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always a leap of faith,” she says, “but the worries are even greater when your child is in need of additional support.”
Her experience at FISW has been nothing but “amazing,“ a word that she uses over and over again when talking about the school. Her family moved in the middle of the school year and in less than a month the school had arranged everything, including the particular services her children required. “The leadership at that school is amazing,” Ms. Alexander says, “Ms. Rosinger contacted us when we were still in the United States to discuss an educational plan for our girls, was there when we arrived, organized specialists, and took part in every meeting.” She is still immensely grateful when thinking about that critical time of transition. “It is amazing how attentive everyone is to the individual needs of all students. The whole team – especially the classroom teachers – exceeded our expectations,” she said.
It is amazing how attentive everyone
is to the individual needs of all students. The whole team – especially the classroom teachers – exceeded our expectations.
As for her daughters, Ms. Alexander says that they felt at home from the start. “Those little angels were so welcoming,“ she says of her daughters’ classmates. “It is amazing how those kids are raised. They are kind, they are not pointing at others. My daughters now have friends and play dates – it is an amazing community. They touched our lives in a way that will stay with us forever,” she concludes.
Both of her daughters’ progress is witness to the success of the inclusion program and the hard work of their teachers: They can now participate in
Members of FISW’s Learning Support Team: (front row from left) Tamarra Wright, Thor Matuschka, Caprice Schupp; (back row from left) Barbara Karkovic, Grace März, Heather Seroka (Not pictured: Daniel Johnson, Heather Skinner and Heather Angliss)
a mainstream classroom, articulate their needs and feel secure and integrated. But the bene ts of the inclusion program aren’t just limited to those enrolled. “Perhaps more importantly, it is providing the whole community the chance to learn more about others, develop empathy and understanding, learn not to take others at face value, but to identify and value each individual for their strengths and develop social behaviors and practices that extend to life beyond school, and beyond childhood,“ says Ms. Rosinger.
Maybe this concept is easier in an international school because there is already a broader awareness of diversity and because children know how it feels to be di erent. Ms. Alexander observes this attitude in her children’s friends: “They do not shy away from things they do not know and this helps them to accommodate and accept others.“
It is di cult to talk about this fantastic but privileged format of inclusive education without acknowledging costs and availability. Enrollment capacity is limited and subject to a wide range of criteria. “The goals for the future are to have a shared
understanding of the bene ts of an inclusion program for our whole community,” Ms. Rosinger says. “FIS is a mission-driven, family-oriented school and the development of our inclusion program has formalized meeting the needs of a wider range of students who come to FIS. Although the extra costs are key, our smaller campus has meant that the program has become established much faster. It has been an intense and at times challenging journey, but we are celebrating that we are truly able to uphold our mission by enabling our inclusion students the equal opportunity to fully participate in all that our campuses have to o er.”
Ms. Alexander would like to encourage the school to promote that success. “I think FISW should be a training campus for all international schools” she says. ”The educators here should be a model for other schools, and for others to see what di erence a school can make in somebody’s life.“ After all, raising children to acknowledge the strength and beauty of diversity is essential for a healthy and peaceful society – and that is a bene t to us all.
Lisa Niemeyer FISW Parent
May 2017 FIS World 15

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