May 19, 2022 — Collinsville Community Unit School District #10 is proud to announce the continued progress of the Collinsville Community Inclusion Team (CIT), enabling community stakeholders to collaborate in an effort to ensure that preschool students in Collinsville and the surrounding areas have access to high quality, inclusive classrooms.
“Our district is fortunate to have strong partnerships with our community organizations, which enables our district to maximize services for students and families,” notes Collinsville Community Unit School District #10 Superintendent Dr. Mark B. Skertich.
“This team is working together to share the importance of preschool inclusion, both in the classroom and the community,” according to Alison Underwood, Collinsville CUSD 10 Director of Special Education.
Continued Broad-based Community Collaboration
The Collinsville CIT’s work is summarized in their vision statement: “We exist to prepare young children from Collinsville and its surrounding area for success regardless of ability, gender, racial identity or ethnicity by increasing access through full participation within inclusive, natural environments.”
Through participation in a federal technical assistance grant. and supported by the Illinois State Board of Education and the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center, this team continues to work to ensure that our community’s youngest students receive their education in an inclusive setting, no matter what program they attend within the community.
Collinsville Community Inclusion Team Activities
Collinsville CIT has met monthly since August 2020 and includes representatives from several community-based organizations, including Riverbend Head Start, Children’s Home and Aid’s Stronger Beginnings and Child Care Resource and Referral programs, Early Intervention-CFC 21, and STAR NET Region IV. CUSD 10 staff, administrators and families are also represented on the team. The CIT has launched a Facebook page that will help provide information to the community about inclusion. CIT Facebook Page
“The team has created resource documents that highlight inclusion technical assistance that is available to programs and families in the area,” noted Mrs. Underwood. These documents are available at the following links: Inclusion Technical Assistance for Programs Family Resources for Inclusion
Collinsville CUSD #10 and Riverbend Head Start’s collaborative pilot to expand individualized services at the Head Start facility has been successful in its first year. During the 2022-23 school year, additional preschool students who are eligible to receive special education and related services will be able to stay in their natural, inclusive classroom at Head Start and receive services provided by District #10 staff.
The CIT will be surveying local daycare centers over the next few months in a continuing effort to deepen the community’s collaboration and provide support to everyone who cares for children with disabilities in Collinsville and the surrounding area.
Collinsville Community Unit School District #10 comprises 13 schools serving 6,400 students PreK-12 in Madison and St. Clair Counties in Southwestern Illinois.
For more information on Collinsville Community Inclusion Team:
Christine Coleman, Collinsville CIT Facilitator
618-346-6301 extension 5941