Inclusive Education: A Principal's Perspective

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We created an atmosphere that we called "pervasive caring." We believed it was very important to care about how kids feel and how they fit in with their peer groups. Under this operating procedure, the first priority is supporting kids’ emotional needs. The way you provide academics and deal with the technicalities of following the law are influenced by a core belief of caring. Inclusion is the result.​

Mike Galvin

AN INTERVIEW with Mike Galvin, principal of a

Colorado Elementary School

How do you define an inclusive school?

An inclusive school is one in which educators create a natural school environment for all children. Services for kids with disabilities are as transparent as possible. The help provided to any child is based on what he or she needs, and it’s provided in the natural environment. You take a child where he is and give him what he needs in the most natural and informal ways possible. An inclusive school provides all kids with whatever they need to master the regular ed curriculum, which may include curriculum modifications, supports, assistive technology, or other assistance. And in my opinion, you don’t call a student an “inclusion student” or have “inclusion classrooms.”

What about “special ed/resource rooms,” those classrooms only for students with disabilities?

I’ve heard some people say “special ed is not a place” and that’s true. At Columbine, we saw no reason to segregate students with disabilities in a special classroom! A more natural way of providing services to all children is in the regular classroom. Click here to continue.