The Weekly Roar
October 24, 2020
Building Inclusive Practices
As we finish our last week in October, I reflect back with pride on all the work our school has done in the past three months. Not only have our teachers pulled off probably the most challenging task in their careers, but our students are LEARNING. While becoming becoming technology geniuses, they've managed to learn the academic standards of their grade levels. So before I continue, I encourage us all to pause a moment and pat ourselves on the back. This is not easy, but we are persevering.
Moving on, I want to share with you all about important work that is happening with our staff this week. On Wednesday, our entire teaching staff, and most of our classified staff (office personnel and instructional aides) will engage in this year's first session with 2Teach. "2 TEACH is an educational consulting company dedicated to providing practical, innovative and research-based strategies to improve instruction in today's inclusive classrooms and organizations" (https://2teachllc.com/). We are excited to continue working alongside 2Teach to build more inclusive practices at our school. Our teachers started this effort last year, before the pandemic. A big goal that came out of last year's collaboration, was to engage in professional development that provides teachers and staff with more strategies to support the academic and emotional well-being of all students. This professional learning comes at the perfect time, during Disability Awareness Month. I'm thrilled to begin this work.
Dr. Becky Godbey
Halloween at La Ballona
For families that celebrate Halloween, the pandemic has greatly changed some traditions. One tradition that you may continue is wearing costumes. Students dressing up for Halloween can foster creativity and self-expression. If your family chooses, your child may wear her/his costume on Friday, October 30 during Zoom Class. Please follow these general guidelines. If you have any questions, just reach out to your child's teachers:
Costumes should not interfere with Zoom learning, typing, or completing tasks.
Costumes should be school appropriate, and not overly gory, bloody, or grotesque.
Keep masks off during Zoom (unless teacher allows you to keep it on)
Fake weapons (swords, knives, etc) should be left off screen.
What is Inclusion?
Inclusion is a term that expresses a commitment and practice to educate each child, to the maximum extent appropriate, in the school and classroom that they would otherwise attend. Inclusive practices ensure that children with special needs become members of general education classrooms, as opposed to staying segregated in special education classrooms. The Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA) states that students who receive special education services should learn in the least restrictive environment, which is what inclusion aims to achieve. Inclusive practices give students with disabilities and all levels of ability, the best opportunities to thrive academically, socially, and interpersonally by creating diverse and inclusive communities in our classrooms and schools.
To illustrate the importance of inclusion, check out this 10-minute animated award-winning film, entitled “Ian.” (embedded below) It is the story of Ian, who was born with cerebral palsy. All he wants is to make friends, although it seems impossible to achieve when discrimination and bullying keep him away from his beloved playground. However, he is determined and won’t give up easily…
Everyone Belongs in our PTA!
We want all families to know that they are welcome to attend our PTA meetings! You do not have to be a member. The PTA is vital to our school. They provide field trips, school supplies, teacher grants, volunteer support, the garden, assemblies, family nights, and much much more. We appreciate everything our parents to to help La Ballona. We hope you participate in the following PTA/school community events:
Now- The La Ballona Auction is LIVE. See the flyer below!
Thursday, October 29th- Family NIght "Scoops of Inclusion". See the flyer above!
Thursday, November 5th- PTA meeting, 6:30 pm
Thank you La Ballona Families!
La Ballona families, thank you again for all your support and participation the other week with our first restaurant fundraiser for this fall at Sharkeys! Our total for the week was $2,013.97 and the PTA will be receiving 15% of that total ($302) which will go towards future school supplies, teacher grants, assemblies, field trips and more. Thank you again for your support everyone. Go La Ballona Lions!