Middletown High School: Equal Opportunity for Academic Achievement

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Abstract

Middletown High School is a comprehensive high school with 1,970 students, located in the environs of Washington, DC. It is distinguished by an open enrollment policy for all courses; a strong emphasis on inclusion of students with learning disabilities (LD) in general education classrooms; block scheduling that allows for more in-depth and meaningful study of important concepts and ideas; and team teaching in English, mathematics, science, and social studies. In a schoolwide 30-minute daily Learning Seminar, all students learn study skills, do homework, take tests, or go to the library, and teachers have opportunities for departmental meetings and problem solving. A visual representation of a “percolator” frames the school's system of opportunities and supports. Through case studies of two students with LD and analyses of 55 transcripts of recent graduates, we describe the academic and social opportunities, support structures, and strategies that make Middletown a “good high school” for students with disabilities.

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