2016 TASH Conference has ended
Each year, the TASH Conference strengthens the disability field by connecting attendees to innovative information and resources, facilitating connections between stakeholders within the disability movement, and helping attendees reignite their passion for an inclusive world. This year’s conference theme, “Gateway to Equity,” explores inclusive communities, schools, and workplaces that support people with disabilities, including those with complex support needs, in living a fair, just, and balanced life. Return to TASH website.
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Thursday, December 1 • 2:30pm - 3:20pm
Suspension Isn't Teaching!: A Case Study of One School's Approach to Reducing Violence while Raising the Bar for Students with Intense Behavioral and Mental Health Needs LIMITED

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Limited Capacity seats available

Pioneer High School, in Portland, Oregon, serves students who are considered a danger to self or others and who, in the past, were placed in a highly restrictive placement that had them isolated from typical peers, high expectations and rigorous curriculum options. All students are on IEPs, many qualified under Emotional Disturbance, and the large majority of students have a high ACES score and have experienced extensive trauma in their lives. There is a disproportionate representation of students and families of color, as compared to district data. Attending school a solely peers with their same level of need and intensity, there were daily fights and police calls and hundreds of incidents reports, restraints, and suspension days. This year, Pioneer redesigned their approach and now has 75% of their students integrated with typical high school students on 3 comprehensive high school campuses. Students have access to regular high school classes, a diverse peer group, and all of the exciting pieces of high school like sports, clubs, and dances. The 25% of students who display a level of behavior that would put them or their peers at risk if placed in a comprehensive high school, have an increased level of community outings and community work experiences to expose them to typical expectations. Pioneer High School has created a strong vision that incorporates the models of Collaborative Problem Solving, Restorative Justice and Trauma Informed Practices into all instruction and interventions. It is the expectation that all staff help kids to meet basic needs first, build relationship through empathy and clear expectations, and then explicitly teach the social and academic skills that will help students transition away from our high level of support and into less restrictive environments. Through this approach, Pioneer has reduced violent incidents by over 75%, had just 3 suspension days, had no police calls, increased attendance and student participation, and implemented new practices like an In-School Support Day that helps students learn (instead of being excluded!) when their behavior shows us there is a skill deficit that needs to be addressed. This session will more explicitly talk about how the school went from a fully exclusionary model to a largely inclusion model in just one year and what pieces are essential for any other districts considering similar approaches.


Thursday December 1, 2016 2:30pm - 3:20pm CST
Station Master Room Union Station Hotel St. Louis