California MAP* to Inclusion and Belonging… *Making Access Possible September 2023 Newsletter
Saying Yes to Inclusion in California
The California MAP to Inclusion & Belonging… Project agrees with this quote from Nicole Eredics, “Inclusion begins by saying, yes, we will educate every child.” Find this quote graphic from Inclusion in Action from Brookes Publishing . More state leaders, county offices of education, school districts, neighborhood schools and early care and education programs in California are saying yes to inclusion than ever before and taking steps to prepare for children with disabilities and children at risk for developmental delays in their programs.
This issue of the MAP Newsletter lays out important new resources from the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTA), new professional development opportunities on inclusion from Beginning Together and California Department of Education articles, reports and website pages that hold information on the latest early childhood inclusive education programs and resources. In addition, are resources on trauma informed care, creating equitable education environments and a Barbie with Down Syndrome! All of these resources support movement toward inclusion and belonging and opportunities to say, “Yes, we will educate every child.”
In this issue:
- Making Sound Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) Decisions in Preschool
- Beginning Together Free Webinar Series on Inclusion Works! and the 2024 Beginning Together Institute
- Working Toward the Promise of Inclusion and A Family Inclusion Story
- The Inclusive Early Education Expansion Program (IEEEP) Year 2 Evaluation Report
- California Department of Education Inclusive Early Education Resources and Programs
- Transitional Kindergarten California
- Responding to Trauma in Early Childhood-Introductory Video and CECO Training Modules
- Building Equitable and Just Inclusive Classrooms
- First Barbie with Down Syndrome
1. Making Sound Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) Decisions in Preschool from the Early Childhood Technical Assistance (ECTA) Center
Explore this set of resources from the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTA) that provides Guiding Questions for Discussing Services in the LRE and Professional Development Tools and Actions within an Effective IEP Process to help in planning inclusion within a school district.
The IEP process includes requirements and actions that ensure IEP teams have the information needed to discuss and consider access to and participation in high-quality inclusive settings for every young child with a disability during IEP placement discussions. This document lists important actions in the IEP development process along with guiding principles and practices that should inform placement decisions for young children with disabilities.
Included in this document are Guiding Questions for Discussing Services in the LRE to make sound placement decisions for each young child with a disability. To aid in planning for inclusion within the district as well as with other state and community partners to ensure placements are available throughout the year for each child Personnel Development Tools are provided that align to the Actions within an Effective IEP Process . The tools help to create a common vision for inclusion and guidance for supports and placement decisions.
2. Beginning Together Free Webinar Series on Inclusion Works! And Save the Dates for the 2024 Beginning Together Institute
Two opportunities to expand your knowledge of inclusion are being offered by Beginning Together and sponsored by the California Department of Social Services, Child Care and Development Division. The first is a free three part webinar series on Inclusion Works! followed by regional technical assistance. The second is the announcement of the dates for the 2024 Beginning Together Inclusion Facilitator Institute.
Beginning Together is providing an exciting series of virtual webinars sponsored by the California Department of Social Services, Child Care and Development Division for anyone interested in learning more about inclusive practices. The webinars will present expanded information from the book, Inclusion Works!, along with the opportunity to attend a follow-up virtual technical assistance session held in regions.
The three-part series is being offered in the early evenings on October 5, 2023, November 9, 2023, and January 18, 2024, from 5:30-7:30 pm to allow more people who work in family child care homes and child care centers to be able to participate. The sessions will not be recorded.
Find links to registration and downloadable flyers on the MAP Inclusion Works! section . The series will be offered in English with Spanish simultaneous translation.
The 2024 Beginning Together Inclusion Facilitator Institute will be held virtually every Thursday between February 29th through March 28, 2024 (7, 14, 21, 28), from noon to 4:00 pm.
Check out other opportunities for professional development on inclusion including conferences in 2023-2024 and recorded webinars from the Program for Infant-Toddler Care (PITC) and Head Start on MAP’s Professional Development page.
3. Working Toward the Promise of Inclusion and A Family Inclusion Story
Learn more about the status of inclusion in California and be inspired by an inclusion success story from articles in the Special Edge, a publication of the CDE Special Education Division.
Working Toward the Promise of Inclusion and A Family Inclusion Story from the Special Edge Newsletter: Winter/Spring 2023
The Special Edge is a publication of Supporting Inclusive Practices (SIP) under the Special Education Division of the California Department of Education. The stories in this issue of The Special Edge are about changes in California’s educational landscape. They are stories of process. Each narrative captures a moment in time that emerged from our past successes and even (or especially) our failures. And as you read this, the events and efforts the stories recount are already directing and shaping the future. I am convinced that the changes explored in these pages promise remarkably improved conditions and opportunities for students with disabilities—and thus for all students. Heather Calomese, Director Special Education Division California Department of Education.
This edition of the Special Edge includes two articles by Cindy Arstein-Kerslake, Coordinator of the MAP to Inclusion and Belonging… Making Access Possible Project. “Working Toward the Promise of Inclusion” explores current efforts underway in California that may help to expand inclusive options for children with disabilities. “A Family Inclusion Story” describes the success of Lori Dotson, certified Inclusion Facilitator, in including her child with multiple disabilities in an inclusive general education setting in the same elementary school where their child without disabilities was attending. The story highlights the positive impact of inclusion on the child, family and other children.
4. The Inclusive Early Education Expansion Program (IEEEP) Year 2 Evaluation Report
We are temporarily removing the Year 2 IEEEP Report. It is being reviewed by CDE. We'll have it back up when it is released for public view.
5. California Department of Education Inclusive Early Education Resources and Programs
The California Department of Education, Early Education Division has developed programs and resources to support inclusive early education for children with disabilities. The “Program Overview” provides links to information on CDE’s Inclusive Early Education Expansion Program (IEEEP). “Inclusive Early Education Resources” is a substantial endorsed by CDE to support inclusive early education. It includes “Children with Disabilities Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)” regarding California State Preschool Programs.”
For easy access the links to these resources have been posted on the MAP Legal and Licensing page .
This web page provides background information on inclusion and links to CDE’s Early Education Division inclusion efforts associated with the Inclusive Early Education Expansion Grant Program (IEEEP).
The CDE's EED launched a web page dedicated to resources to support the field of early education professional and families of children with disabilities to increase identification, access, participation and supports of children with disabilities in early care and education programs. The web page will soon include a matrix and additional resources will continually be added.
The FAQs describe California state law related to serving children with disabilities in California State Preschool Programs (CSPP). The CDE staff are continuously updating the FAQs web page. Topics include: Definitions, Documentation, Funding, Income and Family Fees, Set Aside, Monitoring the Set Aside and Training and Technical Assistance.
The Children with Disabilities FAQs web page can be accessed on the Inclusive Early Education Resources web page . Also on this Inclusive Early Education Resources web page, contractors can find information on the Management Bulletin (MB) 23-02 on serving children with disabilities .
6. Transitional Kindergarten California (TKCalifornia)
TKCalifornia is an online hub for finding easy-to-use resources for administrators, teachers, and parents as California expands Transitional Kindergarten (TK) to serve all 4-year-olds including children with disabilities! Many educators over the years have called for a developmentally appropriate grade for our youngest learners—now with the expansion of TK, California is on the cusp of achieving the vision of the Master Plan for Early Learning and Care (MPELC), which called for a year of publicly-funded preschool for all children in California..
On this site, you can find:
- Resources for administrators to help them navigate staffing, facilities, funding, and more as TK is expanded to more children.
- Strategies and tools for teachers on classroom management and developmentally appropriate practices.
- Information for parents on what to expect in a TK classroom and how they can help their child get the most out of their TK experience.
7. Responding to Trauma in Early Childhood-Introductory Video and CECO Training Modules
Two resources released in 2023 can provide early learning and care providers with a basic knowledge and skills to identify and respond to behaviors resulting from trauma. Watch the short video, Responding to Trauma Related Behaviors, with colleagues or staff and discuss it using the questions provided. Then on your own time or with others dive into the Culturally Responsive Trauma Informed Practice Training Modules produced by California Early Childhood Online (CECO)..
When young children have experienced trauma, it affects their behavior and interactions in the classroom. How can early childhood teachers and caregivers respond to trauma-related behaviors in order to best support children’s needs? In this video experts, including Dr. Bruce Perry, discuss how the organization of the brain affects children's response to trauma and discuss regulatory and relational strategies that are most effective at supporting children demonstrating trauma-related behaviors. The experts caution against using behavioral strategies for children who have experienced trauma. Discussion questions and related videos are also available here.
CECO has released 5 training modules on Culturally Responsive Trauma Informed Practice in 2023. They are available in English, Spanish and Chinese. Log In or create an account to view them and many more training modules on CECO for early learning and care professionals.
8. Building Equitable and Just Inclusive Classrooms (Book and Videos)
The CDE’s 2022 publication, Creating Equitable Learning Environments for Young Children of Color, is a must read for early childhood educators. The award-winning brief video by Eastern Connecticut University, Using Children’s Books to Build Inclusive Classrooms, models how pre and post reading discussions with preschoolers can help create inclusive classrooms. Links to additional videos supporting discussions about differences and culture are also provided.
The California Department of Education Early Education Division (EED) has released a new online publication titled Creating Equitable Early Learning Environments for Young Boys of Color. This free publication was written primarily for child care and early education providers and program and school leaders.
"Early childhood educators are uniquely positioned to influence positive change for Boys of Color. This book provides teachers and program leaders with a helpful roadmap for improving racial equity through strengthening racial awareness, addressing implicit bias, and creating culturally responsive environments that are safe, affirming, and engaging for Boys of Color and their families." - Tony Thurmond, State Superintendent of Public Instruction
This video won the 2023 Telly Award.
All children should feel welcome in early childhood classrooms. In this video, Dr. Theresa Bouley describes how teachers can carefully select a variety of children's books to ensure that books in the classroom represent a variety of cultures and family structures. She also explains how engaging children in rich pre- and post-reading discussions can foster an appreciation of diverse perspectives and help create inclusive classrooms. The web page includes discussion and reflection questions and related videos:
- Discussing Differences with Children (2023, Length: 4:44 minutes)
- Helping Children Develop Empathy and a Sense of Justice (2021, Length: 3:23 minutes)
- Learning About a Child's Family Culture (2020, Length: 2:28 minutes)
- Using Literature to Help Children Manage Strong Emotions (2007, Length: 2:58 minutes)
This video shares the positive responses of families and people with Down Syndrome to the new Barbie.
In partnership with the National Down Syndrome Society, the newest Barbie fashion doll was designed with purpose and inclusivity at the heart of every choice. With a shorter frame, rounder face, smaller features, and palms including a single line, this doll has introduces a new sculpt and details illustrative of common characteristics of women with Down syndrome. Dressed in the colors and symbols of the community, she wears matching ankle foot orthotics, and a three-chevron necklace representing the three copies of the 21st chromosome. This results in the characteristics associated with Down syndrome – and represents “the lucky few” who have someone with Down syndrome in their life.
Direct questions or comments about this newsletter to email@example.com
In this issue:
- Making Sound Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) Decisions
- Beginning Together Events
- Working Toward the Promise of Inclusion
- Inclusive Early Education Expansion Program (IEEEP) Year 2
- CDE Inclusion Resources
- Transitional Kindergarten California
- Responding to Trauma in Early Childhood
- Building Equitable and Just Inclusive Classrooms
- Barbie with Down Syndrome