Newberry Elementary School in Gainesville is one of six schools in the nation selected  to partner with the Swift Center (School-wide Integrated Framework for Transformation) as a knowledge development site.

The schools were chosen to partner with SWIFT Center researchers to produce a comprehensive field study of exemplary practices in inclusive education that lead to academic achievement gains for all students including those with disabilities. The field study will help to provide new knowledge to guide the Center’s technical assistance efforts over the next four years.

Dr.  Wayne Sailor says the knowledge development sites are schools that have already figured out how to integrate special and general education well, without the help of the SWIFT Center.

“The idea of these knowledge development sites is that people have, without any help from us, figured out how to do all this stuff, and may have solved some problems that we have yet to find solutions to and may have actually accomplished some outcomes at a faster, more efficient pace,” said Sailor.

Newberry Elementary School principal, Lacy Redd, founded the inclusion program seven years ago. At Newberry  students with disabilities “do the exact same curriculum, with the same materials ” as their same age typically developing peers. Students come from all over Gainesville and the neighboring counties  for the inclusion program. Redd expects the SWIFT study will attract even more families to Newberry.

Representing a cross-section of U.S. schools, including small town and large metropolitan districts, the six knowledge development sites are:

Camdenton Middle School, grades 7-8, in Camdenton, Mo.

Prairie Elementary School, grades K-5, in Stoughton, Wis.

Newberry Elementary School, grades K-4, in Newberry, Fla.

William Henderson Inclusion School, grades K-5, in Boston (Dorchester).

Willard Middle School, grades 6-8, in Berkeley, Calif.

WISH Charter School, grades 6-8, in Los Angeles.

“These schools are all excellent examples of what the SWIFT model incorporates: commitment to inclusive education by the entire school community and support by district administration, family members and other members of their communities,” said Amy McCart, KU associate research professor and SWIFT director of technical assistance.

Check out Swift’s website here.