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Rocky Heights middle school pledges inclusion

Rocky Heights middle school staff and special needs students gathered to commemorate their pledge to increase inclusion for all students at RHMS.

Rocky Heights Middle School (RHMS) recently pledged to spread inclusion within the school as part of the Spread the Word inclusion campaign and in conjunction with Special Olympics Colorado.

Principal Chris Cooke said, “The Special Olympics Spread the Word campaign to support inclusion is near and dear to the heart of what we believe in at Rocky Heights. Our students with significant needs are integral parts of our school and the ongoing work to include every student, to integrate and differentiate our classrooms, and the work to connect as valued members of an exceptional community is the heartwarming work we can all believe in as a school and Nighthawk family.”

RHMS had students sign a banner (pictured below) to signify their pledge to empower change within their walls and halls. “The goal is to ensure all students work together to create a more inclusive society so we can learn and grow together,” said the district Facebook post celebrating RHMS’ pledge.

Spread the Word to End the Word began in 2009 with the specific goal to end derogatory use of the word “retarded.” In 2019 the goal shifted toward inclusion.

According to the website, in 2019 Spread the Word to End the Word became Spread the Word, with a focus not just on the elimination of a word but on the creation of a new reality, which stipulated inclusion for all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The website now states, “The global engagement campaign remains committed to empowering grassroots leaders to change their communities, school, and workplaces, now through a call to their peers to take action for inclusion.”




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