This article offers a definition of “inclusive” education based on schoolwide practices that foster a sense of belonging and provide the instruction and interventions to promote academic success for all students, with a focus on those with extensive support needs. Although placement in general education settings is a necessary condition for “inclusion” to occur, placement alone is insufficient to ensure that membership is fostered and instruction leads to progress in the curriculum. The research findings from studies examining the impact of general education participation on students with extensive support needs is reviewed. We discuss current directions in designing schoolwide organizational structures that support a system for efficient and effective inclusive education, and discuss recommendations for change.

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