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News Release (March 2011)

 

The Next Frontier Inclusion

From March 6-8th, 2011 thirty one international schools heads of schools, principals and curriculum directors met at the International School of Brussels and engaged in a professional conversation on how we might build the capacity of our respective schools to serve a more learning diverse community.

The Next Frontier Initiative believes that:

High quality education is a basic human right of all children

We need to redefine international education to be inclusive of students who learn differently or at different rates.

Parents who travel overseas should not have to leave some of their children behind or divide their families between schools.

We are committed to a planned and carefully managed approach to including students who have special needs or may be exceptionally capable.

The inclusion of children requiring learning support enhances the education of all children.

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During our time together, we explored both philosophical and practical issues relating to robust learning support programs.  We discussed issues including: different models of learning support, admissions, recruitment of staff, financial considerations, and marketing the vision of an inclusion school.  We also observed classes and had opportunities to talk with special needs students and teachers.

The schools represented in Brussels included:

UNIS Hanoi , IS Manila,  American School of Paris, Zurich International School, Copenhagen International School, International School of Bangkok, American International School of Johannesburg, International School of Brussels, American School of the Hague, Colegio Gran Bretana, Hong Kong International Academy, Escuela Internacional Sampedrana, International Community School Addis Ababa, Nanjing International School, Fukuoka International School, International School of Dhaka, International School of Geneva,  and Bangalore International School.

We are a collaborative group of schools that is ready and willing to support each other as we travel different roads towards inclusion.  We would welcome other schools that would like to join the important initiative.

The next NEXT FRONTIER Professional Conversation will take place on March 15-16th ,  , 2012.  The venue is to be decided.

 

William Powell, Kevin Bartlett, Ochan Kusuma-Powell and Kristen Pelletier

 

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