Camdenton Middle School is one of six schools chosen from across the country as a knowledge development site for a University of Kansas-based program that integrates special education with general education programs.
The program, known as the SWIFT Center, or School-wide Integrated Framework for Transformation, is based out of the University of Kansas and is federally funded with $24.5 million over five years.
The SWIFT Center began in October 2012 and is designed to integrate resources from special education and other programs into general education to improve learning for all students.
Wayne Sailor is the Director of the SWIFT Center. He says the program will provide technical assistance to schools working to integrate their resources.
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.
Sailor says Camdenton is already successful at integrating different education programs and styles and he hopes to learn from the school.
Kristy Kindwall is the Director of Interventions at Camdenton. She agrees that the SWIFT Center can learn from Camdenton, but she also hopes to learn something in return. “They’re hoping to learn from us the practices that we use and they’re also giving us the opportunity to learn from then and schools across the country so that we can grow in how we meet the needs of all of our students,” said Kindwall.
Kindwall says it’s important to offer students a variety of learning opportunities and styles so that they can be successful. She says education is changing as technology advances and provides different opportunities for learning. “We’re living in a different world,” says Kindwall. “We’re living in a digital age where we have additional reading and writing standards and different types of social skills using different types of technology and as a school, it’s going to look different for students today.”
Part of the SWIFT Center’s funding of $24.5 million goes to reimburse knowledge development sites like Camdenton for time and interference.