(Edgar Schmidt) My challenge to leaders,
five years ago when I stepped into this role,
how do we create a district where everybody is in.
And not excluded intentionally by design or unintentionally.
When we're talking about inclusive education,
it's how do we make sure that everybody is in.
Everybody has a place and that they are participating.
How we do that is something that we're constantly learning,
because it's a big challenge for us.
When I think about inclusive education,
learning is the core work of a school district.
But in a school, we actually establish our own school based
community where kids have a place, they have roles to play,
that the adults work together with the kids and so in that
little community called a school, kids learn not only the
academic requirements, the learner outcomes, but they also
learn how to get along, they also learn how to
manage conflict, they learn a whole variety
of citizenship skills and knowledge related
to learning how to work and live together.
We see some unique features in all of the schools, that are
really a school personality, right, that emerges and that's
one of the great features I think of paying attention to
and being responsive to what's going on in the community.
(Teacher) Ready for a fun day? Come on Connor, come on Cooper.
At Beacon Heights we have an early education program.
There are many children who come to us either with severe
special needs that are identified. Some with mild to
moderate special needs. Play is what children are all about.
So whether they have any identified special needs or not,
or if they are typically developing children,
play is the avenue that we use to help them with
their growth and development.
(Woman) Okay, put your hand in. Chomp, chomp, chomp.
(Child) He not eating me!
Don't eat you?
(Children) Hello. Hi.
I believe we need to start the day with joy. I believe
that we need to be a community and we need to be a family.
(Mathieu Labossiere) We do a variety of lesson plans,
you know, kinesthetic learning, visual learning,
we use a smartboard for technology.
This year we've even acted out certain things for math, just
something where I can touch on everybody's learning style.
And once we kind of have the basics we'll go from there and
then if I've got a child that's struggling I can work one-on-one
or my aide Lorraine can work one-on-one with him or her.
And then the ones that are excelling at it,
I can move on to a more elaborate concept.
(Girl) I went in playschool and now I'm in kindergarten
and I'm almost in grade one.
(Henry Madsen) In a professional learning community,
and when we focus on collaboration we say all
students belong to all teachers.
Collaboration is king. Because it means that my child,
your child, gets the expertise of three or four or five
teachers working together to be able to determine how
they're gonna insure that that student is successful.
Everything you do is differentiated to meet the needs
of each and every student, by the student, by the skill.
(Henry) By the student, by the skill.
Those six words encapsulate for me specifically what
it is we do within a professional learning community.
And I'm totally convinced that students do better in an
inclusive setting than they would if they were segregated or
separated into separate classes.
(Jody Lundell) If we're a community school, we're a school
for all of the children who live in the community.
Whether you're, quote, regular or whether you have diverse
learning needs. And how do you say that some kids
can come to the community school and others can't.
I think we're moving to a more strength based approach where we
look at diversity as a strength. And something to be proud of.
We need to really focus on instruction and high
quality instruction for every kid and universal design
gives us a way of doing that.
That I think is improving instruction across the board.
(Judy Welch McCorquodale) Inclusion is having everybody
sitting at the table together, making everyone
feel accepted, part of the team, that we're all here to help
and support one another in whatever way that looks like.
We have children that have needs.
What can we do differently with what we have.
One of the resources that we do have is we have the people,
the building and our time.
Let's take a look at how we can use those to maybe
look at it differently so we can help more children.
So what the staff came up with was this idea of having time
twice a day to work to work with a small group in the
classroom and the rest of the children went to what's
called intervention time.
(Laurie Barnstable) Opening a new school was a great adventure
and filled with many interesting opportunities. And challenges.
Building an inclusive culture in this school was part of the
philosophy from the beginning. We are a community school.
Students who live in this community, this is their school.
So our job then becomes how do we provide learning and
teaching for every single student who walks in our doors.
(Donna Forfylow) Our staff had indicated that they would like
to have time to observe in one another's classrooms.
Both so that you're aware of where the students
have come from and where they're going.
(Tennille Stadnick) As teachers, we own what we do in a lot
of ways. We own our classroom, the ambience we create.
We like to close that door, it's our world.
And it's scary to sit with your colleagues and put
it out there and say "Ok, this is what I'm doing."
Um, because then there's questions and you have to be
ready to answer the questions about it.
(Kathy Muhlethaler) I believe at M.E. LaZerte we've
been doing inclusive education for years and not
because it's been a policy but because it's a belief
that we have about what's right for kids.
We opened an academic support centre. If a
student needs an accommodation such as a reader for an
assessment, then the academic support centre will provide
that type of accommodation. And that also includes things
like the extra time they may need to use a computer.
(Female) We have students that are coded special needs, coded
ELL, we have regular students that come into academic support.
Students can come down spontaneously.
Teachers can call and book students in.
I know that when they leave us, that they're going to be ok.
Because we've provided them with the skills that are
going to be transferable for them in life.
That they're going to be able to apply those skills to other
situations in life. And that they're going to do well.
(Jeanne Carter) We look at the students and the needs of those
students and we plan how we're going to implement curriculum
giving the learning styles and strategies we
have within our classroom.
(Jason Karbonik) Through our inclusive project,
we've learned a few things.
I think that we've learned that uh,
what we're doing for some of the
students that have been coded and have been placed in
our school, those are things that we do for all students.
(Paula McGowan) Inclusion is not just breathing the same air as
another student. You have to have the supports in place.
If they're being successful in an inclusive setting,
then it's the right place for them to be.
(Female) There's diverse needs. There's diverse learners.
I meet it with diverse teaching and we have learning
that looks like all sorts of things in all different ways
and all different places.
It's just doing what we already do and making it better.
(Edgar) That sense of growing up in a community and
that everybody has some value and role to play,
I think is absolutely critical.
And if it doesn't happen in a classroom,
then I don't know where else it will happen.
As we learn that practice our beliefs will change over time.
And we need to learn how to do that practice and craft of
teaching in this context well.
And when we do that, then we're able to actually have an
impact to, with kids and change attitudes over time.
(Teacher) Oh, thanks for the great class!