A Poway Unified School District program that has redesigned special education services and instruction to move more students into the general education setting has been honored with a state award.
The district received the the Golden Bell Award from the California School Board Association in the special education category for its Inclusive Practices Program.
“I was elated,” said Greg Mizel, associate superintendent of Student Support Services. “Our team has been working really hard improving the student experience, especially for our students with disabilities. It’s been years of work that have brought us to this.”
The program began in 2018 with three model schools working to increase special education students’ access to and inclusion in general education settings.
Monterey Ridge Elementary and Twin Peaks Middle School eliminated their non-severely handicapped special day classes that had served students with mild to moderate disabilities, moving the students to a primarily general education setting instead.
Staff at Monterey Ridge focused on creating a learning center to support students who had been in the non-severely handicapped setting while staff at Twin Peaks created a co-teaching model of instruction with special education and general education teachers in the same classroom.
PUSD parent Tiffany, whose daughter attends Monterey Ridge Elementary, said in a press release that her daughter, for the first time, “felt included as a classmate, not a visitor, from start to finish every day.”
“It was not only a great experience for her, for us as a family, but for her classmates, to know and understand neurodiversity and that kids learn differently and may act differently and that’s OK,” she said.
“As a parent of a child with special needs, I can’t tell you how great it feels every day knowing that my child is going to school where she’s valued and celebrated right along with everyone else, not treated any differently and appreciated.”
Although there have been some growing pains, Mizel said he has heard a bevy of positive stories from students and families.
“They have peers who are inviting them to sit with them at lunch,” he said. “I find this work so hopeful.”
“It’s magical. It’s a wonderful thing,” Mizel added.
In all, 131 elementary students who used to be in restrictive day classes were returned to their neighborhood schools with their peers, Mizel said. The move was beneficial not only for the former day class students but also for their general education peers.
“It was never a cost-saving initiative,” he said. “We didn’t just close special day classes.”
At Mt. Carmel High, the focus was to increase the general education course options for special education students with the co-teaching (one special education and one general education teacher) or instructional assistant supported models.
All three models significantly increased the access of students with disabilities to general education classes, grade level curriculum and social participation with nondisabled peers, Mizel said.
“We changed the experience for a whole group of students in a real positive way,” he said.
The successful results achieved at each of the model schools allowed the district to create more inclusive practices districtwide. Effective this school year, 2021-22, the district has eliminated all non-severely handicapped special day classes at the elementary school level, Mizel said. By 2022-23 all non-severely handicapped special day classes at middle schools will be discontinued.
The next scope of Inclusive Practices Program work will focus on the preschool level, he said.
“What sets our effort apart from other school districts simply closing special day classes is the way we approached our work,” Mizel said.
“Data framed the moral imperative and need for systems improvement, data validated the results achieved at each of the model school sites, and data has allowed us to credibly advance the work,” he said. “Shared ownership of the problem with our stakeholders was also key. Rather than issuing a top-down directive, we engaged our school administrators and sought to identify strategic partners genuinely interested in leading this effort.”
PUSD was committed to building the system’s capacity to support the necessary instruction and training required for inclusion, with more than 100 professional development workshops dedicated to the effort over the past three years.
The Special Education department encouraged staff to innovate, submit proposals created in collaboration with teachers, related service providers, support staff and instructional assistants. This ensured that the schools selected to model inclusive practices were fully committed to implementing the necessary changes required to improve our students’ experience, he said.
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Angela Brandt is a staff writer for the Poway News Chieftain and Rancho Bernardo News Journal.
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Carrots Have These 8 Amazing, Surprising Health Benefits
Initially, the vegetable originated in the geological area and the Asian United States, and it was initially only available in purple and yellow hues. Carrots are an excellent source of beta carotene, a natural mineral introduced by the body to provide sustenance, and they are high in fibre.
Carrots, which are crunchy, orange, and delicious, provide a variety of benefits to our health, pores, skin, and hair. These don’t appear to be particularly tasty, but they are loaded with numerous important nutrients, for example, beta-carotene, cell reinforcements, potassium, fibre, sustenance K, and so on.
Carrots are cultivated to promote eye health, lower dangerous LDL cholesterol, and aid in weight loss. Let’s put it to the test and find out why carrots are so good for you!
The following are twelve effective edges you might get from carrots:
1. Supports gadget
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Carrots are high in fibre, which promotes cardiovascular health by lowering LDL cholesterol levels in veins and blood vessels. Calcium is absorbed through the frame of carrots, resulting in low but dangerous cholesterol levels.
Carrots have an unbalanced fibre content. An investigation found that advanced fibre consumption improves aldohexose digestion in people with the polygenic disorder. Following a healthy, well-balanced diet and maintaining a healthy weight can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
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To begin with, each cancer prevention agent is beneficial to your coronary heart. Furthermore, at 0.33, they should contain fibre, which can help you stay in shape and lower your chances of having a heart attack.
9. Forestalls devolution
Edges that are hostile to ophthalmic detail ensure the floor of the eye and provide a sharp inventiveness and perception. Taking juice will help to delay many eye diseases, such as macular degeneration, cataracts, and visual impairment. Overall, carrots contain lutein, which is an inhibitor that protects the eye from obliterating light.
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Carrots contain glutathione. Cell reinforcement has been shown to be effective in treating liver disease caused by aerophilic strains. The greens are high in plant flavonoids and beta-carotene, both of which stimulate and develop your popular liver component. Carrots contain carotenoid, which can help fight liver problems.
11. Palatable Anti-Aging
Along with carrots on your regular food, you will appreciate limiting the way you get more seasoned. Furthermore, beta-carotene functions as an inhibitor that advances cell harm, which happens as a result of the casing’s normal digestion.
12. Advances Weight Loss
Uncooked Carrots are 88% water when raw or ebb and flow. A regular carrot has the lowest difficulty level of 25 energy. Taking everything into consideration, including carrots in your diet is a wise way to fuel yourself while collecting calories.