Inclusive Schools Resolution
Last month, the Salt Lake City Board of Education approved the following resolution.
SALT LAKE CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT BOARD OF EDUCATION
Inclusive Schools Resolution
WHEREAS, at the heart of the Board’s mission is the strong belief that each child has the right to learn and reach their highest academic potential, and be valued as a vital member of their school community; and
WHEREAS, the Board, in combatting the segregation, stigmatization, and marginalization experienced by many individuals with disabilities, believes that by supporting and creating inclusive learning environments, fewer students will be at risk for experiencing segregation and its potentially devastating effects on learning; and
WHEREAS, the Board is persuaded by the research showing that effective models of inclusive education not only benefit students with disabilities, but also create environments in which all students have the opportunity to flourish in their social-emotional and academic learning; and
WHEREAS, the Board is committed to ensuring that its schools are positioned to advance equitable academic outcomes for all students by providing access to inclusive learning environments that meet the needs of the District’s diverse student population; and
WHEREAS, the Board believes that by growing up and learning together in school, students with varied abilities, interests and backgrounds can experience a society that values and includes all its citizens, and in which diversity is the community norm; and
WHEREAS, recognizing that no two learners are alike, the Board appreciates and acknowledges the extent to which our students’ diverse intelligences, talents, skills, and abilities enrich our schools, our communities, and our lives; and
WHEREAS, the Board values and respects the thousands of District students with disabilities as integral members of the school community, while recognizing that it needs to do more to close the academic achievement gaps experienced by students with disabilities, especially students of color with disabilities
WHEREAS, the Board seeks to ensure that all students with disabilities are given the proper supports and services in order to maximize their access to inclusive educational environments alongside their age appropriate general education peers.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Board reaffirms its institutional respect for people of all backgrounds and abilities, and reaffirms its commitment to eliminate barriers to student success and to promote a more equitable future for all students.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Board understands that educating students with disabilities in an inclusive setting can be a challenging task, but commits to providing the training, supports, and resources necessary to substantially increase inclusive practices across the District.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the District shall strive to implement best practices in inclusive education by concentrating on three major components: academic inclusion, social inclusion, and physical inclusion. These practices shall focus on fully engaging all students regardless of their disabilities or other learning challenges, and ensuring that all students are meaningful members of their school communities.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Board and District shall commit to be a model for effective and inclusive learning environments, while continually promoting the benefits of meaningfully including students with disabilities in all school activities.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Board and District shall update any policies and procedures necessary to implement this Resolution and shall broadly communicate the commitments of this Resolution.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the District shall annually report to the Board on the progress being made toward creating inclusive learning environments in all our schools; any additional supports, training, and/or resources necessary to achieve this goal; and particular schools and/or employees who have made significant contributions to creating an inclusive learning environment for their students.
The foregoing resolution is hereby approved and adopted by the Board of Education of the Salt Lake City School District at its regular public meeting held in Salt Lake City on this 14th day of April, 2020.