Hobson hopes to make all students feel included in Estacada classrooms through inclusive practices

Jason Hobson

As recently hired student services director for the Estacada School District, Jason Hobson hopes to provide additional opportunities for those in special education programs.

Hobson was most recently an instructional coordinator for student services for the West Linn Wilsonville School District. In Estacada, he succeeds Tina Rhue, who will retire this summer.

Hobson hopes to increase the Estacada School District's inclusive practices, which focus on placing special-education students in classrooms with peers when possible. Typically, this practice looks different for every student but involves working with their strengths and offering a "spectrum and continuum of support."

Hobson emphasized that the process varies for each student but noted that it could involve having another specialist in the room or spending time outside of class.

"We create strategies where we know they can be successful, and support them as much as they need," he continued. "If they can be in a (general) ed class all day, great. But if they're not there yet, that's OK too."

When working with inclusive practices, Hobson noted, "the bottom line is knowing the student well."

"It requires collaboration between teachers and learning specialists, and for communication to be open so everybody knows what the plan is and what the student's individual needs are," he said.

Hobson explained that there are

many benefits to inclusive practices in schools.

"When students are included with their peers, research shows that students have a strong sense of belonging to the school community," he said. "Students feel more welcomed, have stronger peer relationships and tend to do better academically."

He noted the process is sometimes gradual.

"It's never done. It's an ongoing journey," he said. "It's never perfect — it's messy and complex and emotional, but in the end it's the outcomes for students that really matter."

Prior to beginning his career in education, Hobson spent 15 years as a wildlife biology technician.

"I always found myself gravitating toward teaching kids about wildlife communities," he said.

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