is vital for a student’s development and lays the foundation for a healthy and
active life. At Gateway Michael Elementary School, all students – regardless of
academic or developmental levels – have the opportunity to feel included and
supported in health, especially in school.
A Commitment to
At Gateway Michael Elementary School, we serve medically fragile students with serious health problems and
multiple disabilities, ages three through 14. We pride ourselves on our
commitment to ensuring that, with accommodations, all students are given the
opportunity to engage in activities in which their same-aged peers participate.
Established over 80
years ago to educate a largely ignored group of children, Gateway Michael
continues to provide opportunities for children who require extra help to make
progress in an educational setting. Our location – adjacent to Gateway
Elementary and Gateway Middle schools – allows our students to be integrated
with general education students for meals, classes, recess, assemblies or other
Adapted Physical Education
deserve the right to have rewarding experiences in physical education with or
without adaptations. We seek to create that opportunity for the students of
For example, during
“hide and seek,” we set up mats around the gymnasium to create hiding spaces,
ensuring there is enough space to allow for wheelchairs or walkers to pass
through. We pair kids from Gateway Elementary with our non-ambulatory students
so they can push them around while having fun, together.
Music is another
avenue we utilize to create an accessible and fun environment. In addition to
playing it at the beginning and end of each class, we often play “freeze
dance,” whereby students move or dance when the music on and freeze when the
music stops. This type of activity gives every student the opportunity for
physical activity and a chance to move their body at their own pace without
Emphasis on Health and Wellness
Our district, St.
Louis Public Schools, has supported our efforts by prioritizing health and
wellness across all campuses. With support from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, we’ve implemented a strong district wellness policy that guides us in
creating and sustaining healthy changes for students and staff.
in the classroom, installing water stations, building a ‘walking’ track and
supporting the development of an accessible community garden are just a few of
the ways the district has elevated our commitment to wellness and inclusion –
and we’re getting nationally recognized for it!
In 2019, the
Alliance for a Healthier Generation names Gateway Michael Elementary one of “America’s Healthiest Schools.” We were one of only eight schools
nationwide – and the only one in Missouri – to receive the highest level of
Engaged and Involved
The results of our
efforts to promote health, wellness and inclusion are evident. Students have
developed strong friendships with peer role models. Within our three schools,
staff are collaborating more on our shared goals. Parents are taught how to
advocate for their children in school and in the community, in turn resulting
in increased engagement. Above all, our students are challenged, nurtured and
supported to maximize their growth and development.
inclusion is a must for all schools. Starting with the core values of respect,
acceptance and cooperation allow you to create an environment that appreciates
differences and helps everyone focus on what they can accomplish.