Inclusion/High Leverage Practices
The TTAC staff is focused on inclusive practices as a VDOE priority initiative and implementing a more integrated approach by embedding effective practices, such as co-teaching strategies, high leverage practices (HLP), evidence based practices for students with autism spectrum disorders nd/or intellectual disabilities and tools used in I’m Determined, in the work we are doing with school divisions. Strategies and tools of inclusive practices, proven effective in promoting positive student outcomes, are included in professional learning (PL) sessions offered to school divisions in Region 4, particularly those school divisions participating in VTSS. VTSS systems coaches collaborate with division leadership staff to direct this work through the professional learning community (PLC) structure in a systematic way. The integrated PL model is designed to affect sustainable, inclusive practices in our schools. Likewise, family engagement work is integrated throughout all initiatives to promote success for students by involving families in the process in meaningful ways.
The TTAC at GMU also hosts a Region 4 Community of Leaders in Autism (COLA), in collaboration with the Virginia Commonwealth University Autism Center for Excellence (VCU-ACE). This network of autism specialists meets face-to-face for professional learning in the fall and spring and monthly for “Coffee Chats,” remote discussions for networking and virtual resource sharing on topics relevant to stakeholders. As needed, Region 4 work groups or PLCs are offered to support understanding and implementation of VDOE revisions to the aligned standards of learning, alternative assessment or applied studies diploma.
All of the following areas are considered an integral part of Inclusive Practices since resources noted involve effective use of specific strategies, practices and models that promote successful inclusion in schools and communities.