Dear Willamette families,
I hope you are having a great start to your new school year. It has been wonderful to see so many of our students back in person, reconnecting with friends and teachers!
In our school, we believe that all students belong. The evidence from 30 years of educational research shows that all students do better in inclusive settings- including students with and without disabilities. We are committed to creating equity and inclusivity throughout our entire school. We do this in a variety of ways, from physical spaces to engagement strategies to class/school rituals.
Throughout this month, in partnership with Special Olympics and led by staff throughout our school, we will be focusing on inclusion within all of our classrooms. This focus will include teaching our students about the importance of being inclusive, understanding different disabilities, community building games in wellness classes, a Dino Spirit Day, installation of a new communication board on our playground and videos from students and staff.
Our inclusive culture has been part of our school from our inception over 30 years ago. It is exemplified in our guiding principles and has become so much of our culture, it can be easy to miss seeing the many ways we work to make sure every child feels a sense of belonging to our school. In a recent student survey, Willamette placed in the 90th percentile of all schools when it comes to student’s feeling a sense of belonging here.
However, we know there is still much purposeful work and collaboration to be done, so each and every child feels welcomed, safe, and included here at Willamette. We hope our focus on inclusion and thoughtful teaching and planning will support our next steps as a school and community towards a more inclusive culture.
As always, please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions you may have-
Willamette Primary School