Inclusion and Your Neighborhood School 

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image of child raising handInclusion is a way of thinking, a mindset, where teachers and staff take responsibility for all our students – including those with special needs. Schools and families work together to determine how all students can be supported in their pursuit to gain a high quality education in the general education classroom.

Federal law explicitly requires that special education students be served in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE). This means our special education students should receive supports and services to succeed alongside their peers in a general education classroom whenever possible. This is crucial because the data is clear that students in inclusive settings have better educational and social outcomes.

For these reasons, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) has issued a statewide policy on inclusion. DCPS supports this policy and is continuously working to transform our schools into inclusive learning environments for all our students....

However, DCPS has no intention of arbitrarily placing students in environments that can’t properly support them. We will not be moving students into classrooms that do not provide the necessary supports for their success. As the name suggests, special education is not a one size fits all approach; each student’s plan will be individualized to his/her needs.

Benefits of Inclusion

- Increases educational opportunities both for students with special needs as well as their peers in general education

- Fundamentally improves the educational outcomes of students with special needs by placing them in the same classroom setting as their general education peers while providing them with the range of services that they need to be successful

- Provides general education students with access to a broader range of educational services and supports that increases their opportunities for success

We look forward to your support and involvement as we seek to provide inclusive opportunities that broaden the horizons for all DCPS students.

Contact Us

We encourage you to speak to the staff at your neighborhood school about their efforts to provide a more inclusive environment for your child.

You may also wish to contact us: The Office of Special Education

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