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Hosting this event at HKA was a real milestone. At last we have a facility that allows us to host a conference of this scale, and our building and location definitely impressed our guests. More importantly, though, hosting the conference was both an opportunity to share our best practices with our professional peers as a school that is committed to preparing students for the greater world around them. Over the course of the conference, participants didn’t just talk about best practice in inclusive education, they witnessed it first-hand.

Schools thrive when all of stakeholders share similar understandings of the school’s mission, and having HKA parents involved in the conference was a powerful expression of HKA’s mission. Parents of students receiving learner support as well as parents whose students are not directly involved in the Learner Support Programme sat on a parent panel and responded to questions about their experiences at international schools and shared thoughts about the challenges and opportunities of parenthood. A similar panel was conducted with HKA students. The student panel provided a unique window onto how these students see themselves as learners. Our students eloquently articulated the value of having teachers who understand, appreciate and encourage them, and many of them attributed their positive experiences at HKA to having close and supportive relationships with their teachers.

The NFI Conversation provided a forum for representatives of numerous schools to share their challenges as well as their successes. This sort of reflection is key to becoming and remaining an educational leader. The Learner Support Programme at HKA is of the highest quality not because we have the formula just right, but because we are constantly reflecting and changing to meet the needs of our community. The Hong Kong Academy Mission Statement is at the core of the Learner Support Programme: we are creating a dynamic learning community with classrooms that support all learners. Students not only learn from their teachers but also from one another as they work collaboratively with their peers and experience mutually beneficial relationships. Our mission statement also commits us to empowering learners to pursue pathways to individual excellence. HKA’s teachers not only support learning differences, but encourage students to be actively involved in their own learning. We seek to empower students to be self- aware and responsible so they can advocate for themselves. The confidence that is gained by learning in such an environment shows all students that they are capable, adaptable problem-solvers.

Students with these attributes will always be ready for their own next frontiers.


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