Bishop school wins national award

By Geoff Lee

May 18, 2017 12:00 AM

Tylan Andrews, centre, a Grade 9 student at Bishop Lloyd MIddle School with developmental disabilities has been fully included in all school activities for the past three years. On the left is his friend, Josh Trach, and Gemma Porter a Grade 9 home teacher on the right.

Bishop Lloyd Middle School is teaching students, staff and the community that inclusive education matters.
The school is the recipient of a National Inclusive Education Award from the Canadian Association for Community Living and Inclusion Alberta for creating an inclusive education environment for everyone.
“We’ve spent a lot of time in our building making sure students in our building feels like they are welcomed and belong and feel that they have a sense of purpose, and they have a role to play in our school,” said Debbie Kruchkowski, the vice principal.
The school was nominated for the award by parent, Stacey Andrews for its work in creating an inclusive learning environment for her 14 year-old son Tylan who has developmental disabilities.
“I think the school is very deserving, the hard work that they’ve put in to make sure all kids feel welcome,” said Andrews during an award presentation at the school on May 10.
She said Bishop Lloyd has gone out of its way to make her son feel a part of the school over the past three years.
“He’s been included in every aspect of school from when he walks into the school to him attending in-school clubs of his interest, to him being embraced for his learning style and the teaching staff differentiating their teaching instruction to meet his needs,” said Andrews.
“It doesn’t just rest with Tylan, it rests will all the kids that are part of the school.”
Kruchkowski said it was a welcome surprise to get the award.
“We know in the last couple of years we’ve moved in our philosophy around inclusion and what it means,” she said.
“It was exciting to receive it because we know that now the work is meaningful and valuable and is worth what we do.”
Robin Acton, past president of Inclusion Alberta and a board member of   that advocates inclusion for people with developmental disabilities, said Bishop Lloyd demonstrated leadership in the area of inclusive education by creating a culture of inclusion.
“The Lloydminster Public School Division has long term commitment to including kids with developmental disabilities in a regular class,” said Acton.
“They’ve been a leader, I would suggest in inclusive education for a long time.”
Inclusion Alberta including its Lloydminster chapter is a family-based federation that advocates on behalf of children and adults with developmental disabilities to be fully included in community life.
“Kids should go to their regular neighbourhood schools, and be part of the all the regular things that happen, like girl guides and soccer leagues,” said Acton.
“They should have an opportunity to have a job and to own a home of their own.”
Andrews said she’s like any parent who wants their kids to be well included at school and be seen for their gifts, talents and contributions.
She said Tylan has a jest for life and is very curious teenager.
“He loves being at school and he loves being with his friends,” she said.
“Some of his friends from Grade 3 play school are still his friends; they’ve come to know him and his unique way of communication”
She noted Tylan is in the Wei club and has been involved in the some fundraising activities with that computer game and has found a passion for cooking
“I would never have thought that he would love cooking, but he’s really been engaged in his home economics class over the last three years,” she said.
She says the supports the school is providing for her son are helping her to see that the possibilities for Tylan’s life are happening at school.
She said it will be tough moving on to high school, but her family is resigned to it.
“That’s the way life goes you have to always move forward,” said Andrews.

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