Despite not being in person this year, the SFUSD Inclusive Schools Week Task force members, schools and families created inspiring and informative virtual activities and resources in the midst of a global pandemic.
The week kicked off with a Young Adult Discussion Panel, where young adults with disabilities spoke about the challenges they have faced and continue to face and most importantly, their advice for others in overcoming the obstacles. It was a truly inspiring and hope-filled event. SFUSD also partnered with Special Olympics of Northern California to hold Special Olympics Virtual Assemblies. In the past, we have held these events at individual school sites, but with the help of technology we were able to stream them across the district and nearly 2,000 students attended. This year, we also created our first Online Arts Showcase, a website with powerful student artwork on the theme of inclusion. This slide deck provides a comprehensive overview of this year’s activities, resources and highlights.
Individual School Sites did an incredible job highlighting the importance of inclusion to their students. Elementary schools held read-alouds, classroom discussions and activities all week long. Middle schools took the opportunity to discuss the importance of inclusion with students and broadened the discussion to talk about racial exclusion and provided students an opportunity to take action in their school. SFUSD High Schools held inclusion discussions and celebrations and disability film festivals with the partnership of the Longmore Institute on Disability, and at Galileo High School, SDC students held an “Instagram Takeover.”
Central office staff also played a key role in creating inclusion resources to be shared all year long. The special education team held a virtual ability awareness open house, and they also made a video about the importance of inclusion that will be shared with staff in the new year.