All of Us Together: The Story of Inclusion at the Kinzie School

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Gallaudet University Press, 1994 - Biography & Autobiography - 199 pages
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At one point in 1982, the Chicago School Board debated whether or not to close John H. Kinzie Elementary School due to its shrinking school-age population and its many problems typical of city schools. But an energetic new principal, James Franklin, brought in fifteen classes of deaf and hard of hearing children that changed the Kinzie School dramatically. This remarkable tale is presented in All of Us Together.
Told by Jeri Banks, at the time a teacher who played a key role in Kinzie School's revival, the story begins simply, with the arrival of the new students. At first the 450 hearing students resented the invasion of 135 deaf and hard of hearing children because the new children seemed strange and also because only their part of the school was renovated. The deaf and hard of hearing students envied the hearing children because they had recess. Franklin and the teachers recognized the validity of these complaints, and they all worked hard to address them. At the same time, Banks started a small dance group for the deaf girls as a way of building their egos. Eventually, this group grew into an arts program that involved virtually all of the students.
Over the years, the Kinzie School was transformed. The parents joined Franklin, Banks, and the other teachers to deal with an entrenched bureaucracy for the good of the children. On one occasion when the School Board wished to remove a physically disabled student from Kinzie because of rigid adherence to an outdated regulation, both Franklin and the child's parents fought all the way to court. The student stayed at Kinzie and excelled, and the Chicago School System also profited from his success.
All of Us Together is a warm, encouraging testament to the dedication and hard work of the Kinzie teachers and parents. All of their efforts are framed in the strict context of improving the school for their children, and the students' own feelings featured throughout movingly testify to their success. Reading about it is a wonderful, uplifting experience that also could serve as a model for any community.
 

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All of us together the story of inclusion at the Kinzie School

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In 1982, Banks was a teacher at the John H. Kinzie School (an elementary school in Chicago) when 135 deaf students were brought in to pump up a declining school population. In her account of the ... Read full review

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Contents

Section 1
6
Section 2
7
Section 3
12
Section 4
15
Section 5
17
Section 6
19
Section 7
22
Section 8
23
Section 22
69
Section 23
76
Section 24
77
Section 25
85
Section 26
92
Section 27
94
Section 28
108
Section 29
122

Section 9
26
Section 10
28
Section 11
34
Section 12
35
Section 13
37
Section 14
40
Section 15
44
Section 16
45
Section 17
60
Section 18
63
Section 19
64
Section 20
66
Section 21
68
Section 30
123
Section 31
144
Section 32
149
Section 33
156
Section 34
162
Section 35
164
Section 36
173
Section 37
182
Section 38
184
Section 39
187
Section 40
191
Section 41
194
Copyright

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About the author (1994)

Jeri Banks is the principal of the John H. Kinzie Elementary School in Chicago, IL.

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