DENVER, CO | October 9, 2002
The 2nd Annual National Inclusive Schools Week will be celebrated December 2- 6, 2002, in classrooms, schools, and communities throughout the country to highlight the nation’s progress in providing a quality education to an increasingly diverse student population.
National Inclusive Schools Week, which involved tens of thousands of participants in more than 2,000 schools and school districts in nearly all 50 states in 2001, is sponsored by the National Institute for Urban School Improvement, a project of the U.S.Dept. of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs. The National Institute characterizes inclusive schools as those that:
- make sure each and every student feels welcome and is learning,
- embrace the understanding that every student is unique and, therefore,learns differently,
- understand that all children—students with and without disabilities, English language learners, those with special talents—learn better if teaching is tailored to their abilities and interests,
- collaborate with families,
- hold high expectations for student success, and keep improving.
Among last year’s activities:
- Schools held events such as the “Share Fair” in Miami—Dade County (FL) and the “Diversity Carnival” in Philadelphia to spotlight diversity and inclusive practices
- Pre-schools and kindergarten classes involved children in events such as the New Sarpy Kindergarten Center (Louisiana) where children created art projects such as “I am Special” buttons they wore throughout the week
- School districts such as the Denver Public Schools issued official proclamations designating December 3-7 Inclusive Schools Week
- 15 colleges and universities including Boston University and Temple University planned special events with their education students.
“The overwhelming participation and success of the first annual Inclusive Schools Week has led us to sponsor another week of events,” said the National Institute’s Co-Director David Riley. “Once again we will be offering educators, students, and families an opportunity to celebrate how far we’ve come in meeting the needs of all learners and to discuss what else needs to be done to ensure that all schools successfully educate all children,” Riley said.
To help schools plan events for the Week, the National Institute is offering an updated Celebration Kit containing publications that outline the benefits of inclusive schools, suggested readings for children and adults, celebration ideas and lesson plans, and materials to use in promoting the week. The 2002 kit will also include ideas for older students, including essay contests and ways to involve civics and journalism classes, and student government clubs and organizations.