by Julie Causton and George Theoharis (2014)
“It is the principal who will ultimately make or break a school’s ability to be inclusive and to transcend from the rhetoric of inclusion to the reality of embracing the full range of students with and without disabilities as members of the general education learning and social community” (Causton and Theoharis, p. 2).
In order for a school to have full inclusion, it must be led by a team of inclusive leaders. The Principal’s Handbook for Leading Inclusive Schools by Julie Causton and George Theoharis provides information and practical strategies for principals, educators and parents, to help create school communities that are inclusive for all. The goal is for readers to change their perspective about their students to focus on their strengths and abilities as opposed to their limitations.
The beginning of the book focuses on the role of the principal/school leader, background information about special education, and current information about inclusive education. The book continues with specific strategies that can be immediately implemented in schools, as well as a number of resources such as a “Checklist of Sample Supplemental Supports, Aids and Services” and a “Classroom Environment Feedback Form”. The book concludes with information for leaders about how to care for themselves to ensure they can be better equipped to serve their students.
The Principal’s Handbook shares insight from a variety of sources including educators, professionals in inclusive education and support staff. Although it is intended for individuals in leadership roles, the information is useful to all members of a school community, because only with the understanding and involvement from everyone can a fully inclusive school truly exist.