Salt Lake City School District (SLCSD) virtually celebrated Inclusive Schools Week the week of Dec 7th through the 11th. This is the second year SLCSD has participated in this worldwide event.
The SLCSD Board of Education passed an Inclusive Schools Resolution at its April 14, 2020 meeting. This resolution directed the District to strive to implement best practices in inclusive education by focusing on three major components: academic inclusion, social inclusion and physical inclusion. These practices focus on fully engaging all students, regardless of ability, in the education process and to ensuring all students are meaningful members of their school community.
This year’s ISW theme, “The Time for Inclusion is Now,” provided the opportunity to examine the importance of these three tenets and to acknowledge the greater appreciation of inclusion felt by all during this time of Covid-19 pandemic restrictions.
Although remote learning has changed how we experience inclusion, SLCSD acknowledges the efforts of each school and teacher as they navigate “remote inclusion.” While we were unable to celebrate in person, an Inclusion Resources Canvas course (online learning management system) was created to support schools and teachers. The “Inclusive Schools Week” button offered a short daily focus for virtual morning meetings. Each day highlighted a specific topic, provided a short explanation, offered a discussion and journal question and supplied books or videos to share. Daily themes included the principles of inclusion, diversity, equity and social distancing. The week culminated with a promise to support the ideals of inclusion with the #ChooseToInclude pledge.
As SLCSD continues its journey to fulfill the goals of the Salt Lake City School District’s Board of Education Inclusion Resolution, Inclusive Schools Week helped us celebrate and discuss the importance of building a community that values quality inclusive education for all students regardless of differences in ability, gender, race, ethnicity or language.