On October 30 and 31st, Avon Maitland schools hosted a delegation of 34 educators from the Netherlands. A small group came with Kees deZeeuw, their coordinator in 2016 and he has returned to AMDSB for a second visit with a new group interested in learning about our approach to inclusive education.
When asked, “Why Avon Maitland?”, Kees replied that he sees the Board as an example of an organization that has taken on a change initiative to move to a system of inclusive educational practice and empower all levels of the organization to engage in learning and growing together to make the educational experience of all students both rich and diverse.
Members of the delegation had the opportunity to meet with central staff and visit Stratford Northwestern, Bedford PS and Anne Hathaway PS as well as St. Mary’s DCVI and Little Falls and Exeter Elementary and South Huron DHS. All school staff graciously opened their classrooms and their inclusive practice to our visitors.
As part of their visit to Canada, the group attended, “Coaching to Inclusion”, a conference hosted by a group of educators from several school districts in south western Ontario, preschool educators and other community members who collaborate to offer quality professional development opportunities for inclusive educators.
We were proud to have 22 educators participating in this conference from Avon Maitland schools. Each year, school boards nominate staff as a ‘Champion of Inclusion’. We had all our nominees and their nominators present at the conference.
Monika Hudak – Educational Assistant – SNWSS
Joyce deDekker – Teacher – SNWSS
Celeste Mitchell – Learning for All Coach
Nominated by Kristen Frank
Jennifer Hewitt – Teacher – Seaforth Public School
Nominated by Anne Copeland.
Congratulations to Joyce deDekker, our 2017 Champion of Inclusion award winner.