UNH (NH UCEDD) Partnering on National Technical Assistance Center for Inclusive Education

June 25, 2014

The National Center on Inclusive Education (NCIE) at the University of New Hampshire Institute on Disability's partnership with the Schoolwide Integrated Framework for Transformation (SWIFT) Center, a national technical assistance center for inclusive education, continues to be strong.

"The NCIE team is thrilled to be a part of this national effort to transform educational policies and practices so that all students, including those with the most significant disabilities, are presumed competent and receive the supports they need to learn in their neighborhood schools and general education classrooms," Mary Schuh, the Director of the NCIE explains. "Schools really are for all children, and this project is designed turn this vision-rooted in research, civil rights, and principles of social justice-into a reality."

School districts around the country are gearing up to fully realize the vision of All Means All through a Schoolwide Integrated Framework for Transformation (SWIFT). They are partnering with the SWIFT Center, a national K-8 technical assistance center that provides academic and behavioral support to promote the learning and academic achievement of all students, including students with the most extensive support needs.

SWIFT Center is committed to eliminating silos in education by bridging general and specialized educational structures and resources. These bridges lead to powerful learning opportunities for students and teachers; promote active, engaged partnerships among families and community members; and ensure every child is a valued member of their school and given the supports they need to achieve academic and social success.

Over 30 years of research guides the SWIFT Center work, resulting in a focus on five key domains that support schoolwide inclusive transformation. These areas are:

  • Integrated Education Framework
  • Multi-tiered System of Support
  • Family and Community Engagement
  • Administrative Leadership
  • Inclusive Policy Structure and Practice

A SWIFT school represents a diverse learning community. In a SWIFT classroom, all students learn together and have the academic and behavioral supports they need to fully participate in the general education curriculum. General educators, specialized educators, support staff, family, and community members work in tandem to differentiate instruction. For example, in a SWIFT classroom you may witness a parent volunteer practicing sight words with a student, a general educator and a specialized educator leading differentiated small reading groups, a speech/language therapist working on reading vocabulary with another group of students, and classmates collaborating on a reading comprehension activity.

In a SWIFT school, all students are valued for their unique contributions to the learning community, and all educators have the support they need to successfully teach ALL children. SWIFT represents an unprecedented national effort to bridge general and specialized education.

The Center is funded by a five-year, $24.5 million grant from the United States Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs awarded to the University of Kansas. Get involved by Signing up for our email list, connecting with us on the SWIFT Talk Community of Practice, liking us on Facebook, and following us on Twitter and Pinterest to learn how school communities across the country are benefiting from SWIFT Center resources.

For more information on SWIFT, visit www.swiftschools.org. For more information on the NCIE, visit iod.unh.edu/inclusiveed.aspx.