NEWTON, MA | December 3, 2007
To highlight the accomplishments of families, schools, and communities that promote inclusive education, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino has declared December 3-7 “Inclusive Schools Week” in the City of Boston.
Inclusive schools are marked by a philosophy that all children can learn together in an atmosphere of acceptance and accessibility. In an inclusive school, curriculum, lessons and activities are structured to not only meet the needs of the student population but to celebrate the diversity among them.
The proclamation signed by Mayor Menino states in part that: “the educators and families of Boston Public Schools have been working hard to ensure that our classrooms and schools are characterized as being high performing and inclusive; and by their efforts to make our schools and classrooms high performing and inclusive have contributed significantly to building a stronger and more inclusive community.”
Inclusive Schools Week offers an opportunity for schools and communities to celebrate their achievements and for educators, students, and families to discuss other measures to ensure that schools educate all children. Thousands of schools observe the Week across the country.
One local school marking the occasion is the Patrick O’Hearn School in Dorchester, Mass., where students will be creating artwork and writing essays depicting the importance of inclusive schools. Students will also meet young adults with disabilities and hear about how they are contributing to their communities.
“Inclusion has definitely helped the O’Hearn become a more vibrant and creative learning community for all kids,” said Principal Bill Henderson.
The 2007 booklet “Celebration Ideas: Activities and Resources for Families, Schools and Communities” offers ideas to incorporate inclusive practices into classrooms and schools. The booklet can be downloaded for free or purchased in CD Rom or print formats. For more information and resources about inclusive schools, visit www.inclusiveschools.org.
Inclusive Schools Week is sponsored by the Urban Special Education Leadership Collaborative and Education Development Center, based in Newton, Massachusetts.