Last month I opened an email from a national news source only to be greeted by the unmistakable grin of a student from my 6th. grade Reader's workshop! This particular student is enrolled in our multi-intensive needs center, where students with mild to moderate cognitive disabilities receive modified instruction and support that allows them to participate in mainstream classrooms such as my own. The Education Week article features the uncharacteristic partnership between Denver Public Schools and high performing charter schools in the district.
While charters historically were not equipped to educate all students, that is changing. I teach a students who are blind, Downs, and have a lower than average IQ. Planning for meaningful engagement at all ability levels continues to be a learning process. One planning goal for 2016 entails implementing the Universal Design for Learning. This approach to lesson planning begins with tailoring instruction to different learning styles and abilities, rather than adding accommodations after a plan is complete