Through HCPSS’ work with Paula Kluth, National Researcher, Author and Consultant, the HCPSS Department of Special Education has developed 7 essential tenets that promote presuming competence of all students. Each tenet supports the work of the school system’s goals:
- Each child regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, disability or socio-economic status, will meet the rigorous performance standards that have been established. All diploma-bound students will perform on or above grade level in all measured content areas.
- Each school will provide a safe and nurturing school environment that values our diversity and commonality.
The HCPSS “7 Tenets for Presuming Competence” are:
1. See Inclusion as a PROCESS
2. Presume Competence (Act As If) & Make the Least Dangerous Assumption
3. Burn the Chair!: Encourage Independence & Avoid Toxic Support
4. Remember: “Only as Special as Necessary”
5. Question EVERYTHING!
6. Practice Radical & Relentless Role Sharing
7. Provide Academic Challenge to All
Our 2-year journey with Paula Kluth and her research has impacted each of us in different ways. Whether it is “questioning everything about our practices,” seeking to facilitate a child’s independence through “burning the chair,” or asking questions about the placement of a child knowing that “placement is the most extreme adaptation,” this work continues to move us in a positive direction that supports and challenges our students with disabilities.
It is my hope that each DSE staff member finds these resources helpful in their day to day work with teachers, administrators and parents on behalf of each of our students.
Many thanks to each of you, for investing your time and energy into building and sharing resources that support the HCPSS “7 Tenets for Presuming Competence of all Learners.”
Director of Special Education