Inclusive education continues growth in WCPS

With Action on Inclusion and inclusive learning now a fully integrated practice in Wolf Creek Public Schools (WCPS) education

With Action on Inclusion and inclusive learning now a fully integrated practice in Wolf Creek Public Schools (WCPS) education, assistant superintendent of Inclusive Learning Services Amber Hester visited the board of trustees during its Tuesday, March 17 meeting to update them on its successes.

Alberta Education began the push for inclusive learning three years ago, and Hester says without much instruction, divisions were given a rubric to develop the concept.

“When I first got here, I gave the rubric out to staff. We needed to build pretty much all of it,” said Hester.

From this came the division’s Action on Inclusion handbook and its pyramid of interventions, “…and then the process for that whole learning (to) connect,” said Hester.

“In this process we built a very tight structure and the structure is something that has become our framework,” she added.

The model and practices the division built were so comprehensive that they went beyond the framework of Alberta Education, which became interested in what the division was doing and set up time for a presentation.

“That was just a huge affirmation for our team,” said Hester.

Following the presentation, Hester says a stream of requests from other school divisions came in wanting to learn how and what WCPS was doing. “It was a little bit overwhelming after the second day of requests,” said Hester.

In the future, Hester is hoping to make a similar presentation to the trustees.

“The inclusive education indicators is the measurement tool by which the government has asked us to measure some of the inclusive processes and there are three faces to it,” said Hester, referring to teachers, community and students.

Hester says a number of presentations have also been made to school councils, upon request, to keep the channels of communication open.

Trustee Bob Huff would like to see information presented to the board that is result based.  “How effective is this working because one can read all the dynamics . . . one can say we’re putting trillions of dollars into this, but are the kids benefitting?”

“I think what’s most important is we see some results,” he added.