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R. Tait McKenzie Public School Lives Out Commitment to Student Equity and Inclusion
R. Tait McKenzie Public School Lives Out Commitment to Student Equity and Inclusion
Posted on 12/03/2020

December 3, 2020 (Almonte, ON) – If you’ve ever met Dustyn Robins, consider yourself lucky. The Grade 4 student at R. Tait McKenzie Public School in Almonte is a kind and considerate student who lights up a room when he enters.

Born with Cerebral Palsy, Dustyn uses an electric wheelchair, and the school has provided supports so that Dustyn can experience a positive learning environment.

Dustyn has access to educational assistant support, special education support, and a specialized desk in his classroom to accommodate his wheelchair. He also has a variety of Occupational and Physical Therapy equipment and a device to assist with his learning output. Meanwhile, R. Tait McKenzie Public School’s facilities, including its gym, library, and playground, are all accessible.

 Dustyn’s experience demonstrates the school board’s commitment to ensuring students have equitable access to education.

“Equitable access to education allows everyone to be part of a group or a class, something larger than themselves,” says R. Tait Principal Kali Lyn Greene. “No one likes to be excluded from a group, no matter the reason. And we can all remember how it felt to not be included at some point. Diversity enriches the lives of everyone involved, including students and staff.”

December 3 is the United Nation’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities, and it’s an opportunity to reflect on disability inclusion in order to uphold human rights for all. That includes the school community.

Greene says their student body is filled with diverse learners, allowing educators to think outside the box.

“This brings new strengths to educators,” she says. “A diverse community challenges us to provide better ways to educate all students.”

When asked what he likes most about R. Tait, Dustyn says it’s having good friends, and how things are done in the school. For instance, Dustyn’s class has been working with the Abilities Centre in Ottawa to work on inclusive programming in physical education, and he says he says he likes how their class does things differently in gym. 

We’re proud of R. Tait McKenzie’s ongoing efforts to ensure their learners have equitable access to education, and it is one way the UCDSB works to provide equitable and inclusive educational opportunities for our students. Learn more about the International Day for Persons with Disabilities.

*Photo: Taken in December 2019

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For media enquiries, please contact:

 

April Scott-Clarke
Manager of Communications & Relationship Management 
Upper Canada District School Board
communications@ucdsb.on.ca

 

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