March 29, 2023 — Collinsville Community Unit School District #10 (CUSD 10) is proud to recognize the continued efforts of its Collinsville Community Inclusion Team (CIT).
The Collinsville CIT was launched thanks to CUSD 10’s participation in a federal initiative to implement, sustain and scale up high quality preschool inclusion. The initiative was co-led by ECTA and the National Center for Pyramid Model Innovations (NCPMI) and included partners from across the early care and education system. The Illinois State Board of Education and EarlyCHOICES led the work in Illinois. This initiative focused on using indicators to analyze the level of preschool inclusion in a community and to provide a framework for increased inclusion efforts throughout a community. Community inclusion teams are a unique strategy to support this effort.
The Collinsville CIT includes representatives from several community-based organizations, including Riverbend Head Start and Family Services, Children’s Home and Aid’s Stronger Beginnings for Families and Child Care Resource and Referral programs, Child and Family Connections 21, and Family Matters Parent Training & Info Center. CUSD 10 staff, administrators and families are also represented on the team.
The CIT’s journey was recently highlighted in an episode of a podcast series, Preschool Inclusion in Illinois, produced by StarNET Regions I & III. Collinsville CIT Inclusion Coach Pam Reising-Rechner and CIT Facilitator Christine Coleman detailed the work of Collinsville’s Community Inclusion Team in episode two of the series, which will air on April 3, 2023. The podcast series can be found here.
Collinsville CUSD 10 and Riverbend Head Start continue to be the only agencies in the state of Illinois to collaboratively provide individualized special education and related services in-place at a Head Start facility. Eligible preschool students are able to stay in their natural, inclusive classroom at Head Start and receive services provided by CUSD 10 staff. Bringing services to students at their childcare center reduces transitions for these 3- or 4-year old children, who otherwise would need to bus transportation mid-day to receive specialized services.
The Collinsville CIT continues to meet monthly to work on various projects that will impact preschool inclusion in the community, including the creation of a website that can be accessed by families and programs. This website documents the Collinsville CIT’s history and progress, and offers technical assistance resources to programs and families. The Collinsville CIT website can be accessed here.
Programs that are interested in scaling up their own preschool inclusion efforts can benefit from an upcoming webinar series. EarlyCHOICES will host a Preschool Inclusion Toolbox Three-Part series beginning April 19, 2023. Sessions will cover topics that are integral to high- quality inclusive preschool programs, including the creating a vision, policies and procedures that support inclusion, and evidence-based practices. Registration is now open
For more information on Collinsville Community Inclusion Team:
Christine Coleman, Collinsville CIT Facilitator
618-346-6301 extension 5941