Sponsor a Special Education Student

by Ambergris Caye Elementary School
Sponsor a Special Education Student
Sponsor a Special Education Student
Sponsor a Special Education Student
Sponsor a Special Education Student
Sponsor a Special Education Student
Sponsor a Special Education Student
Sponsor a Special Education Student
Sponsor a Special Education Student
Sponsor a Special Education Student
Sponsor a Special Education Student

Project Report | Aug 17, 2016
More Needs, More Inclusion

By Denice Ryan | Administrator/CEO

We are wheelchair accessible.
We are wheelchair accessible.

The Special Needs Program at Ambergris Caye Elementary School is second to none on this tiny island. Very often, children with Special Needs are not accepted into schools because the schools do not have the resources to accommodate the child.  Or, there is a lack of teachers with certification in Special Needs.  Whatever the reason, it was more than apparent that there was a huge void which needed to be filled.  So, four years ago Ambergris Caye Elementary School started a Special Needs program with the assistance of their administrator a trained psychologist.

Necessity was surely the "mother of invention" as the administrator, Ms. Ryan, was faced with the same dilemma other schools were faced with.  What do we do for children with "special needs"?  Do we take the easier road and not deal with the issue, or do we face the music and create the accommodations necessary to meet the needs.  "In all good conscience, there was only one answer to the question", states Ms. Ryan. "As a trained professional, I had to address the need."  So, Ambergris Caye Elementary set out on the journey to establish the first Special Needs program on the island.  

The first year the program was small, with only the one student, who sparked the inception of the program.  Ms. Ryan took on the role of the Special Needs teacher, in addition to role as principal, at the time.  Along with her colleague, Ms. Amanda Burgos, they took on the challenge of working with a little boy with autism.  While high functioning, this first student came to the school with no verbal skills. The first year is always the biggest challenge, but the team of two, Ryan and Burgos, created what is now a thriving program which accommodates 12-14 children with special needs. In a school where the total student population is approximately 100-110, this means that more than 10% of the student population falls into the special needs category.

As the word spread that Ambergris Caye Elementary School accepted children with special needs the program grew. By the second year there was a obvious need to hire a teacher to facilitate the program.  For the last two years the program has had a special needs teacher, with her Masters in Special Education.  This year, as we enter into our fifth year of the program, the goal is to do more inclusion into regular classrooms.  By doing this, the children are better socialized and can develop better interpersonal skills.

The program is ever evolving and will improve each year through the process.  Ryan states, "Every child deserves the right to an education, no matter what their capacity for learning is.  At ACES we are doing just that, giving each child the opportunity to become the best they can be."

New Wheelchair Ramp Added
New Wheelchair Ramp Added
A Special Trip to the Fire Department
A Special Trip to the Fire Department
Getting Up Close to the Equipment
Getting Up Close to the Equipment
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May 19, 2016
Another Successful Year

By Denice Ryan | Administrator

Feb 18, 2016
Growing, Growing, Growing

By Sarah Freudenberg | Special Needs Teacher

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Organization Information

Ambergris Caye Elementary School

Denice Ryan
Project Leader:
Denice Ryan
Principal/Administrator
San Pedro , Belize

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