August 2023: School Administrator


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Editor's Note
Marking Progress on Inclusion

The notion of educating children with intellectual and developmental disabilities in school settings with their same-age peers seems simple enough. It’s been anything but as our magazine’s continuing focus on the subject of inclusion over the past 30 years would suggest.

We renew our attention here by focusing on the work waged by Kurt Schneider, superintendent of a cooperative of 18 school districts in the suburbs just north of Chicago. Schneider has prompted significant moves to educate much higher totals of students in their least restrictive environments in a state that historically has ranked close to the bottom on those measures. The story starts on page 15.

During his seven years in charge, the TrueNorth cooperative has demonstrated how to deliver services to all students in new and different ways based on what the research says about better outcomes emerging when kids are educated together in schools.

Schneider has presented progress on his inclusion leadership over the past three years at the national conference of TASH, a disability advocacy organization. It’s where I also learned about the work of two other important contributors to this month’s issue — Kate Cavanaugh, an elementary school principal in Lake Forest. Ill., and Shannon Hitch, special services director in Lake Washington, Wash. I commend your attention to their practical, can-do thinking in their respective articles.

Jay P. Goldman
Editor, School Administrator
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