Inclusive Schools Week Is December 2-6
Fairfax County public schools have a variety of activities planned for Inclusive Schools Week, December 2-6. Here are just a few.
Lane Elementary will celebrate its selection as a Special Olympics Unified School—only the second elementary school in Virginia to earn this distinction—during a pep rally at 3 p.m. on Friday, December 6. The school will also focus on the themes Walking in Someone Else’s Shoes and Charting the Course for Inclusive Schools, and include activities in physical education and art for all students. Veronica Jennings from Special Olympics will present the school banner. Contact Anna Whittington at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vienna Elementary students and staff will participate in a variety of in-class and schoolwide discussions and activities. Students will share what inclusion means to them as classes create mottos to be shared throughout the school. “One” by Kathryn Otoshi will be read throughout the school on Newswave. Students will be greeted on the morning news show with different ways to say hello including using sign language, a foreign language, and an augmentative communication device. Former Vienna Elementary student Dave Egan, now an advocate for individuals with disabilities, will speak about what inclusion means to him and share some of his experiences. Egan is the first person with an intellectual disability to be awarded the Joseph P. Kennedy Foundation Public Policy Fellowship. Contact news liaison Paulette Torpey at email@example.com.
At Freedom Hill Elementary, staff and students will engage in dialogue and discussion surrounding inclusion during morning meetings; parents are encouraged to continue the conversation on at home. Discussions will begin with recognizing similarities and differences; students will be able to ask questions about inclusive practices and learn specific ways to include others both inside and outside of school. On Friday, the week will culminate with Community Spirit Day; everyone is asked to wear red, one of the school colors, to show solidarity and commitment to inclusion. Contact news liaison Tim Scesney at 703-506-7800 or firstname.lastname@example.org or principal Nicholas Zapadka at email@example.com .
Flint Hill Elementary will host a Walk in My Shoes event on Thursday, December 5, in honor of Inclusive School Week. The goal of Walk in My Shoes is to increase social acceptance of all children by teaching students how they can be understanding and helpful to children confronting a variety of challenges. Students will be able to experience the perspectives of students with visual, speech, fine motor, sensory, communication, attention, and other impairments. The event is also designed to help foster an environment where differences are respected while enabling students to see the world from viewpoints of other. The goal is to help children learn to be understanding and kind to each other at school, in the classroom, on the playground, and in the community. Contact news liaison Susan Rankin at firstname.lastname@example.org.