Great Things Are Happening in Inclusive Schools Week
Guest blog post by SFUSD parent, Julia Martin.
Inclusive Schools Week is December 4th - 8th, 2017!
There are great things happening in San Francisco Public Schools this week. It is Inclusive Schools week, a week to celebrate our differences with special recognition of students with physical and developmental disabilities. For kids who learn differently, this week can be a chance for them to hear about others who have the same struggles. It is also a chance for all of our students to gain understanding and learn about the diverse lives of their classmates. Most importantly, it’s a reminder for all of us to be inclusive in the classroom, on the school yard and in our communities all year long.
SFUSD is making great strides towards inclusion. Schools throughout the district have co-teaching classes and students with disabilities are frequently in class with their peers. In fact, 75% of our SFUSD Special Education students are taught in General Education classes. Inclusive schools week provides an opportunity for SFUSD educators to teach students about disability, gender, socio-economic status, cultural heritage, language preference and other differences. Education helps take away the mystique and stigma that may surround these differences and allows students to become confident self advocates.
Special Olympics partnership:
SFUSD is partnering with special olympics to celebrate Inclusive Schools Week. There will be exhibition soccer games, Special Olympics representatives will be talking to students and hosting an Inclusive Skills Day. For more information about Special Olympics and some of the great programs they offer check out: https://www.sonc.org/school/san-francisco-unified-schools-partnership-program
There are over 70 entries into this year’s Inclusive Schools Week poster contest and we received amazing posters from students at all levels. Congratulations to the three winners: Jordan Jackson and Ingrid Rosario from Wallenberg High and Jinghua Yu at Burton High School. The posters were shipped out last week to every school in the district. Additional congratulations to the students at Bryant Elementary and Peabody Elementary whose excellent work won pizza parties for their class.
How parents can get involved:
Check in with your student, teachers or school staff to see what activities are planned this week at your child’s school. Offer to help out, bring snacks for your special education teachers or volunteer to read a story in your child’s classroom. (Note: You don’t have to be a special education parent to volunteer. Being a special education parent can be an isolating experience. Knowing that there are other parents out there who are allies, willing to lend a hand is a good thing.) For more information about the week or simple things you can do check out: http://inclusiveschools.org/inclusive-schools-week/
Have a great Inclusive Schools Week!
Written by Julia Martin, Member SFUSD Community Advisory Committee on Special Education, Co-Sponsors of SFUSD Inclusive Schools Week.