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Sandy Creek Inclusive Schooling Model’s success attracts attention of statewide, global educators

Sandy Creek Central School District best practices are grabbing the attention of educators from across the state, across the continent, and around the globe.

Educators from the city of Thunder Bay in Ontario, Canada, traveled to the Sandy Creek Central School District in mid-December to observe the district’s inclusion educational practice model for educating students with disabilities. The guests are pictured with the following Sandy Creek faculty members: Special Education Teacher Kim Manfredi, standing at left; High School Principal Maureen Shiel, standing second from left; Pupil Personnel Service/CSE Chairperson Janice Burns, standing third from left; and Superintendent of Schools Stewart Amell, standing in the middle.
Educators from the city of Thunder Bay in Ontario, Canada, traveled to the Sandy Creek Central School District in mid-December to observe the district’s inclusion educational practice model for educating students with disabilities. The guests are pictured with the following Sandy Creek faculty members: Special Education Teacher Kim Manfredi, standing at left; High School Principal Maureen Shiel, standing second from left; Pupil Personnel Service/CSE Chairperson Janice Burns, standing third from left; and Superintendent of Schools Stewart Amell, standing in the middle.

Since 1990, the district’s general education teachers and special education teachers have been practicing the inclusion model for educating students with disabilities.

Sandy Creek Pupil Personnel Services Coordinator and Committee on Special Education Chairperson Janice Burns sums up the inclusive approach as “bringing the education to the student” instead of pulling a student out of a classroom or out of the district for his/her education or related services.

This model is supported at the middle school and high school level by a co-teaching method where special education teachers and general education teachers collaborate to deliver instruction.

The Sandy Creek Central School District welcomed educators and a board of education member from the Auburn City School District in early February to observe the district’s inclusion educational practice for educating students with disabilities and the co-teaching model that the district utilizes to support this practice. Seated left to right are: Special Education Teacher Hillary Puckett, Social Studies Teacher Tonya Trudell, and English Teacher Denise Elkin. Standing, left to right, are: Special Education Teacher Brandy VanRy, Middle School Principal Carolyn Shirley, Social Studies Teacher Kim Curley, Auburn City School District Assistant Principal Steve Dunn, Auburn Special Education Teacher Kim Granato, Auburn English Teacher, Marcella Didio, and Auburn Board of Education President Karol Soules.
The Sandy Creek Central School District welcomed educators and a board of education member from the Auburn City School District in early February to observe the district’s inclusion educational practice for educating students with disabilities and the co-teaching model that the district utilizes to support this practice. Seated left to right are: Special Education Teacher Hillary Puckett, Social Studies Teacher Tonya Trudell, and English Teacher Denise Elkin. Standing, left to right, are: Special Education Teacher Brandy VanRy, Middle School Principal Carolyn Shirley, Social Studies Teacher Kim Curley, Auburn City School District Assistant Principal Steve Dunn, Auburn Special Education Teacher Kim Granato, Auburn English Teacher, Marcella Didio, and Auburn Board of Education President Karol Soules.

The practices of the district were featured in an educational DVD for the New York State Education Department in 2011 and several school districts and educational institutions have set up visitations with district officials to observe the educational model in practice and speak with teachers about implementation strategies and their findings.

During the 2011-2012 school year the district hosted 25 educational professionals from the country of Japan and thus far this school year the district has welcomed educators from a school district in the city of Thunder Bay in Ontario, Canada, as well as the Auburn City School District.