The Children’s School is based on the belief that children have different ways of learning and different ways of interacting socially. More than ten years of experience has shown that all children benefit from this unique educational and social learning environment known as “inclusion.”
Children are successful because staff modify their teaching to meet the needs of each child in the classroom, addressing individual abilities and disabilities. The collaborative team-teaching model – a general education and a special education teacher in every class – enables staff to individualize their teaching and create a tailored learning program. The enriched staffing also includes at least one paraprofessional and often a student teacher.
An essential part of the inclusion philosophy is to instill in all children an appreciation of differences. Teachers are able to accomplish this ambitious goal because the school community reflects the outside world, exposing children to peers who are different from one another.
Integrating children educationally and socially promotes acceptance of differences and fosters individual responsibility for the group. Students learn to recognize what their classmates are good at, what they need help in and how they can support each other to become better learners.
Children are not separated according to abilities in order to foster an environment where children are not picked on or ostracized.
Inclusion is not mainstreaming – an educational practice where children learn in regular classrooms part of the day and are placed in segregated (special education) classrooms when they require modified instruction for particular subject areas.