Hanover Mass Parent Advisory Council


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A Letter to the Hanover Community in Honor of National Inclusive Schools Week

Posted by Anne McNamara on November 13, 2009 at 9:35 PM Comments comments (1)

Dear Hanover School Community:


The Parents Advisory Council sends you this letter in honor of Inclusive Schools Week. We hope you will read it and share it.


Inclusive Schools Week is an annual event sponsored by the Inclusive Schools Network, which is held each year during the first week in December. Since its inception in 2001, Inclusive Schools Week has celebrated 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.


As parents, we want our schools to be a safe place where students learn through mutual respect and cooperation. We want our schools to support the learning needs and interests of all its students. An inclusive school environment strives to meet those goals and we know that all students benefit from inclusion in many ways – socially, emotionally and academically.


The Hanover School District supports inclusion. Ideally, the model is based upon the concept of full inclusion and a belief that our children can learn when the learning environment is designed to meet the academic and social needs of individuals. However, it takes a lot more than a well defined concept to truly make inclusion work. Remember what it was like to be in elementary school and middle school and high school? Our principals and teachers need our support to make inclusion work.


Each of us can likely remember one person from when we were in school who was a little different. Maybe you can remember watching or even participating in a moment of unkindness toward that person or just simply ignoring that person.


Our kids need to hear from us that taking the time to get to know all kids is worth it. That teasing and bullying is not acceptable. That by embracing those who are different, they will be more fulfilled later in life. That kids will look up to them, and want to be like them, if they accept and respect those around them.


We all know that it is easy to reject or fear what we don’t understand. Let’s teach our children that reaching out is far more rewarding than lashing out. Let’s remind our children that each one of us is an individual with strengths and weaknesses, as well as unique gifts. And that we all need support in some areas; that it’s part of being human. When we embrace our needs and those of others without fear and with compassion, we can make a difference.


If you are not the parent of a child with learning differences, you are absolutely the parent of a child who has classmates with learning differences. We as parents need to join our teachers as role models of compassion and tolerance.


Please join us in talking about inclusion. And remember that inclusion is not just a special education issue. By definition, inclusion is about the effective education of all of our children.

This week, in honor of Inclusive Schools Week, we ask that you talk to your child about these important topics. Ask your child to say hello, extend a compliment or just simply smile at someone outside of their circle of friends. Teach them tolerance and compassion through your words and actions.

How we treat each other, and how we teach our children to treat each other, can and will make a difference. Our community is an important piece of the successful model of an inclusive school system.

Help us help all of our children to go to school in an environment that is built on the premise that each and every child, without exception, has something of value to contribute their school community.

The PAC is open to any member of our community, but is primarily made up of parents and guardians of children with some form of learning difference. The message in this letter means a lot to us. We hope it means a lot to you too. Your support and help in spreading awareness and sharing knowledge is important. And, we thank you for taking the time to read this message.

For more information about PAC, please visit our website at http://hanovermasspac.webs.com/

For more information about inclusion and Inclusive Schools Week, visit http://www.inclusiveschools.org/


To read how another local school is supporting inclusion in their community, read this mom’s story: http://jesswilson.wordpress.com/2009/09/



Your Hanover PAC