During the 2016-17 School Year, Special Education Advisory Council members developed a vision of inclusive education, using the core outcomes of the Board of Education’s policy Nā Hopena A‘o (HĀ) which is intended to provide a comprehensive outcomes framework to be used by those developing the academic achievement, character, physical and social-emotional well-being of all Hawaii students to the fullest potential. SEAC intends to work with DOE leadership and interested educators and families to implement this vision in the 2017-18 School Year. By adhering to the vision, SEAC believes that students with disabilities can be appropriately included and supported in general education classrooms and the community.
Vision of Inclusive Education
The Special Education Advisory Councilʻs vision of inclusive education for all students including those with disabilities embraces the six components of the Na Hopena Aʻo incorporated into the HawaiʻI Department of Educationʻs Strategic Plan. We have outlined the tenets below:
Strengthened Sense of Belonging
- Inclusive education embraces and educates ALL students in relevant and meaningful general education classes in their neighborhood schools that strengthen student connection to knowing who they are, where they are from, and what they belong to.
- Every student feels welcome and their unique needs and learning styles are attended to and valued.
Strengthened Sense of Responsibility:
- All schools effectively facilitate learning for all students.
- Students with disabilities are fully participating members of the school community and have opportunities to identify and use their learning within their school community.
- Providers of teacher education (preservice and inservice) embrace preparation for diverse learners as a core component of their mission.
- Students in the school community embrace their learning to support one another on their learning journeys and to make school a safe and welcoming space for all – education is a kākou thing and belongs to all of us.
Strengthened Sense of Excellence:
- Teachers value the strengths of their students with disabilities and are prepared to treat all students, including students with disabilities, as capable learners who are entitled to high-quality instruction and access to challenging content that fully prepares them for an active role in community, careers and postsecondary education.
- Students with disabilities are able to define success for themselves and have opportunities to apply their unique gifts and abilities to support their school community and advance their personal goals.
Strengthened Sense of Aloha:
- All schools are inclusive and as such have a collaborative and respectful school culture where students with disabilities are presumed to be competent, have opportunities to develop positive social relationships with peers, and are fully participating members of the school community.
Strengthened Sense of Total Well-Being:
- Inclusive education creates and sustains an inclusive educational community where each student is empowered to learn, achieve and realize his or her potential. They are encouraged, supported and have the confidence to contribute and participate in their all areas of education; extracurricular activities: sports, school government, clubs, etc.
Strengthened Sense of Hawaii:
- Students with disabilities have access to content learning experiences that enriches their sense of place and culture. All students have opportunities that enhance their ability to be contributing members of their community, State and Nation.
Adopted February 10, 2017