Inclusive Schools Week 2018

FCPS schools support a culture of inclusiveness and  their actions have led to the promotion of greater access, participation, and support for students with disabilities in inclusive settings.

Inclusive Schools Week is an annual event that celebrates the progress that schools have made in providing a supportive and quality education to an increasingly diverse student population.  This year’s theme, “Kaleidoscope of Friends,” comes from two Greek words: kalos, meaning “beautiful,” and edios, meaning “shape.”  And indeed, education takes on a beautiful shape when all children belong and are valued as contributing members of the school community.   

Floris ESGlen Forest ES | Lane ESLaurel Ridge ES 
Oak Hill ES | Quander Road School | Terraset ESWestfield HS 

Floris Elementary School

Students working on a project together
Students at Floris make shoes together as part of the Walk in My Shoes awareness program

On December 3 and 4, the Floris Elementary School PTA will provide students with an opportunity to take part in our annual awareness program called Walk in My Shoes. The purpose of the program is to give students a broader understanding of the daily situations faced by some of their friends with developmental challenges. The program fosters empathy for others and gets students thinking about how they might be able to help when they see a friend experiencing difficulties. Students will participate in activities that challenge fine motor, sensory integration, attention, vision, communication, reading, visual motor integration, and other skills. 

Glen Forest Elementary School

Enhanced Autism Teachers Katy McGrath and Jenna Clifton
Enhanced Autism Teachers Katy McGrath and Jenna Clifton at Glen Forest Elementary School

When choosing inclusive settings for our students, Glen Forest sets students up for success early on. Special Education teachers begin by finding settings where students can be successful and feel encouraged. They often begin with specials that the student may especially enjoy, or have a talent in, such as art, music, PE, and morning meeting time. Special educators connect with general education teachers to discuss strengths, accommodations, and level of supports needed and they collaborate to schedule times where students can attend general education classes. These experiences give students a chance to have a “Kaleidoscope of Friends” who serve as peer models and great friends!

Special education teachers at Glen Forest go the extra mile to find opportunities for students to be included in the general education environment. By preparing in advance for and practicing activities that may take place in the general education classrooms, students are confident to participate when around their inclusive peers. In addition, activities are adapted by limiting verbiage on assignments, adding visuals, or providing frequent breaks throughout activities. 

The ultimate goal is for students at Glen Forest to have greater access and participation in the general education setting, so that perhaps one day they will only need limited support from the specialized program. Inclusion is successful because Glen Forest students can fully participate and access content from any lesson. We view learning like a kaleidoscope where the beauty is in looking at instruction in a different way, making lessons take shape to fit our learners and building long, lasting friendships in the process.

Lane Elementary School

Wall art that reads "Lane Lions Choose to Include"
Students and Staff at Lane will highlight on Post-it Notes how they #choosetoinclude as part of a bulletin board display

Lane Elementary School is extremely excited to celebrate Inclusive Schools Week 2018!  Utilizing the “Kaleidoscope of Friends” theme from the Inclusive School Network, our #AllLions team of educators, administrators, and students have planned a week filled with lots of excitement for our entire Lane community.

Prior to the start of Inclusive Schools Week, Lane held a “Choose to Include Essay and Art Contest” where students were invited to share what inclusion meant to them. Several of these entries will be chosen to be presented at our Pep Rally Kick Off on December 3rd where we will learn about inclusion, join students together from multiple grade levels to take part in a relay race, and have a school-wide GoNoodle to “I Gotta Feeling”… because we KNOW it is going to be a GREAT week!  

Lane will showcase their Lion spirit with a spectacular spirit week that provides fun for everyone!  The #AllLions team determined that there are 868 students and staff at Lane each day.  Each person in the school was challenged to write how they choose to include on a post-it note and add it to the “868 ways we #choosetoinclude” wall that can be found in the front hallway.  The Lane family hopes to build a Kaleidoscope of post-it notes by the end of our week!  #AllLions #choosetoinclude

Lane Elementary Inclusive Schools Spirit Week

  • Monday: Kaleidoscope Day (wear lots of different colors)
  • Tuesday: Patterns Day (wear lots of different patterns)
  • Wednesday: Come As You Are Day (wear what you are most comfortable in)
  • Thursday: Be A Champion Day (dress as your champion/who you look up to or what you are a champion at)
  • Friday: Feelings Friday (dress as the color you are feeling – think of the movie “Inside Out”)

Laurel Ridge Elementary School

Inclusive Schools Week Events

  1. Bookmark Contest
    Students will design a bookmark based on the “Kaleidoscope of Friends” Inclusive Schools Week theme.
  2. “I am . . .” Chain
    All students and staff are invited to create a link in our schoolwide paper chain to share a unique characteristic of themselves.
  3. “Walk in My Shoes”
    This year, 2nd and 3rd grade students will engage in activities that help develop an understanding of challenges faced by others and to increase social acceptance.  The activities will occur during weekly STEAM and Healthy Habits classes.

Spirit Week Dress-up Days

  • Monday: Hats on for Inclusion – Wear a hat to school.
  • Tuesday: Be comfortable, be you! – Wear pajamas to school.
  • Wednesday: Be a Hero for Inclusion! – Dress as a superhero or personal hero.
  • Thursday: Be unique! – Wear mismatched, funky, or unique clothing.
  • Friday: Kaleidoscope Day! – Wear tie dye or bright colors.

Oak Hill Elementary School

Inclusive Schools Week is celebrated annually around the country. This year we will be participating in Inclusive Schools Week from December 3-7. This entire week is to celebrate and promote acceptance and inclusion of the diverse population we have at Oak Hill. We also hope this week will encourage conversations about how we can be more accepting and appreciative of those who are different from us. 

The “Kaleidoscope of Friends” theme will reflect the idea of different colors, patterns, and shapes working together to make a beautiful picture. Each day during Inclusion Week, students and staff are encouraged to wear a different color each day of the week. Each color represents a word that will be discussed and linked to inclusion at Oak Hill. The celebration of Inclusive Schools Week will create a fundamental commitment to relationships among staff, students and the community of Oak Hill. #ISW2018, #allinOHES

Monday: Wear Red for Respect
We respect and support our fellow classmates and recognize that individual differences are what make us special.

Tuesday: Wear Green for Gifts
Friendship is a gift we give to one another. We all have gifts and special talents to share.

Wednesday: Wear Blue for Belonging
“Kaleidoscope comes from two Greek words: kalos, meaning “beautiful,” and eidos, “shape.” Education takes on a beautiful shape when all children belong and are valued as contributing members of the school community.” (Inclusive Schools Celebration Guide)

Thursday: Wear Purple for Positivity
At Oak Hill we notice and embrace each other's abilities. We create a joyful school when we are positive with one another.

Friday: Wear Oak Hill Spirit Wear
While we may all have different OHES spirit wear, we are all part of the same team at Oak Hill. We are a diverse community and that makes our school wonderful and unique! We work together to create a climate of inclusiveness and kindness. We are all linked together and connected in our purpose to make Oak Hill an amazing school!

Quander Road School

Students standing in front of school building
Students from Quander Road School stand outside West Potomac Academy where they are enrolled in various vocational courses

Quander Road School works collaboratively with West Potomac and Edison High School Academies to ensure students are placed in settings that support their individual growth academically and vocationally. Currently, ten students are enrolled in academy classes including JROTC, Pharmacy Technician, Medical Assistant, TV Production and Computer Technologies.

Quander is in the early stages of developing a robust Education for Employment program for students. This program offers students community-based instruction organized around an approved job that promotes individualized career goals. Seven Quander students currently receive on-the-job training at a variety of businesses ranging from equipment rental and food services to veterinary and pet grooming services. Last year, three students who participated in the program were offered paid summer employment opportunities following the completion of their training and graduation. 

When we support our students in academy programs and local business, we are promoting resilient and goal directed individuals who are better prepared to enter the world of work.

Terraset Elementary School

Students and staff at Terraset Elementary School celebrate Inclusive Schools Week by creating a “Kaleidoscope of Friends” window display that highlighted the ways in which each individual would help to create an inclusive school community. In addition, staff at Terraset wore T-shirts with the inclusive message, “We See You, We Welcome You, You Belong Here!”  Every student’s name was printed on the back of the shirt.

Terraset’s “Kaleidoscope of Friends” window display.
Terraset’s “Kaleidoscope of Friends” window display.

Westfield High School

Our Bulldog Buddies, special education department, and SGA have been working closely to finalize plans for inclusive schools week. This year’s FCPS Inclusive Schools Week theme is Kaleidoscope of Friends. If you look into a kaleidoscope, you see an infinite array of patterns of brilliant light created by repeated reflection. Kaleidoscope comes from two Greek words: kalos, meaning “beautiful,” and eidos, “shape.” Westfield has tied this into our “Choose to Include” week.

  • Monday: Wear RED for UNITY day
  • Tuesday:  Wear TIE-DYE for Kaleidoscope Day
  • Wednesday: Dress like a BUDDY for Be a Buddy Day
  • Thursday: Wear BLUE for You are “blue-tiful” Day
  • Friday: Wear Westfield gear for We are Westfield Day 

In addition to the spirit days, there will be: 

  • Various banners & posters around the building, as well as a display created by Adaptive Art in the front of the building.
  • Various colorful chains to go with the kaleidoscope theme will be created by special education students for various classrooms around the building.
  • Activities during lunches will include writing messages on leaves (part of a tree display), writing thank you notes to friends, and an opportunity to sit with a new “buddy.”
  • Videos will be shown on Westfield Live each day from members of Bulldog Buddies regarding inclusion and ways to support inclusion at Westfield High School.
  • Wrist bands that say “Choose to Include” from Special Olympics will be given to each staff member to kick off the week.  Students will receive them during lunches.