How can my school community use this tool?
Each school community is unique and how they choose to use the Planning Inclusive Cultures in Schools process will also be unique. The intent of the tool was to engage all school community members in a conversation about what inclusive education means to them and how to move the school along the journey towards an ideal vision of inclusion.All community stakeholder groups would provide their perspectives using the profiling tools and both quantitative and qualitative data from the groups could be compared and contrasted across the 8 domains and 130+ indicator statements.
Some schools may choose to follow this path, while others may elect to use a subset of stakeholder groups (educators, support staff, educational assistants, administrators, parents, students, etc.) and/or a subset of domains to look at specific areas on interest.
The eight domains are inter-related and it may be difficult to tease apart cause and effect when only a few of them are used in generating a school profile. However, the true richness of the Planning Inclusive Cultures in Schools is not in the data gathered but in the discussions that arise as part of the process. These discussions may begin in the room where staff, parents, students and others gather to fill out survey forms, but they continue afterwards, in the hallways, lunchrooms, parking lots and lead to a greater sense of collaboration among all partners as they move through the various stages of the process.
Who should be involved in the process?
Ideally, all school community stakeholders should be involved so their perceptions can be gathered, contrasted and compared. The process allows for unbiased collection and sharing of information. This is turn leads to all participants having a stake in the success of the process and future plans related to enhancing the school culture.
How long does it take?
Depending upon how many stakeholder groups and domains are used with a school community, the amount of time will vary.
Initially a school leadership team should meet with the PICS facilitator(s) to discuss what the goal(s) of using the process within the school may be. This meeting may take up to 2 h. There should be consideration given to who will be asked to participate in the process, which of the domains are of particular interest, and how the community can be engaged in the process.
School communities who have completed surveys from all 8 domains have required a total 1.5 days per stakeholder group. Stakeholder groups can run concurrently, depending upon the number of facilitators engaged to help groups complete the surveys.
Once data has been analyzed, results can be reported back to the leadership team and then to the broader school community.
After community members are aware of what their school profile looks like, they can participate in a facilitated conversation about next steps and the school leadership team can work with them to put the plan into action.
What kind of data can I get from the school profile?
The profiling tool generates both quantitative data, in the form of Likert-scale results relating to the evidence of various indicators of inclusive culture in the school community, and qualitative data, in the form of evidence statements provided to support where on the Likert scale participants think the school fits.
Can I do it myself, or do I need to bring in an outside consultant?
While the school leadership team may choose to use the process on their own, it is recommended that a third party, outside of the immediate school community, lead/facilitate the process.
Some participants may feel uncomfortable reporting their perceptions to their colleagues or supervisors.
Having a third party involved is helpful when the results of the process are reported back to the school community. The data can speak for itself with no concerns about how it may be reported associated with who is doing the reporting.
It is important that there be both the school administration and the school division levels participate and support the process so results can be acted upon and school planning proceed in a positive and possible manner.
What have other schools said about the process?
All schools who have participated in the process have had positive experiences. Those who invested the most time to pilote the full profiling tool (i.e. surveys in all 8 domains) in River East Transcona School Division have realized very positive results within their school communities and urge other schools to consider using the full instrument to gain an accurate and full picture of the inclusive culture within their communities.
Where can I learn more?
Visit Our Team and contact any one of our threeto learn more about the process and how your school community can participate in the Planning Inclusive Cultures in Schools process.