NBACL held their 2010 inclusive education award ceremony at Government House in Fredericton on Wednesday, February 17, 2010. Lt. Governor Graydon Nicholas welcome more than 100 parents, educators and officials to the event.
Special guests were Minister of Education Roland Haché and NB Premier Shawn Graham.
One of the awards was presented to a school in the northern NB town of Belledune. The school staff and principal Ellen Lee were recognized for their efforts to make inclusion work on a daily basis in their school.
In her nomination of the school, Mrs. Audrey Donnelly paid tribute to the team approach that is taken at Belledune School to ensure that her son has the proper supports necessary to be successful. This following is from the nomination letter:
Parents with children entering a new school sometimes have a sense of apprehension. Will my child’s needs be met? Will he or she feel valued and accepted? Will there be opportunities to participate with his or her classmates in activities during class, as a true member of the school community?
Audrey Frenette Donnelly, whose son Shannon has a disability and was about to enter Belledune School, had these concerns. She needn’t have worried, though, because Shannon was welcomed in Belledune School with open arms from day one. That’s why Mrs. Donnelly nominated Shannon’s school for a National Inclusive Education Achievement Award.
“Each year we have a meeting, which is held at the school, for all of Shannon’s support workers,” she wrote in her nomination. “At this meeting we come together to pool ideas and share information to help Shannon.”
Mrs. Donnelly also pointed out that all of the students at Belledune School have been included in Shannon’s routine and share in his success. For example, if Shannon acquires a new skill, there is a sense of excitement among his classmates and teachers. Mrs. Donnelly says, “Shannon, is so well included that if he is absent, the students are sure to inquire about him.”
It takes a great team to make inclusive education work, but it takes a great leader to unite a team so that everyone feels involved and recognizes their valuable role in ensuring success. Ellen Lee, the Principal of Belledune School, is such a leader.
Here is a link to an article in the Saint John Telegraph Journal – http://telegraphjournal.canadaeast.com/actualites/article/958066