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The Way to Inclusion: How Leaders Create Schools Where Every Student Belongs

Dr. Kristie Pretti-Frontczak
& Dr. Julie Causton


Dr. Kristie Pretti-Frontczak


A highly sought-after speaker, accomplished author, and educators’ educator. Dr. Kristie Pretti-Frontczak began her career as an early interventionist and then spent 16 years as a tenured professor at Kent State University. Since 2013 she has followed her true passion for designing and delivering transformative professional development. As a result, she has accumulated over 50,000 hours of helping educators and leaders work from a place of compassion, hope, and love in locations from Cincinnati to Singapore.

Dr. Julie Causton


A best selling author, inspiring speaker, and inclusion advocate, Dr. Julie Causton began her career as an educator and then 14 years as a tenured professor at Syracuse University. In 2012 she founded Inclusive Schooling, a premiere company solely devoted to delivering professional development which transforms schools and lives. She has spent the past 25 years nearly obsessed with discovering innovative practices and teaching others about inclusive education through her wildly engaging presentations.


June 29 Session (click to access resources)

Virtual session video [vimeo]

Inclusive System Change Path At-a-Glance [pdf] and Thought Path Image [pdf]

Milestone 1 – Definition of Inclusive Education [pdf] plus two bonus toggles

Milestone 2 – Winnie the Pooh [YouTube] and Transition to an equity lens [pdf]

Milestone 3 – Key PPT slides [pdf]

Milestone 4

  • Article on the myths of segregated classrooms [pdf]
  • Article for families about inclusion and the myths as well [link]
  • Supplemental Aids and Services [pdf]
  • Make your school or building maps – Milestone 4 – (directions for drawing maps here)
  • Because of Oliver to learn about access points [video]

Milestone 5 – Inclusive System Scheduling Process [pdf] and Roles and Responsibilities [Google DRIVE doc]

Milestone 6 – Bonus Toggle with resources by practice

Milestone 7

  • 4 S’s of Leadership [pdf]
  • Link to the Inclusive Leadership Type quiz [link]
  • 5 Minute Problem Solving [blog]
  • Steps for Responding to a Big Emotion [pdf]
  • Inclusive Structural and Instructional Practices Self-Assessment [Google DRIVE doc]
  • Change Path Action Plan [pdf]
Milestone 1: Exploring the Definition of Inclusive Education Resources and Activities

Definition of Inclusive Education [pdf]


Exploring the Definition of Inclusive Education Activity Options

If you are new to the definition – you might want to pick the caterpillar option:

  • Take 2-3 minutes to read the definition of inclusive education available in your printed packet and on the dashboard
  • Take another 2-3 minutes to reflect on the definition of inclusion and what it means to you. Jot down thoughts on a notecard or in a shared document.
  • Reflect and discuss (if working with others):​
    • How does the definition of inclusion align with your values and beliefs about teaching and learning?
    • What did you notice about the definition of inclusion?
    • What do you think are the most important principles of inclusive education?
    • How can we create more inclusive classrooms and schools?

If you are somewhat new to the definition – you might want to pick the cocoon option:

  • Watch this PBS video – There's Been a Mistake.
  • Compare and contrast with the definition of inclusive education provided.
  • Where is there overlap? How do they relate?How can you use these resources going forward?

If you are very familiar with the definition – you might want to pick the butterfly option:

  • Create your own definition after considering what inclusion mean to you, to the leadership team, to staff, to families, and to children. You might even think ahead one year, or even five years. What does a more inclusive system look and feel like?
  • After writing a definition, consider what changes in current practices will have to evolve for your school system and everyone in it. 
  • Where does your definition overlap with existing vision statements, missions, policies, and/or our definition?
Milestone 1: Exploring Why Inclusion Resources and Activities

Legal Why: Supplemental Aids and Services [pdf]

Research Why:

  • Inclusion Fact Sheet [pdf]
  • Addressing Early Learning Standards for All Children Within Blended Preschool Classrooms [pdf]
  • Does Self-Contained Special Education Deliver [pdf]

Exploring WHY Activity Options

Caterpillar Option: Extend your own personal why statement 

  • Watch this video on how to create a personal why statement (fast forward & start at :33)
  • Trying writing your personal why statement using the formula shared in the video (To_____, so that_____)
  • Who needs to hear your why? How will you share your why?

Cocoon Option: Explore the research why

  • Review this fact sheet [Google DRIVE doc]
  • On a blank sheet of colored paper, jot down key phrases and/or findings that struck you
  • Identify who you will share this fact sheet with and what action you will take

Butterfly Option: Differentiate the why of inclusion

  • Consider all the reasons for why inclusive education (legal, research, social justice, personal stories, human need to belong, etc.)
  • Consider who needs which why within your network and system
  • Determine how you will listen deeply to understand what they need before you offer more facts and figures
  • What is one step you will take within the next 3 weeks to differentiate the why of inclusion?
Milestone 6: Inclusion is Instructional Resources

Look Fors Self-Assessment [Google DRIVE doc]

Co-Teaching and Collaboration

  • Co-Teaching Models [pdf]
  • 1 teach/1 make multi-sensory [pdf]


  • 9 Practices to Make Any Lesson Inclusive [pdf] 
  • 45 Ways to Inclusively Group Students [pdf]


  • 100 ways to adapt anything [pdf]

Natural Supports

  • Academic supports on the fly [pdf]
  • Invisible supports [pdf]

Behavioral Supports

Metamorphosis: The Transformative Power of Inclusive Schools

Mark your calendar to join our Summer Leadership Institute August 7-9.


Click here to check out the daily schedule with inspiration and practical tools based upon our book, The Way to Inclusion.

Have questions about SLI? Sign up here to get answers.



The research is clear: students with disabilities do better academically, socially, emotionally, and behaviorally, and experience better post-secondary outcomes when educated in inclusive settings. 


The What Why & How of Inclusion On-Demand Dashboard is designed for all PreK-12th grade school staff committed to providing inclusive education for all students. The district license provides the entire school staff with on demand access to a 90 minute feature presentation from Dr. Julie Causton and Dr. Kristie Pretti-Frontczak about the What, Why, & How of inclusive education and tons of  research-based bonus videos, tools, tips and additional resources to support implementation and learning.