Toronto-based parents Phil Richmond and Hayley Avruskin have two children with complex disabilities. They are part of the Congregated School Parent Network, which supports GTA-based congregated schools.

In our experience, inclusion – a system which seeks to include special needs students in regular classrooms – does not work for complex special-needs students (those, for example, with multiple disabilities or who are medically fragile); however, it can work for moderate special-needs students (for example, students with certain learning disabilities.) A congregated school is a special purpose school, specifically designed and staffed with willing educators to provide children who have complex disabilities with a safe place to learn, to develop community and to thrive.

The truth is that both camps have their place in education. They are not competing philosophies; they are complementary. And they just need to agree to get along…

Continue reading at Globe and Mail *


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