All In: Including students with significant support needs

Good Things In Life Podcast episode 098 thumbnail with Drs. Julie Causton and Kristie Pretti-Frontczak
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Choice is the friend of inclusion. Now, more than ever we need to feel ready and inspired to teach all of our students, Pre-K through 12th grade. It’s all about creating the most inclusive educational system possible where every person (big and small) not only survives, but thrives. 

In this podcast (an audio recording of a webinar with inclusive education experts Drs. Julie Causton and Kristie Pretti-Frontczak), Causton and Pretti-Frontczak share the “why’s” behind inclusion and share some of their favorite (and most effective) strategies for differentiating and supporting ALL learners. To build truly inclusive schools, we need to recognize that embracing diversity means embracing different abilities. Moving from a medical model of disability, centered around deficit and pathology, toward one that embraces all the different ways kids learn benefits all kids, not just those with disabilities, and benefits the entire academic culture of a classroom overall. Listen to this webinar to think about a new type of IQ: not the intelligence quotient of individual children, but the “inclusion quotient” of a school.

End the agony of navigating IEPs! This free video series for parents will take away the mystery and uncertainty of the IEP process. Know your stuff, advocate with confidence and ensure your child has the supports they need to succeed. You can learn more and join us by clicking here.

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Genia  (00:00:02):

Welcome to The Good Things In Life podcast, I’m Genia Stephen. Today’s podcast episode is the audio version of a webinar presentation that was given by Julie Causton and Kristie Pretti-Frontczak on November 10th for The Good Things In Life audience. The webinar was called All In: Including pre-K to Grade 12 Students With Significant Support Needs. One of the things that I loved about the presentation was how Christy and Julie really embedded in their webinar. Excellent and easy tools, strategies, tactics for building inclusive classrooms. I look forward to hearing what you think about this, how you think that, um, or you know, what your biggest takeaways were, and we will jump right in. Welcome everybody. Thank you so much for joining us today. My name is Genia Stephen from Good Things In Life, and I’m thrilled to be hosting this webinar with Julie and Kristie . I won’t take up any of your time with introductions. I’ll let Julie and Kristie introduce themselves and we will jump right in. Thank you so, so much for your time today and Julie and Kristie . Thank you so much for creating this opportunity for people.

Kristie (00:01:27):

Thank you. Thank you, Genia.

Julie  (00:01:31):

Welcome everyone. I love it. I’m loving reading what’s going on in people’s lives. Um, we’re just gonna start out by letting you know that we’d love it. If you chat the whole time, so feel free. It’s not like it’s interrupting if you’re just saying Hey or good idea or what, or tell us again, it really just helps us stay engaged with you all, which is something that we feel really strongly about. Um, so Kristie and I are here. I’m joining from New York

Kristie (00:01:54):

 And I’m joining from Ohio and we’re wearing our matching co-teaching shirts today. Everyone belongs here and we have three countries and counting Julie, any that I missed a couple, but super excited. We have folks from India and Canada and all across the US, so keep letting us know where you’re zooming in from today. Um, we love to see where everyone is. And just know, come, go, as Genia has said, it’ll be recorded.

Kristie  (00:02:17):

And we know that you’ve got lots going on. Uh, several of you on Dayton is in the house and lots of folks from Arizona too. So just come and go, be comfortable. Do you need to do, and we’re going to fill your, your hearts and your minds and your hands with all kinds of ideas. 

Julie (00:02:36):

Yeah, very cool. So if you don’t know who Kristie and I are, we’ve spent our whole life focused on Inclusive Education. How do we make sure that schools are prepared to meet, support and celebrate the range of diversity in our schools? And so today we’re going to give you a sneak peek of a big event. Um, and if you just joined us today for the sneak peek, no problem at all. If you’d join us, if you decide to join us for the live event, it’s going to be awesome. So that’s just what we want to tell you, relax, be yourself. Someone said, I want to multitask. You should. If you’re making your bed or unloading your dishwasher, I’ll have to say is bravo to you because that’s

Kristie  (00:03:12):

Come on over and do my next, if you don’t, mind

Julie  (00:03:17):

Should we jump in?

Kristie  (00:03:18):

Yeah, let’s do it. Let’s do our opening activity just to get us moving anybody. That’s kind of, so one of the things that, um, so Julie and I love to co-teach and, uh, one of the things we love to do is get to know you all and get some movement right away and get us fired up about what we’re going to do. So Julie’s going to walk you through some options and what you’re going to hear Julie say every, I don’t know, three minutes is that choice is the friend of inclusion. So watch for the choices that Julie’s about to give you as an adult learner. And then think about how much choice are we affording our, our children from pre-K to 12th grade post-secondary toddlers doesn’t matter. Humans love choice. So Julie , what are our choices to do this first activity?

Julie  (00:04:02):

Okay. So there are options about how to engage. If you’re someone like me who loves movement and love to be loud and all those kinds of things, I’m going to jump up and shout that’s me. Um, if you’re someone who doesn’t want to jump up or shout or doesn’t have the verbal speech, or, uh, would CA care to indicate in any way, that’s me, that would be great. You have all kinds of options and none are better or worse. Kristie , how are you going to engage and why

Kristie  (00:04:29):

Keep myself un-muted. So I’m gonna yell out, but I’m not gonna stand up. Cause I have a puppy on my lap that just fell asleep. So I’m going to yell and move my arms, but not my body. Um, folks can type it. You can, Julie always says stay muted and just yell it out into the room. If you’re in a co-living co-working space, maybe you just need to sign it or draw it, but we’re just going to yeah. Use emoji. That’s great. Genia so we’re gonna just, um, plays a little game and Julie’s going to jump up and show the best way to move around. All right. We’re ready, Julie.

Genia  (00:05:04):

Oh, jump up and shout that’s me if you ate breakfast today. 

Kristie  (00:05:11):

Oh, I did.Okay. 

Genia  (00:05:13):

Jump up and shout that’s me. If you had coffee today.

Julie  (00:05:17):

I bet Kristie did. 

Genia  (00:05:22):

Jump up and shout that’s me. If you read a book lately, just for fun.

Julie  (00:05:30):


Genia  (00:05:30):

Jump up and shout that’s me. If you’re carving this time out just for yourself right now, like, meaning you’re hiding in a closet, you put a sign on your door. You’re under your desk. I don’t really know if you’ve, if you’ve sort of squirreled yourself away right now. Shout that’s me. 

Kristie (00:05:48)

That’s me. And jump up and shout. Lastly. That’s to me, if you’re excited to be here

Kristie  (00:05:53):

And I’m super excited, my friend Sheila, from Colorado’s

Kristie  (00:05:58):

In the house, we’ve got so many friends, Julie.

Julie (00:06:01):

Yeah, I know. It’s so fun to see who’s here. I’m afraid I’ll get distracted and start to be like Michelle Components here. For example,

Kristie  (00:06:08):

I get distracted because we get lonely because you know, we don’t ever get to see you all anymore. We used to travel all the time and see you.

Julie  (00:06:16):

Yeah, that’s fabulous. Hi Sheila.

Kristie  (00:06:18):

All right. So that’s just a fun, little way to get opening, but what we want you to take away from it is that choice is the friend of inclusion.

Julie  (00:06:27):

So we’re going to have lots of questions. We’re going to have lots of ways for you to take notes. Um, and this is what I thought is anytime we share a big idea, we want you to outline it, draw it or write it. So I have a way to capture it. Some people say, can we take screenshots? Yes, you can do anything you want to capture your learning. Our preference though, is that you capture your learning, um, and figure out a way to do that. So put in the chat, how do you plan to capture your learning today?

Kristie  (00:06:58):

For me, I like to take notes and Julie and I have like, she has like tons of pens and I have a favorite pen. So I always have the universal vision elite that I’m going to write with. And I like to write, like it has to come out in my head and through my hand. Um, what else does anybody got? Okay. Sticky notes, screenshots. Julie, what are you doing today?

Julie  (00:07:17):

So today I’m, I’m probably not going to take notes at the moment, but what I have every single day is my, uh, beautiful list of reviews. That’s written in flair forms because I care very much that it looks pretty. I’m noticing that people are sharing that some people like to outline, some people like to screenshot and write. Here’s our point. The more we make education standardized there’s one way. Then it means most people don’t get to use their best way. Okay. And so we have to stop thinking that writing is the way to take notes and anyone who really doesn’t write, we can’t really include them. We have to think that capturing information is the way that we’re learning. And you can capture information in about 100 different ways and they should be equally valued. They should be equally valued

Kristie  (00:08:11):

And always remind folks of different options and share it because maybe you were inspired by something that someone posted in the chat quick couple of things, about a webinar to y’all. Um, there’s a question and answer place to type, and there’s a chat place. You can do both, but if you’d like to see what everybody’s doing, kind of in real time, use the chat. And then if you have a question I’m guessing Genia will help us. And Julie, I’ll try to watch the Q and A as well. That might be an easier place to ask a real question, but we’ll have time at the end as well to make sure we’ve answered everything.

Julie  (00:08:44):

Yeah. Thank you. And I just want to say thank you to Genia for having us today. I’m super, super excited to be in your orbit and to be working with all of the incredible humans that regularly work with. And I’m just really excited to do that. We’re going to go fast because some of you might know who we are and some of you might not know, but I think it’s important because I’m always like arms crossed. Who are these people? So here’s who we are. My name is Julie. My son introduced me to his second grade teacher and said, my mom’s a doctor, but not the kind that helps people. So you might find that to be true also. Importantly, um, I taught elementary, middle and high school, special education, always as an inclusive educator. Uh, and I most often co-taught, um, across all of those areas.

Julie  (00:09:32):

And right now, then I was a professor at Syracuse University for 14 years, and then I left. And now I am the CEO of Inclusive Schooling. And recently I’ve paired up with Kristie and we’ve been doing all sorts of cool stuff and I’ve done a bunch of research. I have cute family. So this is what we’re seeing next. My very cute family. Um, yay. Darlene near here. Darlene just had a grand baby. She just had her grand baby. Oh, excited. Okay. Um, my family, this is my wife, Ellen and my kids, Ella and Sam. And, uh, look how pretty we are when we dress up cute. So that’s what you need to sit there. And then you might need to know about my animals and pets. This little new one on the bottom is Maizel who used to be tiny and is now maybe 80 pounds and is kind of fabulous. So we’re going quick because some of you know, us and some of you don’t, so we don’t, we’re not

Kristie  (00:10:21):

And we’ll, we’ll tell you some fun things you may not know about us. So, so those of you who know us, see if you can guess a couple of things here in a minute that you may not know about Julie or me. Um, so, uh, my mom, uh, like Julie’s son says that I’m a doctor, but not the real kind. So there you have it. Um, and so my background is early intervention, um, infants and toddlers, and then primarily preschool or early childhood special ed. So together, um, Julie and I got this pre-K to 12, uh, love affair going. And I too was faculty for a long time, 16 years at Kent State University here in Ohio. And then I left in 2013 and started my own company. And my research is almost always focused on inclusion, which we often talk about as terms of blended practices and around authentic assessment, which is, um, familiar people in familiar settings with familiar toys, doing familiar things.

Kristie  (00:11:22):

And the thing that I’m most passionate about is professional development, this sort of thing, hanging out with adults and finding ways to transform our practice. And then my family not quite as cute or as plentiful. This is my husband. Mike, we’ve been together for 30 years. Um, we met in the Great State of Idaho. I don’t know if we saw any Idaho Inns today or if, uh, sharp mains on, but if anybody’s from Idaho, you could say, that’s me kind of close to some of the Western States and tell, and, uh, played the violin and the Idaho State Civic Symphony. Another thing you may not know about me is that Julie got to do the button and I’m doing it okay. Uh, that I don’t like to fly. And so the only thing I can think COVID for is that I don’t have to fly right now because before COVID, I would fly sometimes weekly and I don’t like to fly. And then the third thing, which you may not know about me, but actually everybody that knows me knows about me

Kristie  (00:12:22):

Is I love beer.


Like, what do we not know about you? Let’s see, folks can guess, let’s see if Darlene knows this.

Julie   (00:12:31):

So you can put any, any guesses in the chat about things that you might not know about me. Um, and I’ll you I’ll welcome them. Uh, the first thing is I had an imaginary friend growing up named Penelope. Um, yeah, Lisa, I love rubber chickens. Thanks for adding that.

Kristie  (00:12:46):

That’s true. Lisa knows this.

Julie  (00:12:49):

Um, I’ve written a children’s book called The Too Much Unicorn and it’s about a little girl. Who’s too much everywhere she goes, which is a little bit of an autobiography. And, um, I really love this book so much. Um, and in high school, my hair was on fleek. Are you ready to see it?

Kristie  (00:13:06):

You don’t know what fleek is. Here you go.

Julie  (00:13:11):

There it is. That’s my hair. I just wanted you to know. I feel like we now know each other better.

Kristie  (00:13:16):

Let’s say, well, what does this have to do with inclusion? Um, why do we spend this time getting to know each other? Because inclusion a synonym is having a sense of belonging. And so I, of course, cause like beer, I’ll use the analogy of the TV show that ran here in the United States for a long time back when we had fleek hair, uh, called, um, cheers. And the idea was that when norm walked into the bar, everybody would say

Kristie  (00:13:46):


Kristie (00:13:46):

And he felt welcome. He belonged there. He knew, and everybody knew what beer he wanted. And I know that may not sound like inclusion and that we should be like knowing what our kids’ favorite beers. No, but the idea is that we’re creating a sense of belonging for all of our children, no matter what their ages and no matter what grade they’re in and all of that. So this is really just a way to be thinking about we in this group today now have a sense of belonging. We know each other and we can support each other.

Julie  (00:14:17):

Beautiful. All right, you’re get dinner. I just want to make sure you know what our plan is. We’re going to start with, what’s the all-in extravaganza. Then we’re going to talk about the, what, why and how the what and why of inclusion and three house. So we’re going to get into three major houses of inclusion, and then we have a giveaway. I don’t even know if Genia knew that we were planning to do a giveaway, but we’re going to do a giveaway for the all-in extravaganza. So, um, that’s going to be cool and how we’re going to do it is pick from the chats. So if you’re someone who’s going to want it, the more you chat, the more options there are to win. So just so you know, that’s why, what we’re doing. And then we have time for Q and A. If we go, we have time for Q and A. 

Kristie (00:14:57)

That’s no great time. I’ll watch the time.

Julie  (00:14:58):

Okay, good. So here is you might’ve heard of it already. Um, and Genia just said, can you come talk about this event and tell us a bit about what you’re doing? So a big, big event that we’re holding, um, is called All In and it’s a one day virtual inclusive extravaganza. Um, a lot of people want detail right away. Like what are we going to do? And what does it look like? This is an example of the schedule the day it’s November 19th from 9 to 4. And we would love it if people came as teams or as individuals, anyone who supports a student with more significant support needs. Um, and as you can see on here, we’ve got live breakout sessions. We’re going to do a whole big segment on behavior. Um, we’re going to talk about the legal midst of inclusion, and we’re going to also talk about your school’s inclusion quotient, which is how inclusive is your school setting. And so we’re really excited to reveal some of these bigger pieces.

Kristie  (00:15:57):

So today is really a sneak peek. So you’re going to leave with, um, very specific practical things you can apply immediately, hopefully already just knowing that choices, the friend of inclusion, you’ve walked away with something or thinking about how do we create a sense of belonging and maybe that’s not writing an IEP about friendship, right, Darlene. But how do we create true sense of belonging? And so Julie and I have this all day event in, uh, November 19th. And we’ll tell you more about it at the end of today’s masterclass. Um, but we wanted you to know that that’s what this day’s masterclass is related to as a, who’s it for Julie. Who’s coming?

Julie (00:16:34):

Yeah. So right now, um, it’s 4 general ed teachers, special ed teachers, parents, teaching assistant administrators, coaches pre uh, just any pre K 12 teachers and any teams, uh, really essentially if you know, or love anyone with a significant support need, this is a really cool day for you. And a lot of people say to us, how do you get your school to be more inclusive? Does the tip, send them here, tell them about this, that we’ll take care of the hearts, the heart, the mind, and the skillset. That’s what the day is about. Um, but this is our recommendation for you. Um, if you want to register, like if you already know you want to register, you can just take a screenshot of this, uh,, and we’ll answer any questions. So we wanted to know people, if you want to know more about it, we’ll answer more questions later. Okay. Now we’re going to turn, let’s get into the good stuff. So what of it? So a lot of people say to me, what do you do for a living? You know? And, um, I’ll say inclusive schooling is what I do. It’s what I dream of. It’s what I eat, sleep, drink, and who I hang out with. And they say something like, Oh, we tried that last year. It didn’t work right. Or we don’t, we’re not really into it. 

Kristie  (00:17:50):

Um, or we’re setting goal to be 1%. More inclusive by next year.

Julie  (00:17:52):

Yeah. Right, right. And that’s where I say, you’re either inclusive or you’re not, it’s not as sort of thing. So anyway, well, let’s talk about the what, and here’s why the more you’re clear on what are we talking about? The more everyone that you’re really trying to help become more inclusive can understand. So if you’ve worked with us at all, you know, we use this definition, um, by Norman Koontz and he, the man was cerebral palsy and he says, this inclusive education is the valuing of diversity within the human community. When inclusive education is fully embraced, we abandoned the idea that children have to become normal in order to contribute to the world. We begin to look beyond typical ways of becoming valued members of the community and in doing so realize the achievable goal, achievable goal of providing all children with an authentic sense of belonging. And so I just would love it. If in the chat you put, what strikes you about this paragraph?

Kristie  (00:18:56):

And Julie, I put the download to the handout in case anybody would love to laminate this, share it like Halloween candy. Yeah. Rachel, the whole thing. Right. So go ahead, look at it yourself at your own pace, we’ll be quiet for a second and then write in the chat or stamp it on your forehead. What really is the takeaway from this for you, Jennifer? Yes.

Julie  (00:19:26):

Normally I hate that word. That’s the other funny thing is we spend so much time and energy in schools figuring out just how abnormal is this child, how many standard deviations below the norm are they on this particular subset? Right? And yet most of us have all kinds of what we’ll call abnormalities. If we’re going to use the medical model, we have all kinds of differences and all kinds of deficits and all kinds of challenges. And so I would say special education has become obsessed in a negative way, obsessed with difference as deficit. Yeah. And this is the opposite of that. It’s the,

Kristie  (00:20:04):

When you talk about inclusion is a right, not a Rite of passage. If you’ve seen Julia, I share that phrase before. What we’re trying to say is just this, that all humans we’re here already. We’re already diverse. And when we look at it as a deficit and we look at all the barriers that society puts up, that’s when we start to go, Hmm, I don’t know. It’s hard. Can they be included? Are they ready to be included? We’ll try a little inclusion for a couple of hours. That’s when we miss the boat. If we really embrace this notion that everyone belongs, we’re already here and how can we remove the barriers?

Julie  (00:20:48):

I’m just loving what you’re writing everyone. It’s just so fun to see, um, Kristie hristie and I, aren’t going to get too far into this particular piece on the larger day we will. But what you need to understand is inclusion is an idea as we first talked about, and then it’s a practice and it’s a practice that involves more than is a kid’s butt in the chair. It is more than much, much more than that. It’s a classroom model. It’s a strength-based approach. If the schedule where kids aren’t coming and going to get their needs met, it’s a curriculum that’s rich and accommodating. So it’s a general ed curriculum. That’s rich and accommodating. It’s a teaming process. So when inclusive education is fully embraced, you never hear someone say so-and-so’s kids or my kids or your kids or Diane’s kids or Jeff’s kids, uh, it’s our students. And then lastly, it’s a classroom climate that embraces diversity. The word embrace is really key here. It’s not about tolerating diversity or putting up with it or allowing it, or it’s way beyond all of that. It says that your diversity makes our experience better. My diversity makes our experience better.

Kristie  (00:21:57):

And Julie, maybe you can stop sharing your screen for a minute and just share a little bit more about how that all of those words look in practice. When we talk about like, why do you need French class or why you can be pulled out from Yeah. Circle time, you know, tell that story maybe. 

Julie  (00:22:12):

Okay. So yeah, I had a, I’ll call it a heated debate. Some maybe you would call it an argument, but I do recall it was pre COVID. And I remember the person spit flying at my face and his droplets were hitting my face. And he was saying to me, Dr. Causton, quite frankly, what will Stephanie get at a Romeo and Juliet? And Juliet was hit with a big spray of splash. Right? So I w I dragged my face and said, um, wait, frankly, what does anyone get out of Romeo and Juliet? And please explain to me why Stephanie has to prove that she’s going to get something out of it in order to get access to it. Um, this was in the middle of a litigation. It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t uncomfortable, which is a lot of the conversations I have.

Julie  (00:22:59):

Aren’t pretty or comfortable, but guess what? When she got access to Romeo and Juliet, and when she created the world’s best PowerPoint, instead of an essay, she taught more to the rest of her classmates. And she’s a person with down syndrome. She taught more to the rest of her classmates. Then probably the teacher did about Romeo and Juliet because she had the all-time best summary that she had come up with. Anyway, my point is this. We don’t have to prove that we need access to things, kids, our kids shouldn’t have to prove that they’re going to get something out of it. Our job as educators is to make sure that everything is accessible through access points. I don’t know if that’s the story you’re hoping I shared. That was the story. Okay. That’s what it was now with new, with new COVID droplets in a, you never heard it that way.

Kristie  (00:23:42):

Frightening. So we’re talking today about the mindset, the heart set and the skill set, and you’ll see that in different things that we’re talking about. And so it’s not like here’s the magic bullet for mindset, and here’s the magic bullet for heartset. All of these things are kind of interwoven. There are different ways of approaching their different reframes, if you will. They’re practical things that we can do as well. So just know that some of it might sound like theory or ideas, or how do I get people to think that way? And it’s really a sort of like a quilt that we’re going to put together by the end of our hour together.

Julie  (00:24:22):

Now we’re making quilts I’m into it. I don’t know the first thing that I use and I’m worth helping our hope is to help you have more ways to explain inclusion to people. Because if you’re here, it’s likely that you already understand it on many levels. So we’re not teaching you this as if this is the first time you’re learning it, we’re teaching it to you so that you can keep it, take it and utilize it in your own world with your own teams. So I always say this disability is diversity, and I use any other type of diversity. Since I’m a lesbian myself. I often say we would never take all the kids that are considered LGBTQ and stick them in a room by design and say, that’s where the gay kids get educated. Nobody would allow it. It doesn’t make any sense. A long time ago, there was something called Brown vs board of education that said we can no longer segregate human beings by race. So why on earth do we think it’s okay to segregate human beings by disability? It’s not. And so the more we talk about this disability as diversity, it’s exactly the place that I put my energy when working with people who are resistant or sort of new to the concept.

Kristie  (00:25:39):

And so, Julie, um, I’m just, uh, sharing with some things in the chat. So it is, it’s an interesting question. Like Michelle was saying like their district is asking to provide research to prove her daughter should be allowed and, and all these things. So there’s a couple of things, our good friend, Pat Raydell, who is, um, a father of a young man with, uh, down syndrome, as well as a special education lawyer will be joining us on November 19th. And he can answer a lot of your questions about what are my legal rights and what are the myths around it. And then also there’s so many questions in there. Michelle, there is research that shows, um, time and time again, that everyone benefits from an inclusive model, knowing that an inclusive model is that definition that Julie shared earlier, and that texts full of all these things about your schedule, your curriculum, all of that is what we mean by inclusion and all humans benefit from it. So when we think of this idea of diversity and disability, this is the layering, and Julie’s going to talk a little bit more about how we come as complex humans and we have different identities. So even though you might be able to get in the door because you, um, don’t have an IEP, are there other barriers? And so gender, race, language, culture, SES. So we’re going to talk about how complex this gets. Okay.

Julie  (00:27:07):

Um, we just wanted you to see,

Kristie  (00:27:10):

I thought voting all of a sudden, when you said, when you grow, it

Julie  (00:27:13):

Has nothing to do with the election. I’m sure there’s some weird correlation, but I haven’t studied it. So I can’t say anything. But what we want you to know is that this is the, um, percentage of students with quote unquote intellectual disabilities. Um, and this comes from the research. So this is, uh, Julia White and Megan Kosher study in 2018 that says that by state more or fewer students are included. And to make it more complex, like your New York and, um, green means inclusive and orange means non-inclusive okay. So that’s just a quick way to get, I’m not going to spend a long time on this. What we want you to know is often people say families say to me, probably once a week, I am asked over email, where should I move in Georgia? Where should I move to in North Carolina? Where should I, and I am not a real estate agent. And I don’t even have a clue how to answer that question. But as you can see where you are on the map, depends how likely it is that your child will be included. And what that means to me is it’s all about the attitudes and perceptions of human beings in those schools systems.

Kristie  (00:28:21):

Julie can you go back to the US one, uh, some folks asked if they could see that again. 

Speaker 2 (00:28:26):

Yeah, sure. Keep going. Sorry to interrupt. [inaudible] whether we’re in New York or in the United States. Um, and it’s really, the point is it’s all about the geography where you live and its meaning it’s about the attitudes of the professionals in the school systems, uh, in your state or in your, uh, or in your city that let you know whether or not your child will be included. And so this, yeah, so Kimbra talks about this too. So where should I move in the United States, is not the answer because we don’t want to all move so that our students can be included. What we want to do is create more inclusive schools everywhere, everywhere, everywhere. It should be the standard. Uh, and it’s not. And when Kristie said heartset mindset and skillset, I hope you wrote that down because the why of what we’re doing, we get to in different ways, some people say, Oh my gosh, I know this kid who was included in that was amazing for them and their family or some people go, Oh, have you heard of least restrictive environment?

Julie  (00:29:30):

The law really requires it. Some people say the research. So someone’s school says, I want the research, the truth be told, we can give you stacks of research. I have to be honest, it’s a very cynical thing to say, but they don’t want the research because when you give them the research, it doesn’t mean they usually change their mind. And so what that is is another barrier. Like, can you provide me with the research so we can help you with that? But the research in inclusive education is more clear in inclusive education than any other area in education at all, to say this students with and without disabilities do better when they’re together, academically, behaviorally, and socially, academically, behaviorally, and socially, which are kind of the key piece of those schooling. Um, some people move into inclusion because of a personal connection. Some people because of stakeholder pressure, meaning families really, really, really drive the bus often. Some people because of ethical reasons and many other reasons you can go ahead and jot in the chat, if there’s any other, uh, reasons that you would say in terms of why to include kids. Um, and recently I was talking about this with a bunch of superintendents and some beautiful human superintendent raised her hand and said, I wish this slide said, why not?

Kristie  (00:30:56):

Yeah. Do you want me to set this one up? Julie, do you have your book? Yeah. So one of the other ways to think about this y’all is like, how do we do it? Other than all of us moved to some part in California, some part in New York or move to Canada, which is often a allure for those of us in the United States, um, is to really become what Julie calls a circle maker. And so I’m going to set it up and then she can tell you a little bit more about it and I’ll put a link in the chat, but circle makers are the ones that are doing this hard work around the mindset, heart set, and skillset. And it really is that combination. And it takes all of us to work at it. It’s not like there’s one way to do it. Even like when folks are asking Julie, well, we talk about how to support students with diverse abilities virtually.

Kristie  (00:31:46):

And so we’ll talk to you a little bit about it. The thing is what we know about how people learn is not unique to the format in which they’re learning. People think, Oh my gosh, we got to do it all different because it’s all online. It’s all virtual. The core things about what we know about how humans learn are constant global pandemic or not. There’s just different influences and different things that we have to tweak. So a circle maker is someone who can look beyond these arbitrary lines of test scores or special ed or typical and start to create communities of belonging. So Julie, tell a little bit more about circle makers as an idea, I’ll put the chat in the chat, a link where they can learn more and we’ll get into some strategies that circle maker.

Julie  (00:32:35):

Yeah. Great. So, um, this started, this project circle started cause PBS asked me to put something out there about inclusive education on their move to include a site. And so I created this idea around from moving from line makers, to creating large circles where everyone belongs and we can make those circles larger and larger and larger. And so there’s a video that you can watch for free. You can share it with people. Um, what I love the most maybe about this is not only does it share with you how to become a circle maker. It also talks about the line makers. And I think it gives a little bit of love to the line makers. And it says that line makers can become circled makers, uh, with the right strategies and supports. So, um, yeah, people are saying good video, feel free to check it out.

Julie  (00:33:19):

Um, it’s free. You can share it. It’s not a problem at all. And then we also have it as a, um, a children’s book and people have been reading this children’s book at a lot of professional development. So stuff just wanted to let you know that it exists. Um, so how to do that, we’ve talked about the what, we’ve talked about, the why, and now we have three house for you before, um, before our time is up. So Kristie said, it’s often about removing barriers to learning. And I’m going to pause right now and ask you, have you seen any house in the ways that we’ve done things today? So is there anything that’s felt particularly inclusive or particularly warm and welcoming or particularly helpful to you as a learner from the beginning of our seminar together, till now you want to restate that Kristie and we’ll can people can,

Kristie (00:34:13):

Is there anything that Julie or I did to remove a barrier that you normally would face? Or was there something that allowed you to experience a sense of belonging that you were in the right place? And this was just for you.

Julie  (00:34:29):

So Genia said choices, many options to respond the chat feature so that you’re always talking a personal connection. We tried, there are 200 some people, but we were trying, um, personal life. No, that we’re grounded and not judgmental. That is true. [inaudble] So we’re adding links. So if you’re a learner who is like, Oh, I got to know that. Now you get to go know that now. Um, thanks now are the pronouns in our names and titles that is inclusive in lots of ways, because many people by physical looks, um, you’re not identifying if it’s, if a person is male or female and many people are non-binary. And so your pronouns set out there for people say, Hey, I’m really open and welcome to your pronouns too. And when that happens, you’re creating a space where people can feel more welcome.

Kristie  (00:35:20):

Um, great. And so we, so what the takeaway of this is for those of your, like, how do we teach virtually, um, how do we teach well virtually. Just maybe pay attention to some of the comments about how folks are saying, Oh, I learned when you did. Oh, it would be helpful if we did. So like when we’re in person, when an educator has one way of delivering content, students have one way of consuming the content and one way to express what they know, which is usually spoken or written, then we start to go. Hmm. I’m not sure about that one. I don’t think they’re engaged. I don’t think they’re learning. I don’t think they’re above the mean when, if we would go, huh? How might we show this in different ways? How might we show this in interesting ways? And then how might the student show us what they’re learning and notice none of this cost us more. None of this was hard. None of it was tricky. It was just like, hi,

Julie  (00:36:23):

So people are mentioning there’s a lot of UDL going on. There’s a lot clear visuals. Someone said, we’re trying to break down big concepts with really plain language. That is a goal of ours because inclusion feels so difficult and so hard and so consu, consuming. And in reality, it’s about new access points. Well, it’s that part set that you belong here. It’s the mindset that I can help figure it out. And it’s the skillset of a bunch of access points, whether it’s, that just basically means there’s visual, there’s auditory, and there are multiple ways that you can engage in the learning process.

Kristie  (00:37:00):

So I’m going to just draw a couple of things on the slide before we move forward, you can share your screen or not. So thank you, Lisa and, um, Kate for noticing that, um, our co-teaching, but we want you to take that away and think about, let’s say, uh, how many of, you know, a student that has a paraprofessional or if you are a paraprofessional or aide or teaching assistant, say that’s me. All right. Drop it in the chat. If you’re an amazing human who is a pair of professional teaching assistant or aide, think about how can you co-teach with that other human? How many of you maybe hang out with an occupational therapist? How many of your early childhood folks like Sheila and you’re trying to support three-year-olds and four-year-olds, and five-year-olds virtually through their parent. So how do you use the parent or the therapist or the related service folks as a co-teacher and really starting to think differently about gen ed and special ed.

Kristie  (00:37:57):

Cause we don’t mean special ed takes all the kids with IEP, into a breakout room to revisit boring content. And then the gen ed teacher stays with everybody else in the main room. Like, that’s not what we’re talking about, we’re talking. Do you know if Julie, for me, like which one would be the special ed, which would be the general ed, maybe I’m a para and we’re just thinking about how we co-teach to support. And so then Julie , I wanted to build upon what Heather asked and you don’t always have to go to the student level. Like it can be overwhelming to go, Oh my gosh, I’ve got 45 humans or 20 humans or 70 humans on my, um, you know, roster.

Kristie  (00:38:36):

That’s a lot, there’s 115 of you in this room right now. That’s a lot. And I don’t have time to figure out, well, do you prefer it? If I say it, if I dance it. So, Julie, how do you think about doing meeting diverse needs without meeting each person’s need each moment? Does that make sense? How do you think about that? Yeah. 

Julie (00:38:59):

So some people go, Oh, I’ve got a student with autism and I have to think about how to meet this kids need all day long. Well sure. In some ways, yes, but better than that is considered the fact that all humans, like things broken down, clearly. All humans do really better in small group settings. So I don’t mean full the kids who have this kind of label or this kind of struggle, instead use breakout groups, use choice rooms, use all kinds of ways to separate each other so that everyone can get individualized instruction.

Julie  (00:39:28):

So you’re constantly thinking about the most diverse learner in your system, provides you with a roadmap for what most humans need. So what I do is I think of what I call the outliers, which is a research term. Do I think about the student who already knows this content and could probably teach it that’s many of you on this call right now, you could teach this. Um, and many of you are just learning it just new to it never met us before. Right. We’ve got a wide range of knowledge here. And so we’re providing a variety of ways that people can engage. Um, yeah. Yeah. 

Kristie (00:40:03)

So hopefully that helps you think all it’s like when we said, Oh, there’s this pandemic. And wow, I really learned that if I would plan for this kid, it helped everybody just keep that in mind. Versus I got a plan for each individual kid. It can be so overwhelming. It can paralyzes. Here’s another way to change your mindset.

Genia  (00:40:26):

February in Canada is inclusive education month. It’s also Black History month in the States, both movements or both months really are not just about remembering and honoring what has happened to people because of racism and because of ableism. But it is also about excellence. It’s about Black Excellence. It’s about excellence in inclusive education and in Inclusion Academy, which is Good Things In Life’s monthly membership in February, we’re going to be talking about excellence in individualized education plans. Individualized education plans, and for the planning for them often, regardless of where you live, starts around February, it’s the beginning of the IEP season. So in Inclusion Academy, we’re going to be working through some really high quality guidance around creating best practice IEPs. We’re going to be reviewing people’s kids IEPs, and we’re going to be getting some expert support in that. If you’re interested in learning more, if you’re interested in participating, you can go to

Julie (00:41:49):

Yeah. So this is really, really useful if you haven’t seen it before. So if this is new to you put new in the chat, just so we can get a sense of this is new to anyone here. Um, okay, good. It’s new to some people. Here’s the way that we used to think about disability. It’s called the medical model. It’s over on the left side of your screen. And here’s the it’s old fashioned thinking, and notice the words I’m using. I’m using it on purpose because I need educators to stop thinking in these ways. So I’ve been lately just calling it old fashioned, outdated, not appropriate, not what we’re doing anymore. And I recognize that there are plenty of people still using it. The medical model says that there’s something wrong with the individual human. It says, this model says, it’s a pathology. It’s an impairment.

Julie (00:42:40):

It’s a problem. And we need to fix or remediate it. Okay. That’s the medical model. And it’s like, um, you know, I’ll use, pull out instruction as an example. It’s like this, you go to the doctor. So you pull out of society, you get a little medicine and you get returned. It’s the same idea. We have a prescription of a reading, a reading intervention and get returned called remove remediate return. And it is a medical model. It is old fashioned. It is outdated. The social model is what we’re aiming for. It’s that society creates the barriers that disabled people. It’s that disability is just different. It’s just diversity. Okay. And our job as humans is to support and adapt everyone. This is an up-to-date, innovative, new, better way to think about disability. Some people are like, but wait, I don’t, I don’t know. It’s okay.

Julie  (00:43:40):

If that’s what you’re thinking, I’m going to use my son, Sam, for an example, he is legally blind. And so is there something wrong with Sam’s eyes? Uh, yeah, they’re pretty diverse. His eyes are different than most humans, eyes, many standard deviations below the norm, if we’re going to use that language. Now he is on his way to Brown university right now. You know, someone who’s done really well in school. And he only is disabled when he walks into class and he has no access to text. What if every teacher is ahead of time thinking Sam’s in class, I’m going to make sure there’s an auditory way for people to access the text. Then Sam has no challenges there. And so this is the social model of disability and the job of the educator is to remove barriers, to make sure he has access to everything. 

Kristie  (00:44:32):

I’m going to think about n irony of that story, Julie. And while I tell it, you be thinking about what can we cover in the next 15 minutes? What are our priorities? Okay. So hang in there, guys, we’re gonna, um, get you some more strategies and then we’ll have some time after, uh, Genia , if we can stay on for Q and Aand, and giveaways and all that. So it’s funny because Julie has two computers, one that she’s looking at, and then there’s one behind her because she has a walking treadmill. And sometimes Sam, her son uses her computer behind her, so that other one, and he blows up the font really big so he can see it. Well, what’s interesting is you would say Sam has a disability, not Julie. However, anytime Julie gets on her other computer after Sam, she can’t do anything because the font is so big and everything’s in a different place.

Kristie (00:45:17):

Now, all of a sudden she looks impaired. She looks like she has a disability. She’s slow. I’m like waiting on her, waiting on her, waiting on her. She has to restart her computer, but it’s just an example of how the barrier was created by the physical or social environment or her son had nothing to do with her. And so if we can accommodate, adapt, adjust, support her, then she’s back on track and can learn again. So I just wanted to that, I thought of that the other day, when you were struggling, how he turned the table, if you will.

Julie  (00:45:50):

Oh, that’s cool. Um, I, yeah, you didn’t say that before, but I love that thinking. It’s literally, I’m the one with the column when I get on that computer and it takes me a long time to figure it out. Um, and it relates to my speed and all those things. So that’s really a beautiful, you know, opposite example. If you’re wondering about, um, if you’re wondering about how do you demonstrate to people that kids with disabilities make everything better in your school setting? I was just thinking we don’t, I don’t have it planned, but, um, you can look at big tells of Oliver, which is the new PBS video that people can take and watch. Um, and so just so you know, if you Google, I think if you go get it, Julie , you keep going. Yeah. So take a look at that. If you’re someone who wants to keep it, who wants to prove that students, the most diverse students in our schools make our schools better than ever. And that’s what we really need to rethink.

Kristie  (00:46:42):

Okay. So just like that, Julie has the video, uh, where you can listen to this story, um, and get a download. Here’s the second part of a three part PBS series. The first one was about the circle makers and you can listen to it, share it, um, and get the downloads with the tips. That one, because of Oliver relates to this, um, with more practical ideas that we can cover in an hour. I put it in the link, Julie, so keep going. All right. What do we,

Julie  (00:47:11):

Yeah. So how we’re going to just talk about the idea. Number two, the how number two is that we actually restory our students. So I’m going to do this really quickly. Normally this is really quick. If you see these Winnie the Pooh characters, they all have positive attributes next to them. Now, if you take these same Winnie the Pooh characters, you can see that they have negative attributes written about them. If we’re going to do inclusive education, well, we have to stop looking at the negative attributes of our students, the challenges, the problems, the concerns. And we have to see our students through their strengths, gifts, talents, and abilities. We not only have to see them this way, we have to write about them and talk about them and plan for them using their strengths. I’m someone who has a long list of deficits. I’m not good at many, many things.

Julie  (00:48:11):

And I can get really stuck on things. If I’m seen in this way, I then I sort of operate in this way. If I’m seeing in this way, I sort of operate in this way. And that same is true for all of our students. Unfortunately, in school systems, we too often do this. We take a medicalize difference. So some of you are like, well, wait a minute. Do you think like down syndrome is not a disability? Do you think autism is not a challenge? Do you think that’s not what I think, but it is all diversity. And when we medicalized and problematize and use words like deficit and words, like disorders and old fashioned thinking, what we’re doing is we’re literally robbing our students of their potential. And so those are just thoughts that we want you to have and know we’re going to go way more into that later. Um, Kristie talked about diversity. Every single human we’re focusing today on disability, but let’s look at the whole concept of diversity from multiple ways. Every human who comes to us who needs support is kind of a trivial pursuit pie of identities. And we have to stop looking at a person through one lens only. Is that good? Kristie .

Kristie  (00:49:37):

Okay. Yeah. I mean answering questions in the chat. So you keep going, you’re doing great.

Julie  (00:49:40):

Okay. Notice Kristie Kristie , Christie’s providing all kinds of individual support for people. And so what we’re not doing is we’re not assigning a saying, you know, Genia really needs extra support today. So Kristie is going to be sitting side by side with her. She’s preparing supports for anyone who asks for it. And sometimes anyone who doesn’t ask for it. The third house, so I’m going to back up just so you can follow our thinking. If you’re taking notes, the soak it, how is that? We restory our students and we remove barriers. Okay. The first how in case you missed it is that we rethink disability. So I’m going to start from the beginning. Rethink disability is the first how. The second is restory our students, meaning we start with their strengths.

Julie  (00:50:30):

Another howis sort of built in there is we remove barriers, so students can shine. And the last how that we’re going to talk about today is, um, how you differentiate and remove barriers. And our favorite favorite way is choice. Constantly thinking that if students have a choice in how to participate, then they have more access points. What I’m not saying is, Oh, this student doesn’t use spoken language. So we’re going to have to bloody blah. Basically a student can type write, draw, sign, or point the answer, right? And I’m putting all of those, having equal value depending upon who’s in the classroom. So you’re always offering many different choices and those are called access points. Somebody asks him the question in the chat before about universal design for learning. We are going to get into universal design for learning in the larger day, but we’re just giving you a sample preview.

Julie  (00:51:29):

I don’t know. Um, this one is really, really good. It’s output. So choice in output. Do you want to write this with a pen or a marker? Do you want to work with friends or alone? Do you want to use this agenda? So you know what we’re doing? Would you like a word window? So you can follow along. Would you like big paper or small paper to do this? You want a friend to support you or an adult to support you. If you want to be by yourself right now, do you want your camera on or camera off now. Before you put in the chat, before you put in the chat, our district is mandating, blah, blah, blah, we get it. One thing we know to be true is lots of humans prefer cameras off. And they’re really, really engaged. In fact, all of you right now have your cameras off.

Julie  (00:52:15):

Put yes, right now, if you’re paying attention to every word that’s being said, just quickly put yes in the chat. If you’re hearing every word that’s being said, Hey, do you see what’s happening? So often people say to me, Nope. If their cameras are off, they’re not listening. That’s just like saying, if they’re not looking at me, they’re not listening. It doesn’t make sense. I hope you’re looking at the chat. It’s pretty much everybody. And if you’re not saying yes, we don’t care because it’s not, you can look at it at any point, but isn’t that fascinating. And then you can say things out loud in the chat. Okay. We’re trying to go quick. So we’ve got learning ways. So people really thinking about the ways that people are in a learning environment, the beauty of at-home learning is there are many more ways to be, to be comfortable, to get comfortable, et cetera.

Julie  (00:53:10):

Um, movements is the last big choice idea we’re going to talk about. And that is how do you put more and more movement into a student’s day and someone with ADHD as an attribute, if we’re going to medicalize by differences. And what that means for me is the I move, the more I learn. And so at-home learning is spectacular because I can step away, I can stand up. I can be on my treadmill desk. I can do all kinds of things, uh, that weren’t as possible or as comfortable in a, in a school building. And we’ve got lots of ideas for movement here for choice. Um, but wait, what about behavior Kristie?

Kristie  (00:53:47):

That’s of the bunch of the questions were, and I was like, we’ll try to give you at least one idea and we’ll talk about it on the 19th. And we’ve got these links to things. Okay, good. So you’re managing the behavior. So we for not very good satisfactory way.

Julie  (00:53:57):

Okay. So here’s what we knew. You’d say, what about behavior on the 19th? We’re spending a majority of the day on managing students with challenging behavior. Um, and many of you are like, but what if my kid won’t even attend to the computer? What if, what if, what if we’re going to do that on the 19th? Um, and we’re talking about it in a very different way than you probably anticipate. So, and let you know as well you would anticipate it. Um, we do not talk about antecedent behavior consequence. We do not talk about rewards and punishments. We only talk about humanistic support strategies. We chose not to talk about behavior today because given the hour that we had, it would take us about 30 minutes to set up before we could give you all of the strategies and ideas we have. If you want Kristie, do you have the book? I didn’t have mine. Um, I just wrote a new book on behavior called from belonging, From Behavior to Belonging. You can get it and start reading before the 19th. It’s filled with ideas and strategies. Uh, and it’s all, that’s what it looks like. It looks like a sun right there.

Julie (00:55:08):

Yep. It’s all about the how of it. And we’re going to do so much of it on the 19th. Um, okay. Good day we did it. Um, I think,

Kristie  (00:55:21):

I think we got some, so this is what’s going to happen. Y’all we’re going to do a couple of giveaways and then we’re going to transition into answering some questions or restating something maybe you missed or something in the chat that we put in. I even lost track. I was trying to find the menu of links of handout. So anyway, um, so yeah, so we want to first do a giveaway to our All In event on November 19th, um, which is this today’s masterclass is a sneak peak. So if you’re like, Ooh, yes, but I need more plan to join this on the 19th. Even if you can only attend part of the day, which will tell you about the schedule here in a minute, it’ll all be recorded. There’ll be a dashboard where everything will be housed and you can replay it when you need it.

Kristie (00:56:08):

When you want it. We call it just in time learning. Hello, Ms. Van Vermont. So we’re going to do a giveaway. You’ve just shown up just in time. If you’ve chatted anywhere in the chat, that’s our very scientific way of grabbing. Um, and so, like Julie said, we’re going to go deeper into behaviors. That can be challenging, especially when we’re working, uh, at a distance or we don’t really have a relationship with the student yet because we’ve been doing things virtually. We’re going to debunk a lot of myths around legal rights, primarily legal rights around the United States. However many countries have similar rules and legislation that would be applicable. Um, Julie and I will be doing a lot of the live sessions that will be recorded. Uh, as Julie mentioned earlier, we’re going to do this new thing that she has, which is instead of looking at students’ IQ, uh, and who’s below the norm, right? Who’s below the mean we’re gonna look at your district or your county, or maybe even your providence’s IQ so that we really create inclusive environments for all learners. Um, and then we’ll give you tons more mindset, heartset skillset strategies that help Julie, I go to.

Julie  (00:57:22):

No, you did great. The only thing that I want you to know is we’re measuring schools, inclusion, functions, not your kids intelligence question. So we’re starting to look at the unit of analysis instead of what’s wrong with this kid, we’re looking at how can we make this school so much better for every learner? And so that’s happening there. So some of you are just registering and Kristie, just the link if you use, I think the price point is 129, but I’m looking back as I don’t recall. Yep. And people are like, will it be recorded or will it be recorded? Yes. And you’ll get a dashboard filled with about one, a hundred resources if I were to guess, um, on how to do all of this stuff. So it’s a full day of learning with lawyers, with Kristie, with me and with a bunch of our friends that are going to be joining us to teach us all about this work. Um, someone said, will we get a copy of these slides? If you go to the event, you’ll get a key key, sorry. Key PowerPoint slides, um, that you’ll want to have. And that’s about what you need to know about that. Um,

Kristie  (00:58:26):

Something today, um, uh, Michelle tell us, and we’ll go back to that slide and you can grab a screenshot. And then some people asked about the book, Julie, where to get it either the, um, Belonging and Behavior book or the, uh, Circle Makers and so forth. I put a link to Julie’s website. I’ll do it one more time in case it got lost. Um,

Julie  (00:58:48):

Sorry. Genia is reminding us that Good Things 15 is 15% off the registration fee. I totally forgot that. So if you’re going to register, you put Good Things 15 for 15% off the event, that’s kind of important. So I just didn’t want to miss it. Um, can you show the house slide three? I surely will. Um, someone asked, where can you get the books? Amazon is fine. And then someone said do I , uh, the kids circle maker book too, is that Amazon, um, someone said, do we ship to Canada? That’s

Julie (00:59:22):

An Amazon problem or challenge. If you really, as Lisa, it’s our friend Lisa. So at least I, if you emailed us and figure out how to get us shipping, we’ll figure out how to send it to you. But that’s the, the issue there. Um, was this the three slide or did you want something else like this? I totally forgot about the discount to goodness, Julie we’re so, so thank you, Genia . Yeah, let us know what you need. We’re just now folks, a couple of things. We’re just going to be firing out answers and supporting you in any way we can. There is a red button in the bottom of your screen that says leave. It is not rude to leave. Julie . And I have renamed that button. Some of you know it, do you remember what we’ve renamed? It, it still says leave, but in our minds it says something else.

Kristie  (01:00:05):

And that is, um, love you got to go. So if you’re like, I got enough, just hit the red button and go, if there’s something you need, put it in the Q and A, I’m going to go over there now. Uh, thank you, Lisa, love you bye. Um, which one did they need, Julie? Which is the slide story. I’m not sure which one that one is. And, and Maureen, to answer the question about where the recording for today’s masterclass will go and then Michelle, yes, we will talk more about how to include students in virtual, um, hybrid or in person. We’ll try to make those connections and help folks understand how to support learners, um, virtually in the All In event. 

Julie (01:00:57):

We, you got, sorry. I just wanted to say one thing, someone just cited this link says kids with down syndrome. Thanks for mentioning that. When we created this event, it was created for a down syndrome association. They really wanted this full day event, but because we’re virtual, we were like, we can open it up. It’s for anyone, with any student that you really want included. Uh, and we’re really thinking about a team type approach.

Genia  (01:01:19):

So just wanted to let people know that I’ll be sending out an email with a link to the video replay. It will go out either tonight if I can pull it together that quickly, or first thing tomorrow morning. Um, and part of this recording will also be published on The Good Things In Life podcast. Um, so people will have long-term access to the audio recording as well.

Kristie  (01:01:41):

Maybe did Julie, did someone want the full Winnie the Pooh PowerPoint? Cause I’ll put that link in again, if you were looking for the, um, restory through the Winnie the Pooh analogy, um, I’m going to share a link to a YouTube video and in the description of the video is the PowerPoint, that’s a long story. That might be what folks are looking for. 

Julie (01:02:08):

So it’s a whole video of that Winnie the Pooh story I did about a three second version and we have a bigger version. Kristie will allow you to have access to that. So you can share any of that stuff too with people.

Kristie (01:02:08):

 Yeah. So just go to the YouTube video, where can watch Julie do the activity and replay that in professional development or staff meeting or an IEP meeting, and then in the description of the YouTube is a hyperlink to the PowerPoint, which you could download and reuse. Oh, thanks, Michelle. All right. More questions. Julie like go over there.

Julie (01:02:40):

Okay. So questions. Um, yes. There’ll be more on remote learning. Yes. It will be recorded. Someone put there. Yes, it here’s the problem. The timing it’s from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM Eastern Time. All right. If you have to do a convergence, but that’s how we’re running it, but it doesn’t matter if you don’t catch it live, you can see the recording. So it’s not a problem. Um, for our good friend, Kimber’s students not making progress on goals because of barrier, but school sees it as too hard and the system doesn’t support inclusion. So the discussion goes to placement and self-contained uh, how can we look at goals when general ed is too fast and content is too much? Um, Kimber, if you haven’t seen the I Advocate app that we have, it answers that question in the most full detail, but essentially, um, we have learned that schools use a lot of reasons to justify removal and too hard and too fast and too much is common.

Julie  (01:03:38):

And so what we teach schools is that our job is to slow it down, to select the just right and to provide the just right supports. And Kimber, I know this isn’t new to you cause I know you do advocacy work for a long time. So, uh, if you want to email us and you need more resources for this specifically, we can give it to you but I would also for free. Have you turned to the article I wrote called I’ll get it. Tell me what it is. Something like has the word advocate maybe in it. Hold on, let me just think about it.

Kristie  (01:04:09):

Okay. You can maybe find it. How do you get the, um, the app, Julie? Is it still through Syracuse?

Julie  (01:04:16):

No, it’s just on the iTunes app store. It’s just on X. What is it called again? I Advocate, I and then 

A D V O C A T E achieving inclusion as the article Kristie, that gives us a step-by-step guide to helping your school system. But Kimber, I found we do a lot of work with families with one kid at a time and the most powerful work it’s the work with the whole system and to teach everybody the why and the how, because otherwise a parent is, is sort of battling a larger system. And so our work is most often with schools’ systems. So if you have a school system and you really want them to get us in to teach everybody this stuff, first of all, you could an easy way is just invite them to the event, the All In event. If they don’t want to go, you can say, you can have a meeting with these people. And they do like Michelle is on, she’s an administrator. We did a bunch of professional development in her school system. Um, for three to five years, then what happens is we start to change the heart sets and, and skillsets of the educators there. And then parents don’t have to fight.

Kristie  (01:05:24):

So Lisa’s prompting you to tell them about the book, maybe the administrators’ handbook.

Julie (01:05:30):

Oh, well

Kristie  (01:05:31):

You can’t find the app. Is it possible to share a link? Yes, Rachel, I’m going to figure out that and I’ll get it to Genia . Um, once we find the actual link to the app.

Julie  (01:05:44):

So is this what people wanted? This is the principal’s handbook for Inclusive Practices, and this is for Administrators and it teaches them. It’s like the most step-by-step guide on earth. So we probably have a bunch of administrators here. It tells you how to redesign your school systems to be inclusive. Okay. The other thing is, if you want to attend the event, you can use that IQ measure, the Inclusion Quotient Measure to help move your school towards more inclusive practices for all students. All right. Ma’am rolling. Maybe

Kristie  (01:06:21):

Did you wanna see Stephanie’s questions. If there’s anything we could offer. Oh, did Jen, did you find the, um, app?

Kristie  (01:06:27):

Everybody love Jen’s pounds and she’s just coating Jen. Okay. So Julie, do you want to look at Stephanie’s?

Kristie  (01:06:33):

Um, and Michelle, I just want to like hold space for you for a minute, because I know that, um, sometimes you’re the only one being the champion and it feels like you’re banging your head up against a wall. So I just want to acknowledge that all the tools that we can offer you oftentimes can fall flat. If there isn’t a willing partner to dance with you. And so I just want to acknowledge that we appreciate, um, you keeping that up and if there’s anything we can do to keep supporting you, um, just name it.

Julie  (01:07:06):

So [inaudible] is also co-teaching with us. She said another good article is creating inclusive schools for all students. So that went, so we’ve written a lot of research articles. It’s not because Kristie and I love research or really get into that area too, you know, too enthusiastically, but it’s because it’s the language that some people speak. And so we try to speak the language of multiple people. Sometimes it’s useful because this one was written in, um, educational leadership is to take that article and a superintendent goes, Ooh, this was in ed leadership. Right. And it has some sort of cloud, um, and some people take it children’s book and they’re like, this is the way to move. It just says jump. So it really depends on trying everything you can. Um, thanks for all the great resources. Which book would you recommend to start with? Okay, Heidi, say more because if you’re talking about for families or for school settings, um, or behaviors, I mean, they’re all different, Jen. I love you. Thank you so much. I miss you too. So Jen is putting the I Advocate.

Kristie  (01:08:12):

I’m trying to figure out Julie, the IQ, um, maybe it’s best if y’all email me for the IQ measure. Um, I know we have a place to get it, um, and you’ll get it with some training during the 19th. And so if you can, um, email me, I just put my email in the chat. If there’s anything you want to, um, talk more about like Michelle or, um, anybody that couldn’t find something start with me. So you don’t inundate for Genia with where do I find? Um, just go ahead and contact me and I’ll try to connect you with anything that we didn’t cover today covered too quickly today and, or we’ll see you on the 19th where everything will be on a dashboard and you won’t be like trying to click and click and click. We will organize it all for you. Books, podcasts, articles, everything.

Genia  (01:09:09):

Just, yeah, just so you don’t get inundated with a request for the links in the chat though, for resources you’ve already provided. I’ll make sure that that goes out by email to people with the replay link. So wait for that folks. And then if there are missing resources, then, um, then, uh, get Kristie to send them to you and then send them to me in case it’s something I don’t have.

Kristie  (01:09:28):

And Nancy, that’s a really good question. And Julie and I have been playing around with it. Julie, uh, Nancy asks, if the IQ measure a school’s inclusion quotient is relevant to schools and remote learning, and yes. And we’re going to try to do a little bit of conversation about, um, specifically, because we’re now doing so much virtually and, or we might find some learners like it, even once we move beyond the pandemic, um, how do we think of different formats when we’re evaluating our school’s IQ? So again, we want you to think not so much about, is it virtual or in-person, but any way we deliver it. Whatever we are delivering to whomever we are delivering, what are the access points and can all learners have access? That’s our obligation, at least in the United States under federal law. So it won’t tease it out and say, Oh, when you’re on the computer, do these five things, because it’s really trying to reduce any barrier, regardless of format, content, age, grade service delivery model,

Julie  (01:10:35):

I’m hearing lots of questions. So I’m just going to kind of share the slim books, not to make it more confusing, but to help. Okay. Circle Makers. It’s really good for explaining what’s inclusion and why we need to change our thought process. Okay, this principal’s handbook, this is good for administrators. It’s a step-by-step guide to change a system. The educator’s handbook, it’s green. This is for every single general and special ed teacher about how do you do it? Then the 30 days to the co-taught classroom is how do you co-teach effectively for inclusion, occupational therapist handbook is about occupational therapy and how to do that. Inclusively the speech language pathologist handbook is for speech, language pathologists. Kristie has the behavior book. That’s all about it’s brand new through AFCD. And it’s about how do you move students from having significant behavioral issues. And instead of looking at the student as the adjective remediation, we look at the system and how do we make sure that kids feel safe and seen and sooth and secure and warm and welcome and excited to be there. And that our instruction is engaging and exciting. And, uh, we help people think about that totally differently. So that’s thanks, Christine. 

Kristie (01:11:59):

There’s a link to all the books and probably there are more that we didn’t have here. Yeah. And I’m going to my linked to, um, my books because for our preschool friends who want to look at blended practices and some other things I’ll do that one too. However, the books that Julie just talked about, um, really transcend age and thanks Jen for the Too Much Unicorn also. So any of those, uh, books are listed and described on the website and then all of the books are either available through Amazon or through the direct publisher. And if you need to get something that is in bulk, um, let us know and we can help connect you with our publisher, uh, and get those, um, maybe a bulk discount. Okay. Genia, you might have to stop us. I don’t know how long can we go? There’s 73.

Genia (01:12:50):

Yeah, I think we’ve, we still have

Genia  (01:12:51):

Quite a number of people still here. Um, and, um, there, maybe that’s why maybe you should definitely, you should definitely do that, but there are still three questions that I don’t think you’ve answered in the, in the Q and A you pick, you want to answers, what do you want to do first? Let’s do giveaway fast and then answers.

Julie (01:13:12):

So here’s what I’d like. I would love it if Genia you picked three people to get access to the All In event and I’m going to take that off our plate. So you scroll through you announce here. Okay. And you can let them know. That’s awesome. And just let us know. Um, even if they’re not still here, they can win. It’s fine with me. So if you definitely, definitely want to win, you should put right now a word or two in the chat to be like me, or I’d love to attend or something, and then, um, she’ll pick from that and she’ll also go up. So that’s happening. Um, the other thing that we didn’t do Kristie is tell them about the paraprofessional training course, but that’s okay. We can, you know, what, if you have time and want to know more about the paraprofessional training course that we have, maybe we’ll just stay on for those like few people that want to correct these lists,

Kristie  (01:13:59):

What questions we haven’t answered. Um, uh, ju uh, on Jew, I’m not saying it right, but I’m pretending, um, are there any courses or trainings for physiotherapists as part of, I don’t even know. I don’t, well, you want us to answer that one?

Julie (01:14:14):

Yeah. So we are doing that. We are, if physiotherapists are what I think you’re talking about, so you have to correct us if we’re wrong. I think you’re talking about either occupational or physical therapist or some cool combination of the two. Yeah. We have a big chunk of the time. It’s going to be a choice option on the 19th so that you can learn all about the, how t’os with all sorts of OTs and PTs from the United States sharing. How do you make related services inclusive? So on the 19th, the answer is, yes, it’s going to be a full section there. If you want to email us about something bigger, we can definitely talk about that. Repartee asked a really good question. She says, basically they have a, what happens at school stays at school approach? How do we open communication? Super hard for families to do, but a lot of times we get invited in through people’s board of education or through their special education, um, group to do a presentation about opening the communication, and really making sure that the school system understands that parents are co-equal members in their child’s education legally. And we give lots of strategies. Um, the other thing I’m thinking, if you just want something more simple in the 30 days to the co-taught classroom, we have a whole huge section on how to support families more inclusively.

Kristie  (01:15:38):

And so, um, on JewI’m going to say that, um, yes, uh, some of those occupy, uh, physical therapists that will be our guests there on demand, um, that meeting they’re recorded. So part of the 19th, there’s a choose your own adventure section. And so there’s recordings from amazing self advocates and other experts that will give you little sound bites. And so we have some PTs who talk about how do I make the physical environment, the social environment, more, uh, inclusive. Um, so if you’re thinking about, um, our gym or our playground, or just the hallway and or how do we access the computer or sit at our desks at home, uh, there’s a little bit of, uh, comments, uh, and advice and suggestions from them.

Julie  (01:16:28):

And I think it’s Carrie Krebs maybe, or I’m not sure how your name is divided, because it’s all one word. Um, we’re going to call you Carrie. You can let me know if we’re wrong. Um, and I recognize your name too. So anyway, how do you get educators to take recommendations to read the books or articles or P PD conferences and go to things like All In? Oh, I love the question because it’s so awkward. Isn’t it to be like, you know what? You need some training. Um, I’m going to give five ways and you can just play with the ideas. You can send them a link of a video and say, you have to meet these people in real life and they will help your school system. They’re so good and funny and interesting. You can leave a handout in their box and just say, can we talk about this later?

Julie  (01:17:16):

You can set up a meeting and have us join and just say, I just definitely wanted you to meet these people because they really helped transform school to make them more inclusive. Uh, you can do an email introduction and say, you have to meet these folks because X, Y, and Z, you are right. It is very difficult to say, we think you need this. And they’re saying, we don’t need this. We’re amazing. That’s a very common situation we’re in. Um, and so what we suggest is that you are persistent and kind and try all the creative ways you can think to connect individuals. Uh, it doesn’t even have to be us if it’s not us, that you, if you don’t want to work with us, we can give you 20 other people around the country that could help you closer to you. But now that we’re distanced at a distance, the cool thing is we can zoom in and just have a quick conversation with your administrative team. Um, and many of them are pretty excited once they see what we do, but first they have to know us, learn, learn about us and trust us.

Kristie  (01:18:15):

Yeah, it’s, it’s a big thing about trust. Um, Carrie and Carrie is one of our winners. I think I, I missed the winners. I got to go back. The idea is just when Julie was talking about the wire, the why not, some people will be motivated by the law. Some people will be motivated by a professional development, um, from co-taught with Julie and me. Some people will read articles and go, that’s why we do inclusion. And some people will not be motivated regardless of what we do. And so we have to try it from different positions and different angles, if you will. However, no matter what, if their lid is flipped, if they are not in a place of being open and receptive, if they hear what we call too much shark music, they’re so afraid. They’re so worried that they can’t even get beyond their own worry list.

Kristie  (01:19:03):

Or if they see you as a foe, no matter what you say, or what we say will sound bad. So that’s why we talk about mindset, skillset, and heartset as this tapestry or this quilt, because we can’t just hit them with the research, read this, go here, do more PD that’s up here. Sometimes we can tug at their hearts, but it makes them feel shame, or it makes them feel guilty, or it makes them bill worried. And then they shut down. And then sometimes we just go, here’s more skills and here’s more skills. And they’re like, I don’t know how to do it. And so we really have to go up from all angles. So we don’t want to skirt around your beautiful question. Just know that we have to help those humans feel safe, seen sooth and secure in order to hear our message.

Julie  (01:19:47):

Well, Kristie didn’t mention it. We don’t want to give too much like boring stuff away, but we also work very hard to get people in the mindset of learning, which is the PEA or the Positive Emotional Attractor. And so when we we’ve been doing this for 20 years, so I won’t say that we’re like new to it. We’re very, very skilled at with administrators to get them, to see where they can make changes and where they’re doing a great job. And it takes a lot of work with them to get them to a new place. And I just don’t feel that often families are in that, uh, have the, unfortunately have the ability given the power dynamic to make those changes, sadly like so sadly,

Kristie  (01:20:29):

Uh, so it’s, uh, spell out the PEA, Julie, in the chat and Stephanie and others, please go, we’re going to really wrap this up and Cecilia, we’re so glad that you have some folks in the para Cloris. And, um, we understand that, especially in some, uh, configurations, even in the United States, without being, uh, in your international schools, you may have limited resources. There are many areas in the United States that don’t have sufficient OTs or PTs or speech language pathologists, or enough Paris. So we’re going to talk about, uh, I like to channel Maria Montessori and talk about three teachers, always the teacher, the adult, the child, as the teacher and the environment as the teacher. And so on the 19th, I’ll make another note that we’ll try to talk a little bit about how do you think about, um, that triangle of education so that when you are a low resources, how do you always know I’ve got a co-teacher in the room, as long as I have a student. Because the student is a teacher, the teacher or adult parent is the teacher and the environment. And how do you harness and leverage that when you have low resources and or how do you engage in role release and roll extension? So we don’t think, Oh, I have to have an OT. I have to have an SLP. So how do we think more broadly about supporting humans when we don’t have enough resources? Okay.

Genia  (01:21:53):

So I just wanted to clarify one question. Stephanie’s question was whether or not you consult directly with schools or school boards in Canada, either in person or virtually.

Julie  (01:22:04):

Yes. In fact, there are many, there are many people on here. So even pre COVID, we were in Canada all the time, working with school systems. Um, and so yes, you could connect us to your administrators and we’re happy to do that work. So,

Kristie  (01:22:18):

All right. Do we know who won? Do they know who won? You’re going to tell them.

Genia  (01:22:24):

Yes. So the three winners are Angie Jeffrey’s, uh, Carrie Krebs and Cecilia Skanska.

Kristie  (01:22:35):

Yay. So you get a free pass. If you’re already registered, you can pass it to somebody else, maybe the person who needs it most

Genia  (01:22:47):

And how will they access that?

Kristie  (01:22:49):

Will you give me their emails? Okay. There, that’s it. I’ll get you loaded and ready to go. Just as soon as I get your emails and that’ll be that. And then don’t forget, you get 15% off, even if you didn’t win, because we forgot that. Don’t worry about that.

Genia  (01:23:06):

Well, I will make sure that that is also in the email. So Julie, Kristie thank you so much. Obviously this has been incredibly valuable, um, and you know, people are overwhelmingly grateful as am I for your time for your dedication and your commitment and your wisdom. Thank you very much, everybody. I’ll be sending out a link to a video replay either tonight or, um, cause we’ve warmed up all your day. Um, that’s okay. It’s a wonderful way to be spending my time. Uh, I’ll include in that email, the links that have been mentioned, uh, and any other information that, um, I’ll, I’ll review all this and do my best, not to miss anything. Thank you very, very much. Any closing words, Kristie here, Julie?

Julie (01:23:56)

 just know that we’re right here with you and if you feel kind of alone doing this work, we’re right here next to you, supporting you, doing this work every day. Um, you can reach out to us. Um, a lot of people wonder we’ll do like small, like, can we tell you about our kid’s IEP? We’re not doing that much. That word very often anymore, really more large school reform work. Um, and so the best way to get change is to go through your administrators and say, can you work together to help us get to a better place if you’re a parent? 

Kristie (01:24:27)

Yeah. Good deal. Thank you. Thank you for making this day possible for us. So we appreciate you.

Genia  (01:24:36):

Thank you so much for joining me today. Thanks so much for listening to Julie and Kristie’s awesome presentation. And again, in Inclusion Academy this month, we are going to be talking about high quality inclusive IEP for students with disabilities. If that is a topic that interests you, if that is something that your child needs, you know, an improvement on their IEP, um, or an improvement in the quality of their IEP, then come join us. You can find out more and register at I hope that you are well and safe. I hope that you are taking an opportunity during Black History month and Inclusive Education month to be thinking not just about racism enabled as, um, although that is important and valid, but also about excellence. Thanks so much. Take care. Yeah.


Special thanks to Drs. Julie Causton and Kristie Pretti-Frontczak for joining me this week. Until next time!

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Genia Stephen
Genia Stephen

Sister, mother, midwife, writer, speaker and perpetually curious. Dedicated to bringing you the voices, ideas and conversations of world class mentors and thought leaders in the field of disability.