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September 16, 2009 - Special Education Advisory Committee Minutes
Special Education Advisory Committee
September 16, 2009

A meeting of the Special Education Advisory Committee was held at the Limestone Education Centre, 220 Portsmouth Avenue, Kingston, on Wednesday, September 16, 2009, at 7:00 p.m.
Present Trustees:
Elaine Crawford, Co-Chair
Helen Brown

Joan Young, Student Trustee
Present Staff:
Marg Akey, Supervising Principal
Kristin Check, Coordinator/Project Lead - Autism
Darlene Kirkpatrick, Recording Secretary
Kathy McVety Kavanagh, Special Education Program Coordinator
Steve Ward, Vice-Principal, Educational Services
Present Members:
Kathy Bennett, Community Living Kingston
John Freeman, Member-at-Large (Queen's University)
Pat LaLonde, Autism Society
Brad Shoniker, Member-at-Large
Charlene Whalen, Family & Children’s Services, Lennox and Addington
David Williams, Learning Disabilities Association of Kingston
Nadine Carson, Epilepsy Kingston

The meeting was chaired by Kathy Bennett, who welcomed those present to the meeting.  She introduced Joan Young, Student Trustee, who attends KCVI.

Ms. Bennett said that the current staff continue in their roles.  She said that each organization will be asked to reconfirm its representation to SEAC by November 2009, noting that the representatives’ names will be announced at the Initial Meeting of the Limestone District School Board in December.

Ms. Bennett reported that the membership of the SEAC is 12 to quorum is 7.  She said that if quorum is not present within 15 minutes after the time set for the meeting, and in the absence of a definite extension agreeable to all members present, the meeting shall adjourn.  She asked Committee members to please be on time for the meetings.

Ms. Bennett said that members of the public and members of the local associations are welcome to attend SEAC meetings.  However, if members other than SEAC members wish to speak at SEAC, they must apply in person or in writing to the Secretary of the Board (Director of Education).  Ms. Bennett advised that the Secretary of the Board, in consultation with the Chair of the Board, will ascertain whether a Board committee or the Committee of the Whole Board should hear the submission, and arrange to have the Board or the committee advised, through the agenda process.

Ms. Bennett reminded SEAC members that they are representing their local organization what nominated them.  She said, therefore, issues, concerns or comments made by SEAC members should be from their organization.

Principal Gillam introduced Educational Services present.  The other individuals present at the meeting introduced themselves.

Approval of Agenda

MOVED BY Brad Shoniker, that the agenda, as distributed, be approved.–Carried

Approval of Minutes

MOVED BY David Williams, that the minutes of the June 3, 2009 meeting, as distributed, be approved.–Carried

Special Education Plan

MOVED BY Brad Shoniker, the Special Education Advisory Committee recommends to the Board, that the Board accept and support the Special Education Plan.–Carried

Follow-Up Response to Concerns: Exam Period Practices for Students Receiving School-to-Community Services

Kathy Bennett advised that at the last meeting of the Special Education Advisory Committee, she brought forward a concern from Community Living Kingston about the examination period for students receiving School-to-Community Services.  She said that they wanted those students aligned with what other students receive during the examination period.   She said that they wanted those students to be evaluated also during examination periods.  Ms. Bennett said that the School-to-Community students will be at school during examination periods, like all other students, and they be provided transportation home, like all other students.  Ms. Bennett said that for those students who are unmanageable, they will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.  She said that in discussions with the school, alternate arrangements can be made for those students.  She said that Community Living Kingston wants what best for the students; they want to make sure that communication is occurring with parents.  She said that they hope that communication will happen during Transition Planning time.  She said that information will be communicated to Elementary and Secondary Principals, as well as School-to-Community teachers.

Educational Services Update

Principal Gillam provided an Educational Services Update.  He said that the goals for the 2009-2010 school year have not changed significantly.  Educational Services will continue to implement directives from the Ministry (e.g. PPM 140) using supporting documents like Learning for All K-12, Shared Solutions, Effective Educational Practices for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Principal Gillam reported that Educational Services will continue to monitor the Educational Assistant Allocation Process.  Educational Services will continue to provide a variety of supports and services to schools, and continue to assist schools in utilizing the resources they currently have.

Principal Gillam reported that the profile and effectiveness of the Educational Services Team will be enhanced through team building, capacity building, and systematic support for each role and responsibility.

Principal Gillam remarked that Educational Services will continue system professional learning opportunities (BMS, Threat Assessment, ABA, TAPP-C, SST/LPS Course, EA Exceptionality Courses, etc.) and continue to support system initiatives (Learning for All, Professional Learning Networks for teachers, Differentiated Instruction 7-12, Principal Development in Differentiated Instruction, etc.).

Principal Gilliam advised that Educational Services will continue to develop and support Professional Learning Networks with Educational Services teachers and Affinity Groups.

Principal Gilliam stated that Educational Services will continue its commitment to strengthen and develop partnerships with community agencies and parents groups (Agency Sharing Sessions, SEAC, Safe Schools, Threat Assessment Protocol, HDH Protocol, etc.).

Mr. Gillam provided the following information:


•       Geneva Summer Institute – 13 staff members, teachers and educational assistants attended the Geneva Summer Institute.  He reported that one of the Board’s educational assistants diagnosed on the Autism Disorder Spectrum spoke, and she was well received.  He reported that the Geneva Centre is interested in having her speak at future engagements.  He reported that the Autism Curriculum Council will meet on September 23, 2009, focusing on Individual Education Plans

•       ABA Principles – incorporated into Board Courses, NTIP, SST/LPS/Clinical & Itinerant Training

•       ABA Training and Electives for educational assistants, teachers and administrators being organized

Kristin Check, Connections Project Lead, provided information about the Collaborative Service Delivery Model Phase 2, referred to as Connections for Students.  She reported that implementation is going well.  Transition teams are developed for students where the Board has been notified that Connections for Students should be in place for them.  She advised that there have been several Transition Team Meetings, and some examples fo student specific actions include:

•       Staff observations of IBI and IT observations of classroom programming/school experience
•       SSP consultant involved in student familiarization, getting to know parents
•       collaborative safety plan development
•       obtaining learning tools (sensory items, academic programs, walkie talkies for safety plans, etc.)
•       review of assessment information
•       IEP consultation and revisions, using information from Individual Service Plans, Discharge Assessments, etc.

Ms. Check reported that communication with parents, Autism Intervention Program, School Support Program, In-school Teams and District staff has been great.  

Ms. Check stated that project templates have been developed for:

•       Timeline of Connections for Students Service
•       Student Profile for initial Connections meeting
•       Connections Transition Team notes, including transition plan and action plan
•       Interface between Autism Intervention Program, School Support Program and Limestone District School Board
•       Reference for acronyms (IBI, ISP, ABA, IT, ST, AIP, SSP, IEP, etc.)

Ms. Check stated that the Educational Services Team is supporting Principals, in-school teams and parents by:

•       Presenting and introducing Connections for Students at the June Principals’ Meeting
•       Acting as initial contact with Autism Intervention Program
•       Introducing Connections to parents, asking them for their priorities and goals, discussing what format of meetings will be like, asking parents who they would like included on the transition team, requesting consent for Student Support Program involvement
•       Providing and Modelling use of project templates
•       Preparing Transition Team Meeting Notes for distribution to all Team members
•       Providing copy of Assessment of Basic Language Learning Skills (ABLLS-R) to all Transition Teams and working with AIP and SSP to provide training on this assessment tool beginning in October
•       Coaching, modelling and developing continued professional development for the implementation of Applied Behavioural Analysis approaches, as well as utilizing strategies and tools in the Ministry Resource Guide Effective Educational Practices for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Ms. Check advised that the School Support Program Advisory committee has included service delivery and Connections Best Practices on meeting agendas (e.g. sharing of templates developed by lead boards).  She further advised that a Ministry teleconference with the Provincial Advisory Committee and 16 lead boards, along with AIP lead boards, will be held on September 22, 2009.  She said that each district school board lead and PAT members will give status updates.

Ms. Check reviewed the next steps, as follows:

•       compiling and providing all templates to all Principals in the system after Advisory committee meeting and Ministry teleconference
•       incorporating Connections for Students information, Best Practices and Effective Strategies and Approaches in system-wide professional development plan
•       finalize development of informative and user-friendly Inventory of Functional Skills and Strategies Checklist to augment Connections package and individual student’s transition plans

Mr. Gillam advised what projects the School to Community Coordinator, Senior Administrator, Deaf/Hard of Hearing and Blind/Low Vision Teacher, and the Special Education Program Coordinator were taking part in this year.

Principal Gillam provided an Individual Education Plan Update, as follows:

•       Phase 1 and Phase 2 completed – roll out this Fall
•       Continue to provide support to system – Math focus at SST/LPS Meetings
•       IEP review planned for Winter 2010 to align Educational Services support plan

Principal Gillam reported information about designated office spaces, noting that the satellite office at LaSalle Secondary School opened last year, and other satellite sites include: Napanee District Secondary School, Fairfield Elementary School, and Elginburg Public School.

Principal Gillam thanked SEAC members for their support of Educational Services.  He said that Educational Services believes strongly in their support of special education students.  He said that Educational Services staff needs to be a collaborative team, talking about helping our neediest children.

Kathy Bennett thanked Principal Gillam and Kristin Check for their updates.


Ms. Akey advised that correspondence was received from Susan Blekkenhorst, Chair, Special Education Advisory Committee, Lakehead District School Board, addressed to the Minister of Education, advising that the Lakehead District School Board SEAC supports the letter of concern from the Durham District School Board regarding funding for psychological/speech and language assessments, Bill 29 (Occupational Health and Safety Amendment Act (Harassment and Violence), 2007, and the proposed standards for accessible information and communication.

Supervising Principal is to bring forward the minutes from the Minister’s Advisory Council Special Education forward at a future meeting.

Association Updates

Kathy Bennett stated that this item is where concerns or input from SEAC representatives’ agencies are to be brought forward.  She said that is any SEAC member wishes to discuss an item, then the matter needs to be brought forward to the Secretary of the Board and Chair of the Board prior to the meeting.

Brad Shoniker

Brad Shoniker reported that Ongwanada will be going through the accreditation process in October.

Learning Disabilities Association of Kingston   

David Williams reported that a workshop, Assistive Technology, Tools for Learning, is being held on September 26, 2009, from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. at LCVI.  The workshop is being presented by Heidi Cramm.  He said that the fee for members is $5 and the fee for non-members is $10.

Mr. Williams advised that a workshop, Pediatric Anxiety and How It Interacts with ADHD and Learning Disabilities, is being held on October 17, 2009, at St. Lawrence College,  from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.  The workshop is being presented by Dr. Kevin Nugent.     

Mr. Williams reported that the organization is being restructured, since it received notice that there would be a halt to its funding.  He advised that they have been working with the United Way.  He said that he would provide an update at the October SEAC meeting.

Autism Society

Pat LaLonde reported that the Autism Society, Kingston Chapter, meets next week.

Other Business

        The following are a list of ideas for agenda items and presentations:

•       Training for SEAC
•       Information on ABA Instructional Strategies
•       RARC
•       Update on Outcomes of CODE and OPA projects
•       Safe Schools
•       Equity Inclusion
•       Aboriginal Education
•       Goals of Board
•       EQAO Results
•       Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
•       VOICE Project
•       Programs in Behaviour Learning Centres
•       Communication Pathways – Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
•       Holding a meeting at the Sharing Centre
•       Invitation from Hastings-Prince Edward District School Board to hold a meeting at their Board, Spring 2010
•       Invitation to employee who is on the Autism Disorder Spectrum to present about her disorder

In response to a question by David Williams, Ms. Akey said that she would be happy to share the Equity Inclusion Education Strategy directive from the Ministry that was given to boards for the next year at the next meeting.  She said that lead staff are looking for a member on the team.

Kathy Bennett stated that with regard to SEAC training, there is a comprehensive module available on the website  She suggested that SEAC members read through material to understand the roles and responsibilities of SEAC.  John Freeman suggested that after SEAC members have read through the modules, that they meet outside of the SEAC to do a follow-up.

Pat LaLonde said that at the last meeting, she provided Lynn Zoroldi’s name, and suggested that she may be able to provide SEAC training.  Ms. Akey said that Mx. Zoroldi is a member of the Minister’s Advisory Committee.  Kathy Bennett stated that they will investigate this matter further.

Marg Akey stated that she would provide a list of items to be discussed at future meetings for the next school year.

Next Meeting Date

The next meeting of the Special Education Advisory Committee is scheduled for Wednesday, October 21, at the Limestone Education Centre, 220 Portsmouth Avenue, Kingston, at 7:00 p.m.  The remaining 2009-2010 SEAC meeting schedule is as follows: November 18, 2009, December 9, 2009, January 20, 2010, February 17, 2010, March 24, 2010 (fourth Wednesday), April 21, 2010, May 19, 2010, and June 9, 2010 (second Wednesday).


MOVED BY Brad Shoniker, that the meeting adjourn at 8:30 p.m.–Carried