INCLUSION

 
UCP Bailes Community Academy Elementary students concluding a book report, every child learns the same state curriculum in a way that is most relevant to their strengths and abilities.

UCP Bailes Community Academy Elementary students concluding a book report, every child learns the same state curriculum in a way that is most relevant to their strengths and abilities.

UCP Charter Schools has created a new kind of community; one where everyone has access to individualized learning and everyone is encouraged to learn together.

Mainstream instruction models don’t always work for every child because every child learns and retains information differently.

Some students are gifted and accelerated, some students are bright but need more time or strategic intervention, some students have disabilities, some students are artists, engineers, shy, empathetic, outgoing. We strive to engage all learners through an inclusive model that focuses on the potential of each individual child.

UCP’s first venture into academic inclusion was bold, as we challenged the use of special education classrooms by raising the expectations drastically and beginning with a philosophical belief that all kids deserve a high-quality accessible education.

Studies show that instruction in an inclusive classroom (commonly 50% kids with disabilities and 50% kids without disabilities) was mutually beneficial to both sets of students. The interpersonal benefits seem obvious, it destigmatizes preconceptions about disabilities and cultivates compassion, but the model also has the potential to destigmatize preconceptions about learning. When you place learning in an inclusive setting it’s no longer solitary, boring or stressful, it becomes communal.

Learning takes on a whole new power when a child realizes their knowledge can be shared with others, when a gifted child is able to teach a peer they begin to cultivate a more well-rounded connection to their instruction, when a child without a disability and their colleague in a wheelchair prepare for a book report they are efficient, collaborative, and begin to learn at a level of maturity that is not passive, but immersive, and practical.

A UCP Downtown/BETA student plays with peers at our inclusive and accessible playground, giving all students the opportunity to engage in play together.

A UCP Downtown/BETA student plays with peers at our inclusive and accessible playground, giving all students the opportunity to engage in play together.

Elementary students from UCP Seminole Charter School celebrate spirit day with their favorite PJ’s. Diversity in the classroom has practical social and emotional benefits, helping young children learn to value differences and collaboration at an early age.

Elementary students from UCP Seminole Charter School celebrate spirit day with their favorite PJ’s. Diversity in the classroom has practical social and emotional benefits, helping young children learn to value differences and collaboration at an early age.

UCP Bailes Academy students pose together after being interviewed about what they love about attending an inclusive school. Students in our inclusive classrooms typically don’t fear differences but lean into it and learn more about themselves, each other, and their instruction.

UCP Bailes Academy students pose together after being interviewed about what they love about attending an inclusive school. Students in our inclusive classrooms typically don’t fear differences but lean into it and learn more about themselves, each other, and their instruction.