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Our organization is a grouping of schools that have an ambitious project which includes two specific units/areas for autistic children. We really believe in an inclusive school where everybody is seen as an active member apt to integrate our society. We are a dynamic and active school in order to meet aspirations and ambitions of our 1200 students, aged between 3 and 18, as well as their families and adults learners who come to us. With all non-higher education levels contemplated in the Portuguese educational system, from pre-school to secondary school, traditionally supervised for prosecuting studies, our organization has significantly wagered in vocational education in recent years as a way to respond to expectations of their students, often considerably lower. We also have made a huge effort to update our curriculum, our teachers and our administrative and operational staff to meet the aspirations and expectations not only of students, but of the entire community in which we are inserted. Our institution is located in a region of Portugal which is social and economically in disadvantage, being a county between the river and the mountain and near of the coast of the country, with one of the most extensive forest areas. The unemployment rate is among the highest in the country that are associated with low literacy and school enrolment rates (six years of studies, mostly). In addition to the services that absorb the overwhelming majority of the employed population, the most common economic activity is agriculture, and many families made this type of farming their livelihood. Rates of migration to nearby cities (especially for Porto) and emigration to Europe are historically significant and have increased in recent years, reflecting the economic environment contributing to the aging of the region. To participate in programs and projects from Europe as this one is an important tool to motivate our students and also to promote their European dimension and citizenship.

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