Ambergris Caye Elementary School (ACES) is an inclusive school which means all students are welcome –regardless of gender, ethnicity, socio-economic background or educational need. Each student learns, contributes to, and takes part in all aspects of school life.
Students with Special Educational Needs (SEN) spend most or all of their time learning with their peers, and the school encourages awareness of the mutual benefits of inclusion. The benefits include meaningful friendships, respect, better appreciation and understanding of individual differences, and being prepared for adult life in a diverse society.
Some benefits are social. Students can create lasting friendships that help them navigate relationships later in their lives. In an inclusive classroom, they get to see how different people interact.
There are also educational benefits. Well-designed inclusive classrooms help students meet higher expectations – both from their peers and their teachers. They may also see positive academic role models in their classmates.
Families may also benefit when the SEN student is an only child, whose parents may be unable to fit into the community unless the student is in an inclusive school.
Everyone benefits with inclusion. Inclusion teaches others and understanding of living with differences. Here at ACES, we teach our students from a young age to appreciate others for their differences. We are all unique, and each one of us has a different path to walk. Learning to help one another on a daily basis down our given path is part of being a student or a teacher at ACES.
Often, parents of SEN students do not have the financial means to send their child to an inclusive school like ACES. Additionally, most other schools do not have a program geared to students with SEN. So, parents of these children are left without an option. Still, many students with SEN are not able to attend school due to a lack of resources, either financial or academic.
Programs like the one at ACES are only possible through additional funding for the trained staff required. Please be generous and help send a SEN child to school. Their future depends on you.
Isn't every kid special? We think so. But what do we mean when we say "kids with special needs"? This means any child who might need extra help because of a medical, emotional, or learning problem. These children have special needs because they might need medicine, therapy, or extra help in school — stuff other kids don't typically need or only need once in a while.
Maybe you know of students in your school who need a wheelchair or use braces when they walk. Those kids have special needs. They not only need the equipment that helps them get around, but they might need to have ramps or elevators available.
You might be able to spot a few kids with special needs, but you probably don't notice all of them. A student could have a problem that isn't noticeable unless you know the person well. For example, someone could have trouble with anxiety (worry), but you wouldn't know it unless the child told you about it. Privately, their parents, teachers, and counselors may be working to help them worry less.
All children, including children with special educational needs, have a right to an education which is appropriate to their needs. The aims of education for pupils with special educational needs are the same as apply to all children. Education should be about enabling all children, in line with their abilities, to live full and independent lives so that they can contribute to their communities, cooperate with other people and continue to learn throughout their lives. Education is about supporting children to develop in all aspects of their lives.
The Special needs program at ACES covers a broad spectrum of special needs, from profound Autism, physical handicaps, to children who just learn slower or differently than others. Currently, we have approximately 20 children who could be classified as having Special Needs, however, at ACES we know every one of us is special. Each of us is special in a different way, some of us just need different accommodations.
Keeping our special needs program alive is vital to our culture at ACES. It takes people like you to help provide the funding for this program, please give generously. Thank you for all you do.
Learning disabilities impact the way children are able to process and understand information; they are neurological disorders that might manifest themselves as difficulty listening, thinking, writing, speaking, spelling, or doing mathematical calculations.Dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, dyspraxia, visual perception disorders, auditory processing disorders, and language disorders fall under the umbrella of learning disorders. Many children with ADHD or ADS also have more than one learning disorder.
Here at ACES all our teachers are trained In the Universal Design for Learning theories and practices which help them understand the needs of each child in the classroom and how to accomodate for the differences. An idea teachers must understand is that students with special needs such as learning disabilities need to be taught differently or need some accomodations to enhance the learning environment. Not everyone learns in the same way, and you need to create a well-rounded learning atmosphere.
Children with learning disabilities often feel like they do not succeed in certain areas, but structuring lessons that lead to successful results is a way to keep them motivated. It is necessary to provide immediate reinforcement for accomplishments, be consistent with rules and discipline, correct errors and reward students when they make these corrections themselves, explain behavioral expectations, and teach and demonstrate appropriate behaviors rather than just expecting students with special needs to pick them up.
While these suggestions are ideal for classroom settings, parents of students with special needs can also implement these principles. Helping children with learning disabilities both in and out of the classroom is the best way to help our students with special needs achieve.
Additionally, once teachers understand how to implement these strategies they begin to see it works for all the students in their class. Inclusion therefore, works for everyone involved. One concern of parents and teachers alike, is how is inclusion going to effect the whole class? If implemented correctly the process is an enriching experience for the whole class, teaching neurotypical and gifted children to embrace the differences while the student with special needs achieves at a higher level and feels the rewards of being accepted.
ACES is very proud of our program and the teachers who implement exceptional care and teaching skills on a daily basis to all of our students. You too can be a part of the process by helping to provide funding for a child with special needs. "It takes a village to raise a child", or so they say, personally I think it goes way beyond the village, it is a "Global" effort....please give generously.
Inclusion of people with disabilities in society means involving them in every aspect of social participation others enjoy. Inclusion is something that must come from a desire to include them in the activities of the community, family, friendships and school and therefore must come from the actual desire to spend time with and interact with them. Including people with disabilities is something that you cannot legislate into the hearts and minds of people, it is something that people must want.
Here at ACES we have that desire and are fostering the same desire in the minds of all students here on campus. Diversity at ACES is recognized as an opportunity for everyone to be successful. Children with disabilities are able to learn from their peers through role modeling and the students without disabilites are able to learn to be empathetic and helpful to students with disabilites. We teach children that everyone is different and unique and we all have gifts of ourselves to offer.
For many students with disabilities and for many without, the key to success in the classroom lies in having appropriate adaptations, accommodations, and modifications made to the instruction and other classroom activities. Our teachers at ACES have been trained in Special Needs to be able to make the adaptations, accommodations, and modifications not only for the children with Special Needs but for all students.
ACES always works in the best interest of the child to ensure they are able to work to be the best they can be. Supporting our Special Needs program will help find a means for more students to be givien the opportunity to succeed at becoming the best they can be. Please be generous and help support these children.
Cody was our first child with Special Needs at Ambergris Caye Elementary School. Cody came to us at the age of five years old. At this time Cody was totally nonverbal and presented behavioral issues on a daily basis. At the time the office of the school was adjacent to the Infant I class, so Cody spent most of his time in the office with the principal who worked diligently with Cody traveling down the long road of behavior modification.
Cody would spend small increments of time in his regular classroom trying to learn to socialize using acceptable behavior. However, after a little while the behavior would require his removal from the class and back to the office where he could regroup. While in the office the principal would work with him trying to teach the basics, colors, numbers and of course speech. Day after day the routine continued, each time any progress was made the principal would reinforce the positive reponses with "AWESOME! GOOD JOB!"
Every day the trained eye could see bits and pieces of improvement and recognition. Still, after eight months there was no recognizable speech. There was "Cody language" which amounted to nothing more than gibberish but Ms. Denice remained positive always acknowledging his response with "AWESOME TALKING, COULD YOU PLEASE USE MY WORDS SO I CAN UNDERSTAND", And so it went, day after day, the two would sit at the computer and learn letters on the keyboard, colors on the monitor, they would listen to songs and watch interactive videos which would reinforce the learning.
Cody developed a love for the computer and the printer, trying to learn how each piece worked. Ms. Denice would let him get printed papers off the printer after he would sit and watch the printer do its job. One day as the two were doing some printing, Cody pressed the print button and the printed page came off the printer. Much to Ms. Denice's amazement came the first word, "AWESOME" Cody proclaimed. Chills and a tears of joy after almost a year of work this awesome little boy had said his first word.
Today, Cody speaks well and in full sentences, he is learning to read and write and is beginning to grasp the concept of numbers. His social skills are better than most children and he very seldom has emotional outbusts. Cody is now ten years old and is included in a class of his peers for some time each day. Next year the goal will be for Cody to be included in the classroom the whole day with the help of a Special Needs teacher. With a total student population of 116 students ACES Special Needs population is now 20 students with varying degrees of Special Needs.
The future looks bright for this AWESOME boy!
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