Harry Balfour School has been recognized for its exemplary commitment to inclusive education. It has won a National Inclusive Education Award from the Canadian Association for Community Living and Inclusion Alberta.
The school was nominated by the parents of grade eight student Matthew Lodge. Jackie Ryder and Dennis Lodge say this is Matthew’s second year at Harry Balfour, and the staff have made a difference in his experience.
“We feel like we have won the education lottery. They don’t talk about inclusion, they live inclusion… The team is consistently checking with us to ensure that they are doing what is best for Matthew. They value our input and look at us as partners in Matthew’s education.”
In particular, the family wants to honour Principal Jen Clevette, Vice-Principal Kim Schellenberg, and Inclusive Education Coordinator Rochelle Dempsey. Matthew received support for Inclusion Alberta before enrolling, and the team joined as well to benefit the entire school community.
“The HBS community celebrates diversity and children are all encouraged to participate in activities that lead to them learning compassion and empathy for things they may not have previously understood,” adds Jackie and Dennis.
Matthew and Jackie found a creative way to show their thank you by holding up homemade signs in the school’s parking lot last week. The award will be presented via a virtual ceremony on May 8th.