SPECIAL EDUCATION PLAN

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1 SPECIAL EDUCATION PLAN Dr. Martha Rogers Director of Education Upper Grand District School Board Special Education Plan Page 1

2 Upper Grand District School Board Vision Statement Students will attain individual excellence through dynamic programming provided by an effective staff and supported by a committed community. We will meet our students diverse needs through the provision of equitable and accessible resources. Our learning environment will be characterized by empowered administrators, effective communication and mutual compassionate respect. Upper Grand District School Board Special Education Plan Page 2

3 Upper Grand District School Board Special Education Plan Table of Contents Upper Grand District School Board Vision Statement... 2 Board Improvement Plan for Student Achievement... 4 Targeted Goals for Students with Special Needs... 7 Model for Special Education The Identification, Placement, and Review Committee (IPRC) Process Special Education Placements Provided by the Board Individual Education Plans (IEP) Special Education Staff Specialized Equipment Transportation for Students with Special Education Needs Transition Planning Roles and Responsibilities Categories and Definitions of Exceptionalities Provincial and Demonstration Schools In Ontario The Board s Consultation Process The Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) Early Identification Procedures and Intervention Strategies Educational and Other Assessments Coordination of Services with other Ministries or Agencies Specialized Health Support Services in School Settings Staff Development Accessibility (AODA) The Parent Guide to Special Education Protocols for Partnerships: Policy Program Memorandum 149 (PPM 149) Upper Grand District School Board Special Education Plan Page 3

4 Introduction to Special Education Plan School Boards are required by the Ministry of Education to maintain a Special Education Plan, to review it annually, to amend it from time to time to meet the current needs of its exceptional students and to submit any amendments to the Minister of Education for review. The School Board s Special Education Plan is to inform the Ministry of Education and the public about special education programs and services that are provided by the board in accordance with legislation and ministry policy on special education. Each year the Ministry of Education provides school boards with a checklist of items to be included in the Special Education Plan. The Table of Contents lists each of the required items from the checklist beginning with the Model for Special Education. Also included in the Upper Grand District School Board s Special Education Plan are the Board s Vision Statement, sections from the Board Improvement Plan for Student Achievement (i.e. areas that focus directly on special education) and Targeted Goals for Students with Special Needs. The targeted goals are based on the results of a parent survey from April This survey was completed by parents who have children at the UGDSB with individual education plans to help in the planning of special education supports and services. Goals were also selected from Ministry direction. Board Improvement Plan for Student Achievement The Board Improvement Plan for Student Achievement The following areas taken from the Board Improvement Plan for Student Achievement highlight Special Education supports and services. As an organization we will: SYSTEM FOCI Implement Equity and Inclusion strategies to create safe and welcoming environments and to facilitate the success of all students Clearly communicate bullying prevention and intervention strategies in our school communities to increase awareness and engage all stakeholders in supporting our students Upper Grand District School Board Special Education Plan Page 4

5 Connect students mental health to student achievement and everyone will have a role in promoting Mental Health and Wellness Focus on supporting students in all Transitions (differentiated support for transitions to school, within school, and out of school) Support and encourage a variety of Program Pathways for students SMART GOALS- IF/THEN STATEMENTS Instructional Strategies If we focus on proven effective instructional strategies that differentiate and meet student needs in all subject areas, then we will see improved student achievement. If we focus on improving assessment and evaluation practices in all subject areas then we will improve instructional decisions, promote student engagement Numeracy If we see a change in teacher practice (teaching through problem solving with a focus on consolidation and independent practice) then we will see an improvement in students conceptual understanding of math at the Junior and Intermediate Levels. 25% of junior students with special needs will attain Level 3 in their conceptual understanding of math as would be evidenced by EQAO results. 45% of students with special needs taking Grade 9 Applied Math will achieve 70% or above as evidenced in EQAO results. Literacy If we change teacher practice (guided reading) then we will see an improvement in our students ability to read and comprehend. 39% of Primary students with special needs will read and comprehend at Level 3 as would be evidenced by EQAO results. If we see a change in assessment and evaluation practices (e.g. using learning goals and success criteria), then we will see improvements in student achievement in Applied level courses. 53% of grade 10 students in Applied courses with Special Needs will pass the OSSLT Student Engagement If we design effective programming and interventions then we will engage and reengage students and decrease the percentage of leavers. System and School based initiatives to promote mental health wellness Engagement- Decrease the percentage of students leaving school (JK-12) Re-Engagement- Increase the number of credits granted to students who have re-engaged Upper Grand District School Board Special Education Plan Page 5

6 Instruction TARGETED EVIDENCE BASED STRATEGIES/ACTION Schools will identify achievement gaps (e.g. ELL, special education, gender, Aboriginal, students living in poverty, working at Level 2, in the applied stream) and will set specific targets and implement specific strategies to reduce gaps Teachers will: focus on specific teaching strategies to improve achievement to all students, including students with special education needs (e.g. accommodation, Differentiated Instruction) incorporate the use of assistive technology into daily class work Student Engagement Schools will provide early reading remediation in preparation for the Grade 9 EQAO (Mathematics) and Grade 10 OSSLT, with a focus on Applied Level courses, starting in the fall and will offer after school literacy and numeracy programming (Pass the Test and That Figures). Program Department Staff will prepare a coherent vision for mental health addictions programs and services. Staff and students will access mental health resources and services (e.g. Collaborative Case Conferencing). Schools will promote Program Pathways (e.g. OYAP, Specialist High Skills Major, Dual Credit, Co-op) and Pathway Planning tools such as the All About Me portfolio, K to 6 and the Individual Pathway Plan (IPP), 7 to 12. My Blueprint will be the vehicle for all board Pathway Planning and secondary course selection Schools will support transition planning (e.g. preschool to school, grade to grade, secondary exit plans) ensuring that students with Special Needs are a priority. Schools will incorporate technology at the point of instruction to engage students (e.g. e-learning, Blended Learning, UG2GO hardware-ipad/apple TV and Smart Technology, BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) Upper Grand District School Board Special Education Plan Page 6

7 Targeted Goals for Specific Students with Special Needs Rationale Special Education goals are embedded in the Upper Grand District School Board, Board Improvement Plan for Student Achievement (BIPSA). In addition, the following targeted goals address specific students with special needs. Topic One: Information about special education supports and services Goal: To provide information to parents about special education supports and services through a variety of formats (e.g. IPRC process and IEPs). Specific Objective: Provide information to parents about special education supports and services through online and print resources monthly. Method: Provide information about special education to Principals for school newsletters Develop print materials for parents and community members to highlight special education supports and services Begin twitter account for Program Department Monitoring: List the types of communication methods used and feedback received and report in Special Education Report 2015 Include a question in the survey for parents of children with IEPs (Spring 2015) regarding information to parents about special education supports and services Topic Two: Transition Plans for students with Individual Education Plans (IEPs) Goal: To create transition plans for students with IEPs according to students needs. Specific Objective: 80% of students with IEPs will have written transition plans by June Method: Include transition planning as part of Special Education series of in-services for Special Education Teachers Provide samples of transition plans at in-services Include transition planning as a topic in IEP resources for Principals and Special Education Teachers Upper Grand District School Board Special Education Plan Page 7

8 Monitoring: Track the percentage of transition plans as part of the IEP review in Spring of 2015 Topic Three: Individual Education Plans and parent consultation Goal: To increase the involvement of parents and students in the development of IEPs. Specific Objective: 80% of IEPs reviewed in spring of 2015 will meet or exceed the satisfactory level in the area of parent/student consultation using the Ministry rubric. Methods: Provide IEP resources to Principals and Special Education Resource Teachers that describe how to increase parent and student involvement in writing IEPs Explain and review how to record parent involvement in the development of IEPs in the Consultation Section of the IEP Monitoring: IEP Review Committee to conduct an internal review in Spring of 2015 with specific attention paid to parent and student input Include a question about parent consultation on IEPs in the survey for parents of children with IEPs (Spring 2015) Topic Four: Social Emotional Programming in consultation with Board initiatives and community partners Goal: To use social-emotional programming resources that are recommended by Board staff and our community partners (i.e. Reaching In Reaching Out; Tools for Life) during the school year. Specific Objective: Train and offer support to staff at schools in the use of programs and/or resources that promote resiliency and self regulation with an emphasis on Kindergarten- Grade 2 classrooms. Train and offer support to staff at 2-3 schools as a school-wide approach (K-8). Include and emphasize the importance of a caring adult being identified for students with IEPs, as appropriate to student needs, in professional development. Methods: Develop an integrated approach to use in our community using social-emotional resources for Early Learners (e.g. school boards, CMHA WWD and Child Care) Provide Tools for Life training at 2-3 schools Work with the Manager of Mental Health and Addictions to provide training and programming according to the UGDSB Mental Health Strategy Upper Grand District School Board Special Education Plan Page 8

9 Encourage conversations about a caring adult through the IEP process Monitoring: Create and use an evaluation method for reviewing the social-emotional programming for Early Learners (i.e. as developed/recommended through the community project) Include a question about students having caring adults at the school level in the Special education survey 2015 Topic Five: Student understanding of their learning profiles Goal: To help students with IEPs understand their learning profiles (e.g. strengths, needs and interests) by providing information and resources to teachers and support staff who work with these students. Specific Objective: To create and distribute training resources for staff designed to support students in the understanding of their learning profiles (fall of 2014). Method: Share samples of IEP goals and objectives from student advocacy goals (by Itinerant teachers) with Special Education Teachers and school staff Promote the use of resources and activities from the Ministry Career/Life Planning Program and Learning for All at professional development sessions and on the Staff Portal, to help students understand their learning profiles Gather resources to support students and parents in understanding learning profiles Encourage teachers to review and discuss IEP strengths and needs with students so they better understand their learning profiles Monitoring: Track and report on tools and training resources posted on Staff Portal Ask targeted students for feedback about their understanding of their learning profiles Share tools and resources with different Board departments and committees (e.g. Student Success committees: pathways, transition planning; Special Education: professional development, Special Education Review Committee) Topic Six: Use of technology at home to support learning Goal: To provide information and resources about technology use at home to support the learning of students with special needs. Upper Grand District School Board Special Education Plan Page 9

10 Specific Objective: Parents will be offered print resources, electronic information and training sessions to learn more about the use of technology at home to support learning during the school year. Method: Description of ways to access technology through a letter to parents with new and refreshed SEA claims Program staff to participate in parent training opportunities (e.g. Digital Saturday) Include the Home Use of Technology Protocol in Special Education in-services and in the SEA Manual for Staff Monitoring: Include a question about home use of technology to support learning in the survey for parents of children with IEPs (Spring 2015) Topic Seven: Communication between home and school Goal: To explore strategies to improve communication with parents of children with IEPs Specific Objective: Identify barriers to effective home-school communication based on special education survey results and offer strategies to address the barriers. Method: Examine feedback provided in the special education survey about home-school communication Share themes (i.e. barriers and strategies) with Program Staff and Administrators Include tips to improve communication through a variety of methods (e.g. topic one above) Monitoring: Chart the barriers and strategies about home-school communication and ways this information is shared with staff and parents Include a question about communication between home and school in the survey for parents of children with IEPs (Spring 2015) Upper Grand District School Board Special Education Plan Page 10

11 Model for Special Education Philosophy of Special Education: Guiding Principles We believe all students can learn. We value each student s unique ability, individuality, learning style and pace of learning. We believe that the growth, the development and the learning of each student is enhanced in the most enabling environment. We believe that the inclusion of exceptional students in the school community provides a valuable learning experience for all children. We deliver programs which incorporate realistic goals and objectives through individualized teaching and assessment methods. We respect the rights of parents to make informed decisions in the best interests of their children. We respect, value and encourage collaborative partnerships with parents, community agencies and professionals. We provide a diversity of placements and resources which reflect effective programs and strategies for exceptional pupils. We recognize the wealth of learning opportunities in the community which assist students with transitions, to offer work experiences and to allow their pursuit of special abilities or talents. We value early intervention for all students experiencing difficulties in school and/or needing enrichment. Upper Grand District School Board Special Education Plan Page 11

12 Special Education Department Who Are We? Members of the Special Education Department include Special Education Coordinators, Special Education Consultants, Itinerant Teachers, an Applied Behaviour Analysis Facilitator and Transitional Educational Assistants. Itinerant Teachers travel between schools to work with students. Transitional Educational Assistants work at schools for up to six weeks to support special transition situations (e.g. students returning from a treatment program). How do Special Education Consultants help staff and students? make recommendations about programming, strategies and resources for students with all types of special needs who require accommodations, modifications or alternative curriculum work with staff to submit claims for specialized equipment (e.g. Special Equipment Amount) and submit requests for Special Incident Portion funding provide professional development in Special Education participate in Consultant Support Team Meetings Consultants provide leadership related to the following exceptionalities: o Intellectual Disabilities o Developmental disabilities o Giftedness o Low Incidence Disabilities (e.g. blind and low vision, deaf and hard of hearing, and physical disabilities) o Learning Disabilities o Autism Spectrum Disorders o Behaviour Who Are The Students Itinerant Teachers Work With? Itinerant Teachers work with students who are deaf and hard of hearing and students who are blind or have low vision. Other itinerant teachers work with some students with learning disabilities using technology and some students with Autism Spectrum Disorders. How Else Do We Help? Special Education Consultants: chair Identification, Placement and Review Committees at the school board level support special projects and new directions of the school board and Ministry of Education Upper Grand District School Board Special Education Plan Page 12

13 Communication, Language and Speech Services Who Are We? We are Speech-Language Pathologists and Special Program Assistants Communication, Language and Speech Services who provide service in school-based teams. The Speech-Language Pathologists are highly trained in communication development and disorders at the Master s level. They must be registered with the College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Ontario to practice in Ontario. The Special Program Assistants have been trained by our department to provide direct services to students under the supervision of the Speech-Language Pathologist who assesses the students, develops the programs and evaluates their progress. Who Are The Students We Work With? Speech-Language Pathologists help school staff to develop the best learning environment for children with a variety of communication needs. Since our services are school-based, we focus on communication needs that will impact the student s ability to learn to read and write and to use communication to participate in all aspects of their education. These may include students from Kindergarten to Grade 12 with needs in the following areas: Augmentative and Alternative Communication Autism Spectrum Disorders Deaf or Hard of Hearing Developmental Disabilities Language Based Learning Disabilities Selective Mutism Speech (severe articulation/phonology only) How Can A Student Receive Our Services? All of our services are accessed through the Consultant Support Team at the student s school. The classroom teacher brings concerns to the In-School Team where the decision is made to refer to the Consultant Support Team. If a parent has a concern, they should discuss it with their child s teacher. The Kindergarten Communication Skills Evaluation is available to senior kindergarten students who are selected by their teacher. Following parental consent, names are provided directly to the school s Speech-Language Pathologist. How Do We Provide This Service? We offer the following levels of service to assist the classroom teacher in differentiating instruction for individuals or groups of students with similar learning needs: consultation may consist of problem solving with the school team, the resource teacher, and/or the classroom teacher assessment may consist of classroom observation, informal curriculum based tasks, and formal assessment for more complex needs Upper Grand District School Board Special Education Plan Page 13

14 Direct service for kindergarten to grade 2. If the Speech-Language Pathologist determines that the student would benefit from language intervention, the student will work with the Special Program Assistant Speech and Language. The Speech-Language Pathologist will complete an assessment, develop program goals, and meet regularly with the Special Program Assistant to evaluate progress, update the goals, and determine if the student needs continued support. Referral Services Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) offers service at school for students with moderate to severe articulation, voice, fluency (stuttering), and feeding and swallowing difficulties. The Board s Speech-Language Pathologist must assess the students to determine if they meet the criteria for CCAC services before initiating the referral. Families may also be given information on accessing other services in the community to support their child. This could include referrals to an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Specialist or an audiologist. Professional Development The Speech-Language Pathologists provide a wide variety of school-based and systembased in-services to address the needs of individual students (for example, helping school staff understand how to support a student with selective mutism) or the needs of a group of teachers interested in learning more about enhancing oral language in their classrooms. Upper Grand District School Board Special Education Plan Page 14

15 Psychological Services Who Are We? Members of the Psychology Department are all registered with the College of Psychologists of Ontario (or are currently completing this requirement and are under Supervised Practice) and are either trained at the Doctoral or Masters level. As a member of the College of Psychology, the staff are licensed to diagnose in the areas of Developmental Disorders, Learning Disabilities, Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Anxiety Disorders, Child and Adolescent Depression, Tourette s Syndrome, Autism, and other Mental Health Disorders. Who Are the Students the Psychological Consultants Work With? The Psychological Consultants work closely with the school team, parents, and community partners (e.g., Local Children s Mental Health Service) when students are struggling with learning, social, behaviour, or mental health concerns at school. The Psychological Consultant provides consultation, brief intervention (1 to 3 sessions) and psychological assessments. A Psychological Assessment involves a comprehensive standardized testing of intellectual (cognitive) skills, memory functioning, specific processing abilities, academic skills, and social/emotional/behavioural functioning. Services are provided for children from Kindergarten to Grade 12 presenting with the following needs: Specific Learning Disability in Reading, Writing, and Math Non Verbal Learning Disability Language Based Learning Disability Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Autism Spectrum Disorder Mild Intellectual Disability Developmental Disability Behaviour Disorders Anxiety Disorders Affective Disorders (Depression) How Can A Student Receive Our Services? At the Consultant Support Team (CST) meeting it might be decided that a full Psychological Assessment was needed. If a parent feels their child needs a Psychological Assessment or consultation, they need to discuss it with their child s teacher first as this is the only way in which a student s name can be brought up at the CST. Upper Grand District School Board Special Education Plan Page 15

16 Types of Services Provided? Parents, teachers, and students are supported by the psychology department in the following ways: Indirect Consultation Discussion at school team meetings (as long as there is verbal consent from parents following the principal s phone call), offering suggestions for academic programming, and behavioural strategies to meet the child s identified behavioural and mental health needs. Psychological Consultants often consult on Behaviour Plans and Safety Plans that have been developed at the school. Direct Consultation Following discussion at the school team, it might be decided that it would be helpful for the Psychological Consultant to become more involved, possibly observing the child, having parents and teachers complete standardized questionnaires, reviewing the Ontario School Record, talking with the parents, or working with involved community partners. Brief Intervention Following discussion at the school team, it might be decided that it would be helpful for the Psychological Consultant to meet directly with the student to obtain more information that would help the school in programming. Psychological Assessment Following discussion at the school team, it might be decided that it would be helpful for the Psychological Consultant to meet directly with the student and complete a psychological assessment. As parents are very important partners in completing the assessment, the goal is to always meet with parents for an interview before beginning the assessment. Feedback is provided to the parents, school team, and when appropriate to the students. Group Administered Ability Testing - Grade 3 Screening with the Canadian Cognitive Abilities Test (CCAT) Early in the fall of Grade 3, all parents of students in Grade 3 are asked if they will consent to their students taking the CCAT. The purpose of this test is to obtain a screening measure of cognitive ability in both the verbal and nonverbal domain. The results provide information about students who may need additional supports as well as those students who would benefit from Enhanced or Gifted Programming. Results are available in late November and are distributed to schools who then send a letter with the results home to parents. Upper Grand District School Board Special Education Plan Page 16

17 Other Ways in Which We Help - Specialized Teams Behaviour/Mental Health Intervention Team This program is made up of three Child and Youth Counsellors who work directly under the supervision of the Chief Psychologist. This program provides intensive behavioural and mental health supports to students in the classroom for a 6 to 8 week time period. The team utilizes a Collaborative Problem Solving Model (Dr. Ross Greene) and provides in-service to teachers and administrators on this model. Mental Health Psychology Support Program for Secondary Schools (MHSS- Psychology) One full time itinerant Psychological Consultant provides direct support to secondary school staff regarding students with serious mental health needs. Support may involve consultation, brief assessment of a student s mental health issues, brief intervention, liaison with mental health agencies, and in-service to schools and parent groups. Professional Development Members of the Psychology Department provide a variety of school-based inservices as well as system-based in-services on a variety of topics (e.g., Helping the Anxious Child in the Classroom). Members of the Psychology Department provide training in Behaviour Management Systems and Collaborative Problem Solving. Violent Threat Risk Assessment: Members of the Psychology and Counselling Attendance Departments work with community partners (i.e., police, children s mental health agencies) to properly assess and intervene when a high risk or threatening situation occurs at a school. Upper Grand District School Board Special Education Plan Page 17

18 Counselling and Attendance Department and Social Work Services Who Are We? All members of the Counselling and Attendance Department are Social Workers trained at the Masters level and registered with the Ontario College. Each Social Worker is assigned to one or two high schools where they have an office. They also provide some support to the family of elementary schools that feed into their high school(s). Who Are the Students the Psychological Consultants Work With? The Social Workers in the Counselling and Attendance Department work closely with the school team, parents, and community partners (e.g., Local Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service) when students are struggling with social, behaviour, or mental health concerns at school. The Social Worker provides consultation to teachers and administrators and counselling to students in order to help them succeed in high school. Students may present with the following problems: school attendance Issues mental health disorders including anxiety, depression behaviour disorders social problems How Can A Student Receive Our Services? Referrals can be made directly to the Social Worker by a teacher or an administrator. Often, but not always, referrals are made following a meeting with the In-School Team or the Consultant Support Team. If the student is 12 years of age or older, the student can self-refer for counselling. If a student is in crisis, they can immediately be seen by the Social Worker who will then contact family and other support services if needed. Informed consent is obtained as soon as the Social Worker begins to work with a student. The Social Worker also has the responsibility to follow up referrals for attendance made by the school. Consent is not required for the Social Worker to become involved in attendance referrals as this is a service that is mandated. Types of Services Provided? Parents, teachers, and students are supported by the Counselling and Attendance department in the following ways: Individual Counselling To help students cope with the social, emotional and academic demands of school as well as address mental health issues and encourage students to seek appropriate mental health services in the community. Upper Grand District School Board Special Education Plan Page 18

19 Consultation and Support Provide consultation to teachers and administrators regarding student needs and effective ways to address the student s need in the school setting. Address parent questions and provide information to help them support their children or adolescent. Attendance When the student has not been attending regularly, the Social Worker will find out why the student has been absent and work with the student, family, and school team to facilitate successful return to school. Supervised Alternative Learning If a student cannot be successful at high school in a traditional program, the Social Worker helps to facilitate the student finding a supervised work setting. Referral Services Canadian Mental Health Association Waterloo Wellington Dufferin - referrals can be made for children and adolescents with mental health concerns. Dufferin Child and Family Services (Dufferin County) - referrals can be made for children and adolescents with mental health concerns. Professional Development Members of the Counselling and Attendance Department provide a variety of school-based in-services as well as system-based in-services on a variety of topics (e.g., Adolescent Depression). Members of the Counselling and Attendance Department provide training in Collaborative Problem Solving for their secondary schools. Upper Grand District School Board Special Education Plan Page 19

20 The Mental Health and Addiction Lead The position of the Mental Health and Addiction Lead at the Upper Grand District School Board began in September of 2012 as part of Open Minds, Healthy Minds Ontario s Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy. The Mental Health and Addiction Lead works with senior administration to develop and implement the board mental health and addictions strategy. This position provides leadership for the board mental health team. Some key responsibilities of the Mental Health Lead include: Conduct board and school level resource mapping to determine areas of strength and need Promote mental well being and mental health literacy initiatives in the board Select and support evidence-based approaches to mental health promotion and prevention Collaborate with board and community partners to promote clear and integrated access to services Upper Grand District School Board Special Education Plan Page 20

21 The Special Education Intervention Model SST Specialized Support Team CST Consultant Support Team IST In-School Support Team Classroom Teachers The pyramid of intervention above demonstrates that for the vast majority of students, programming is done by classroom teachers in consultation with parents, and school staff members. A smaller group of students may be brought forward to the In-School Support Team (IST) for more discussion, program planning and possible assessment using school-based resources. A much smaller group of students may be discussed at the Consultant Support Team (CST) meeting where further discussion, program planning and recommendations are made. A few students in the school board, with significant behavioural concerns, may be referred to the Specialized Support Team (SST). Parents and educators are encouraged to work as collaborative partners throughout the steps. 1. Classroom Intervention student concerns identified by teacher and/or parent parent/teacher meetings occur to discuss concerns strategies planned and implemented in the classroom concerns resolved and no further action needed or referral to In-School Team Upper Grand District School Board Special Education Plan Page 21

22 2. In-School Team (IST) supports the needs of a smaller number of students addresses learning, physical, behaviour and/or mental health needs of students referred involves members of the school staff which may include: Principal or Vice- Principal, Special Education teacher, Classroom teacher, Child and Youth Counsellor, Guidance Counsellor and/or Social Worker (secondary), At-Risk Lead teacher (secondary), Educational Assistant may include updates of progress, further program planning, accommodations and/or modifications to program, access to in-school support staff and inschool assessment, development of an Individual Education Plan (IEP), Behaviour Plan or Safety Plan; review/evaluate student progress considers possible next steps e.g. vision or hearing examinations, medical consultation, paediatric consultation, counselling, referral to Consultant Support Team (CST) concerns resolved and student continues to be monitored by the In-School or referral to Consultant Support Team (CST) 3. Consultant Support Team (CST) third level of discussion, planning and problem solving includes Program Services Consultants (Special Education, Speech and Language Pathologist, Psychology) and the IST members may involve the Parents, Counselling and Attendance Consultants, Educational Assistants and representatives from outside agencies involved with the student addresses continued challenges in learning, behaviour and/or mental health needs provides additional consultation and assessment involves updates of program development and student performance, review of IST strategies, IEP, Educational Assessment, Behaviour Plan, Safety Plan, consideration for referral to Identification, Placement and Review Committee (IPRC), consideration of application for special class placement, consideration for a Special Equipment Amount (SEA) claim for equipment concerns resolved and students continues to be monitored by the CST or referral to the Specialized Support Team 4. Specialized Support Team (SST) fourth and most intensive level of discussion, planning and problem solving the SST includes a consultant from each of the following Program Services Departments: Psychology, Special Education, Communication, Language and Speech and Counselling and Attendance the SST also includes a Psychological Behaviour Specialist and Educational Assistant who work directly in schools Upper Grand District School Board Special Education Plan Page 22

23 with parental consent a staff member from the community children s mental health agency is included parents, school staff and involved community agency members (at parent s request) are included in discussion, planning and problem solving together the team sets specific goals with plans for ongoing monitoring and support of the strategies, materials and resources recommended Case Conference A case conference is a meeting that is held that focuses on one student for a more indepth discussion. Case conferences are held as needed throughout elementary and secondary school. Case conferences are held to share information, to develop plans or to respond to concerns. Parents, school staff, board staff and community service providers may attend case conferences. Examples of case conferences are: a case conference for a student with complex needs who is beginning junior kindergarten; and a case conference to develop a plan to support a secondary school with a recent diagnosis of a mental health disorder. These meetings may be held to share assessment findings from board assessments or assessments from community resources. Upper Grand District School Board Special Education Plan Page 23

24 Specialized Teams from Program Services The staff from Psychological Services, Communication, Language and Speech Services, Special Education and Counselling and Attendance are members of specialized inter-disciplinary teams. These teams include: Behaviour Management System Training (BMS) The Behaviour Management System was adopted by the board as the method of intervening when children are experiencing behavioural challenges and physical intervention is needed. A variety of staff have been trained as trainers in this model, including: Special Education, Psychology, Counselling and Attendance, Child and Youth Counsellors, and Administrators. When a school is having difficulty with a particularly challenging student, a training team can be sent in to assist the staff. Crisis Response Team All members of the Psychology and Counselling & Attendance Departments respond when a crisis occurs at one of their schools. This might involve the death of a student, parent, a trauma, or accident. Support is provided to students, parents and school staff. In order to respond to crisis calls, each member of the team carries the pager for two to three weeks and ensures that when a crisis occurs, all staff are alerted. Complex Autism Diagnostic Assessment Team (CADAT) This team, consisting of a Psychological Services Consultant and a Speech-Language Pathologist, provides diagnostic assessments to determine, in complex cases, if the student meets the criteria for an Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis (DSM 5). Referrals must be made through the Consultant Support Team at the school. A psychoeducational assessment must have been completed before the CADAT assessment can be carried out. Outreach Team This Special Education team supports schools in teaching students with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Training, modeling, coaching and guided practice are provided to build school capacity using a gradual release of responsibility model. The team focuses on developing school capacity to use ABA and TEACCH instructional methods to decrease challenging behaviour, increase skill acquisition, improve access to curriculum and increase student independence. Specialized Support Team (SST) This team is made up of members from Communication, Language and Speech Services, Psychology, Special Education, and Social Work. This is the highest level of support available for students with behaviour and/or mental health needs. This team assists schools and families in working together to support a student s ability to function successfully at school. Upper Grand District School Board Special Education Plan Page 24

25 The Identification, Placement, and Review Committee (IPRC) Process Informal Approaches to Solving Problems Prior to IPRC The first and most important intervention is a discussion between teacher and parents which results in an action plan developed to address concerns. The school staff discusses student progress and the results of their action plans at regularly scheduled In-School Team (IST) meetings. The teacher, parent and/or principal may at any point decide to seek the advice of program consultants available to all schools through a Consultant Support Team (CST) meeting. These meetings involve key staff from the school along with the school s Special Education Consultant, Speech and Language Pathologist, school Psychologist and, in some cases, Counselling and Attendance Services staff. Concerns may be resolved or successfully managed at each stage of the process or there may be recommendations to further investigate the educational needs of the student. Throughout the process parents are kept informed. IPRC Planning Through the principal, educational and other assessments are presented at a Consultant Support Team (CST) meeting in preparation for an IPRC. Information is communicated to parents prior to the IPRC and they are encouraged, in writing, to attend the IPRC meeting. Parents are informed of their rights with respect to the process verbally and through the Parent Guide to Special Education. This guide is available at all schools in the Board as well as through the Special Education Department of Program Services. It is a goal of the Board to maximize the involvement of parents in the IPRC decision making process. System Level IPRCs Composition Chairperson (Special Education Staff) Principal/Vice-Principal one other member (e.g. Principal or Vice-Principal, Special Education teacher) Mandate of System Level IPRCs initial identification by the Upper Grand DSB of a student s exceptionality and any subsequent change in identified exceptionality placement of the student (regular class with support, special education class) review of the identification and placement of a student at the request of the parents or school identification of students previously identified within the Board but who have returned after a lengthy absence Upper Grand District School Board Special Education Plan Page 25

26 School Level IPRCs Team Composition School Principal/Vice-Principal (Chair) Special Education teacher or Resource teacher one other staff member Mandate of School Level IPRCs review annually a student s identification and placement made by a system level IPRC declare a student not exceptional with a written request from the parents or student if 18 years of age or older change the placement of a student from a special education class to a regular class when appropriate (i.e. moving from Grade 8 to secondary) IPRC Process System IPRC meetings occur throughout the school year for the initial identification and placement of exceptional students as well as subsequent changes to either the identification and/or placement of the student. These meetings are organized centrally by the Special Education Department. Each January, students names are referred to a System Placement Committee if a special education class is being considered. Prior to these referrals, staff will take the following steps: assess student needs; discuss with the parents the possible placement options; prepare relevant data, including formal/informal assessments ; and present the referral to the CST. The System Placement Committee discusses each referral to make sure the student meets the appropriate criteria and checks for available spaces for the following September. Only the most appropriate students are recommended to be placed in these system classes as there are limited placements available. System IPRC meetings, for special education class placements in September, generally occur in the spring. On rare occasions, students are placed in system special education classes at other times of the school year. These exceptions may be for students new to the board. This may occur by referring these situations to the Special Education Coordinator. Upper Grand District School Board Special Education Plan Page 26

27 Parent Consent and Dispute Resolution Parents are informed by the IPRC of the recommendations for identification, the placement and the strengths and needs statements during the IPRC meeting. If parents are not in attendance, they are informed of the results verbally shortly thereafter by school staff. Written copies of the IPRC minutes are sent to the principal of the school by the Special Education Department. The principal sends copies of the IPRC minutes to the parents for their signature. A copy is provided for the parents records. Parents may decide to accept or decline the placement recommendations of the IPRC. Should the parents be unable to decide at the IPRC meeting, then the Committee will adjourn to provide more time for the parents to decide. If the parents are not in attendance and do not agree with the placement recommended by the IPRC, then the Committee defers a decision to consider alternate placements. IPRC Reviews The identification and placement of every identified student are to be reviewed annually and all IEP s are to be reviewed once each reporting period. Disputes regarding IPRC recommendations are normally resolved at the school level but may involve the mediation of members of the Program Department or Superintendent of Program. Parents are informed of their rights to dispute the IPRCs recommendations for identification and placement as outlined in the Parents Guide to Special Education. If parents do not provide their consent or disagreement, Principals implement the IPRC decision. Mediation and Appeal Process With respect to appeals, the Board follows the appeal process as outlined in the Regulations. If necessary, the Board would seek the assistance of a mediator in an effort to resolve disputes and would welcome the involvement of parent advocates or other professionals to the process according to the wishes of the parent. Conflict Resolution and Shared Solutions The Ministry published and distributed the guide: Shared Solutions - A Guide to Preventing and Resolving Conflicts Regarding Programs and Services for Students with Special Education Needs in This resource guide is intended to help parents, educators, and students with special education needs, work together to prevent conflicts, resolve issues quickly, and allow students to develop their full potential and succeed in school. The Upper Grand District School Board endorses the approaches, techniques and strategies for conflict prevention and resolution. Upper Grand District School Board Special Education Plan Page 27

28 Guidelines for IPRC Identification The following are the guidelines which are used by the Upper Grand District School Board in determining the appropriateness of an identification as exceptional in each of the Ministry categories. Required Documentation for System IPRC The school team presents the following documentation to the Special Education Department: Educational Assessment Package Student Information for Identification, Placement and Review Committee (IPRC) or Application for Special Education Class Placement form (completed during the current academic school year) Individual Education Plan recent Report Card Student Profile student work samples Diagnostic assessments relevant to IPRC Behaviour Plan (where applicable) Safety Plan (where applicable) In addition, the following conditions and documentation are required for specific exceptionalities by the Upper Grand District School Board IPRC: Behaviour documentation of severity and frequency of behaviours which are persistent and ongoing supportive medical, emotional, or counselling information as applicable evidence that the behaviours are detrimental to self and/or others evidence that the behavioural responses are not better explained by another known or identifiable Ministry of Education exceptionality Communication Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis by a qualified professional Learning Disability evidence of at least average ability on a standardized cognitive assessment a significant discrepancy between achievement and predicted ability not better explained by another exceptionality low achievement in some area(s) of academics Upper Grand District School Board Special Education Plan Page 28

29 Language Impairment a Speech and Language Assessment reflecting significant difficulties in either expressive or receptive language low academic achievement requiring accommodations and/or modifications language problems not better explained by another exceptionality Speech Impairment a Speech and Language Assessment reflecting significant impairment in speech intelligibility requiring accommodations and/or modifications Deaf and Hard of Hearing an Audiologist or Medical Practitioner Assessment or report of hearing deficit hearing loss resulting in academic difficulties student need for accommodations and/or program modifications Intellectual Mild Intellectual Disability a Cognitive Assessment on an individually administered intelligence test indicating a Full Scale I.Q. score or General Ability Index that falls between 2 nd to 8 th percentiles, inclusive consideration of Adaptive Functioning using standardized measures with delays (2 nd to 8 th percentile) noted in at least one area consideration of academic skills with most falling well below grade level requiring most areas of the curriculum to be modified Developmental Disability a Cognitive Assessment on an individually administered intelligence test indicating a Full Scale I.Q. score or General Ability Index that falls at, or below, the 2 nd percentile (plus or minus one standard error of measurement) OR where formalized measures of cognitive ability cannot be administered, there must be a documented history of habilitative services, and need for modification in most areas of the curriculum and daily functioning Adaptive Functioning, as measured on standardized questionnaires, indicating delays in one of more areas, falling at, or below, the 2 nd percentile (plus or minus one standard error or measurement) is required whether or not a formal cognitive assessment is completed Giftedness group Administered Ability Test indicating an Overall or Composite score at, or above, the 98 th percentile on an individually administered intellectual test (using Canadian norms where available), a Full Scale I.Q. score or General Ability Index at, or above, the 98 th percentile is required academic skills in reading are two grades above level and skills in math and writing are at, or above grade level expectations Upper Grand District School Board Special Education Plan Page 29

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