APS celebrates Inclusive Schools Week

Atlanta Public Schools’ Inclusive Schools Week highlights families, schools and communities that have dedicated time and resources to promote inclusive education for all students.

An inclusive school provides a supportive and quality education to an increasingly diverse population of students who are marginalized due to disability, gender, socioeconomic status, cultural heritage, language preference and other factors.

The week-long celebration provides an important opportunity for educators, students and parents to discuss ways to ensure that schools improve their ability to successfully educate all children. Students, faculty and staff can show their support by wearing blue on Wednesday, Dec. 8, “True Blue Inclusive School” day. The week is being sponsored by the Program for Exceptional Children.

What is an Inclusive School?
Inclusive schools are built on the philosophical belief that all children can learn and be successful within a shared academic environment.  Culturally responsive educational strategies, differentiated instruction and positive behavioral supports are some of the inclusive practices evident in academic and non-academic settings of the school.  Inclusive schools also offer students opportunities and support that will allow them to become self-determined, productive, and socially involved citizens.

Inclusive schools are on a perpetual journey toward becoming and maintaining a society where children and youth are not marginalized due to disability, gender, socioeconomic status, cultural heritage, language preference or religion.  Each child who enters an inclusive school presents new challenges and opportunities for the whole school community.

Inclusive Schools are places where:
* Children and young adults of all abilities, cultures, socio-economic backgrounds, languages, genders and religions share a learning environment that builds upon their strengths and supports their diverse needs.
* Faculty and Administration work collaboratively amongst themselves and with families to ensure that all students are learning and thriving.
* Families feel valued and are empowered to participate in their child’s education.
* Communities surrounding the school embrace the principles of inclusion among their citizens.

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