Special Education Advisory Committee
June 3, 2009
A meeting of the Special Education Advisory Committee was held at the Limestone Education Centre, 220 Portsmouth Avenue, Kingston, on Wednesday, June 3, 2009, at 6:30 p.m.
Elaine Crawford, Co-Chair
Scot Gillam, Principal, Educational Services
Cathy Grant, Recording Secretary
Steve Ward, Vice-Principal, Educational Services
Kathy Bennett, Community Living Kingston
Nadine Carson, Epilepsy Kingston
Pat LaLonde, Autism Society
David Williams, Learning Disabilities Association of Kingston
Marg Akey, Supervising Principal
John Freeman, Member-at-Large (Queen’s University)
Brad Shoniker, Member-at-Large
Kristin Check, School-to-Community Coordinator
Charlene Whalen, Family & Children’s Services, Lennox and Addington
Corrine Covert, Parent QECVI
Monique Brooks, Parent SHS
Barbara Turcotte, Autism Ontario
The meeting was chaired by Trustee Crawford, who welcomed those present to the meeting.
Approval of Agenda
MOVED BY Nadine Carson, seconded by Kathy Bennett, that the agenda, as distributed, be approved. –Carried
Approval of Minutes
MOVED BY Kathy Bennett, seconded by Helen Brown, that the minutes of the May 20, 2009 meeting, as distributed, be approved. –Carried
Accessibility Plan – Principal Gillam
Principal Gillam reviewed the Annual Accessibility Plan, September 2009-August 2010 on behalf of Supervising Principal Akey.
Principal Gillam referred to page 2, Executive Summary, noting that it remains the same, and that the standard that will be developed under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA, 2005) will apply to both public and private organizations.
Principal Gillam referred to page 2, Executive Summary, third paragraph, noting that the measures which were undertaken during the 2009-2010 year to identify, remove and prevent barriers for people with disabilities who use facilities and services within the LDSB, including
staff, students, parent of students, and other members of the community will now have to comply to ON Regulation 429 – Customer Service.
Principal Gillam referred to page 3 and reported that the Accessibility Working Group will also have to comply with AODA, 2005. He said that LDSB has three new members and they are Sue McWilliams who acted as the Labour Relations Specialist; Paula Carson, representing the Non-Union Group; and Scot Gillam, Principal at Educational Services.
Principal Gillam referred to page 6 and indicated that the date the Plan would be forwarded to the Board of Trustees would be June 17, 2009. He said that date would have to be filled in, and the date of May 25, 2009, the date the Plan was accepted at the Property and Operations Committee meeting would also have to be filled in.
Principal Gillam referred to page 7, section 12, Communication of the Plan, and noted that once the Plan has been approved by the LDSB, it will be posted on the Educational Services Department and public areas of the LDSB web-site. It will also be available in every school to be shared with School Councils.
Principal Gillam referred to Appendix “A”, Barrier-Free Accessibility Projects, and thanked Facility Services staff for their work.
Principal Gillam referred to Appendix “B”, Transition to School Profile, and noted that it is a new template with more information.
Principal Gillam referred to Appendix “C”, Status of 2008-2009 Goals, and Goals for 2009-2010 and reported that a parent has requested that an elevator be installed in QECVI. He said that this matter is being investigated at this time.
Principal Gillam referred to Information Goals, and noted that some of the courses will be offered in DVD format. He said that previously we have done in-service through a web-cast format.
Principal Gillam referred to page 27, Communicational Goals, and stated that they would like to bring an OPEN DOORS Award to the Board, which would recognize students/staff who support an inclusive school environment.
Principal Gillam referred to page 29, Policy or Practice, and indicated that we have to comply with Ont. Reg 429/07 Customer Services by January 2010. He said that they talked about Ontario Education Services Corporation (OESC) helping to develop policy and procedures.
An acknowledgment and thank you was extended to Manny Brandao of the Facility Services at LDSB and to Kristin Check of the Special Education department for their timely response when requests come in from schools. They do a wonderful job.
Special Education Plan – Supervising Principal Akey
Deferred to the next meeting. Please send any feedback concerning the Plan to Marg Akey by June 30, 2009.
2009-2010 Budget – Principal Gillam
Principal Gillam reviewed the 2009-2010 Budget. The five components of the Special Education grant are: Special Education per Pupil Amount (SEPPA) - allocated to boards on the basis of total enrolment; High Needs Amount (HNA) which addresses the cost of providing intensive staff support required by a small number of students with high needs; Special Equipment Amount (SEA); Special Incidence Portation (SIP); and Facilities Amount (FA).
EQAO results are in and our exceptional students are doing well in the grade 3 and 6 tests scores.
Declining enrolment has an impact on the SEPPA amount. Enrolment declines, but needs do not. The total budget for the Limestone Special Education budget for 2009-2010 is $28,832,024, a decrease in funds from last year in the amount of approximately $980,000.
The Special Education department will continue to support our strong and dedicated staff who are there for our students.
Educational Services Update – Principal Gillam
Principal Gillam gave an update for the past year and the direction the Educational Services department is heading for next year. It has been a very busy and exciting year. Steve Ward joined the team this year and has provided much support with his secondary expertise. Other staff changes include Kristin Check leaving the School to Community Coordinator position and becoming the Project Leader for Collaborative Services Delivery Model. She will be missed. The School to Community position has been posted. Margo Virtue has joined the Autism Team as the CSDM Student Support Counsellor with ABA expertise.
There are many Autism supports in place and there were many opportunities for training. The Board is sending 15 staff members to the Geneva Summer Institute training session in August.
The School to Community “Life Beyond School” Information night on May 12 at LCVI was well attended. It was a wonderful evening.
We have had an increased number of students in our behaviour learning centres. The focus will be to ensure we are able to meet the needs of our students by helping with their transition back to a regular classroom, and by reviewing processes to ensure student success. There will be a focus on professional development for teachers in the fall with Peter Chaban. There will also be PD opportunities for principals, vice-principals and SSTs as we continue to build capacity.
The cultural and learning needs of aboriginal students will be supported in this model three afternoons per week at Odessa PS.
Vice Principal Ward gave the Educational Services secondary update. The new grade 8 to 9 transitions/sharing framework is complete. The framework will ensure student information is shared between elementary and secondary schools to ensure a successful transition for students entering high school. Educational Services staff will be involved in the meetings. The framework is similar to the Student Success transition model.
Funding from the Student Success initiative enabled the creation of a tech program at the Robert Meek location. The program, which is still in being developed, will include the use of hand tools.
Bayridge Secondary School will host summer school this year. An Adolescent Care Worker will provide support through the Student Success initiative.
Principal Gillam outlined the goals for next year. The focus will remain on the Learning for All: K-12; continue with quality PD for staff; build on the four pillars - Numeracy, Literacy, Community Care and Culture, and Pathways; alignment with the Board’s Improvement Plan; and focus on learning needs of students.
On behalf of Supervising Principal Marg Akey, Principal Gillam thanked Director Hunter, senior staff, SEAC members and the Educational Services team for their hard work and dedication to our LDSB students over the past year.
Trustee Crawford received an email from the Hastings & Prince Edward DSB thanking the SEAC for hosting a tri-board meeting. It was a very informative evening and they have offered to host a meeting next year.
Nadine Carson gave an update on behalf of Epilepsy Kingston. Their AGM takes place on June 4 at 6:00 pm at Ongwanada with guest speaker Kathy Smith from the Brain Injury Association of Eastern Ontario. SEAC members are welcome to attend.
Pat Lalonde gave an update on behalf of Autism Ontario. Their AGM takes place on June 10 at 5:30 pm at Loblaws on Princess Street with guest speaker Jay Serdula. SEAC members are welcome to attend. A light dinner will be served. This Sunday is the 5th Annual Autism Speaks walk.
Dave Williams gave an update on behalf of the Learning Disabilities Association of Kingston. TOMMFest takes place at Lake Ontario Park from June 12 - 14. An announcement will soon be made on their scholarship winner.
Kathy McVety-Kavanagh thanked Dave Williams of the Learning Disabilities Association of Kingston for the donation of teacher resource packages.
Trustee Crawford thanked Marg Akey and Darlene Kirkpatrick for organizing the end of year dinner meeting and all their work over the past year on behalf of the committee.
Trustee Crawford also thanked the community members and LDSB staff for their hard work and contribution to the committee.
Pat Lalonde requested the possibility of training for SEAC members. This will be further discussed at the next meeting.
Co-Chair Bennett reported on her request to LDSB to review exam period practices for students in the School to Community classes. The Ministry of Education states in Regulation 304 that there must be 194 school days with 10 days designated as exam days. The Ministry’s position states that students with special needs should receive appropriate programming on exam days. Our Board reviewed our current practices. LDSB offers programming that is deemed appropriate, transportation is provided, on a case by case basis. There is a concern that all parents are not aware of this information, and a misunderstanding of information on the part of School to Community teachers. The information may require simpler language. Community Living Kingston is in the process of collecting information
from parents on their interpretation of the information in order to make the process better for next year. Information could be added to the IEP process.
Vice Principal Ward indicted that the appropriate information has been communicated to teachers, but it is reasonable to get a process put together for next year. The next step is to put together the collected information and put forth recommendations, keeping in mind sections of collective agreements which ensure that equity is maintained with all teachers. However, alternative arrangements can be made.
Pat Lalonde requested information regarding the hiring process for the CSDM Phase II ABA Expertise position. Information will be brought to the next meeting.
Next Meeting Date
The next SEAC meeting is to held September 16, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. at the Limestone Education Centre, 220 Portsmouth Avenue, Kingston.
MOVED BY Helen Brown, seconded by Kathy Bennett, that the meeting adjourn at 8:35 p.m. - Carried