Multiple buildings in the Ossining Union Free School District, located in Westchester County, New York, celebrated Inclusive Schools Week. Ossining is home to approximately 5100 students. Members of our school community were provided with resources and events to develop and raise awareness about the benefits of inclusive educational practices.
Park Early Childhood Center (Pre-k & Kindergarten)
Teachers were provided with video links to expand upon their knowledge of inclusion and choice boards for inclusion minded classroom activities. Interactive read alouds and the use of community circles was encouraged. Two spirit days were held; Unity Day and Wear an Inspirational Message Day. We also had visitors from Ossining High School, which included some of our Pioneer Athletes and Student Leaders.
Brookside School (1st & 2nd grades)
During Inclusive Schools Week, Brookside started each day with a Town Hall Meeting. Each morning, different members of the special education team talked with students about their jobs at Brookside School and all the ways everyone can be more inclusive. On Monday, Ms. Campos and Ms. Darling talked about what it means to have a disability and how to include friends who have learning differences. On Tuesday, Ms. Ferris and Ms. Lebenberg talked about what a speech-language pathologist does, all the tools used to help people communicate, and how to include and help friends with language differences.
On Wednesday, Ms. Roth talked about different kinds of hearing loss and the different tools people use to help them when they cannot hear. On Thursday, Ms. Boland and Ms. Ma talked about what occupational therapists and physical therapists do and how to include friends with physical differences. On Friday, Ms. Levin talked about how to include all friends around the building and the students at Brookside School made a pledge to be inclusive.
Classes throughout the building also took turns parachuting with Ms. Campos’ and Ms. Darling’s classes in the gym, working on turn-taking and communicating.
Claremont School (3rd & 4th grades) & Roosevelt School (5th grade )
Claremont elementary classes read great texts and wore orange as a school for Unity Day. Orange symbolizes kindness, acceptance, and inclusion. In addition, Claremont celebrated the talents of students this month which was included as part of inclusive schools week. Claremont showcased both general and special education students building, drawing or playing an instrument. Roosevelt had a student-led spirit week in celebration of National Inclusive Schools Week.