District Celebrates Diverse Learners For Inclusive Schools Week

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District Celebrates Diverse Learners For Inclusive Schools Week

Photo by Elsa Pedrosa Noguera

Photo by Elsa Pedrosa Noguera

Photo by Elsa Pedrosa Noguera

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Every year since 2001, the first week in December marks the beginning of Inclusive Schools Week a web-based initiative to make school communities a more welcoming place for everyone, and the entire school district is celebrating.

The week provides opportunities for educators, parents and students to discuss and learn how to educate all children successfully. The goal is to make schools feel welcoming to all students regardless of any physical or learning disabilities, gender, race, culture or language preference. 

The events of the week-long celebration started with a video shown on Monday morning during the second period. The video featured students talking about the celebration and what it means. Student council, along with students enrolled in special education classes, teamed up to greet the student body as they entered the building. They passed out stickers and candy. Inclusive Schools Week chair Gretchen Raiff encouraged students to wear these stickers by announcing that 10 random students seen wearing the stickers after lunch would receive $10 gift cards.

Today, the Scots Cafe handed out popcorn to students during lunches. They also hosted a special celebration for teachers who were new to the school this year during lunches. Additionally, a student enrolled in special education classes read the announcements as way to demonstrate inclusion school-wide. This will continue throughout the week, along with daily freebies promoting the initiative being handed out at the student entrances.

Still to come for the celebration is a pep rally featuring more programs that support inclusion. During the pep rally the Sparkling Scots will cheer, and the Special Olympics will complete an activity. There will also be student who is a special guest leader to the band and will conduct alongside the band’s drum majors.

Finally, University Park Elementary will host a district wide inclusion breakfast for parents in their cafeteria at 9 a.m. Friday. To learn more about inclusion, check out the district’s webpage on inclusion and respect.

This story is still developing. Check back later this week for an in depth feature on the activities of inclusion week and how the school plans to continue celebrating inclusion everyday throughout the year.

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