The Kindergarten Inclusion Cohort program is a series of interactive and best practices driven trainings, designed to help parents prepare for and advocate for inclusive kindergarten placements for their children. The Cohort works to prepare families for the kindergarten transition, and also to build a community of parents who will support each other as their children move through the transition process and beyond. Often along with big dreams there can also be fears. Our coordinators and guest speakers have all ‘walked in those shoes’ and will help families along the way by building skill-sets, communication strategies and support connections.
We, as parents, are the experts on our children and the constant in their lives. Moving from early childhood to the school years can be a confusing and sometimes disempowering transition without tools and mentors to help navigate this new phase. The cohort helps parents to create a portfolio about their child, learn about the law and parental and school rights and responsibilities, share success stories and strategies from others and much more.
Designed for parents whose child will be starting kindergarten the following September, the cohort features six interactive training sessions over the school year. Session topics include information about the law and a child’s rights, tools and supports to use in the classroom, IEP goal writing to help support inclusion, communication and behavior strategies, tips from parents and teachers and more. The Cohort is currently in its third year, and parents who graduated in the first two years reported that the skills learned in the cohort were instrumental to helping their children gain access to the general education classroom, and receiving teachers reported that Cohort graduates are empowered advocates who come prepared to partner effectively with schools to help meet the needs of their children.
Families receive in-depth, interactive, and best practices-driven trainings from educational and legal professionals in:
- Positive Behavior Supports
- Special Education law
- Writing an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) with goals to drive an inclusive placement
- The power of positive collaborative family and professional partnerships with school staff
- The use of visual learning tools, Universal Deign for Learning and other assistive technologies to build success in the general education classroom
- Person-centered thinking. One of the most important tools that we give families is the value of presenting their child in a strength-based way within a deficit-based system.
Why It’s Important
Since the inception of IDEA, studies have shown that students with disabilities who have been included with their typical peers throughout their school careers experience greater success in finding gainful employment, more independent living and an overall improvement of quality of life through social and community engagement. Longitudinal studies indicate that
inclusive placements in preschool and kindergarten lead to inclusion at later grades, which leaves the kindergarten transition at the leading edge of the quest to build meaningful, productive lives for all students.
Will your child with developmental disabilities be starting Kindergarten Fall of 2013?
Do you want to be in the driving seat as a prepared and empowered advocate for your child
Do you have a vision of your child in an inclusive kindergarten class?
Do you live in the Portland Metro area or Southwest Washington?
First kick off meeting will be October 18 from 6:00 – 8:00pm
6 sessions included throughout the school year (Attendance required for all 6 sessions)
If you have a child with developmental disabilities who will be starting kindergarten in the fall of 2013 and have a vision of an inclusive education, please join the cross-disability Kindergarten Inclusion Cohort to help your child get a great start to school! Join with other parents with similar ideals and together create a network of support as you build your own expertise.
Over the next year, the cohort will feature six interactive training sessions with expert speakers, past cohort graduates and best-practices resources. Session topics will include information about the law and your child’s rights, tools and supports to use in the classroom, IEP goal writing to help support inclusion, communication and behavior strategies, tips from parents and teachers and more.
Come join a cross-disability community that shares the dream of inclusion! Please respond quickly as space is limited.
We are now accepting applications for the 2012/2013 Kindergarten Inclusion Cohort. We are looking for parents/guardians who:
- have a child experiencing developmental disability who will be starting kindergarten in 2013
- live in the Portland Metro area or Southwest Washington
- will attend every monthly training session: October 18, November 15, January 17, February 21, March 14, May 16
- will attend the 2013 All Born (In) Cross-Disability Inclusion Conference (date TBA)
- can fully participate in Cohort activities, research, and homework
- will support all Cohort members
The cost for all of the sessions is $50, plus the registration fee for the all-day All Born (In) Conference in 2013. Some scholarships are available.
Application (Apply by October 1st)
Call or Email: 503-238-0522 or email@example.com
What It’s About
The Kindergarten Inclusion Cohort program is designed as a series of interactive and best practices driven trainings. This is not just about preparing your family, but about building a community of parents who will support each other as their children move through the transition process, and hopefully beyond. Along with the dreams there are also some fears, which we can help you address.
We have some great speakers joining us, and we are very excited to create the Kindergarten Inclusion Cohort for the third year in a row. We as parents are the experts on our children and the constant in their lives. It is however a confusing and sometimes dis-empowering transition if you do not have some tools and mentors to help you navigate. We will create portfolios about your child, learn about the law and rights and responsibilities, share success stories from others, and much more.
Over the next year, the cohort will feature six interactive training sessions with expert speakers and best-practices resources. Session topics will include information about the law and your child’s rights, tools and supports to use in the classroom, IEP goal writing, communication, behavior strategies, tips from parents and teachers and more.
We are also seeking volunteers, teachers and other supportive professionals who would like to help in this work
Please call cohort Coordinator Alicia DeLashmutt at 503-238-0522 or email firstname.lastname@example.org by October 1st to register and ensure your spot.
-Dave Andrews, Supervisor Multnomah Early Childhood Program, MESD
Reflections from the 2010 Cohort
Cohort members found the experience to be incredibly helpful and well worth the investment of time. Here are a few reflections from last year’s group:
“I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of this cohort! Every minute of our meetings was filled with valuable information and important sharing time.”
“The content of the program was enriching. The speakers were informative. And the entire program had a clear objective: to get the entire family– parents and children– educated and prepared for the processes and emotions involved with the transition to Kindergarten.”
“…the most valuable part of the cohort for me was the feeling of community and support. I find this whole process very challenging, difficult and often times lonely. The cohort is a good reminder to me why I am doing this for my son and why it is so important.”
“…the session on the details of Special Education law was useful and enlightening. To have grounding in the actual rights and intent of IDEA will give us the confidence to stand our ground if necessary in the future. But another vital message was to balance the legal and potentially confrontational side of things with a good dose of collaborative energy and grace.”
“The experiences and support of the group is priceless and no information or webinars can replace relationships and support that are ongoing.”