March 2021 — Collinsville Community Unit School District #10 is proud to announce formation of a 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.
“Collinsville Community Unit School District #10 was one of three school districts in our state selected by the Illinois State Board of Education’s (ISBE) Division of Early Childhood to participate in a federal technical assistance grant. Illinois and Oregon were the two states chosen to receive support by the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center, a federal technical assistance provider,” according to Alison Underwood, Collinsville CUSD 10 Director of Special Education.
CUSD 10 Director of Special Education Alison Underwood said, “Our district was selected based on the progress we have made toward providing more inclusive opportunities for early childhood students. The goal of the grant is to ensure that our littlest learners receive their education in an inclusive setting, no matter what program they attend within the community.”
“One of Collinsville’s greatest strengths is providing our students in grades K-12 an inclusive environment regardless of their educational needs. We are grateful for the opportunity to expand and improve current programs in Pre-K and Early Childhood to make sure we meet students academic and social emotional needs,” added Dr. Skertich, CUSD 10 Superintendent.
Broad-based Community Collaboration
The Collinsville CIT includes representatives from several community-based organizations, including Riverbend Head Start, Lily Pad Learning Center, Children’s Home and Aid, Early Intervention-CFC 21, and Star Net Region IV. CUSD 10 staff, administrators and families are also represented on the team.
The work of the CIT is summarized in their vision statement: “We exist to prepare young children from 3 to 5 years old for success in Kindergarten and beyond regardless of ability, gender, racial identity or ethnicity by providing various supports within inclusive, natural environments.”
Collinsville Community Inclusion Team Activities
Collinsville CIT has met monthly since August 2020. To this date, the team has completed an in-depth analysis of the community’s level of inclusion. The CIT is actively working together to provide information to the community about inclusion. Upcoming collaboration will focus on creating policies to ensure that preschool inclusion is scaled-up throughout our community. This work is guided by the Illinois State Board of Education’s Illinois Early Childhood Inclusion Vision Statement.
For more information on Collinsville Community Inclusion Team:
Christine Coleman, Collinsville CIT Facilitator
618-346-6301 extension 5941