School Staff Award Recipient
Student Services Team
Hartland Community School
Hartland, SD 14
Photo: John Clendenning, Principal of Hartland Community School receives award from NBACL President Marlene Munn
The Hartland Community School was one of three recipients of an Inclusive Education Award in the School Staff category. The school was nominated by Robin Crain, a learning specialist with School District 14.
Robin Crain’s nomination form for the school includes many examples of how the team there supports all students – those with behavioural issues, those with intellectual disabilities, those with physical challenges and those with no major challenges at all. Here’s one of them:
“A student with cognitive challenges was observed one day by the principal, standing on the side of the road twirling a basketball on his finger. [The principal] asked [this student] the next day about it and was treated to a demonstration. The following week at a school spirit assembly the principal announced a surprise challenge. The challenge: to see who could twirl a basketball on the end of a finger the longest. Many students rushed to the stage, including basketball stars. At the end there was one student left standing. Amidst cheers and applause and calls of encouragement this young man smiled proudly as he carried off the prize!”
Another example, again recounted by Robin Crain: “They encourage the entire staff to be involved with the students. An example of this is with three of the children with autism, who have as part of their plan to go to see the secretary each morning to greet her as part of their social skills. The bus driver is written into plans as part of a student’s social interaction goals.”
“This team thinks outside the box,” said Robin Crain in the nomination. “They start from a value base of ‘what does this child need?’ They search for ways to hook students to learning. They do not give up on kids. They truly believe in the collaborative approach. They involve all stakeholders in problem solving around plans for children. They come from a value base of reinforcers, not punishers.
“This school has 11 children with autism plus many others with special needs,” the nomination continued. “The school consistently rises to any challenge and truly believes in an inclusive system. This is not something special they do. It is the way they do business. They truly are a school family.”
Robin Crain concludes in an accompanying letter: “This team exemplifies what we dream of when we speak about inclusion.”