Inclusive Schools Week 2019

FCPS schools provide a supportive and quality education to an increasingly diverse student population.

This year’s Inclusive Schools Week theme, “Charting the Course for Inclusive Schools" provides educators, students, parents, schools, agencies, and communities with the opportunity to think about their current philosophies and practices regarding inclusion and to plan for “next steps” in the process.

Aldrin ES | Floris ES | Frost MS | Hayfield SS | Lane ES | White Oaks ES

Aldrin Elementary School

At Aldrin, reverse inclusion allows students from the general education setting (one or two at a time) to have the opportunity to push-in to a special education class to get to know their peers. Additionally, the Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies (PALS) program pairs 6th grade students with peers to work on building peer relationships, along with social and communication skills. Special education teachers continue to work closely with administration and the general education teachers in order to make sure all students are consistently accessing an inclusive environment.  Through creativity and an inclusive nature, Aldrin continues to foster independence, social skills, and friendships across grade levels and settings.

Floris Elementary School

Students standing against a wall with a banner that reads "Walk in My Shoes"
Floris Elementary hosts the Walk In My Shoes program during Inclusive Schools Week.

For the fifth consecutive year, Floris Elementary hosted the Walk In My Shoes program during Inclusive Schools Week.  This program gives students a broader understanding of the daily situations faced by some of their friends with developmental challenges. It fosters empathy for others and gives students an opportunity to think about how they might be able to help when they see a friend experiencing difficulties.

This year, students in grades 3-5 participated in activities that challenged fine motor, sensory integration, attention, vision, communication, reading, visual motor integration, and other skills.  After discussing learning differences during Morning Meetings and participating in the hands-on Walk In My Shoes event, counselors lead students through guided discussions about what they learned and how they can apply those lessons in their daily lives.         

Frost Middle School

Frost MS is proud of their commitment to Unified Sports as an after-school activity. In addition to offering Unified Basketball this winter, Frost MS will also introduce Unified Track & Field this spring. The students in Frost’s Unified Sports program participate in several activities outside of school including tournaments, FanQuest events at area High Schools, and special events such as playing during half-time at a George Mason University basketball game. The goal of Unified Sports is to dissolve stereotypes about intellectual disabilities, and to create a space where athletes can train and playing together in order to foster new friendships and understanding. These friendships create an atmosphere of inclusion though out the school and the community. In addition to the Unified Sports program, Frost MS is offering a Partnership elective this year for students with and without disabilities. The focus of the class is to create inclusion initiatives at Frost MS and beyond, and to foster an environment in the building where all students feel like they are part of OneFrost. It is an exciting time to be a part of Frost’s “Inclusion Revolution!”

Staff members at Frost Middle School
Frost Middle School staff wearing purple and their Autism Awareness shirts for Inclusive Schools Week. 

Hayfield Secondary School

decorated pumpkins
Pumpkins decorated during the Peer Helping Class at Hayfield Secondary School.

Hayfield Secondary School's Peer Helping class, taught by Ms. Fawn Katzbahn and Mr. Rickey Lewis, exemplifies inclusion.  The class has 16 high school students who work with 5 students from the high school's low-incidence program. 

The Peer Helping class participates in activities to teach students how to help each other, take turns, and take care of their surroundings such as

  • Walking outside to give students the opportunity to see the beginning of the change in season.
  • Making wreaths with paper plates and colored construction paper and decorating pumpkins.
  • Beautifying the school grounds by planting fall mums in the planters in front of the school. 

Lane Elementary School

During the 2018-2019 school year, Lane Elementary began an Inclusion Revolution to remain an environment where all students and employees feel safe, accepted, respected and most of all, included. Through kindness challenges, the creation of a buddy program (Champions 4 Change), a Special Olympics Unified Basketball and Track team, and a successful Inclusion Week 2018, our school prides itself on being a welcoming environment that embraces ALL differences.

This school year, practices have already begun for our Unified Basketball team, our Champions 4 Change program is working with students across all grade levels to build meaningful friendships and relationships, an Inclusion Chair serves on our school’s PTA to ensure all voices are represented and heard, and our Inclusion Committee has planned an Inclusion Week 2019 full of exciting activities. On December 2nd, 3rd and 4th, Lane will host the Walk In My Shoes program, where all students will participate in activities that expose them to what it is like to live with a differing ability or learning difference. Students will reflect on how they can help a friend or empathize with a student who experiences the world differently.

Inclusion Week 2019 will also include Spirit Days, a schoolwide read aloud of Just Ask by Sonia Sotomayor, a mural where all students can share their experiences with inclusion, and a culminating Pep Rally to celebrate all of our hard work in creating an inclusive environment. At the Pep Rally, Lane will be recognized and honored by the Special Olympics VA as an official Unified Champion School. We are only the second elementary school in all of Virginia to receive this honor.

The Inclusion Revolution at Lane extends far beyond Inclusive Schools Week. This year, we will reflect on how we can continue to “Chart the Course for Inclusion” for #AllLions.

Students and staff at Lane Elementary School
Lane Elementary School is the second elementary school in Virginia to be recognized and honored by the Special Olympics VA as an official Unified Champion School.

White Oaks Elementary School

White Oaks Elementary post-it notes kaleidoscope. Each post-it note includes an example of what inclusion means to each student.
White Oaks Elementary made a grade level kaleidoscope of friends using colored index cards.

At White Oaks Elementary, students were asked to write on a colored index card about what inclusion meant to them or how they could include others.  They could also write about a time that they were included or what made them special.  The colored index cards were then arranged into a kaleidoscope and hung up in the hallways by grade level throughout the school.  

Spirit week at White Oaks included the following activities:

  • Monday was "Hats Off to Inclusion" day
  • Tuesday was "Be Comfortable in Who You Are" day and we wore pajamas.
  • Wednesday was "We are All on the Same Team" day and we wore athletic jerseys.
  • Thursday was "Unique or Mismatched Clothes" day
  • Friday was "Kaleidoscope" day and the kids wore tie dye or bright colors or their favorite color.  

15th Annual Special Education Conference

This year our conference will focus on supporting inclusive and evidence-based high leverage practices for students with disabilities. It will be held on Saturday, April 18th, at Hayfield Secondary School.
Visit the conference webpage

Inclusive Education in FCPS

Inclusive experiences for children with and without disabilities and their families create a sense of belonging and membership, positive social relationships and friendships, and development and learning to reach their full potential.
Learn about Inclusive Education in FCPS