Conejo Valley Unified School District's Commitment to Inclusion
The Conejo Valley Unified School District recognizes each child is unique and when differences are celebrated, a community of inclusivity, kindness, and respect results, which enhances the learning for all. CVUSD is committed to acknowledging historically marginalized individuals and/or communities by working together to break down barriers as well as ensuring the full and equal access to opportunities and resources.
Universal Design for Learning in CVUSD
Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is an instructional mindset that acknowledges the variability of all learners and seeks to remove barriers to learning by providing multiple means of engagement, representation, action and expression. UDL strengthens the universal instruction provided for all students by intentionally designing a learning environment to be more accessible and inclusive for diverse student learners.
UDL was introduced to all CVUSD teachers during a full day of professional learning in August 2019. This kickoff event featured a keynote address by renowned author and practitioner Dr. Katie Novak. This training was followed up in November 2019 when all teachers worked collaboratively to determine barriers to student learning and then apply the UDL Guidelines as grade-level or content area departments. Continued training has been provided since the launch of UDL in CVUSD through additional teacher collaboration, district-led training for administrators, principal-led training for school sites, and through continual "UDL Learning Walks", in which teams of educators observe their colleagues' classrooms to identify and discuss the applications of UDL.
Multi Tiered System of Supports (MTSS)
According to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) is a “comprehensive continuum of evidence-based, systemic practices to support a rapid response to students’ needs, with regular observation to facilitate data-based instructional decision making.” In CVUSD, the MTSS process embraces inclusion and diversity while providing the supports that students need. MTSS is a collaborative problem-solving process used to identify concerns, develop interventions, and evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention in a multi-tiered system of service delivery.
Co-Teaching in CVUSD
Co-teaching is an inclusive instructional strategy in which two teachers, a general education teacher and a special education teacher, partner to create a cohesive curriculum in which they co-plan, co-teach, and co-assess to provide access to the subject for ALL students. Co-teaching provides students with and without disabilities the opportunity to interact with and learn from both teachers and all students while gaining access to the curriculum in a more universally designed manner.
CVUSD offers various co-teaching classes in English, Social Studies, Science, and Math for grades 6 through 12. Students with IEPs may access their Specialized Academic Instruction services in a co-taught class based on the IEP team decisions. If your student's IEP does not indicate that a co-taught class is a required component of the least restrictive environment, and rather, a CP course that is not co-taught is named, you can request a co-taught class with the school counselor (this does not guarantee placement and is based on each student's required course and the overall master schedule at the school site).
Community Based Instruction
Community-based instruction (CBI) is a strategy or instructional method that promotes the teaching and use of academic and functional skills in the student’s community environment. CBI is designed to teach and promote student independence as much as possible in as many community environments as possible and to provide students with practice for independent or supported living, employment, and recreational activities. CVUSD students in specialized programs access CBI in settings that are relevant to the student, facilitate independence, and are age appropriate. Through CBI, students work on IEP goals in real-world situations, develop social and behavioral skills, are provided opportunities for inclusive interactions within the community, gain familiarity with the community, develop work skills, develop independent life skills, and develop communication skills. CBI is an instrumental component of CVUSD’s high school LEAP specialized programs as well as at Conejo Oaks Academy. Students participate in community trips concurrently with classroom instruction. Students engage and practice some skills in the classroom first while later practicing the skills in the community setting.