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A few of the hundreds of students whose kind and welcoming nature make up the beautiful diversity at FISW.
The Beauty of Diversity
Integrating students at FISW
At the forefront of Frankfurt International School’s mission is to be the leading, culturally diverse and family-oriented international school. While this means something di erent for everyone, for one FISW family it also means helping meet the needs of their twin daughters, both of whom require additional learning support, through an inclusion program aimed at providing specialized services to students who have learning disabilities that fall outside of the school’s traditional o erings.
A relatively small number of students – including both of Hannah Alexander’s daughters – are currently enrolled in this new initiative, which is funded through additional fees paid by families using the program. One of
the bene ts of FISW’s smaller environment is that it lends itself to early implementation of school-wide initiatives. As such, FISW is the  rst of the two campuses to develop such an o ering with increased sta ng and collaboration with outside experts including speech, language and occupational therapists.
The program is what drew Learning Support teacher Heather Seroka to the school last year. Ms. Seroka, who has taught in America, Morocco and Romania over the past 14 years, and who has a Master’s degree in Special Education, says that she and her team work hard to “identify students’ academic and social needs to increase their independence and participation in the general education classrooms.“ Helping to integrate students with
various abilities requires signi cant coordination and the full support and  exibility of the classroom teachers. But as challenging as the work can be, the reward is immense. “It can change the course of life for children and their families,“ Ms. Seroka says.
Ms. Alexander echoes this sentiment. “It is amazing how emotionally invested the teachers are in having a child progress successfully in an individual way. You feel the warmth and care.” She and her husband, an FIS alumnus himself, lived in Washington D.C. before work necessitated a move to Germany. They researched many locations and chose Frankfurt because of the school’s overall reputation of excellence and the possibility of the inclusive education FISW could o er their daughters. “Moving with kids is
14 FIS World May 2017

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