CASE STUDIES

St. Albans School, Washington D.C.

Mission

St. Albans School is an Episcopal school for boys that values character above all else, setting high expectations for its students as it challenges them to think deeply and critically, to work and play with discipline and passion, and to build relationships guided by empathy and kindness.
Grade Levels :
4-12
Location :
Washington D.C.

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Goals

  1. Raise disability awareness among faculty and staff and share best practices on fostering a more inclusive school environment
  2. Incorporate Disability Studies concepts within 4th -8th grade curricula
  3. Educate students around disability, including: language & etiquette, ways to proactively fight ableism and how to create a more equitable society

SCOPE/EXECUTION

  1. Provided an overview workshop on disability including language and etiquette. Systemic ableism was examined from both historical and present-day perspectives. The session included case studies, narratives from the disability community and opportunities for participants to explore unconscious bias and their experiences related to disability.
  2. Facilitated two training sessions to guide teachers on how to incorporate Disability Studies into classrooms:
    1. Presented b.e.t.t.e.r. ed guide’s Toolkit, where teaching staff examined concepts underlying Disability Studies and how to incorporate such concepts in teaching practices. This session included small group discussion, exploring various models of disability, best practices, and what tools and resources are needed for effective discussions around disability and inclusion.
    2. Grade-level brainstorming sessions were held to better understand curricula and identify specific lesson plans that could be seamlessly integrated. Teachers representing various subject areas were present including: Humanities, Science, Math, Homeroom, Foreign Language, and P.E..
  3. Conducted two student-focused sessions for 6th -8th graders:
    1. These sessions provided a basic overview on disability and ableism. Students explored biases and discrimination encountered by people with disabilities via case study analysis, small group activities and interactive discussions.

RESULTS

  1. Increased the school community’s overall awareness of disability, ableism and ways to create a more inclusive culture
  2. Teachers incorporated Disability Studies focused lesson plans spanning various subject areas into their classrooms
  3. Upon b.e.t.t.e.r. ed guide’s suggestions, middle school students surveyed their campus to determine its accessibility and recommend potential changes; the findings were then shared with the head of school
  4. Students shared what they used to think about disability versus what they “know now” after the sessions. Some of the responses included:

“I used to think it was hard to relate to the disabled, but now I know we have things in common with everyone”

6th GRADER

“I used to think that people with disabilities were limited by their disabilities. Now, I know that society limits them by not accommodating them”

7th/8th Grader

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