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National Inclusive Schools Week

This week, December 6-10, provides an important opportunity for educators, staff, students, and families to come together in celebrating all students, build empathy and understanding, and work toward the common goal of successfully educating and including all children.

Education and awareness can be a powerful tool to bridge across various differences and enable all students to find their voice and be appreciated for their unique selves. Inclusive Schools Weeks provides an opportunity to teach students not just about disabilities but also about the intersection of disabilities with other categories of identity, such as  language preference, class, gender, and cultural heritage.

We are now familiar with a new term: social distancing. We restrict our outings and wear masks to protect ourselves and others. This year, it is more important than ever to think about how we are providing an inclusive community. The inclusive schools theme for 2021 is “Rebuilding Our Inclusive Community Together” and embraces all the ways we need to help students during this COVID-19 pandemic. As we continue in these unusual circumstances, practice inclusion every day to help connect us and foster inclusion.

By highlighting Inclusive Schools Week, it provides an important opportunity for educators, students, and families to discuss future needs to ensure our schools continue improving on skills to educate all students. It also highlights and celebrates the progress schools have made in providing a supportive and quality education to all students, including those who are marginalized due to disability, gender, ethnicity, geography, and language.

Kent School District proudly celebrates our multilingual students! We are linguistically diverse and proud of biliterate and bicultural students! Over 138 languages are spoken in our district. We support dual language programs spanning Kindergarten through ninth grade and serve over 5,000 multilingual or acquiring English as a second language students.

In KSD, we implement a Transitional Bilingual program to meet the needs of our students coming from linguistically and culturally diverse backgrounds. Our program model includes a Dual Language program as well as a collaborative teaching model and content-based instruction for students acquiring English as a second language. Our multilingual education team proudly recognizes our language diversity as an asset allowing our students to continue to grow and thrive as global citizens.

This week celebrates rebuilding our inclusive community by strengthening our commitment to inclusive education, extending previous successes, and redirecting our talent, time, and energy to improving practices. KSD appreciates its dedicated and hard-working members of the Inclusive Education team and the Teaching and Learning Community for helping support the mission of successfully preparing all students for their futures.