Join us in celebrating Inclusive Schools Week December 2nd-6th.
Inclusive Schools Week celebrates the progress that schools have made in providing a supportive and quality education to an increasingly diverse student population, including students who are marginalized due to disability, gender, socio-economic status, cultural heritage, language preference, and other factors. The Zervas school will take this week to acknowledge and celebrate the wonderfully welcoming community we are and continue to work to be.
Some History: In 1990, Newton Public Schools established the Neighborhood Inclusion Program, designed to integrate students with significant special needs in the neighborhood schools. Since that time, students with a wide range of disabilities have had the opportunity to be members of typical classrooms and to advance with their classmates through the grades. In order to make this possible, it has been important to provide the appropriate supports. An Inclusion Facilitator is assigned to Zervas to work with classroom teachers, adapting the curriculum and developing plans to promote the success of all the students in their classrooms. Additionally, each student may receive the support of a classroom assistant, as well as services from other specialists as required by the student’s individualized education plan.
The Zervas school also has a STRIDE Program (Structured Teaching through Research and Intensive Developmental Experiences), a city-wide specialized program for students with autism. The goal of the program is to increase the student’s independence and skill level across domain areas (academics, social, communication, daily living, leisure, gross and fine motor.) Each STRIDE student and their full-time aid is part of a classroom at Zervas. STRIDE students are integrated into their daily classroom schedules as appropriate and grouped separately with other STRIDE students for special services and education. We feel very fortunate to have this program in our school.
Throughout this week, Zervas students will engage in inclusion-related activities and lessons. Our teachers and staff will gather for an all-school luncheon to celebrate the work they do to foster this school community. And many will participate in a professional development program on Race and Equity. We encourage you to ask your student about how they are inclusive and check out the Inclusive Schools Network website for more information and activities you can do at home.