Mission and Vision
At Belvedere, our mission is to create a community of globally-minded, life-long learners who are prepared to face the challenges of a 21st century world. We do this by working collaboratively to develop learning opportunities that are challenging, authentic, and engaging. We do this so that students develop critical and creative thinking skills that consider multiple perspectives, leading them to take responsible action and in doing so, help to create a better, more peaceful world.
Belvedere is a high functioning public PYP school where students are challenged to think and problem solve at high levels. Students are valued for who they are and are part of a community where they grow into lifelong learners.
As a community, we value the potential growth of all students. We are strongly committed to providing students with appropriate services to meet their needs (such as special education, gifted education, English for Speakers of Other Languages). We believe that our school benefits from true inclusion and are devoted to breaking down barriers to ensure we reach all of our students. We are committed to utilizing resources and ensuring that all students have access to appropriate, challenging, and authentic curriculum. As a staff, we utilize different structures to meet and extend students’ needs. We endeavor to develop accepting and internationally minded students: students who value the differences of one another and who accept and strive to understand the unique experiences and perspectives of others.
What is Inclusion?
Inclusion is an ongoing process that aims to increase access and engagement in learning for all students by identifying and removing barriers. This can only be successfully achieved in a culture of collaboration, mutual respect, support and problem solving. Inclusion is an outcome of dynamic learning communities.
Collaboration: Staff members at Belvedere work together to assess, plan, and provide challenging curriculum. Collaboration is the way in which we provide intervention, differentiation, ESOL services, and advanced academic services. The staff works collaboratively to create learning experiences that are accessible to all of our students.
Intervention: Additional support is provided for students at Belvedere throughout the learning process. Intervention time is dedicated to strengthening and developing fundamental skills and to extending and deepening learning. Teachers are constantly gauging the needs of students in real time and providing the necessary support.
Differentiation: At Belvedere, we believe in giving all of our students the ability to access the curriculum regardless of learning needs. We strive to meet our students based on their needs and provide them support and scaffolds to ensure that they are challenged throughout the curriculum.
Services Provided at Belvedere
English for Speakers of Other Languages Services: Elementary ESOL Services are individualized to meet students' English language development needs. A multi-tiered system of support includes targeted academic interventions and social emotional supports within a culturally and linguistically responsive environment. ESOL teachers work directly with English Learners (ELs) to advance English language development by building academic language and content understandings in tandem. ELs develop English language proficiency through engaging in all language domains (reading, writing, listening and speaking) tasks and academic conversations across the curriculum. ELD instruction is aligned to the WIDA ELD Standards and supports language development in listening, speaking, reading and writing. Belvedere uses a multi-tiered system of support that includes targeted academic interventions and social emotional supports within a culturally and linguistically responsive environment.
Elementary English learners (ELs) are placed in age-appropriate grade level classes where teachers use strategies and scaffolds to support ELs in accessing the grade level curriculum. ELs actively engage in meaningful learning tasks with their English-speaking peers across disciplines (language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies) throughout the instructional day. ESOL teachers collaborate with and support teachers and teams to make the instructional match for ELs and build academic language. ESOL teachers collaborate with school staff so that explicit opportunities for English language development and language learning is supported throughout the day in multiple contexts.
Special Education Services: The Office of Special Education Procedural Support provides guidance to staff, families, and students in areas related to the implementation of and compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, as amended. Personnel serve as intermediaries and resources to programs internal and external to FCPS to facilitate the implementation of federal, state and local regulations supporting students who have a disability or are suspected of having a disability.
The Office of Special Education Procedural Support and the staff at Belvedere are dedicated to providing responsive, student-centered, collaborative guidance and leadership related to the implementation of and compliance with federal, state, and local regulations as they pertain to special education.
Belvedere Elementary School has many programs that support the implementation of evidence-based practices to increase the academic achievement and the social and emotional competence of students based on individual needs. Our special education programs deliver specially designed instruction to meet our students' needs.
Inclusion: Belvedere ES promotes inclusive experiences for children with or without disabilities and their families to create a sense of belonging and membership, positive social relationships and friendship, and to develop a learning environment to reach their full potential. Our students have the same access to academic, non-academic, extracurricular, and community activities and educational settings as their nondisabled peers, whenever appropriate.
Speech Services: Our speech-language pathologist participates in the prevention, identification, assessment, evaluation, eligibility determination, treatment plan development, and treatment management of those students with disorders in the areas of speech and language. Speech services are designed and delivered to best meet the individual student’s needs, based on a variety of factors including the severity of the disability, its impact on the student’s ability to effectively access the curriculum, student’s ability to communicate throughout the school day, and integration of services with educational experiences.
Occupational Therapy Services: Our Occupational Therapist determines a student’s needs in the educational setting and to develop interventions. The Occupational Therapist assesses the demand of the required activities and the environment, the student’s participation and routines within the school environment and the motor performance and self-regulation of the student.
Physical Therapy: Our physical therapists work to assure that students in special education benefit from their educational programs.
Physical therapists (PTs) working in educational settings help children participate in their educational programs. School-based pediatric PTs support students:
- Environmental access
- Functional mobility
- Motor function
PT services are centrally administered and available in all FCPS schools. School teams collaborate to determine if a student may require consultation or evaluation by PT.
Enhanced Autism: The Enhanced Autism Class (EAC) services are designed to address the specific needs of school-age children who have been identified as having Autism Spectrum Disorder or present characteristics on the autism spectrum, and who benefit from Applied Behavior Analysis within the EAC. These students are accessing adapted curriculum and assessments based on individual needs.
Pre-K Program: Our PreK Program provides quality preschool experience for children 3-4 years old whose parents meet income requirements, with priority given to 4 year olds.
Early Childhood Class-based Program: This program is for children aged 2-5 who are found eligible for special education services. The curriculum is language rich and emphasizes communication, early literacy, social development, and development of other skills as designated in the student’s IEP.
Preschool Autism Class: Preschool Autism Class (PAC) services are designed to address the specific needs of preschool-age children who have been identified as having Autism `Spectrum Disorder or present characteristics on the autism spectrum, and who benefit from Applied Behavior Analysis within the PAC.
Advanced Academic Services: The Advanced Academic Program (AAP) believes in developing the strengths and talents of all students and offers a continuum of advanced academic services to meet a broad range of student needs. Belvedere offers a continuum of services for elementary students to meet their current academic needs. The continuum of services supports the two main goals of the Advanced Academic Programs Office:
- Talent Development
- Meeting the Needs of the Advanced Learner
Young Scholars: Young Scholars is designed to find and nurture advanced academic potential in students from historically underrepresented populations. Curricular interventions and support are provided through the collaboration of the classroom teacher and the advanced academic resource teacher. As students progress through elementary and secondary school, continuing support and opportunities for accessing rigorous coursework are provided by school staff.
Specific Advanced Differentiation Services: Differentiated lessons are offered to students in areas of specific academic strength. The advanced academic resource teacher collaborates with classroom teachers to provide additional challenge through resources that extend and enrich the FCPS Program of Studies.
Part Time Services: Students identified by a local school screening committee for advanced academic services (Level III) are challenged through models and strategies designed to extend and enrich the POS in the four core subject areas. Students receive direct instruction from the advanced academic resource teacher in one or more areas of academic strength at their local schools.
Full Time Services: Students found eligible for placement in a full-time Advanced Academic Program Level IV through a central selection process receive a highly challenging instructional program in the four core subject areas. The Level IV program is designed to meet the needs of advanced learners with a strong emphasis on higher level thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making. Students have ongoing opportunities for reflection and self-assessment that develop an understanding of the characteristics, demands, and responsibilities of advanced intellectual development.
Twice-exceptional students: Twice-exceptional learners are students who have the ability to think, reason, and problem-solve at very high levels but also have special education needs. These children are best served by teachers who recognize and build on their exceptional strengths while at the same time are flexible in areas where the students require accommodations and support. For example, teachers may modify assignments, offer flexible timelines, provide alternative learning experiences, and employ other strategies that are often used with students who have special needs. These adaptations provide the twice exceptional learner important access to the many advanced learning opportunities that Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) provides.
The school district has made a concerted effort in the past several years to raise teacher, parent, and student awareness of the learning profiles and needs of twice exceptional students. As a school district, FCPS embraces the importance of differentiation and a child-centered approach to delivering instruction that meets the needs of each individual child. The advanced academic programs staff works closely with special education staff to ensure that research-based best practices and interventions are implemented in order to support the success of twice exceptional learners in all levels of advanced academic programs.
Policy Review Process
The Inclusion Policy will go through a review process every two years unless there are policy changes in FCPS or PYP that warrant an earlier review. The policy review process will begin with the PYP Pedagogical Team reading the Programme Standards and Practices applicable to inclusion as well as IB documents and FCPS documents that define inclusion and support. The Pedagogical Team will then reach out to Sped Department Chair, Preschool Sped lead teacher, ESOL lead teacher, and AART to be a part of the review panel. The team will discuss and craft changes to the policy. The head of school and coordinator will conduct a guardian panel to also review the proposed changes. Once the draft has been finalized the Pedagogical Team will present the policy to the whole staff. The coordinator and head of school will publish the policy to the learning community and provide opportunities to share the policy with families.
The Inclusion Policy will go through the next review process during the 2024-2025 school year.
Fairfax County Public Schools Advanced Academic Programs. (2022). Instructional Services Department. Fairfax County Public Schools: Fairfax, Virginia.
International Baccalaureate Organization. (2022). Access and inclusion policy. Wales, United Kingdom.
International Baccalaureate Organization. (2019). The IB guide to inclusive education: a resource for whole school development. Wales, United Kingdom.
International Baccalaureate Organization. (2020). Learning diversity in the IB programmes: Removing barriers to learning. Wales, United Kingdom.