Programs & Services
The goal of an inclusive education system is to provide all students with the most appropriate learning environments and opportunities for them to best achieve their potential. Some have said, this is what should already be happening in education, and they’re right. However, some children, youth and their families do not feel that they have the same opportunities as their peers.
In Alberta, inclusion in the education system is about ensuring that each student belongs and receives a quality education no matter their ability, disability, language, cultural background, gender, or age. For some, a provincial move to inclusive education will mean very little change, but for others the change will be more significant. When we think about each student we must consider different definitions of student success. An inclusive education system does not mean everyone attends the same type of school, rather it means we create education settings where each student is able to experience success.
Alberta Education's definition of STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS refers to students with mild, moderate, or severe disabilities and those who are gifted and talented. Once a student is identified as having special needs, we develop and deliver an education program that reflects individual needs and provides the student with a valuable learning experience. An Individual Program Plan (IPP) is developed for each and every child identified to ensure appropriate programming and to establish measurable goals and objectives for an appropriate program.
Early identification is our key focus. The earlier the identification, the more expediently the program can be differentiated to provide appropriate learning experiences. Child Development Check-ups are implemented annually in each of our elementary schools for children ages 2 1/2 to 5. Children are assessed in the areas of speech/language, fine motor, gross motor, and social development and self-help skills. Kindergarten teachers' participation provides a chance for parents to make initial contact with the school regarding their children.
An inclusive education system is best realized when leadership is shared between home, school and community. Schools reflect the attitudes, beliefs and health of the communities they serve and they must be equipped to reflect inclusive practices.
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
Learning Services BLOG - Looking For Light - (not accessible from inside the division network)
"The work of Catholic Education is always linked to inclusivity. Our Catholic Schools have practiced inclusivity throughout their history. We have worked diligently to include the laity in the family of the Church. We included the destitute in the family of caring, the ignorant in the family of learning, the sick in the family of healing. We desire to teach all the children that pass through our doors that they are not forgotten, that they are not expunged from the communal memory of our people or purged from the communal register of our hearts." Canadian Catholic Schools Trustees’ Association, Build Bethlehem Everywhere, Pp. 41-42.