The Journey to Inclusion

The Journey to Inclusion

Director of Learning Supports – Have you ever read a book that cast a reflection on a part of your life? When I opened One Without the Other, I was introduced to the teaching world of Shelley Moore. It resonated. The students, conversations and meetings described in the book felt familiar. More importantly, the clarity in the work created by Shelley and her students provided a good model on which to reflect upon where we are in RVS on the journey to inclusion. (Please read the book to find out where that is!)

It’s only been about 10 years since large-scale laptop use in schools was implemented. Since that time, the proliferation of digital tools in schools has changed the educational landscape. Only a few short years ago, it was a source of frustration for families and school staff to have to search through binders of visual symbols for students who had no other means of good communication. Today, we are able to condense massive volumes, visuals and text to speech onto the tiniest portable devices. The landscape in schools has moved beyond digital device use as well. However, as dramatically as we have changed, we are stuck in many ways too.

In a way, One Without the Other describes the first competency in an inclusive education system. How do we make inclusion real and authentic for each of us? This is the nature of the work in the Learning Department. The things we are doing and the ways in which we do them is showing promising practice in Rocky View Schools. We are in the beginnings of a new iteration in curriculum design that has the potential to improve how we educate our children in inclusive settings. When I think of the intersects between the work of our design, literacy, learning and diversity specialists, I am brought to the place where the real and authentic becomes apparent once the learning is made purposeful for each of our students. When we work with synergy in our schools and with our parents, then we see inclusive learning in action.

Building Tools to Support Inclusive Practice

Building Tools to Support Inclusive Practice

Director of Learning Supports – There is a rich history of digital tool use in Rocky View Schools. From being one of the early pioneers of online learning in the province, to belonging to an early provincial cohort group of school boards to adopt one-to-one learning environments, RVS continues to improve connections in the digital learning environment, as well as improve communication of student learning.

teacher-students2In keeping with the advancement of technology and its benefits to our learning system, this year RVS will be transitioning to a software platform entitled “Dossier” that supports the creation and digital documentation of individual program plans, known more aptly as IPPs. This transition is intended to assist teachers efficiently document the learning needs of our diverse students. It also aims to compile our students learning needs in one central digital workspace, allowing staff to readily access and share a child’s needs with other teachers and his/her parents. A final aim is to leverage all the information gathered regarding a child’s attendance, instructional modifications, social/emotional needs, and academic success so that we can improve how we support the needs of our students and families.

As we begin to build understanding in the use of this new technical platform, we will continue to follow our regular IPP planning process that calls for the documentation of key goals, strategies, and supports to meet the learning needs of students. We also will continue to share with parents on a regular basis the progress of their child. Parents and students are encouraged to contribute to the planning of identifying learning goals, as well as how teachers can best support students reaching their potential and realizing success in their learning experiences.