Pat, Personally

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

All means all -- Inclusive practices benefit students

There are many students that come to mind when I think of my vision for the Clark County School District: “Every Student, Every Classroom. Without Excuses, Without Exceptions.” However, none exemplify that more than our students with disabilities. Embedded in this vision is the belief that all students be provided the opportunities to reach their full potential both academically and socially. As a result, CCSD has prioritized inclusive practices, which provide students with disabilities with exposure to general education curriculum alongside their general education peers.

Here at CCSD, approximately 39,000 or more than 10 percent of our students are identified in need of special education services. Of those, about 400 students attend one of our four special education schools. The remaining students are educated on comprehensive campuses throughout the District. Their success is a collective work of many: parents, teachers, support staff, administrators, advocacy groups and community members.  Students are provided extra support services based upon their individualized needs. I am very proud of our amazing staff who contribute to CCSD being a leader in inclusive practices.

Just this past weekend, I had the honor of being a special guest at the Best Buddies of Nevada Inclusion Walk. They recognized us as champions of inclusion and provided us with the Best Buddies Nevada Walk the Talk Award. Best Buddies of Nevada pairs up people with special needs with volunteers to develop friendships.

While we do a lot for our students with disabilities at CCSD, we can’t do it without our partners like Nevada PEP, Best Buddies of Nevada, Families for Effective Autism Treatment, Nevada Partners in Education, UNLV, Opportunity Village, Special Olympics Hands and Voices, Autism Partnership, The Center for the Blind, Cleveland Clinic, Azul Blue and Autism Speaks, among many. If you want to be involved with special needs students, I encourage you to contact these organizations.  I promise you will get more in return than you plan on giving.