Each school day, the roughly 500 students at Woodland Hills Elementary School in Kingwood, TX, spend time playing in and exploring one of the hallmarks of elementary school education: the playground. But this school year, Woodland Hills’s fairytale-themed playground looks noticeably different, with the presence of new wheel-chair accessible ramps, sensory panels, height-adjustable structures, and a smooth playground floor.
The new playground design, recognized in a recent report as one of the nation’s most inclusive, is emblematic of a changing perspective on K-12 education, not just in this Houston suburb but across the nation. Increasingly, educators are making public commitments to ensuring that all students – regardless of ability, age, or background – have an equal opportunity to play, learn, and develop both inside and outside the classroom. As the student population continues to become more diverse, it is imperative for educators and school administrators to create environments that meet the needs of all students.
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