Novak Educational Consulting has brought together internationally recognized leaders in the education field for a multi-year statewide inclusive practices academy for public school districts in Massachusetts. The Inclusive Academy covers Universal Design for Learning, meeting the instructional needs of all students, culturally relevant pedagogy, and designing systems to implement long range plans to support inclusive practices. Research shows that outcomes for students are improved when they are educated in inclusive environments that meet their needs. This academy provides customized supports to effectively include students with diverse learning needs in their general education settings.
- Multiple in person themed full team trainings
- 10 virtual training modules
- Coaches training sessions
- Technical assistance sessions
- Virtual technical assistance sessions
Face-to-Face Team Trainings
All trainings will model the principles of UDL and are designed and assessed using the MA Standards for High Quality Professional Development. Three meetings will review the UDL 101 Concepts and the other three will utilize the UDL principles and integrate them into that year’s inclusive practices theme. Each team training will include the following components:
- Keynote Remarks: Keynote sessions will guide the theme of the year. These will be delivered by experts in the field.
- Break Out Sessions: Each team meeting will have a professional learning breakout session that will focus on universally designed leadership & effective tier 1 inclusive instructional practices.
- Team Planning Sessions: School teams will have embedded time to develop plans to support successful implementation of inclusive practices.
Schools will be provided with comprehensive in-district coaching. Each participating school will assign someone to serve as a coach or leader who will facilitate the school’s implementation of inclusive practice. These coaches will participate in specific professional learning options to support their work. These trainings will be held statewide so coaches can create a strong community and engage in thoughtful collaboration. These sessions will focus on developing internal expertise for sustained inclusive practices implementation. The coaching sessions will support the notion that inclusive practice is not necessarily a placement or a setting—it involves the implementation of systems and processes that allow all students to be educated within an educational community, the impact of which is significant. Direct professional development and time for supporting problems of practice will be embedded in all sessions. Sample topics include:
- Designing and Delivering Quality Book Clubs
- Effectively Using the Guidebook for Inclusive Practice Job-Embedded PD Planning Guide
- Designing Activities to Support Engagement and Discussion of the Foundations for Inclusive Practices Online Course
Technical Assistance Sessions
The central focus of the technical assistance sessions is to design systemic supports for the successful implementation of Inclusive Tier 1 Instruction. It is a time for defining what supports are needed for actions to be accomplished successfully. The Technical Assistance Providers will offer protocols, model research based practices, and offer tools and resources aligned with the school’s specific plan.
Virtual Training Modules
All cohort members will be supported with 10 additional one-hour virtual training modules during each year of the academy to optimize flexible, ongoing professional development that exemplifies best practices in online learning. These modules are designed by Dr. Katie Novak and feature experts in the field of inclusive practice These modules are available but not required components of the Academy. Online Module Topics include:
- Making the most out of online professional development
- Customizing the learning experiences of all students: How inclusive practices personalize education for all students
- The importance of supporting concept stabilization in all aspects of inclusive practice
- Building comprehension through personal connections in inclusive environments
- Recruiting the interest of all stakeholders to drive authentic learning in inclusive learning environments
- Supporting all students to sustain effort and persistence in high quality Tier I instruction
- Supporting student self-regulation and self-reflection in an inclusive learning environment
- Providing student access to physical action and appropriate assistive technology
- Designing authentic assessments with multiple options for student expression
- Supporting executive function in all students, educators and districts by creating long term integrated, sustainable strategies
The Inclusive Academy was developed for public schools districts in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Multiple schools within the same district can benefit greatly from joining the Inclusive Academy together. School teams must include:
- at least one district level administrator or designee (may be a shared member if multiple schools participate)
- at least one school level administrator or designee
- at least three classroom teachers including at least one general educator and one special education educator (it is recommended that the team include an educator who works with English language learners
- a coach or leader who will facilitate the implementation of the inclusive practices (could be one of the other team members already listed)
Inclusive Academy Team
Katie Novak, Ed.D. is an internationally renowned education consultant, a practicing leader in education, and author of 4 books published by CAST Professional Publishing. Katie designs and presents workshops both nationally and internationally focusing on implementation of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and universally designed leadership.
Lisa Carey was part of the Center for Innovation and Leadership in Special Education first fellowship cohort, where she studied neuroscience, behavioral science, school law, and scientific inquiry with faculty of Kennedy Krieger Institute and The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Lisa serves as a bridge between researchers, clinicians, and educators, translating advances in the cognitive sciences to actionable practices within the classroom.
Bryan Dean is an Instructional Designer for a large intermediate school district overseeing 30 smaller public schools. He is Lead Project and Professional Learning Designer for Oakland Schools UDL project. Recently, he has become a member of the CAST UDL PL Cadre, facilitated a week long intensive UDL workshop series at Harvard, and started a national podcast series focusing on UDL and 21st century literacies.
Jennifer Quinn holds a M.Ed. in Reading and Language for all grade levels. She has a strong knowledge base and background in reading, language arts, spelling, writing, the co-teaching model, assessment, integration of technology as a teaching and learning tool, and universally designed instruction.