Successful inclusion of students with disabilities requires a supportive organizational structure and school culture. One strategy for building a more integrated and inclusive school culture is school-wide positive behavior support (SWPBS).
Successful inclusion of students with disabilities requires a supportive organizational structure and school culture (Burstein, N., Sears, S., Wilcoxen, A., Cabello, B. and Spagna, M., 2004). School cultures are shaped, in part, by individual and collective values, beliefs, and attitudes. Changing a school culture must begin with a shared vision which is clearly communicated among school personnel. Addressing values, beliefs, and attitudes by creating a common understanding of and reason for any change is a necessity (Burstein et al., 2004). Planning for and developing a framework of supports for both adults and students can facilitate the gradual change in school culture (Freeman et al., 2006).
One strategy for building a more integrated and inclusive school culture is school-wide positive behavior support (SWPBS) http:// www.pbis.org. (Freeman et al., 2006). In Virginia, this framework is known as Effective Schoolwide Discipline (ESD) http:// www.ttac.odu.edu/esd . ESD or SWPBS involves a team-based approach to building an integrated system of supports to facilitate the implementation of pratices necessary to meet the needs of all students, including those with the most challenging learning and behavioral needs (Sugai et al., 2000). This approach brings general and special education staff, administration, families, and students together to develop a common vision and implement evidence-based strategies that support all students in learning and development (Freeman et al., 2006).
Burstein, N., Sears, S., Wilcoxen, A., Cabello, B., & Spagna, M. (2004). Moving toward inclusive practices. Remedial and Special Education, 25(2), 104-116.
Freeman, R., Eber, L., Anderson, C., Irvin, L., Horner, R., Bounds, M., & Dunlap, G. (2006). Building inclusive school cultures using school-wide PBS: Designing effective individual support systems for students with significant disabili- ties. Research & Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, 31(1), 4-17.
Sugai, G., Horner, R.H., Dunlap, G., Hieneman, M., Lewis, T.J., Nelson, C.M., et al. (2000). Applying positive behavior support and functional behavioral assessment in schools. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 2, 131-143.