At first mention, “Meeting Street” brings to mind images of the Meeting Street Telethon or the amazing work that Meeting Street does to teach, assist, and empower children with special needs. But one of Meeting Street’s best hidden gems is The Grace School, an inclusive school serving students of all abilities ranging from grades kindergarten to 8th grade.
Sending a typical or a special needs child to an inclusive school might not be the first thought on a parent’s mind when searching for the right school. Indeed, how can one school meet the needs of so many different learners? But having an environment where children of all abilities thrive is what makes The Grace School such a unique, special, and academically rigorous school.
Inclusion is not just about mixing special needs students into a mainstream classroom. It’s about customizing learning to the needs of each individual child. In fact, attending an inclusion school means that the curriculum has to be tailored. Such a high level of differentiated instruction requires creativity and innovation, and students are provided with lessons and curriculum that meets their individual learning style, regardless of ability. It also means that children get a lot of one-on-one time and support from their teachers, which leads to higher student engagement.
The Grace School boasts some pretty impressive amenities, including a brand new library, a swimming pool (yes, all children learn how to swim!), a computer lab and tablets, a new gymnasium with a rock climbing wall, a gorgeous playground with green space, a garden, and, my favorite part, access to bicycles so all students can learn to cycle.
The cornerstone of attending The Grace School, however, is not simply about academic rigor or facilities. It’s about teaching children compassion. It’s about engraining in students that all people have value. As I walk the halls of The Grace School, it’s easy to feel warm and fuzzy. The teachers and staff are friendly and welcoming, the large windows let in the perfect amount of natural light, and the school is adorned with student art. As I spend some time watching students play, run, and laugh on the playground, it’s clear to me that friendships have bloomed between students of all abilities and children are accepted for who they are. It’s an environment that encourages children to support each other.
It is this commitment to fostering an environment where every child is valued for who they are that has encouraged parents to send their children to The Grace School. The school’s model respects the diversity of all students, which makes it a welcoming environment for all who attend. “I love that she can interact with children of all abilities and she’s aware of the needs of everyone. I want her to grow up and help everyone. I wanted her to learn how to lend a hand and see everybody as equal. I didn’t want her to see children in a wheelchair as less than her. I want her to be a person in society who interacts will all kids,” a parent shared with me. It’s this kind of commitment to equality that makes The Grace School shine.
Want to learn more about The Grace School? Attend their Open House on Saturday, November 4, 2017 from 9:00am – 11:00am to learn more about our nationally recognized K-8 school for students of all abilities.
1000 Eddy Street, Providence, RI 02905
RSVP at 401-533-9100 or [email protected]