NLACL awards two schools and one individual with the 2011 Inclusive Education Award
Award to Memorial Academy in Botwood, Newfoundland
Inclusive Education is about how we develop our learning environments-schools, classrooms, programs and activities so that all students learn and participate together. It is based on the firm belief that all students have value and can best learn in regular classrooms, alongside students their own age. Inclusion means that our schools help develop positive relationships and mutual respect between all students.
On April 19 Memorial Academy in Botwood was awarded with the Inclusive Education award, a national award from the Canadian Association for Community Living. Examples of inclusive practices that happen at Memorial Academy are:
• All students are assigned and attend a regular homeroom
• Providing a late bus run three afternoons a week to allow students the opportunity to participate in organized activities
• Hosting a breakfast program every day
• Attempting to maximize the use of technology and assistive devices to promote independent learning
• Believing and practicing that “one size does not fit all” because children do learn differently
• Understanding that all students are the responsibility of the regular classroom but that working together is essential for the student’s growth
• Having a well-resourced literacy room to assist teachers
• The stay after 3 pm program for teacher’s professional development
• Engaging families in the grade three quilters day and the grade four grandparents day
Clarenville Middle School Principal Craig Pardy Gets Inclusion Award
On May 13 Craig Pardy the principal for Clarenville Middle School was awarded with the Inclusive Education award. It was very evident by the application that Mr. Pardy understands the meaning of inclusion. To turn the concept of inclusion into reality takes a tremendous amount of effort, dedication and cooperation by all staff and students but most important it takes a very strong leader. Mr. Craig Pardy is such a leader.
Examples of inclusive practices that happen at Clarenville Middle School, under the direction of Principal Mr. Craig Pardy are:
• Based on the needs of the child, children are grouped with their peers.
• He constantly challenges himself and the staff to review their practices to ensure that Clarenville Middle School is doing the best that they can for all students. The motto “Where Children Come First” is evident of this.
• High expectations are defined relative to the individual students’ capabilities and exceptionalities.
• He believes that all children can achieve and that success is their greatest motivator.
• He believes in the uniqueness of each student who attends this school.
• He has promoted the practices of Differentiated Instruction, encouraged staff to become well versed in these practices and provided teachers with professional development opportunities.
• He has embraced the concepts of co-teaching and creative scheduling thus capitalizing on the skill set of individual teachers, encouraging one teacher to be very innovative when it comes to developing practical and interesting science labs. These labs are successful at broadening the students’ understanding, in a hands-on way, as to how these subject areas relate to everyday life.
• Mr. Pardy is committed to the journey of Inclusive Education.
Lawn, Newfoundland School – Holy Name of Mary Academy - Receives Inclusive Education Award
On June 1 Holy Name of Mary Academy in Lawn was presented the Inclusive Education award.
Examples of inclusive practices that happen at Holy Name of Mary Academy are:
• All students are given the opportunity to participate in extra-curricular activities
• Students are supported to learn alongside their peers, in the classroom
• Teachers are provided collaboration time during school hours to plan lessons
• Strategies such as differentiated instruction and co-teaching are being implemented
• Expectations of students are high and they are encouraged to work towards an academic program which broadens their opportunities for the future
• Guided reading, literature circles, small group instruction, flexible instructional resource teacher scheduling, combining classes and collaboration on tasks are just some of the strategies being used here
• Bullying presentations, classes on stereotypes, gossip-free zone posters and active learning activities such as math bowling and identity chairs have contributed to the enhancement of an inclusive school environment
The Newfoundland and Labrador Association for Community Living, by presenting Botwood Memorial Academy, Holy Name of Mary Academy and Craig Pardy with the 2011 Inclusive Education Award believes that they will continue to make the school community a place where all are accepted and valued members
Student Services Team at Hampton High School in New Brunswick wins Inclusive School Team Award
Creating a “common learning environment,” that is, places where students study, recreate and work within and beyond the school grounds makes a significant difference in fostering a culture of inclusion where everyone has a sense of belonging.
Principal Celinda Van Horne and the Students Services Team of Hampton High School spent the past four years transforming their school into a fully inclusive environment. The student services team provided teachers and paraprofessionals with information and training on Universal Design. Each year the changes were visible and obvious. This was a first for the school, but has proven to be so successful that more teachers have requested this training.
A special needs room was replaced with a student centre where the Guidance Counsellor and other staff worked with students. The room which used to house students with high needs has since become an office for the Resource teachers and paraprofessionals. Students who once ate their lunches in the resource room now eat in the cafeteria with their peers.
Each of the school’s three resource teachers work closely with the teachers to provide guidance, resources and support in their efforts to ensure that all students are participating fully and to the best of their abilities.
“The principal has also been instrumental in establishing a school atmosphere that is welcoming and respectful to all students, visitors and other staff members,” says Julie Stone, an Inclusive Education consultant who nominated the Student Services Team for the award. “In fact, she is often seen outside greeting students as they come off the buses.”
It is for their commitment to transforming their physical and working environment where all students had opportunities to participate and learn to their fullest potential that the Student Services Team was presented with the National Inclusive Education Award.
University of Victoria Library Staff Recognized with National Inclusive Education Award
Two University of Victoria McPherson Library staff members will be receiving a National Inclusive Education award from the CACL and the British Columbia Association for Community Living. Shailoo Bedi and Carlie Graham are being recognized for their leadership in making the McPherson Library an inclusive learning environment and workplace for students with developmental disabilities.
For a student, being fully included in a University or College means more than just attending class. It means having equal access to all aspects of post secondary life: recreational activities, employment opportunities and access to common learning spaces such as the library. Carlie and Shailo have taken the initiative and to advance inclusive education at a post secondary level.
Shailo Bedi, the Director of Systems and Client Services at UVic’s McPherson Library, has been instrumental in creating a way for students with developmental disabilities to access part-time “student assistant” employment at the library. Typically these positions have only been open to students taking courses for credit.
Carlie Graham, Manager of the Music and Media department at McPherson Library, has employed a student with a developmental disability for the last three years, taking leadership within the University as a whole to promote what needs to happen to make student positions successful within the University.
“Both Shailoo and Carlie model to the university community as a whole what it means to be a fully inclusive service,” writes Jessica Humphrey, Director at the STEPS Forward Inclusive Post-Secondary Education. “Because the library has taken leadership in defining auditing students with developmental disabilities as fully participating, it changes the way that others within the University – students, faculty and staff – see the value and potential of students with developmental disabilities.”
These two individuals are shining examples of how accommodations and changes in approach for one student can help others to see the value and potential of students with developmental disabilities in all aspects of university life.
Chilliwack Teacher Recognized with National Inclusive Education Award
Glenda Gaudette A learning assistance teacher at Sardis Secondary School in Chilliwack will be receiving a National Inclusive Education award from the CACL and the British Columbia Association for Community Living. She is being commended for her role in promoting a culture of inclusion at the school, while ensuring that students with special needs have full access to all courses with the support they need.
Ms. Gaudette has been recognized as part of National Inclusive Education Month, celebrated during February 2011 across Canada.
Ms. Gaudette’s collaborative team approach includes the participation of the school as a whole: students, parents, teachers, administrators and district staff. Rather than existing as a separate program, the Sardis learning assistance centre has promoted an inclusive, diverse culture of inclusion and friendship, supported by everyone at Sardis. Students with special needs are thus recognized for their abilities and have equal access to all classes and recreational activities, with the supports they need to succeed. Glenda Gaudette and Sardis Secondary are shining examples of how an entire school can come together and make inclusive education a reality. Congratulations Glenda and Sardis Secondary!
PEI Minister of Education Salutes Educators for Inclusion Work
Prince Edward Island Association for Community Living was pleased to take part in Inclusive Education Week in February 2011. The association was encouraged by the high caliber of educators who were nominated for the inclusion awards. Five inclusive education awards were presented on February 18 by Hon. Doug Currie, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development.
The following are some of the testimonials for these deserving award recipients:
Rebecca Knauff, Rainbow Daycare: “Rebecca is a strong advocate for not only children with autism, but all children. She has a gift for teaching and remarkable insight into the multifaceted learning styles of children with autism.”
Marcia Pridham, Resource Teacher, Westisle Composite High School: “Marcia has worked hard at bringing non resource-based students into the Resource Room and has helped resource-based students to join the larger community. She is a one of a kind teacher.”
Alanagh MacDougall, Parkdale Sherwood Headstart: “Alanagh adapts activities so that everyone can participate. Alanagh’s adaptations are invisible; designed to never draw attention; they are “all in the run of daily activities.”
Rachelle Gauthier, Principal, Ecole St. Augustin and Dream Team: “ When a young student with autism entered grade one in this small Francophone school, rachelle and her team welcomed him and they have maintained a community of caring ever since. Principal Gauthier often volunteered to provide support during recess and helped her student learn new social skills during play”
Kevin Stonefield, Principal, Montague Intermediate School: (as written by present and former students and parents): “He cares about where all students go after intermediate and tries to keep in touch with everyone. “ His door is always open. He has the type of leadership qualities where he leads by example rather than authority.”
There has been great progress made in PEI with Inclusive Education in the last few years. However there is much more to do and recognizing these educators strengthens that effort. PEI ACL collaborates with Education Partners on best practices and together they promote full community participation.
Resource Teacher Monique Hughes wins Inclusive Teacher Award
Monique Hughes’ motto is “Children need to be happy, safe and learning.” Ms. Hughes is a Resource teacher at Centennial Elementary School in Saint John.
Her nominator and Principal Tina Estabrooks, says that Ms. Hughes, “Personifies inclusive practices at all times and in all aspects of her work.”
80% of students who attend Centennial Elementary live in low income homes. In addition to this, there are many students who struggle with a variety of challenges, which, due to their personal circumstances, do not receive the proper diagnosis. Many of the school’s population are also transient and it is common for these new students to arrive at the school without any information regarding their needs and abilities.
This may seem rather daunting to any teacher, but not to Monique Hughes. She is the first person to great each new student. She ensures that she, along with administration, and the classroom teacher are quickly and fully aware of the child’s academic and social aptitude and she moves quickly to develop a plan to ensure that the student feels secure and has success.
She regularly visits their classroom and works closely with families and teachers to ensure that the student feels welcome and included.
Ms. Hughes belief that, “students must experience success to want to succeed,” is the underpinning of the learning plans that she develops for her students. She is committed to activities and programs that help ensure that all of her students are given the same opportunities to succeed. Ms. Hughes is also seen as a mentor in her field and is often invited to attend seminars to promote new initiatives and practices.
To Ms. Hughes, the development of the whole child is key to ensuring their success. It is for this that Monique Hughes was presented with the National Inclusive Education Award.
Former MP Leads Inclusive School
Principal Guy Arsenault and his staff at LE Reinsborough School in Dalhousie, N.B. were awarded the Inclusive School Team Award by NBACL and CACL. The citation read at the ceremony reads as follows:
Many parents who are about to send their children off to their first day of school are often faced with the fear of the unknown. What will happen when my child goes to school? Will he be safe, will he be included? Will he be accepted by his peers? Will he be supported when he is faced with challenges? Will he be challenged to do his best?
Crystal Payne, a mother of a student who attends LE Reinsborough School in Dalhousie, New Brunswick was also faced with these questions. Her son, Keagan who has a disability, requires specialized supports. This was an added concern to Crystal as she says in her nomination form, “For most parents, you are certain that there is no one on this earth that will care for and protect your child the way you do.” Thanks to the staff at LE Reinsborough School, Crystal soon discovered that eight year old Keagan, who is now in grade two, was in capable and caring hands.
Crystal credits the teachers and principal, Guy Arsenault with being committed to teaching all children while fostering in them a sense of self-esteem and pride and celebrating their successes. Working together with the parents, paraprofessionals and outside support staff is vital to ensuring that a student is well supported in reaching their full potential. Keagan’s teachers were very receptive to recommendations by his pediatric rehabilitation team and used some of the techniques they learned to support him in his learning. At the beginning of each school year, Keagan’s teacher, teacher assistants, specialists and therapists meet to discuss ways to provide him with the best possible support.
Because of the welcoming and supportive environment at LE Reinsborough School, Keagan loves school and enjoys being with his peers. He attends school outings and participates in special events from concerts to fund-raising.
“I believe that every child, no matter their ability, has the right to be treated with respect, the right to an education and the absolute right to enjoy successes along the way. From my son’s very first day at school over three years ago, our family has been treated with dignity respect and value, in my opinion some of the most important things that can be afforded a family.”
It is for this that the Mr. Guy Arsenault and the team at LE Reinsborough School have received the National Inclusive Education Award.
The conscience of the quest for inclusive education recognized
CACL inclusive education award officially bestowed upon pioneer Wednesday April 6, 2011 -- Kristian Partington
When it comes to inclusive education, the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board (HWCDSB) can be considered a global leader.
Delegations representing educators from the United States, Asia, Europe and Australia have at one time or another visited Hamilton and the surrounding area to see first-hand what true inclusion looks like.
The origins of this deserved reputation can be traced back to the passion for equality and inclusion that fuelled Jim Hansen throughout his long career with the board.
Hansen is a retired superintendent whose legacy can be seen in the natural way students of all abilities are given equal opportunity for success.
For pupils and educators in schools represented by the board, inclusivity today is a given — a fact of life.
The Canadian Association for Community Living (CACL) has honoured Hansen with the 2010 CACL inclusive education award for his dedication to the vision of a society free of barriers and segregation.
HWCDSB chairperson Pat Daly has known Hansen for a number of years, and says he can think of no other person as deserving of the recognition.
“His understanding that every child is created in the image of God and ensuring as a school system we not only believe that but we actually live it — Jim’s vision and leadership many decades ago really pushed the board in that right direction,” says Daly.
For more than 40 years inclusivity has been ingrained in the board’s approach to education, thanks to Hansen’s work.
“Now it’s just part of the fabric of our system and we understand very clearly that special needs students benefit greatly from being part of an inclusive education system,” says Daly.
“And there’s no question in my mind that the other students benefit in many, many ways.”
There were challenges and obstacles but based on the example Hansen set, people rarely focused on these.
“We focused on solutions and realized that this was better for everyone, and found ways to ensure it worked,” says Daly.
He remembers his first years as a trustee were during a time of great economic stress. The board heard numerous external arguments favouring segregation of students who had a disability as a more economical approach, rather than inclusion.
“Jim’s leadership at that time proved first of all that that wasn’t true but secondly, and more importantly by far, that if we truly call ourselves a Catholic school system then we have to ensure that despite — even if there are, which there aren’t — any additional costs, this is just too much a part of our mission and who we are to allow those detractors to win out,” says Daly.
“In difficult times, Jim has served as a conscience when it comes to our ‘each belongs’ philosophy,” he adds.
Special Recognition Award – Superintendent Alex Dingwall, School District 18, Fredericton, N.B.
For his contributions to putting New Brunswick on the map as a leader in Inclusive Education.
CACL and NBACL made a special award to Alex Dingwall, Superintendent of Schools in Fredericton, New Brunswick. Mr. Dingwall played a varied role in NB education over the 25 years since inclusive education was mandated in the province. A native of Montreal, Dingwall served in northern and southern NB as well as a time as Director of Student Services in the Department of Education. He was recognized for his leadership and for the caring and respectful way he worked with students, parents and teachers. He received the recognition in Fredericton during Inclusive Education Month.
Click here to download the PDF version.
Marlene Munn, a parent in Fredericton writes:
During Inclusive Education Week in New Brunswick, the Minister of Education, Roland Haché, visited Aimee's classroom. He gave a great presentation to the class about inclusion. You can see the photo taken during the visit.
If you click on the picture of the video camera that says "Video” you can see the video that NBACL did on our family. The Department of Education has posted the video on their web site.
MOUNT PEARL TEACHER RECEIVES NATIONAL INCLUSIVE EDUCATION AWARD
Sherry Gambin-Walsh - Provincial Inclusion Consultant for the Newfoundland and Labrador Association for Community Living
On May 2010, I had the pleasure of presenting the Newfoundland and Labrador Inclusive Education award to Mr. Luke Neville, a very humble Phys Ed teacher from St. Peter’s Junior High in Mount Pearl.
As a mother of a 14 year old boy with autism, it was a remarkable moment for me personally. Inclusive Education is about how we develop our learning environments—schools, classrooms, programs and activities –so that all students learn and participate together. It is based on the firm belief that all students have value and can best learn in regular classrooms alongside students their own age. Inclusion also means that our schools help develop positive relationships and mutual respect between all students. In February, Luke, a teacher from St. Peter’s Junior High, was nominated for the Inclusive Education award, a national award from the Canadian Association for Community Living.
To turn the concept of inclusion into reality takes a tremendous amount of effort and dedication. Mr. Neville helped showcase St. Peter’s ability to embrace the spirit of inclusion at a Volley Fest in January of this year. He was described as a remarkable coach and an inspiration to the students. A teacher, who from his internship days always looked for ways to engage those who were reluctant to participate and who constantly, modified games and activities so that all students could experience success
The National “Inclusive Education Awards” are sponsored by the Canadian Association for Community Living and Inclusive Education Canada
NBACL Celebrates “National Inclusive Education Week 2010” with Awards Ceremony
NBACL held their 2010 inclusive education award ceremony at Government House in Fredericton on Wednesday, February 17, 2010. Lt. Governor Graydon Nicholas welcome more than 100 parents, educators and officials to the event.
Special guests were Minister of Education Roland Haché and NB Premier Shawn Graham.
One of the awards was presented to a school in the northern NB town of Belledune. The school staff and principal Ellen Lee were recognized for their efforts to make inclusion work on a daily basis in their school.
In her nomination of the school, Mrs. Audrey Donnelly paid tribute to the team approach that is taken at Belledune School to ensure that her son has the proper supports necessary to be successful. This following is from the nomination letter:
Parents with children entering a new school sometimes have a sense of apprehension. Will my child’s needs be met? Will he or she feel valued and accepted? Will there be opportunities to participate with his or her classmates in activities during class, as a true member of the school community?
Audrey Frenette Donnelly, whose son Shannon has a disability and was about to enter Belledune School, had these concerns. She needn’t have worried, though, because Shannon was welcomed in Belledune School with open arms from day one. That’s why Mrs. Donnelly nominated Shannon’s school for a National Inclusive Education Achievement Award.
“Each year we have a meeting, which is held at the school, for all of Shannon’s support workers,” she wrote in her nomination. “At this meeting we come together to pool ideas and share information to help Shannon.”
Mrs. Donnelly also pointed out that all of the students at Belledune School have been included in Shannon’s routine and share in his success. For example, if Shannon acquires a new skill, there is a sense of excitement among his classmates and teachers. Mrs. Donnelly says, “Shannon, is so well included that if he is absent, the students are sure to inquire about him.”
It takes a great team to make inclusive education work, but it takes a great leader to unite a team so that everyone feels involved and recognizes their valuable role in ensuring success. Ellen Lee, the Principal of Belledune School, is such a leader.
• Here is a LINK to an article in the Saint John Telegraph Journal -
Newfoundland Minister of Education Issues Inclusive Education Week Statement - February 16, 2010 - St. John’s NFLD
The Association for Community living in Newfoundland and Labrador has been actively promoting inclusive education in the province in the last few years by using “National Inclusive Education Week”. This year started off on a positive note with the signing of a statement by Education Minister Darin King. Community Inclusion coordinator Donna Willis says “we are very pleased that the Minister and senior officials in the Department are supporting our efforts. Dan Goodyear and his team are following up by supporting our Summer Institute on inclusive education in August. We want to move ahead as partners.”
The minister’s statement included the following:
“The Department of Education promotes students attending schools with their peers, and receiving appropriate, quality programming in inclusive school environments,” said Minister King. “Such inclusive education involves more than student placement. It embraces all students, not just those with identified exceptionalities, and involves everything that happens within the school community including its culture, policies, and practices.”
To better support inclusive education policies, the Department of Education has begun a pilot project in 30 schools throughout the province, which will expand to an additional 35 schools in the 2010-11 school year. Teachers in these schools are receiving professional development on inclusion, including learning how to use different teaching methods based on students’ needs, as well as how to share responsibilities in instruction delivery to meet the diverse needs of learners.
The Provincial Government has made significant investments in recent years to support inclusive education and implement the recommendations of the 2007 ISSP/Pathways report, including $1.65 million in Budget 2009. Since 2007, a position was created in the department solely responsible for inclusive education. In addition, the department has consulted with special education stakeholders on the development of an inclusive education policy. This policy will help guide teachers and administrators in helping make their schools fully inclusive for all students.
“Inclusive Education week is a time to recognize our progress in inclusion within our provincial school system, as well as highlight the many benefits to embracing an inclusive education system,” said Debbie Howell, President of the Newfoundland and Labrador Association for Community Living. “Research now shows that including students with special needs in regular classrooms benefits all students both academically and socially. Inclusion works when all students are not just able to attend their neighbourhood schools, but are welcomed and supported to learn.”
“In a truly inclusive school, teachers are effective and students have enhanced well-being,” said Minister King. “Everyone wins in an inclusive school because everyone feels that they belong, realize their potential, and contribute to the life of the school. During Inclusive Education Week, I encourage everyone in the school system to think about ways to make schools more inclusive and then make that happen every day. Real inclusion is about actions, not just words.”
National Inclusive Education Week
Resource Kit now available
CLICK HERE for the PDF version of this kit
A resource kit that will allow provincial and territorial Associations for Community Living to conduct their own Inclusive Education week has just been released by the National Action Plan committee on Inclusive Education. This kit features ideas and activities that any individual –school, teacher, parent, etc.- can use to raise awareness about the benefits of an inclusive education.
The Resource Kit contains a manual with a detailed suggested timeline to organising the Inclusive Education Awards and a list of ideas for other activities that can be done during the week. Furthermore, examples of all the needed sheets and spreadsheets that will help in organising the Inclusive Education Awards are provided in a format that can be easily adapted to any province/territory (please contact us). Let us know what you think!
National Inclusive Education Week Takes a Spin in Toronto
“Normal is just a setting on the washing machine” is just one of the conclusions that students came to after a thought provoking discussion of Spinclusion. Grade 8 students at King Edward public school in Toronto played the game during National Inclusive Education Week.
For the 2nd year Community Living Toronto celebrated National Inclusive Education week by taking Spinclusion to schools across Toronto. This year participating schools included the Metropolitan Toronto School for the Deaf, Paul Penna Downtown Jewish Day School as well as various schools throughout the TDSB, TCDSB.
At the end of the week over 1,000 students in 49 classes had an opportunity to spin the wheel and give some thought to how to include all people regardless of their differences and abilities. It was a huge success.
At Essex-Hawthorne school, children in the primary grades with varying abilities were having fun together and participating with enthusiasm. At the end of the game, one little girl approached the facilitator and declared maturely “Thank you very much. I had a wonderful time.”
When asked “Why would someone with a disability want to come to your school” the grade 4’s at St. Ambrose catholic school were able to provide a long list, including “At our school, we are taught to respect all people”. They were also able to identify some of the school’s challenges, including being a 2 storey building without an elevator that makes the 2nd floor inaccessible to people with physical disabilities.
Spinclusion gave the children an opportunity to think about how their actions can affect people’s feelings as well as come up with the solutions to various issues including physical adversities, intellectual disabilities and bullying.
Spinclusion is an interactive board game which promotes acceptance and respect for people with different needs and abilities. It will soon be added to the Toronto District School Board’s ASPIRE database, which means that all teachers will be able to access the game to help teach inclusion and diversity in classrooms all over the city.
For further information about Spinclusion please contact:
Mia McGowan at 416-225-7166 ext 226
www.communitylivingtoronto.ca click on “youth”
INTERMEDIATE EDUCATION AWARD RECIPIENT
Teacher and Band Leader
Lewisville Middle School, Riverview
An Efforts toward Inclusive Education Award in the intermediate education category was presented to Laura Huffaker. She was nominated by her co-worker, methods and resource teacher Sandra Smith.
Laura Huffaker is the music teacher at Lewisville Middle School in Riverview. She is also the middle school band teacher and runs the school’s beginner band program. According to her nominator, Ms. Huffaker “Works tirelessly to create and implement lesson plans that are inclusive to every child in her class, regardless of ability.”
Ms. Huffaker extends the same consideration in her band program. As Ms. Smith wrote: “You don’t often see students who require teacher’s aides attending extra-curricular clubs and activities, but several attend Ms. Huffaker’s beginner band.
“She recognizes the importance of music in a child’s life and does not feel that a physical, emotional or intellectual disability should interfere with that relationship. . . . She demonstrates enormous patience by providing any and all additional instruction and practice time that her students require to fully participate in beginner band. It is a pleasure to see such an inclusive extra-curricular activity at our school.”
A story recounted by parent Kim Daborn in her letter of support for Ms. Huffaker’s nomination captures just how this wonderful teacher has changed at least one family’s life.
Mrs. Daborn wrote:
“My 12-year-old son, Brent, is in Grade 7 at Lewisville Middle School in Moncton. Brent has cerebral palsy, is confined to a wheelchair and has limited motor skills. Aside from that, Brent is a very bright and verbal young man. His biggest struggles in life are being able to do things ‘like my friends do.’”
Her letter went on to recount how every year Brent would ask to sign up for various extracurricular activities like sports, drama and so on, and how disappointed he would be when he would learn that he could not.
“Since a very young age Brent has had a love for music and has shown great interest in musical instruments,” the boy’s mom wrote.
“Once again this year, he came home very excited. It was time for kids to sign up for band and he wanted me to sign the permission form, literally begging me to. . . .
“My heart broke once again to see the disappointment in his eyes when I tried to explain to him that I didn’t think this would be possible. So, I wrote to Ms. Huffaker asking if there was any way that Brent could be part of the LMS band. Ms. Huffaker had no hesitation in replying ‘yes, we will find something for him to play and make it work.’
“Today Brent is a very proud member of the LMS school band playing the tambourine and attending band practice once a week…
Mrs. Daborn concluded her letter by saying:
“Ms. Huffaker has made a difference in a child’s life by overlooking the disability and removing the barriers.”
POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION AWARD RECIPIENT
New Brunswick Community College
Postsecondary education for people who have a disability is important for the same reasons as it is for non-disabled people; it helps to fulfill personal goals, allows for effective competition in the job market and contributes to independence and financial security. In fact, a college education is more important for people who have a disability.
That’s a quote from a leader in inclusive education at the college level, Catherine Fichten of the Adaptech Project at Dawson College in Quebec.
It’s also the philosophy upon which NBCC’s inclusion program was built. One of the architects of that program is Richard Corey. Corey, former Executive Director of the New Brunswick Community College system, was honoured for his work in establishing and encouraging inclusive education in the province’s English community colleges.
According to his nominator and colleague, Hélène L. Martin, “Richard Corey believes that students with disabilities should be afforded an opportunity to learn and grow as individuals and as competent and worthwhile employees in the workplace.”
It is this belief that drove Richard to participate in a working group that recommended inclusion of persons with intellectual disabilities in community college. That was in 1996. By 2001, NBCC Connections, a pilot project to provide job training for persons with intellectual disabilities, had been implemented in three community colleges across the province. Richard Corey was part of the Management Team of the College when this pilot project was implemented.
In 2005, when the Connections pilot project was completed, Mr. Corey took inclusion to the next step and was instrumental in the establishment of a Disability Unit for NBCC. The first mandate of that Unit was to incorporate Connections into the College’s regular business processes. The result was the development of Special Admissions. In September 2008, 19 students were accepted under Special Admissions to six NBCC campuses.
Richard Corey believes that NBCC needs to build capacity within the organization in order to establish long lasting inclusion. His vision is based on training and professional development opportunities for all staff. So, to assure the ongoing success of inclusive practices, NBCC, under Richard Corey’s leadership, has succeeded in securing multi-year funding to support the work of the Disability Unit.
EARLY LEARNING AND CHILDHOOD AWARD
The Preschool Centre
Windsor St., Fredericton
The Efforts toward Inclusive Education Award in the early learning and childhood sector is presented to The Preschool Centre on Windsor Street in Fredericton. The Preschool Centre is a child care facility for children from six months to 12 years of age.
As nominator Marlene Munn put it, “The Centre is doing an excellent job of fostering a sense of family and belonging, not only with the children in the Centre, but also with the families.” Mrs. Munn’s 10-year-old daughter Aimee has been attending the Centre since March 2008.
“After seven weeks of trying to get Aimee into another after school program without success, the Preschool Centre was a dream,” Mrs. Munn recounted. “I called on Wednesday and Aimee started on Monday. She was welcomed with open arms. The Centre’s administration even looked after hiring a TA and getting the necessary funding in place. This was a big burden lifted from our shoulders.
“All the teachers and administration at the Preschool Centre work to ensure inclusion for all children. All children are treated with respect and are encouraged to treat each other with respect.”
SCHOOL STAFF AWARD RECIPIENT
Student Services Team
Hartland Community School
Hartland, SD 14
Photo: John Clendenning, Principal of Hartland Community School receives award from NBACL President Marlene Munn
The Hartland Community School was one of three recipients of an Inclusive Education Award in the School Staff category. The school was nominated by Robin Crain, a learning specialist with School District 14.
Robin Crain’s nomination form for the school includes many examples of how the team there supports all students – those with behavioural issues, those with intellectual disabilities, those with physical challenges and those with no major challenges at all. Here’s one of them:
“A student with cognitive challenges was observed one day by the principal, standing on the side of the road twirling a basketball on his finger. [The principal] asked [this student] the next day about it and was treated to a demonstration. The following week at a school spirit assembly the principal announced a surprise challenge. The challenge: to see who could twirl a basketball on the end of a finger the longest. Many students rushed to the stage, including basketball stars. At the end there was one student left standing. Amidst cheers and applause and calls of encouragement this young man smiled proudly as he carried off the prize!”
Another example, again recounted by Robin Crain: “They encourage the entire staff to be involved with the students. An example of this is with three of the children with autism, who have as part of their plan to go to see the secretary each morning to greet her as part of their social skills. The bus driver is written into plans as part of a student’s social interaction goals.”
“This team thinks outside the box,” said Robin Crain in the nomination. “They start from a value base of ‘what does this child need?’ They search for ways to hook students to learning. They do not give up on kids. They truly believe in the collaborative approach. They involve all stakeholders in problem solving around plans for children. They come from a value base of reinforcers, not punishers.
“This school has 11 children with autism plus many others with special needs,” the nomination continued. “The school consistently rises to any challenge and truly believes in an inclusive system. This is not something special they do. It is the way they do business. They truly are a school family.”
Robin Crain concludes in an accompanying letter: “This team exemplifies what we dream of when we speak about inclusion.”
ELEMENTARY EDUCATION AWARD RECIPIENTS - École Sainte-Anne, Fredericton
Photo: Left - Nancy Béland, Right - Chantal Brochu
École Sainte-Anne, Fredericton
An Efforts toward Inclusive Education Award in the elementary education category was presented to Chantal Brochu, a teacher’s aide at École Sainte-Anne in Fredericton.
Mme Brochu was recognized for the exceptional work she does with all students, and most particularly with the one for whom she has special responsibility. According to her nominators, Mme Brochu is open to all questions and concerns expressed by the classmates of her student and she involves all classmates in helping to include that student. As a result, Mme Brochu’s student is well accepted and very happy in her school environment.
“It is easy to say that Chantal always gives 100 per cent for her students,” said her nominator, Véronique Arseneault, resource teacher at École Sainte-Anne. “She is a gem of a teacher’s aide!”
Physical Education Teacher,
École Sainte-Anne, Fredericton
Nancy Béland also received an Efforts toward Inclusive Education Award in the elementary education category.
A physical education teacher, Mme Béland strives to include all her students at École Sainte-Anne in her class activities. As illustrated by her nominators, who cited many examples of Mme Béland’s concern for all of her students, this requires creativity and flexibility, as well as complete dedication to the philosophy of inclusion.
Some illustrations of Mme Béland’s dedication to inclusion include her request for a paved path to the playground area to make wheelchair passage easier, or a request for permisision to bring a wheelchair onto the soccer pitch.
“Mme Nancy is a leader of inclusive education,” said one of her the nominators, colleague Véronique Arseneault.
STUDENT AWARD RECIPIENT
Grade 6 Student at École Abbey-Landry
Sixth grader Alex Boudreau of Abbey-Landry School in Memramcook was recognized with the Student Award at NBACL’s Inclusive Education Awards Ceremony.
He was nominated by his teacher, Tanya Bellefleur, who wrote in his nomination, “Alex is a leader at school. His classmates respect him, and want to be his friend. Among his friends is a student in our class who has special needs. Alex knows this boy well. He takes note of what interests his friend and makes sure he asks him every morning how his evening or weekend was.”
Mme Bellefleur went on to describe the special efforts Alex makes to assure that a particular classmate with an intellectual disability is accommodated and included both inside and outside the classroom. “The way Alex defends and protects this student is most amazing,” she wrote.
According to Mme Bellefleur, Alex makes a special effort to spend time with his friend, inviting him to join his group in class, or joining his friend’s group. He has even passed up on participation in certain activities to spend time with this student.
“And not only does he help out this student,” Mme Bellefeur added, “He also helps another student who has great academic difficulties. He volunteers to help him with academic tasks and defends his rights, as well.
“He is certainly an inspiration and model for our class!”
Awards in New Brunswick
FOREST HILLS SCHOOL in Saint John – District 8 - HONOURED
WITH NATIONAL INCLUSIVE EDUCATION AWARD
SCHOOL STAFF AWARD RECIPIENT
The Teaching and Administrative Staff
Forest Hills School, Saint John
Forest Hills School was one of three recipients of an Inclusive Education Award in the School Staff category,
Comments from Marlene Munn, President of NBACL:
* This is a school that has made great strides in inclusion in recent years;
moving from a situation where nine children with autism were taught in a segregated classroom in the basement of the building to the point where now five of those students have returned to the schools in their neighbourhoods while the remaining four, all living in the Forest Hills area, are fully integrated in their classrooms.
* Credit for this great accomplishment goes to the school principal, Tanya Whitney, who took every opportunity to prepare her staff for the transition;
* and to that staff, especially Al Fequet and Vickie Beaulieu-Manuel and the many others who studied and worked hard to be ready to seize the opportunity to make a change
* Tanya Whitney and her team stepped up to the plate and bravely faced the challenges … for the students who they knew in their hearts would benefit from it (inclusion). And that includes not only the students with intellectual disabilities, but all the students in the school . . . and their families.
* This team has embraced NBACL’s changing lives/changing communities philosophy entirely. And they have achieved it. They have changed many students’ and families’ lives and they have changed their school community.
Ontario Award winners focus on what’s working to promote inclusive education
Brockville and District Association for Community Involvement wins Ontario’s CACL Inclusive Education Award
Wednesday, February 18, 2009 -- Camille Jensen
By changing their strategy to focus on the positive steps being made towards inclusive education, the Brockville and District Association for Community Involvement (BDACI) was able to help transform a high school not known for accepting students who have a disability into a successful example and advocate for inclusion.
For these efforts and others, BDACI was named the Ontario recipient of the Canadian Association for Community Living’s (CACL) Inclusive Education Award.
Beth French, BDACI’s executive director, says they are pleased to be recognized and that the acknowledgment offers both encouragement to staff members and enhanced credibility as the association continues their work towards promoting inclusive education. She credits BDACI’s president, Nancy McNamara for her involvement and continued efforts towards inclusion.
While the accolades are a nice pat on the back, French says she wants the award to highlight the larger subject of how best to promote inclusive education.
“It’s very nice for us to be recognized but I think what’s most important is that there be recognition of the issues with respect to inclusion of kids who have an intellectual disability in the school system,” says French.
According to French, their association experienced real progress towards that goal after deciding to change their approach. She says for many years the association was supporting families in their efforts to have their child included in the classroom and found the process “quite discouraging,” noting they made little progress.
“We decided that what we really needed to do was to switch that around a bit and highlight a positive accomplishment and that was when we started to think about the partnership we had with the Upper Canada District school board,” recalls French.
Already having good relations with the school board, BDACI focused their attention on the Brockville Collegiate Institute (BCI), which had the reputation as a highly academic school and not welcoming of students who have a disability.
BDACI joined the school’s accessibility committee and worked extensively with the principal, Dave Coombs, who agreed to meet with BDACI families and staff.
“BDACI found ways to teach BCI staff about the high degree of curriculum modification and innovative accommodation needed by students with developmental disabilities. BCI learned to connect this with its board’s efforts for differentiated instruction, character development and school improvement,” said Marilyn Dolmage, inclusive education consultant, in a letter nominating BDACI for the award.
The efforts of BDCAI and the high school also caught the attention of the Ministry of Education, which funded a research project to learn how the high school was able to develop and sustain motivation and strategies for effective inclusion of students who have a disability.
According to Doug Cooper, co-chair of the awards committee and member of Community Living Ontario’s board of directors, BDACI deserves to be recognized for taking a leadership role in proving that inclusions does work in schools.
“I think just the efforts that they put in towards working with the school board and in particular the one collegiate which really didn’t have students who have a developmental disability in their school. . . . other school boards will take that example as well.”
The CACL Inclusive Education Awards highlight National Inclusive Education Week, which runs from Feb. 15-22, by drawing attention to the positive examples of inclusive classrooms and schools across the country. The award recognizes an individual or team who has made contributions to inclusive education in their province or territory.
National Inclusive Education Awards Announced in BC
To highlight National Inclusive Education Week (February 15 - 22), and to bring attention to the many positive examples of inclusive classrooms and schools across the country, the Canadian Association for Community Living (CACL) has created a national certificate of recognition to be bestowed upon recipients who have made positive contributions to inclusive education in their province or territory.
Three awards were selected in the areas of early childhood education, K-12 education and post-secondary education. Winners were announced during Inclusive Education Week (February 15-22, 2009) and will be honoured at the BCACL Conference and Annual General Meeting in June, 2009.
And the winners are...
• Early Childhood Education - Elaine Kopetski, Megan Kikert, and Echo Hawkridge of Quesnel and District Daycare. Read the news release here.
• Elementary School category - Elaine Fitzpatrick of Parkhill Elementary School in Dawson Creek. Read the news release here.
• Secondary School Category - Curtis Tuininga and Shannon Kumpolt of Centennial Christian School in Terrace. Read the news release here.
• Champion of Inclusive Education in BC - Barbara Laird, of Vancouver. Read the news release here.
President of Canadian Education Association discusses Implications of The United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities – at Manitoba Event
Carolyn Duhamel, President of the CEA and the Executive Director of the Manitoba Association of School Trustees reviewed the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities for those attending the forum. Although Canada has signed the convention, it has yet to be ratified and adopted by Canada and its provinces and territories.
Carolyn also spoke about the concept of disability. That it is not a medical condition but a result of interaction between social attitudes and barriers with the condition of a particular person. As a result, the term “disability” is not restrictive. It includes long-term and short term physical, mental, intellectual and sensory disabilities.
The UN Convention specifically addresses inclusive education and promotes a number of key concepts including:
* Inclusion at all levels
* Dignity and self-worth
* Access on an equal basis
* Reasonable accommodation
* Effective individualized support measures
A Mantoba Retrospective –
Progress Made Since the Special Education Review, 1998
Joanna Blais, Director of Student Services for Manitoba Education, Citizenship and Youth, provided an overview of the key areas identified in the Special Education Review. These action areas include:
* Educational Supports
* Human Resources
* Intersectoral Collaboration
Progress in these action areas includes the development and proclamation of the Appropriate Education Act in 2004, followed by the supporting standards and regulations in 2005. In addition, MECY has produced a significant number of policy and support documents that describe appropriate practice in promoting inclusive education at the school division, school and classroom levels.
Manitoba ACL Makes Awards
Celebration of Exceptional Leadership in Inclusive Education
Community Living Manitoba makes 2 awards.
The Canadian Association for Community Living acknowledge inclusive education leadership across the country with certificates of recognition awarded during inclusive education week. This year in Manitoba, when the call was put out for nominees, two candidates were nominated.
These two leaders work as school principals and provide wonderful examples of the qualities that create a welcoming atmosphere, not just for students who have special needs, but for all students, teachers, educational assistants, support workers and parents with whom they work.
Elaine Lochhead has received many awards for her work as a principal of Ste Anne Collegiate in the Seine River School Division and for her leadership of the Manitoba Council for Exceptional Children. She is inspirational and has boundless energy and enthusiasm for her vocation.
Pam Ball, the principal of Robertson School in Winnipeg School Division, believes in providing information and support to those around her so that they too can become the leaders of the inclusive education movement in her school. She is February’s principal of the month on the national inclusive education website and her story provides a blueprint for how to promote change in a positive and forthright manner.
Congratulations to both Elaine Lochhead and Pam Ball for receiving this national recognition from CACL.
NB Event: Inclusive Education Awards in Fredericton February 19 2009
The New Brunswick Association for Community Living is holding an awards event at Old Government House in Fredericton at 4:00 pm on Thursday, February 19. President Marlene Munn has announced that several individuals and schools will be recognized for their efforts to make inclusive education a reality in provincial schools. Education Minister Lamrock has been invited to attend. Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick Herménégilde Chiasson will host the event.
Click HERE for the details (PDF)
Toronto Forum February 13 at OISE
Click HERE for the details (PDF)
Winnipeg, Manitoba Event February 17/09 – During National Inclusive Education Week
Click HERE for the details (PDF)
Manitoba's Summit on Inclusive Education: A True Celebration! February 20/08 Event
Click HERE for the details (PDF)
Community Living Toronto – Kids Exposed to Inclusion Concepts Through Spinclusion Game
Click HERE for the details (PDF)
Manitoba Inclusive Education Summit - February 20, 2008
Click HERE to download the registration form (PDF)
Click HERE to download the schedule of events (PDF)
National Inclusive Education Week
National Inclusive Education Week is a time for members of the Community Living movement and its many partners to promote and raise awareness about inclusive education.
The purposes of National Inclusive Education Week are:
- To highlight inclusive education to define what it is and how the development of inclusive schools and inclusive school practices helps provide quality education to an increasingly diverse student population, including students with an intellectual disability.
- To provide educators, students and parents an opportunity to share ideas on strategies to enhance inclusion and successful school experiences for every child.
- To acknowledge and recognize the commitment and effort of teachers, administrators, students, and families who contribute to successful inclusion of students in schools and classrooms throughout Canada.
There are many ways that you can celebrate National Inclusive Education Week.
Examples of National Inclusive Education Week Activities:
To highlight National Inclusive Education Week and to bring attention to the many positive examples of inclusive classrooms and schools across the country, CACL has created a national certificate of recognition to be bestowed upon recipients, selected by Provincial/Territorial Associations for Community Living (ACLs), who have made positive contributions to inclusive education in their province or territory.
In partnership with the Alberta government and the Alberta Home and School Association, the Alberta Association for Community developed an inclusive education poster that was distributed to every school in Alberta.
Community Living Ontario presented a series of education stories on its website throughout the week.
The New Brunswick Association for Community Living held a ceremony to present two National Recognition Certificates in Fredericton, Thursday, November 6th in the Prince Edward Room at the Fredericton Inn. The Minister of Education, Madeleine Dubé, took part in the event.
The National Institute for Urban School Improvement has created an excellent resource for National Inclusive Education Week - The Celebration Kit: www.inclusiveschools.org/kit.asp. The Kit contains everything you need to plan for the event as well as ideas, lesson plans and materials to promote the Week. For more information about the Week they put on, go to: www.inclusiveschools.org
Celebrate the progress we have made toward inclusive schooling for students with intellectual disabilities.
phone: (416) 661-9611