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What is inclusion in the PYP at KEIS?

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Košice International School (KEIS) is an inclusive school, open to all families in the Košice region. We strive to include children from near and far throughout Eastern Slovakia. One simple inclusive measure we provide is a morning and afternoon shuttle bus service for our students. We want to increase access and engagement in education and remove barriers to learning.

In order to do remove barriers and increase access, KEIS do not have the same traditional values or systems in place like traditional Slovak schools. KEIS abide by the local, national and international legal obligations. However, for instance, some schools exclude families and children, based on an assessment. One such example of exclusion described below have explicit English entrance requirements that demand a 5 year-old to:

1. Identify basic colours and shapes.
2. Know the spatial positioning and directions words.
3. Use basic concepts to make a comparative judgements and a comparison to a standard.
4. Use basic concepts to group or classify by one or more characteristics.
5. Use basic concepts for ordering. 
6. Understand directions that include more than one concept. 
7. Follow one and two step instructions. Work independently.
8. Be able to carry out a conversation in English. 
9. Follow the requirements for school readiness. 

From a local Slovak or some other context, this may sound like a familiar requirement. This exclusive approach places unwanted tension, anxiety and judgement upon an entire family and most of all a 5 year-old child, all making us question, ‘are worthy or good enough?’. We have to move beyond this type thinking if we want a more peaceful and just world to live in.

At Košice International School, such exclusive practices are not in place. These exclusive measures are not respecting the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP) standards and practices, policies and documentation on inclusion, or most of all, not measuring up to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child Article 28, of which the Slovak Republic is a signatory on these child rights. KEIS is striving to be an authentic IB PYP school, the only one of its kind in all of Slovakia.

We articulate our inclusive efforts in our school admission, inclusion and language policies. We accept children based on no formal assessment requirement. We can support children with no English, no Slovak or any other language at our school. KEIS communicate, collaborate, develop mutual respect, and devise proactive supportive measures with all stakeholders, especially for those students who may have diverse needs or abilities.

Having this diversity in language and inclusion is nothing new to our PYP teachers. Our IB teachers continually enhance their knowledge, skills and diverse experiences with children all around the world. Our teachers are far more than the traditional teacher stereotype you may see in the Kosice region. Our teachers are English native teachers who receive continuous professional and academic learning opportunities. This ensures that we are inclusive in many ways. Unlike traditional teachers who only did any learning, study or professional development when they finished university years ago. 

KEIS teachers are lifelong learners. Our teachers are part of an international community of 1400+ schools in 140+ countries. We want you and your child to feel empowered in a diversity of education that will help enhance the international-mindedness in the Košice region and beyond.

Be a part of something prestigious, modern and inclusive. We do the IB PYP authentically and the right way. Ensure that your child has the best future above and beyond all others in Slovakia.

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