Special Education Advisory Committee
September 24, 2008
A meeting of the Special Education Advisory Committee was held in the Board Room on Wednesday, September 24, 2008, at 7:15 p.m.
Present: Trustees: Elaine Crawford, Co-Chair
Members: Kathy Bennett, Community Living Kingston
Nadine Carson, Epilepsy Kingston
John Freeman, Member-at-Large (Queen’s University)
Brad Shoniker, Member-at-Large
David Williams, Learning Disabilities Association of Kingston
Staff: Marg Akey, Supervising Principal
Scot Gillam, Principal, Educational Services
Kathy McVety Kavanagh, Special Education Program Coordinator
Rob Pearson, Vice-Principal, Educational Services
Alexis Stefanovich-Thomson, Autism Resource Teacher
Darlene Kirkpatrick, Recording Secretary
Regrets: Nicholas Kaduck, Parents for Children’s Mental Health
Pat LaLonde, Autism Society
Winton Roberts, Community Living - North Frontenac
Charlene Whalen, Family & Children’s Services, Lennox and Addington
The meeting was chaired by Trustee Elaine Crawford, who welcomed those present to the meeting. She advised that Pat LaLonde had sent her regrets, noting that Pat’s mother had recently passed away.
Approval of the Agenda
MOVED BY David Williams, seconded by Brad Shoniker, that the agenda, as distributed, be approved.–Carried
Introduction of New Educational Services Staff
Supervising Principal Akey introduced the following staff at Educational Services who were present: Scot Gillam, Principal; Rob Pearson, Vice-Principal; Kathy McVety Kavanagh, Special Education Program Coordinator; and Alexis Stefanovich-Thomson, Autism Resource Teacher. She advised that the following staff continue to serve in leadership roles at Educational Services: JoAnne Payne, Senior Administrator; Kristin Check, School-to-Community Coordinator; Eva Carlin, Deaf/Hard of Hearing Resource Teacher; and Hazel MacDonald, Computer Resource Teacher.
Approval of Minutes
MOVED BY David Williams, seconded by Trustee Murray, that the minutes of the June 18, 2008 meeting, as distributed, be approved.–Carried
Overview of 2008-09 Educational Services Goals
Scot Gillam provided an overview of the 2008-09 Educational Services’ goals, as follows:
• Enhance the profile of Educational Services within our Board and Community – team building, consistent messages and protocol, community partnerships, supporting schools and individuals holistically
• Mentoring program for Educational Services staff
• Review of EA allocation process for 2009/2010
• Continue system professional learning opportunities – IEP Collaborative Review Process – using the new IEP template, Threat Assessment Training, Behaviour Management Systems Training, Safe Schools Audit Training, Classroom Management Mini Series, SST/LPS Course October 22 to November 26, 2008, EA PD – Geneva Centre, SSP/ASD Pathways – teacher and EA learning opportunities
• Implementation Plan for Ministry Directives – Education for All K to 12 Resource Guide in January 2009, PPM 140, Special Education Plan – be proactive, assess needs and provide supports, use working documents
• Enhance partnership between LDSB and Community Partners – Safe School initiatives, Community Threat Assessment Protocol, etc.
• Agency Information Session – Thursday, September 25th, 9:00 a.m.
• Resource Teacher – Alexis Stefanovich-Thomson
• New Autism Class – Lancaster Drive PS, Tara Wild
• Autism Team Referral Process – streamlined, consistent, more effective
• Secondary Special Education Program Teacher – focus on Autism – located at LCVI for October 2008
• Geneva Centre Training – 15 staff this summer, specific workshops being organized for EAs, three EAs and other key staff attending the Geneva Centre Symposium in Toronto in October
• SSP/ASD workshops to support staff and teaching staff at several locations
• Lending Library – new professional literature about Autism
School to Community
• SCS Curriculum Council – rotating location of meetings this year to allow SCS teachers to highlight some of the programming they are doing
• SCS New Teacher Information Session – September 10th
• BATeam and BATeam West
• Multidisciplinary teams to support the behavioural, emotional and social needs of a student
• Support Safe Schools initiatives including the Student Support Leadership Initiative, Threat and Risk Assessment work, mental health issues
• 14 Learning Centres with staff who are mobilizing knowledge gleaned from the CODE and OPA projects of the past three years
• Sustaining the project work
• Community Threat Assessment Protocol
• Level 1 Threat Assessment Trainers
• Crisis Response Training – November 2008
• Safe Schools Audits
LD & RARC
• Welcome to Elizabeth McQuillon
• RARC – Regional Assessment and Resource Centre – Gr8 Transitions – 20 psycho-educational assessments for Grade 7 students identified Communications-L.D. – following year are supported with one day workshop and monthly intervention meetings – testing results are shared with teaching staff and parents
• OLTS – Online To Success – Grade 11 and 12 students with LD – 5 modules – Parent information night on November 6th at 6:30 p.m. at Faculty of Education – receive a psycho-educational assessment before college or university – fee is now on a sliding scale with minimum of $100
Deaf/Hard of Hearing
• Cochlear Implant Conference
• Deaf/HH – Resource Binder
• Intervenor Workshop – W. Ross McDonald School for the Blind, Brantford
Specialized Equipment Amount (SEA)
• Approximately 200 files pending
• Encumbered amount – $150,000
• 23 computer/software claims
• 6 health claims (lifts, slings, change tables)
• 6 sensory claims (weighted vests, sensory ball)
• 3 FM claims
• Reallocated software/computer – 5 systems
IEP Collaborative Review
• Phase 1 – new template ready and in use in LDSB
• SST/LPS training – September 10 & 11
• Additional Training – September 17, 22, 24 – schools contacting Computer Resource Teacher for updates
• PA Day Training – elementary staff – September 19th in the afternoon
• Phase 2 – Winter 2009 – enhancing our ability to write measurable performance tasks
• Vision - Mission Statement
• Deeper understanding of our roles, responsibilities
• Professional Learning Communities – self directed learning and growth including the mobilization of knowledge from previous years’ work
Dedicated Educational Services Spaces
• Napanee District Secondary School
• Fairfield Elementary School
• Attendance Counsellor office space
• Sharing Centre – SST/LPS course, Lending Library, Demonstration Classroom
Educational Assistant Allocation Review
• Commitment to review the current practice to improve fairness and equity among school sites
• Will be looking for partners to assist with this task
Mr. Gillam stated that his commitment to Educational Services is strong, and he believes that all students can learn. He commented that we need to work together, and he looks forward to working with SEAC members in this role.
Chair Crawford and Mr. Williams commented positively on their personal experiences with regard to the Online to Success program.
Chair Crawford thanked Mr. Gillam for provided an overview of Educational Services’ goals for the 2008-2009 school year.
Educational Services Update
Mr. Gillam distributed copies of the Educational Services 2008-2009 Directory of Personnel, Programs and Services.
Suggestions for Agenda Items and/or Presentations for 2008-2009
Suggestions were made that the following be considered for the 2008-2009 school year:
• Resource Manual for Deaf/Hard of Hearing (November)
• Hold a meeting off-site at the Share Centre (November)
• CODE and OPA projects (bring back information) – “Promising Practices” document from OPA project
• Visit LEAP, Challenge and Atlas Programs at Calvin Park
• Safe School Initiatives Update
• Guest Speakers – Identification of exceptionalities – how a child is identified and how information is included in a child’s IEP; how one accesses services for school-to-community children; a sense of how the new template for the IEP has gone in the first year
• Student Success Initiatives Update
Marg Akey advised that a global invitation is being extended from the Napanee Family of Schools to attend a School Council meeting on October 23, 2008, at 6:30 p.m., at Napanee District Secondary School. She advised that Todd Cunningham will be the keynote speaker. She further advised that Mr. Cunningham is a graduate student at OISE, University of Toronto, who is learning disabled, and he will speak as to how assistive technology has helped to make him successful.
Learning Disabilities Association of Kingston
David Williams advised that a workshop, “Yakity-Yak, Don’t Talk Back!”, will be held on Saturday, October 25, 2008, at St. Lawrence College, from 9 a.m. until 12 noon. The keynote speaker is Dr. Kevin Nugent, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, who will present an approach to understanding and dealing with children who are severely oppositional and defiant.
Nadine Carson advised that Epilepsy Kingston had a Board meeting a couple of weeks ago, and one of its goals is to get more involved with rural communities. She said that satellite offices have been setup in Northbrook, Sharbot Lake, and Napanee.
Ms. Carson reported that Epilepsy Kingston has begun its Homework Club again. She further reported that support groups have been started again, but that they are now called “Gatherings”. She said information is now on Epilepsy Kingston’s website.
Ms. Carson stated that she is available to parents who would like to talk about what they are going through with regard to their child’s seizures, and if anyone knows of anyone who would like to talk her, they can contact Epilepsy Kingston to get her contact information.
John Freeman, Faculty of Education
Mr. Freeman advised that Andrea Martin has agreed to take his place on the SEAC in January 2009.
Trustee Crawford thanked SEAC members for their updates.
Next Meeting Date
The next meeting of the Special Education Advisory Committee is scheduled for Wednesday, October 15, 2008, at 7:00 p.m. at the Limestone Education Centre.
MOVED BY Brad Shoniker, seconded by David Williams, that the meeting adjourn at 8:15 p.m.–Carried