• Successful High School Inclusion
  • Making Access a Reality for All Students
  • item #: 15

Successfulhighschool video
  • ©2001
  • 35 Min.

price: $99

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Hosted by Dr. Marilyn Friend

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We recommend this case study in educational change. It has led to a unified high school—one of the very few we’ve ever studied.


The Problem of Scale
High schools have been the bastions of tradition and resistant to implementing inclusive practices. Drs. Marilyn Friend and Leonard Burrello, the director of the Forum on Education, have visited North Central High School over years, admiring their exemplars of co-teaching in English, math, foreign language, and science. During their last visit, they learned about the tipping point that led to a transformation of the entire philosophy to a concept they call Universal Access. Taking a high school to scale is what Elmore describes as “innovations that require large scale changes in the core of educational practice.” He argues it seldom occurs and it seldom lasts very long. North Central is the exception. 

The Context
North Central High is a comprehensive 3,200-student high school with a very diverse student body. It has about 320 identified students, of which 250 are identified as students with mild disabilities.


The Strategy
On this video, the principal and his staff describe the tipping point and their engagement of the staff in transforming their high school from a set of parallel systems for typical and disabled students into one dedicated to assisting all students to meet higher expectations. The major components of their story are:

  • A development of a communal vocabulary to guide their communication.
  • Structures that support collaboration—including a focus on the curriculum and time.
  • A student profile document developed by a building committee of general education teachers.
  • Co-teaching between general and special education teachers within academic departments.
  • A Learning Center to serve all students. (The DVD documents the LC’s evolution.)
  • Communicating within a professional community with parents.


Discussion Guide Included


This production is a joint venture of the Forum On Education, Indiana University Television Services, and Elephant Rock Productions, Inc.
Indiana University Board of Trustees-All Rights Reserved
Digital Distribution of this material is prohibited. No copying.