Coming Together to Promote Belonging for Students with Disabilities

Session notes from “Coming Together to Promote Belonging for Students with Disabilities,” led by David Bateman.

What were the speaker’s main messages?

  • There are 10 dimensions of promoting belonging for educators and students. Students want to be present, invited, welcomed, known, accepted, supported, heard, befriended, needed, and loved.
  • Students perform better academically and behaviorally when promoting belonging for students with disabilities.

What was the speaker’s best quote?

“Now more than ever students need to feel supported, seen, heard, and understood by adults in their schools and communities.” said U.S. Secretary of Education, Miguel Cardona

What were the top ideas from the session?

  1. Administrators must listen and stay informed to support all students and maintain legal compliance; 
  2. All students will be more successful when they feel a sense of belonging; and
  3. There are specific strategies leaders can implement to support belonging. 

What is one strategy I will implement immediately?

Enroll in free training modules on challenging behaviors through the IRIS Center, which is a group at Vanderbilt University that offers online resources and training modules about evidence-based instructional and behavioral practices to support the education of all students, particularly struggling learners and those with disabilities. The courses are 1.5-3 hours long. You will be prompted to create an account. 

What is one strategy that will help you with instructional leadership?

To utilize free resources and training modules for staff to understand instructional and behavioral practices to support all students. 

What are resources you will check out?

  • Sold a Story podcast, Emily Hanford
  • The Washington Post article: “How Richneck Elementary failed to stop a 6-year old from shooting his teacher.” Summary: An analysis was done regarding the times the teacher reached out to administration prior to the shooting (and was ignored).
  • PSEA 504 (Google it!)
  • Book: A Teacher’s Guide to Special Education by David F. Bateman 
  • Book: A Principal’s Guide to Special Education by David F. Bateman and C. Fred Bateman
  • Book: A School Board Member’s Guide to Special Education by David Bateman
  • Book: Pre-referral Intervention Manual by Kathy Cummins Wunderlich. Lists intervention ideas based on students issues as observed by the team. 
  • TIES Center  
  • IRIS Center

Notes by Tiffany L. Rehbein, principal of Bain Elementary School in Cheyenne, Wyoming.