As schools reopen their doors and students return to the classroom, what will the "new normal" of special education look like? The pandemic exposed educational inequities and areas of urgent need-and now, schools have a unique opportunity to press pause and reimagine their practices. This book helps K-12 school leaders and educators take the lessons of the COVID-19 era and turn them into action: by closely examining what worked during distance learning, letting go of practices that keep some students struggling, and planning new routines and environments that meet the needs of every learner.
A visionary call to action from inclusion experts Jenna Mancini Rufo and Julie Causton, Reimagining Special Education guides readers in creating more equitable schools and services, through practical strategies teachers can use right away and thought-provoking, big-picture questions for administrators to tackle. Readers will explore how inclusive educational practices can address each students unique needs as schools reopen and bridge learning gaps for students who struggle. Throughout the book, vignettes and anecdotes spark lightbulb moments for educators and show what recommended practices look like in real classrooms.
Essential reading for administrators, classroom teachers, and other education professionals, this is the forward-thinking guide every school needs to reimagine the possibilities for special education, support authentic inclusion, and help learners with and without disabilities thrive in a changing world.
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Jenna Mancini Rufo, Ed.D. is an experienced public school leader turned inclusive education consultant. She is the founder and owner of empowerED School Solutions, a consulting firm specializing in equity and inclusion. Having served as an Assistant Superintendent, Director of Special Education, State Policy Specialist, Special Education Teacher, and Inclusion Facilitator, Jenna has practical experience in leading systems change for inclusion. She has shared her knowledge at numerous events including The Atlantics Education Summit and the National Principals Conference. Jenna has been published in School Administrator and recently launched a blog and video series. Jenna was inspired to enter the field of education by her sister, Nina, who has multiple disabilities. She views education as her calling and is passionate about providing quality programs for ALL students.
Julie Causton, Ph.D., is founder and CEO of Inclusive Schooling. She is a former Professor in the Inclusive and Special Education Program in the Department of Teaching and Leadership at Syracuse University. She has spent the past 20 years studying and creating best practices for inclusive education, with a specific focus on supporting students whose behavior challenges the educational system. As a former special education teacher herself, she knows firsthand how belonging leads to better outcomes for students. She works with administrators, teachers, paraprofessionals, and families across the country to help them create inclusive experiences. Dr. Causton is the author of seven books about inclusive education and she has published articles in over thirty educational research and practitioner journals. She also hosts The Inclusion Podcast on iTunes. Dr. Causton lives in Manlius, NY with her wife, two adorable teenagers, dog, and three cats