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What You Can Do During Inclusive Schools Week

This week, December 5 to 9, I recently learned is Inclusive Schools Week sponsored by Stetson & Associates, Inc., and this year marks the 11th anniversary of the event. The purpose of the week, to quote from their website, is “to highlight the progress schools have made in providing a supportive and quality education to students of diverse backgrounds and abilities and to provide an opportunity for educators, students, and families to ensure that schools continue to improve their ability to successfully educate all children.”

Apparently, thousands of districts are planning to celebrate this week and participate in “Moving From Awareness to Action.” Their website has a complete kit with many ideas and sample plans for celebrating across a district, or in elementary and secondary schools.

If you are reading this post and thinking what can I do in my classroom or district, given that the week has already begun, I found a few suggestions and added a few:

–          With your students, make a list of changes that would have to happen to have an inclusive school. What changes would happen in the classroom? What would students and teachers have to do differently?

–          Ask students to write essays or Letters to the Editor of the local paper about inclusive schools.

–          Create posters showing different characteristics of inclusive schools.

–          The Inclusive Schools site lists Bookshare as one resource for inclusive schools. Talk with your students about other ways Bookshare can be used in the district or school that would support inclusion. Make a plan for the rest of the school year.

If you’re interested in the plans and progress toward inclusive schools in the District of Columbia Public Schools, you’ll be interested in this post and their video, as well as videos of students who are now included.

Best of luck!

2 Comments

  1. Hope to hear more from schools who celebrated Inclusive Schools Week.

  2. One particularly awesome example of inclusion at Twain Middle School is our Peer Helping/WAT class. The class combines general education peer helpers with students in our WAT (Work Awareness & Transition) program. The course is a blend of life skills and service to the community, which provides a level playing field for all students who participate. Students have jointly had discussions about bullying, current events, and students rights while planning clothing drives, organizing school mailings, and learning to cook. It’s an amazing inclusive experience.

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