidence and competence to set in motion meaningful change to improve outcomes for the students they serve.

Academy Outcomes

  • Common resources and language to promote collaboration
  • Implementation of intentional, focused instructional routines prioritizing high-impact standards and concepts
  • Planning strategies that proactively support diverse learners
  • Intentional, student-directed goal setting and self-monitoring
  • Development of goals for long-term growth in inclusive instruction

Year-Long Support

  • 5 full days of professional learning for your team of leaders, special educators, general education teachers, and classroom teaching partners
  • Follow-up implementation support for teachers (1-hr virtual jam session)
  • Tools and resources designed to simplify and clarify

Sign up now!

Let us build an implementation plan to meet the needs of your teachers and your district. Contact us for more information on how to get started.

To sign up, please submit a Professional Development Request form

To design your plan, contact Kathy Clapsaddle at [email protected].

Kathy Clapsaddle

Kathy Clapsaddle has been a champion of special educators for over 20 years. She has used her passion and experience serving pre-service educators and district professionals as the slightly nerdy, yet enthusiastic, special education voice at lead4ward since 2016. Read more–>


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For all other questions, email [email protected]