Submitted by: Amy Woods, Office of Special Education, Neward Public Schools
As the largest school district in New Jersey, Newark Public Schools is committed to providing quality education to over 40,000 students. This year, Newark Public Schools proudly celebrated Inclusive Schools Week by sending activities, resources, and books to every one of our 63 schools. Students from Prek to 12th Grade participated in the celebration of inclusion.
Two storybooks celebrating inclusion, Meeting Mimi by Francie Dolan and Just Ask! Be Different, Be Brave, Be You by Supreme Court Justice Sonya Sotomayor, were sent to each of our 43 elementary schools with sample lesson plans. All schools with students in grades 6 – 12 were sent excerpts from The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen Year Old Boy with Autism by Naoki Higashida along with discussion questions to encourage students to make connections between their own lives and the lives of people with disabilities.
Additionally, all schools were provided with guides on developing Comfort Corners; tip sheets on strategies to support students with different learning styles; and resources from Inclusive Schools Network/Stetson and Associates, including copies of Inclusion: A Resource Manual for Administrators, “30 Ways to Support Inclusion” pamphlets, and the “All Hands on Deck” and “Unwrapping My Gifts” activities that were featured on the ISW website. Each school also got ISW swag including “Unity Within Our Community” posters and stickers.
The Newark Public Schools website features the NPS Inclusive Schools Week 2022 slideshow highlighting inclusion activities from across the district. We thank our schools for their incredible support in making inclusive practices a year-round initiative, and we are deeply proud of their enthusiastic participation in ISW 2022.