McLane High School co-teaching in the classroom, supporting special education students

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno Unified is supporting its special education students with a unique program.

The district has a strong focus on inclusion, stressing that every student is a general education student first. Thanks to the co-teaching program, each student that receives special education services won't miss out on that classroom experience or one-on-one teaching time.

McLane High School Education Specialist Vanessa Clifton is one of two teachers in her high school classroom.

"We have amazing teachers both on the general education and education specialist side," said Clifton. "We're able to help the students with diverse learning needs really have access to the curriculum."

In co-teaching classrooms, there's a general education teacher and an education specialist. The team works together to provide special education students the same curriculum, in the same setting as their peers.

"Making sure we're giving them what they need to be successful and that's what it's all about," said Clifton. "They are being given the experiences of being normal teenagers and students."

The education specialist is not only there to instruct, but make sure special education students are getting the help they need.

While McLane High School has offered co-teaching for several years, this is the first year that every student on an individualized education plan is part of a co-teaching classroom.

"It has been a joy seeing students make small gains and having those small gains build up to them graduating with a high school diploma," said Clifton.

Each co-teaching classroom has around 30 students. All of these students are learning the same curriculum and meeting California State Standards.
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