"We know after 30-some years of segregating special ed kids, it didn't work," said Unified Special Education Director Ann Laing.
In Racine Unified, the inclusion movement has been a long time coming but seems to be making headway this school year.
The district has experienced a push toward inclusion in the past few years and, this fall, the district achieved inclusion in first and second grades, a move that followed inclusion last school year at the kindergarten level and five years ago in pre-kindergarten classrooms.
There is a plan to move that inclusion all the way up to the high school level in the next five years, Laing
"Kids in regular education classrooms more often are going to achieve at higher levels," she
To fix this problem, Laing said she created an inclusion work group when she became executive director two years ago.
said the district also has held seminar days for staff to learn new ways of teaching all kids in one room.
That teaching emphasizes that it is OK for students to have different work output levels.
For example, one student could do 10 math problems while another does 20, or one student could write a paper while another gives a presentation.
"They're both demonstrating they have the knowledge," Laing