Educational practices that are flexible and responsive to the strengths and needs of individual students create inclusive learning experiences that ensure al students are successful
Medicine Hat Catholic Schools use innovative and effective ways to reduce barriers to learning and provide the supports that every student needs to be successful.
We recognize the importance of supportive, caring learning environment. All classrooms include a growing number of students who will need additional supports to be successful. These could range from positive behaviour supports to the use of learning or assistive technologies.
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
Learning Services BLOG - Looking For Light - (not accessible from inside the division network)
According to Alberta Education, successful implementation of new practices is possible in environments where education stakeholders are committed to sharing the responsibility for supporting implementation within a culture of learning.
- Shared responsibility is a commitment among education stakeholders – Alberta Education staff, school boards, jurisdictional and school leaders, teachers, professional learning providers, students, parents, and school councils – to develop a shared understanding of and commitment to their respective roles and responsibilities to support implementation. In some cases education stakeholders’ implementation support responsibilities might be shared, in other instances they will have distinct responsibilities.
- A culture of learning is a social/emotional environment in which inquiry, risk-taking, sharing and collaboration are encouraged in order to optimize student learning. (Guide to Support for Implementation: Essential Conditions)
The essential elements are divided into ten areas that affect the education for all students. It is not expected that all areas be in place right away but rather these elements serve as a guide to address each of the areas over a period of time.
- High Expectations and Presumption of Competence
- Fostering a Sense of Community and Belonging
- Membership and Participation in General Education Classrooms
- School-Family Partnerships
- Quality Curriculum and Instruction for All
- Individualized Planning and Student Agency
- Continuum of Supports and Services
- Collaborative Practices
- Supporting Classroom Teachers
- Assessment Practices
These best practices and their explanations are an adapted version of the ‘Beyond Access Best Practices Rating Scale” outlined in The Beyond Access Model: Promoting Membership, Participation and Learning for Students with Disabilities in the General Education Classroom ( Jorgensen, McSheehan, & Sonnenmeier, 2010 - University of New Hampshire's Institute on Disability), the “Essential Elements of Inclusive School’s” document (Jorgensen, 1998 - University of New Hampshire's Institute on Disability) and the “Inclusion Indicators Planning and Feedback Tool” (Dr. Jacqueline Specht, 2009 - Canadian Research Centre on Inclusive Education).