Leadership for Inclusion of Students with Disabilities (LISWD)
Participant Course Workbook
Download or print a copy of this document to use as you work through the Reflection
activities of the course. In order to receive in-service credits for your participation in
the course, submit the finished document to a supervisor who will verify the
completion of all responses as a part of the requirements. As a future
professional development exercise, reflect on this document to see if or how your
answers have changed, or to add more information.
Unit 1: Why School Leadership Matters for Students with Disabilities
Reflection: The Role of Education in the Struggle for Equality
Compare and contrast the struggle for equal treatment by people with disabilities with that of other groups
who have sought equality in the past. Note your thoughts on how education played a role in these events.
Reflection: Productive Lives for Children with Disabilities
Collect your thoughts on this topic and Anne's powerful message. The Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention offers the information linked to below on prevalence and other factors for specific types of
disabilities. It may help you to formulate your thoughts on how to apply Turnbull’s work to ASD and other
disabilities seen in your own school.
Reflection: Principals Supporting Students with Disabilities
As you view the video, identify several key activities principals implement in supporting students with
Reflection: Five Dimensions of Leadership
Consider the Five Dimensions of Leadership; an inclusive culture, instructional leadership, teaching
effectiveness, collaboration, and parent/family/community involvement and answer the questions.
In which of these lies your greatest strengths?
Are there any in which you feel your performance can improve?
Reflection: Leadership Dimensions
As you view the video, reflect on leadership dimensions presented in this unit and respond with ways that
you see these being applied by the school leaders in the video.
Check Your Knowledge Responses
Compare and contrast IDEA, ADA, and Section 504.
Describe, in detail, the performance gap between students with and without disabilities.
List the two strategies leaders can adopt to achieve equitable outcomes.
Define the meaning of the term,
enviable life
, and name its components.
Describe how Florida's educators help children achieve the Florida Standards, and what happens when
this is not possible. Be specific, and include MTSS in your answer.
Name and describe the two sets of principal standards Florida's education leaders should follow.
List the five dimensions of leadership taught in this unit, and provide an example of a best practice for
each one.
Unit 2 - Achieving Effective Inclusive Schools: What Is Inclusion?
Reflection: Inclusion
Write a short summary on your present thoughts about inclusion. Use the following to guide you:
o In general, what are your personal thoughts about inclusion?
o What experiences have you had with people with disabilities who have been included?
o What experiences have you had with people with disabilities who have been excluded?
o How do teachers you know respond to inclusion, and why do you think this is?
o How do principals you know respond to inclusion, and why do you think this is?
o What, in your opinion, influences principals’ perspectives about inclusion?
Reflection: What Makes Inclusion Successful?
As you view video trailer for the documentary, Including Samuel, answer the question, “What makes inclusion
work well, and what makes it fail?” from each of the following perspectives:
Samuel’s principal
Samuel’s teacher
Samuel’s parent
Reflection: Effective Inclusive Schools
Read and reflect on page 17 of Section 1 of The Handbook of Effective Inclusive Schools: Research and
Practice. This subsection answers the question, "What are qualities of effective inclusive schools?" Include
a list of the qualities outlined in this chapter.
Check Your Knowledge Responses
Define inclusion, using the Florida Statutes and IDEA in your answer.
What is the current prevalence of inclusion in Florida's general education classrooms?
What qualities do effective inclusive schools share?
Where do the greatest challenges lie for principals implementing inclusive practices? How can these
challenges be overcome?
Unit 3 - The Principal’s Role in Developing Effective Inclusive Schools
Reflection: How to Determine Inclusivity
A school that considers itself inclusive may not actually be implementing inclusion very well, leading to
complaints from parents and teachers. What are some steps the principal can take to assess the issues and
respond to parent concerns?
Reflection: Answering Valid Concerns
Take the perspective of a teacher who is reluctant to include children with disabilities in a general education
classroom. Think of one or two valid questions or concerns that teacher might voice. Include possible
appropriate responses to those concerns from a principal.
Check Your Knowledge Responses
Name areas of school operation or organization that may change as a school becomes more effective
and inclusive.
Cite concerns that teachers might voice during a change initiative. What can be learned from these front-
line points of view? How would you address these concerns?
Name the four areas of leadership critical to the development of an effective inclusive school. Include
components of these areas in your answer.
Provide specific examples of the roles each of the four areas of leadership plays in achieving and
maintaining an effective inclusive school.
Unit 4 - Instructional Leadership for Students with Disabilities
Reflection: Overlapping Dimensions
Examples: Setting high expectations.
Ideally, the four key dimensions of leadership overlap for maximum effectiveness. Think of examples of how
this is true, in your own experience, and record your thoughts. Use the diagram in the course to help organize
your thoughts. Include at least 2 examples for each dimension.
Examples: Promoting a positive disciplinary climate.
Examples: Facilitating high quality instruction and progress monitoring.
Examples: Supporting teaching effectiveness.
Reflection: School Vision
After viewing the video, write your school's vision or mission statement.
What is the vision/mission of your school?
Do you think your successfully communicates that all stakeholders have high expectations for
all students, including those with special needs? If so, how?
If you were to conduct a needs assessment at your school for developing or updating its mission or vision
statement, in what areas would you ask teachers to provide input?
In what areas might you ask parents to provide input?
Reflection: Instructional Leadership
After viewing the video, answer the following questions.
What were the key themes in the video?
What specific features of instructional leadership were evident?
Who performed the instructional leadership roles?
Reflection: Distributed Leadership vs Delegation
What do higher levels of distributed leadership in your school look like?
Check Your Knowledge Responses
How do the high expectations of the principal and teachers for students with disabilities impact their
educational outcomes? Be specific, and cite at least three examples.
What key dimensions of instructional leadership related to students with disabilities were identified in this
course? Name them and cite examples of their use.
What are collective and distributed forms of leadership? Compare and contrast them, as related to
students with disabilities.
Unit 5 - Facilitating Collaboration
Reflection: Mobilizing the Group
List several ways to motivate teaching staff when they are open and inclined towards making a proposed
change involving heightened collaboration. Then list several ways a principal may need to support and
encourage motivation when there is not teacher support for such a proposed change.
Reflection: Describing a Collaborative Culture
List specific activities that would take place in a collaborative school culture as it relates to children with
disabilities. Think about how teachers might report their experiences to one another, and to the principal.
Include both positive and negative reactions teachers may have, and sketch out several appropriate
reactions to these from the principal.
Reflection: Facilitating a Collaborative Culture
List specific activities that would take place in a collaborative school culture as it relates to children
with disabilities. Think about how teachers might report their experiences to one another, and to the
principal. Include both positive and negative reactions teachers may have, and begin to think through
appropriate reactions from the principal.
Reflection: Sharing Collaborative Practices
Reflect on a memorable time when teachers were seen working collaboratively and answer the following
What led to setting up this collaborative experience?
Who was involved?
What work were they doing?
How were they interacting?
What made this such a positive experience?
Reflection: Collaborative Co-Teaching
Make notes here on terms and phrases used in the videos that a principal can teach and reinforce as he
or she leads a teaching staff to a more collaborative culture.
Check Your Knowledge Responses
What are the key attributes of a school that possesses a collaborative culture for student and teacher
success? Provide examples for each attribute.
What are the characteristics of excellence in collaborative work by school professionals?
Name key leadership practices for principals to promote and sustain collaboration. Which of these do you
feel is the most important? Why?
How can major structures present in Florida's educational system and in individual schools be used to
enable teachers and specialists to collaborate in support of inclusive education? Name at least three and
give examples of how they can utilized to promote inclusion.
Unit 6 - Productive Parent Partnerships: Ensuring Successful Outcomes for
Students with Disabilities
Reflection: Supporting Family and Professional Partnerships
The video on this page in the online course highlighted the ways that family/
professional partnerships can be supported. Make a list of the examples that are shown.
Reflection: Barriers to Partnering
Outline some possible responses if you were presented with concerns related to barriers to productive
collaboration, such as parents who
have experienced prior discrimination against their child with disabilities,
and teachers’ lack of self-confidence in their ability to teach a child with a disability. What would you say to
potential concerns presented by
Reflection: The Importance of Trust
Reflect on the impact of trust on relationships, and the hundreds of relationships that are being conducted
simultaneously during the school day. What does this say about the importance of making a school a place
of trusting relationships?
Check Your Knowledge Responses
What has been the impact of IDEA on parental rights? How has it changed the ways parents
participate in their children's educations?
What are the benefits of parent/professional partnering? Be specific.
How does the traditional family involvement model compare to the parent/professional
partnership model? Which one provides the best student outcomes, and why?
Name the six key professional behaviors that facilitate successful collaborative relationships.
How do each of them contribute to securing the educational success of exceptional
How can parents best support student achievement in special education?
Unit 7 - District Support for School Leaders
Reflection: Taking Inventory
Assess the commitment of leadership to the education of children with disabilities today, evaluating the
federal, state, and district levels. Cite several strengths and weaknesses.
Reflection: Learning from Josh Garcia
Review Garcia’s work using the links in the online course. Take several notes on ideas, theories, or work
that may serve as an inspiration later.
Reflection: Targeting Student Outcomes
Consider what these themes mean for educating students who present a variety of needs that affect their
academic learning, emotional and social growth, and functional independence. After reading the article,
write a short paragraph on each theme.
Defining and Measuring Success:
Being Upfront:
Facing New Accountability:
Reflection: Integrated Academic and Behavioral Support
After reviewing the SWIFT framework Field Guide, write down some related ideas that can lead to the
integration and provision of academic and behavioral support targeted to improve outcomes for all students
through equity-based inclusion.
Reflection: Monitoring Progress
What about Tacoma's Strategic Plan and the story provided stands out and how does it compare to
the inclusion of students with disabilities in your own school or district?
Does your district have a strategic plan? If so, gain access to it and review it. Outline the ways it
compares and contrasts with Tacoma’s plan.
Reflection: Collaboration
After watching the video, respond to the following questions:
What stands out about the collaboration between school-based and district level leadership?
How does this compare to your own school and district?
After reviewing the priorities in the Tacoma School district's strategic plan and recommendations for improving
outcomes for students with disabilities, answer the following questions.
Are there things you can do to foster this type of collaboration with your district in ways that can lead
to improved outcomes for students, just as it did for Santiago High?
Reflection: It's Your Move
What must principals keep in mind to work effectively with other school and district leaders to ensure
students with disabilities receive meaningful opportunities to learn the academic, technical, and personal
skills necessary to thrive in a complex world? Respond based on your current thinking.
Check Your Knowledge Responses
How do challenges facing principals become more manageable with system-wide leadership teams
that oversee focused initiatives and monitor agreed-upon practices?
How is results-driven accountability changing the ways that local special education administrators
interact with principals to foster excellent and inclusive teaching and learning?
What four strategies can LSEAs or district exceptional student education (ESE) directors in Florida
demonstrate when supporting school leaders in serving students with disabilities?
How can principals and special education administrators work together to create cohesive and
inclusive instructional leadership for all learners?
You have reached the end of the participant Course Workbook for the Leadership for Inclusion of
Students with Disabilities Course. Please follow the instructions in your Follow-up Activity
document for submitting these responses as a part of the requirements needed to pursue in-
service credit with your district.