Farb Middle School, San Diego Unified School District, and Savanna High School, Anaheim Union High School District, join six middle schools in the Poway Unified School District to participate in the Strategic Practices for the Advancement of Inclusive Schooling (SPAIS) grant.These eight schools will work toward fulfilling the mission of SPAIS to increase access and outcomes for secondary students with disabilities, including students with the most significant disabilities, who are Black, Latinx, and students experiencing poverty and homelessness.

SPAIS is a three-year grant-funded program for the California Alliance for Inclusive Schooling (CAIS) and the Thompson Policy Institute on Disability (TPI), funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Through CAIS and supported by TPI, the SPAIS grant provides partner secondary schools with strategic plans for inclusive schooling that improve access to general education classrooms and transition outcomes for students transitioning from middle school to high school and high school to post-secondary education.

Participating in the SPAIS grant provides our district and site based leadership teams with thought partners from the Thompson Policy Institute. Our partners help us reflect and improve on our inclusive practices across our middle schools. In addition, they empower sites through focused collaboration, goal setting, and resources to sustainably achieve goals.
Megan Gross,
Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA), Inclusive Practices, Special Education Department,
Poway Unified School District

The strategic plans are designed to implement and sustain inclusive practices through equity-focused professional development workshops, on-site coaching, with a focus on systems-change to increase inclusive practices and transition outcomes for students with disabilities. The work of SPAIS aligns with CA-MTSS implementation and targets the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP)  priority areas of student achievement, student engagement, school climate, and access to core services. The SPAIS grant supports California’s recent policies and initiatives that focus on equity, access, and accountability for all students. 

Our Inclusive Practices team has been delighted to work alongside TPI as we collaborate on creating meaningful experiences for students with disabilities in General Education spaces, and across campus cultures.  The team at TPI has listened attentively, has offered up thoughtful, research-driven solutions, and has brainstormed alongside us as we look for ways to improve these student experiences.
Alexandra Hatch
Classified on Special Assignment: Inclusive Practices, Student Support Services,
Poway Unified School District

TPI and CAIS welcome Farb Middle School and Savannah High School to the SPAIS grant. TPI and CAIS are excited to provide the eight partner secondary schools with high-quality, research-based professional development within multi-tiered levels of support to increase the educational and transition outcomes for students with disabilities. TPI will continue to launch initiatives and foster partnerships that support cutting-edge inclusion and transition practices. 

For more information about the SPAIS grant, including upcoming events, please visit chapman.edu/tpi-spais.