Advanced Authentic Research
Improved Inclusion Between Students in General Education and Students Receiving Special Education Services at Palo Alto High School

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Rachel L.

Summary

This project aims to investigate behavioral tactics and best practices for peer relationships between students in general education and students in special education at Palo Alto High School. Through action and needs-assessment research, a resource packet will be compiled of best practices discovered by conducting co-teacher and special education professional interviews. This resource will then be sent to students at Paly and evaluated through a survey. The overarching goal is for students to read this resource and feel more comfortable/prepared to interact with any peer they might have in a future classroom.

Personal Statement

This project was largely inspired by my brother, Joey, who has fostered an advocacy effort in me ever since he was diagnosed with autism fourteen years ago. After working on a similar project sophomore year in the Social Justice Pathway, I decided to come back to the topic of inclusion, seeing as it's incredibly important in a high school environment. By contributing in some way to make Paly a more collaborative and open-minded campus, I hoped to help students like my brother feel more welcome inside — and maybe even outside — the classroom.