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A Solid Foundation #ISW2021

A solid foundation is essential to any building project.  The foundation not only supports the building and anchors it against natural forces, but it also protects the structure from ground moisture, so it stands firm.  In our schools and communities, strong leadership is the foundation that supports an inclusive school environment and anchors it firmly to protect and support all children—including those who are often marginalized due to disability, gender, socio-economic status, cultural heritage language preference, and other factors.


Discussion Topics

  • How do you define a leader? Name great leaders in history. Share positive and negative consequences of strong leaders.
  • How do leaders build effective inclusion into the foundation of the school and community?  Discuss the importance of trust in building relationships and a strong foundation.
  • November is the month when Thanksgiving is traditionally celebrated as a holiday in the United States, Canada, and other countries. How do we celebrate Thanksgiving in our schools/homes?  Does our celebration promote unity?

School Activities

  • Break into groups to plan and design a foundation for a successful school or friendly community.  Consider what makes a building friendly, helpful, and a place you want to visit.
  • Use the school’s maps or feedback from September’s activity for ideas to build a strong foundation.  Consider surveys/suggestion boxes.
  • Share favorite Thanksgiving celebrations at home and in the community with art, drama, and journaling.  How are these celebrations “foundations” in your family and community?

Book Suggestions

Celebration Spotlight

The Urban Collaborative is a national network of school districts committed to improving outcomes for students with disabilities.   Their mission is to improve educational outcomes and life opportunities for children and youth with disabilities in urban schools through leadership development. The Urban Collaborative has played a strategic role in providing the vision and outreach efforts to develop Inclusive Schools Week from which the Inclusive Schools Network began in 2001.

The Urban Collaborative will be hosting their virtual member meeting December 6-7, 2021, co-hosted by San Diego Unified School District. The conference theme is “Widening the Sphere of Success for All Learners: Integrating Special Education Within General Education.”