What is Inclusion?
This is an important question, answered by Alberta Education as:
Alberta Education’s Standards for Special Education, Amended 2004, states that "inclusive setting/inclusion" means specially designed instruction and support for students with special education needs in regular classrooms and neighbourhood schools” (p. 3). More recently, educational literature has begun to see inclusion as a child-centred philosophy and approach that allows students to reach their full potential. This approach provides students with the best learning opportunities that will meet their needs by removing barriers to their participation. Inclusive schools recognize and celebrate diversity, value students and staff, and see differences as valuable resources to support learning.
In the EASE Preschool program, we follow both child-centred and family-centred approaches to ensure that we provide the best program for each child and family. This means that each child’s program can be developed to best address their developmental strengths and needs.
Our first year children are typically 2 ½ to 3 years of age. Having consistency in the routine and structure of their daily program is important for both learning and comfort. These children are in their EASE classroom four mornings each week. On Friday mornings, most of these children leave the Centre to participate in activities out in the community where their learning goals can be worked on with support. This provides an opportunity to interact with others outside of Aspire.
In the second year of the EASE Preschool Program, children range in age from 3 ½ to 5 years of age. These children are most often ready for more experiences outside of the EASE classrooms.
- children may require specialized programming and supports to develop knowledge, skills and attitudes that prepare them for later learning
- all children deserve the best start in life and support so they can reach their full potential and be successful as youth and adults
By offering both specialized on-site programming and community based activities for our EASE children, we believe we are providing them with the support and learning opportunities to reach their full potential.