On May 14th, 2018 the Bellcate School hosted a delegation of educators and administrators from Poland. The United States Department of State in cooperation with the Vermont Council on World Affairs and the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce “brings programs on topics of global importance and hundreds of international visitors to the state of Vermont.”

“[These] programs include bringing world-class speakers to our doorstep to talk about today’s important issues, hosting discussion groups on U.S. foreign policy issues and bringing visitors to Vermont from around the globe to promote international understanding. We bring the world to Vermont and Vermont to the world!”

This is the fifth time that Bellcate has met with a group of people acting as educational ambassadors for their countries. Last year, Aaron Masi and Jeff Springer met with a group of educational and administrative leaders from across the globe. This time around the group was all from Poland but their questions and needs were similar. These visitors are seeking best practices for serving people with special needs and or disabilities. Questions range from how services are funded to how they are designed and implemented. These questions always come from the same intentions: all people are valuable so let us make sure that all people’s needs are met adequately.

The best part of these contacts with our international neighbors is that we don’t just share our ideas and experiences, but we learn from the ideas and experiences of our guests. This reciprocity benefits the educators, their students, the families of those students, and ultimately the societies in which these people live. We have gained so much from the shared communication and cultural exchange thus far and we look forward to future connections.