MCIE partners with the Maryland State Department of Education and local and national organizations on a variety of projects to promote inclusive education.
SWIFT (School-Wide Integrated Framework for Transformation) Center Partnership
MCIE is a partner with the National Center on Inclusive School Reform: the SWIFT Center, based out of the University of Kansas. MCIE staff work with Center leadership, Maryland as one of the 5 SWIFT partner States, and support the technical assistance, dissemination, and evaluation of SWIFT work. Other States involved with promoting school-wide transformation to include ALL learners as successful members of their school communities are: New Hampshire, Vermont, Oregon, and Mississippi.
Allegany County Inclusive School Systems Change
In 2012, MCIE began a partnership with the Allegany County Public Schools to improve the delivery of specialized instruction in general education classes. Beginning with 4 schools that agreed to implement the MCIE Systems Change Process, and expanding to 8 schools, the technical assistance activities and professional learning opportunities are resulting in increases in inclusive practices, instruction based on Universal Design for Learning principles, collaborative teaching, and a vision that includes ALL learners as equally important members of their school communities. Administrators have embraced inclusive education and planning for students to be included who previously were educated only in special education separate settings.
Secondary Transition Practices in Maryland
MCIE has worked closely with the Maryland State Department of Education to promote the use of evidence-based practices in secondary transition services. Through a review of Maryland data and a survey of Maryland practices, MCIE identified the strengths in transition across our State. Following a review of national best practices and published standards, MCIE designed a set of Secondary Transition Quality Indicators (TQI) for Maryland’s Local School Systems to identify areas where they want to implement or expand transition services. The TQI self-assessment rubric is based on stages of implementation, and allows local teams to identify their strengths, establish priorities, develop an action plan, and evaluate their progress over time. The TQI package, which includes an excel-based assessment tool, a PowerPoint for the team, a fidelity checklist and a guide for debriefing results and planning forward will be available in 2016. This school year, MCIE will work closely with our State to develop a transition assessment toolkit.
MCIE developed a draft Self-Advocacy Curriculum for high school students and was fortunate to pilot that curriculum in the 2015 school year. Based on input from participants, the Curriculum is undergoing a change, and the revised version is being piloted in another set of high schools. The curriculum with fidelity checklists will be available in the 2016-2017 school year.
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