EC Principal Letter

Dear ANCS Families and Friends,

I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving break and are ready for the busy three weeks before winter break. Just a friendly reminder that dismissal on December 16th is at 11:30 and there will be no after school that day. Please be prepared to pick your child up from school by 11:30 on the 16th. 

We are excited about Inclusive Schools Week that begins next week. We will be discussing what it means to be an inclusive school with our students throughout the week. This year’s theme is Unity Within Our Community. Inclusive Schools Week was started in 2001 in an attempt to bring more attention to how schools were educating children and working toward making their learning environment conducive to learning and growth. 

In 1975, the federal Education for All Handicapped Children Act (EHA) required public schools to guarantee a free, appropriate public education to students with disabilities. Despite the legislation, the inclusion of individuals with special needs was considered by many to be of questionable worth and an intrusion on instructional time.

As a result, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed in 1990, ensuring equal access and equal treatment for people with disabilities.  The current version, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act, and the ADA and other legislation aim to ensure that access and appropriateness are interpreted and applied consistently. All public schools are now expected to be inclusive of students of all fluid varieties of gender, race, and ability. Every student in every classroom is an inclusion child. Every teacher in every classroom is an inclusion teacher. We are here because we embrace difference and diversity.

At the same time, we are careful not to slip into an oversimplified illusion that we’re all the same. At ANCS, our inclusive goal is to meet students where they are and acknowledge differences, differentiate instruction, and guide students to maximize their potential. It’s critical to pay attention to student abilities and strengths when creating lesson plans. If we only focus on the dis in disability our children will notice more barriers, more challenges, and more frustration. By viewing the classroom through the lens of neurodiversity, we see that diverse learners do not dilute the dignity and integrity of a homogenous learning environment. Rather, diverse learners breathe energy, openness, and vitality into our classrooms, curriculum and culture.  

As always, please let me know if you have any questions. I am happy to answer them for you.

Wishing you well,