Your browser does not support JavaScript!
January 20, 2010 - Special Education Advisory Committee Minutes
Special Education Advisory Committee
January 20, 2010

A meeting of the Special Education Advisory Committee was held at the Limestone Education Centre, 220 Portsmouth Avenue, Kingston, on Wednesday, January 20, 2010, at 7:00 p.m.

Present Trustees:
Elaine Crawford, Co-Chair
Paul Murray
Present Staff:
Marg Akey, Supervising Principal
Drew Boyce, School-to-Community Coordinator
Kristin Check, Coordinator, Project Lead "Connections for Students"
Scot Gillam, Principal, Educational Services
Kathy McVety Kavanagh, Special Education Program Coordinator
Margo Virtue, Student School Counsellor
Steve Ward, Vice-Principal, Educational Services
Beth Woodley, Supervising Principal and Executive Assistant to the Director

Present Other:
Kathy Bennett, Community Living Kingston
Nadine Carson, Epilepsy Kingston Pat LaLonde, Autism Society
John Freeman, Member-at-Large (Queen’s University)
Brad Shoniker, Member-at-Large

Charlene Whalen, Family & Children’s Services, Lennox and Addington
David Williams, Learning Disabilities Association of Kingston

The meeting was chaired by Elaine Crawford, who welcomed those present to the meeting.  At 7:00 p.m. there was no quorum.  Co-Chair Crawford invited Supervising Principal Beth Woodley to share the information about the School Year Calendar.

School Year Calendar – Supervising Principal Beth Woodley

Beth Woodley, Executive Assistant to the Director and Supervising Principal, presented the Ontario Reg 304 School Year Calendar.

This calendar outlines the requirements for the preparation and submission of the school year calendar to the Ministry.  The calendar states that schools start on or after September 1st and end on or before June 30th.  There will be a minimum of 194 school days – instructional days + PA days = 194 school days.  The calendar requires nine holidays:  every Saturday and Sunday, Labour Day, Thanksgiving Day, 14 consecutive days for the
Christmas vacation, Family Day (3rd Monday of February), 5 consecutive days for March Break, Good Friday, Easter Monday and Victoria Day.

Other requirements involved request that a calendar is submitted which is approved by the Board of Trustees to the Ministry of Education by May 1st or March 1st if the calendar varies from the required dates/holidays set out in regulation and the regulation defines who must be consulted for a modified calendar.   Activities for PA days are specified in regulation.  A minimum of 2 PA days is required.  The Board may designate up to 4 more PA days; equation 194-PA days = Instructional days.  

The Ministry of Education sends out an electronic calendar and memo at the end of December.  The Board then begins their process for establishing a draft school year calendar early in January.  

The Tri-Board consortium meeting occurs in late January or early February.  Each Board in the consortium presents its draft calendar and all groups may express “must haves”.  The group then comes to a consensus and each Board representative reports back and then the group confirms that there is an agreed upon calendar to go forward for approval to the trustees of each Board.  

The draft calendar is recommended to the Board for their approval no later than the April Board meeting so that the May 1 submission deadline to the Ministry of Education can be met.  

For the year 2010 – 2011 there are a minimum of 194 school days which are required.  Labour Day is September 6th 2010 which leaves only 193 days available from September 7th 2010 to June 30th 2011. Therefore one day has to be found.   

SCS Program Exam Schedule – Supervising Principal Marg Akey

Marg Akey expressed that there was still some concern regarding the exam schedule.  Representatives were invited to meet with Community Living regarding the exam scheduling.  This will take place January 25th 2010 at 2:30 p.m. at Community Living.  The purpose of this meeting is to try and make the exam schedule messaging consistent across the Board.

At 7:15 p.m., quorum was attained and the Agenda moved ahead.  

Approval of Agenda

MOVED BY Elaine Crawford, seconded by Brad Shoniker, that the Agenda, as amended, be approved.  – Carried.

Approval of Minutes

MOVED BY Elaine Crawford, seconded by Brad Shoniker, that the minutes of the November 18th 2010 meeting, as distributed, be approved. – Carried.

Election of Agency Co-Chair     

Chair Crawford advised that Kathy Bennett had indicated that she would allow her name to stand for the Agency Co-Chair position.

MOVED BY Elaine Crawford that nominations be closed. – Carried.

Chair Crawford declared Kathy Bennett duly elected as the Agency Co-Chair.

Agency Representatives

Marg Akey reported that the names of the representative and alternate from the agencies will remain in effect until November 30th 2010, as they were appointed for the period December 1st 2009 to November 30th 2010.

John Freeman confirmed that he will remain as a member-at-large.

ABA Instructional Strategies – Kristin Check, Co-ordinator and CONNECTIONS Project Lead and Margo Virtue, Student School Counsellor

PPM 140 – Incorporating methods of applied behavior analysis (ABA) into programs for students with autism spectrum disorders.  There are two requirements that must be fulfilled:  
  • School boards must offer students with ASD special education programs and services including, where appropriate , special education programs  using ABA methods.
  • School board staff must plan for the transition between various activities and settings involving students with an ASD.  
What is ABA?

  •         ABA is an evidence-based practice meaning that it has significant and convincing empirical efficacy and support.
  •         ABA provides a systematic method and philosophy of applying learning principles that are widely used and accepted in our classroom.
  • ABA provides teachers with proven tools to influence behavior change, helping students to learn positive behavior and skills.
  • “Applied” means practice – the behaviors we target for change have real-life applications.
  • “Behavior” – we are working with real, observable and measurable behaviors.
  • “Analysis” decisions are based on objective data that is collected to help understand what effect the interventions have on the behavior.  
Is ABA a New Concept?  

The use of applied behavior analysis is not unique to the field of Autism.  In fact, ABA has been used effectively in many intervention programs to address the needs of a variety of populations and diagnosis.  There are programs used to decrease phobias, help someone quit smoking, or to teach someone to read.  

Steps in ABA

1.  Define the behavior or skill
2.  Establish a baseline
3.  Decide on and implement strategies
4.  Monitor, track and measure success
5.  Refine

The Tiered Approach

There are three tiered approaches:

Tier 1 – Instruction and assessment for all students.  Teacher observes, monitors the students progress and notes which students are experiencing difficulty.
Tier 2 – Interventions are planned. Progress and response to interventions are monitored and adjusted as needed.  
Tier 3 – More precise assessment and instruction.

Education and ABA

        - examine areas of need and areas of strength
        - involve assessment, goal setting instruction and evaluation

        - terminology
        - methods of data collections

Terminology was explained in two ways:  Educational terms and ABA terms.

Educational Terms                               ABA Terms

Annual Goal                                     Behavioral Goal

Learning Expectation                            Learning Objective

Teaching Strategies                             Prompting, Shaping, Task Analysis, Chaining, Reinforcement,
                                                        Modeling, Discrete Trial Training

Assessment Methods                              Data Collection

Translating ABA to Education

ABA Language    Education Terms

Reinforcer                      Reward
Intervention            Teaching Strategy
Chining                 Scaffolding
Task Analysis           Chunking
Modeling                        Demonstrating
Data collection                 Observation, Tracking, etc.

How do we support staff in implementing ABA approaches?

  • Enhancing awareness of ASD
  • Modeling and Coaching of student specific strategies
  • Provision of resources
  • Data collection
  • Attend team meetings
  • Social Skills group
Collaboration and Partnerships

Autism Intervention Program
Provider of Intensive Behavior Intervention
Expertise in the design and implementation of ABA

School Support Program
Consultants trained in ABA
Work in partnership with school board

School Board
SSC with ABA Portfolio
Autism Team
Support to in school teams
Connection Lead
Transition Support

Additional Agency and Community Partnerships include:  AO, L&A FCS, Ongwanda, CLK, CMHA, LARC, CEC

Enhancing Awareness and Expertise

  • October 23rd 2009 – Effective Practices for Secondary
  • October 29th 2009 – ABLLS – Training
  • December 9th 2009 – Educational Assistant Course
  • December 10th 2009 – SST, LPS and Clinical Staff
  • January 29th 2010 – Secondary SCS Teachers
  • February 8th 2010 – Harrowsmith Staff Meeting
  • April 23rd 2010 – Geneva Centre Workshop (Connections Team reps, LPS, District Team)
  • April 29th and 30th – Geneva Centre Training for Educational Assistants
  •         Ongoing school request for workshops and training
  •         SST LPS 6 week Course
  •         Board Exceptionality Courses
Pat LaLonde indicated that April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day and requested that the Limestone District School Board do something to acknowledge this day.  Kristin Check stated that since April 2nd is Good Friday, they would do something on another day.

Elaine Crawford thanked both Kristin Check and Margo Virtue for providing this information.  

Joint Submission to the Standing Committee on Social Policy Re:  Bill 168, the Occupational Health and Safety Amendment Act (Violence and Harassment in the Workplace), 2009

Marg Akey stated that the attached submission regarding Bill 168 was to be shared with SEAC members for information purposes.  The submission talks about what school boards have in place regarding safe schools and policies.  The agenda refers to workplace violence and harassment.  

Educational Services Update – Principal Scot Gillam

Principal Scot Gillam welcomed everyone.

Special Equipment Amount (SEA)

  • 140 claims have been processed to this date in the school year – 133 claims were processed in the full school year 08-09  
  • over 400 claims pending
  • training in SEA ongoing and focused on supporting other students where applicable and feasible
Program Coordinator

  • Differentiated Instruction Update – DI plans at many of our elementary and secondary schools are being implemented
  •         Principal Inservice – February 24th and 25th – Focus on DI and Learning for all K-12
Developmental Disabilities Course – beginning this winter
Student Support Teacher/Learning Program Support Course – running again until the Spring of 2010

Autism Supports

  • Autism Program Review – a variety of stakeholders met on January 19th to review the Autism Program and the supports to the system.  Follow up will be occurring at both the elementary and secondary levels
  •         Building Bridges – transition support for students with ASD going from Grad 8 – 9 is beginning once again in January
  • ABA Supports – plans for EA, school team training is being formulated presently
  • Curriculum Council – January 20th – Comprehensive Literacy Programming
  • Connections Updates – January 22nd is the next Provincial Meeting – support package being finalized, update to Regional Special Education meeting on January 27th in Brockville
  • Preschool Transition Process is beginning
  •         Joint Autism/School to Community Services Team Meeting – January 12th – focus on planning upcoming January 29th PD opportunity for secondary School to
  • Community Teachers, begin transition planning, streamlining of services, Joint Curriculum Council Planning
School to Community Services Supports

  • 3 Ls Project (Big Books) update – a copy of all 3 books is in every elementary and secondary school
  • Curriculum Council – January 11th – Dr. C. Greene provided information on making links between WISC-IV and IEP goals and measurable learning expectations
School to Community/Autism Team – Preschool Transition Workshop at CDC for parents – Algonquin and Community Living representation also

Computer Resource Teacher

  • January 22nd – IEP and Report Card presentation to B. Ed. Candidates at Queen’s
  • January 28th – IEP Presentation to Queen’s 3rd Year Concurrent B. Ed. Students
School Training – Premier Accessibility Suite and Talking Word Processor
Dragon Naturally Speaking – Ministry Licensed – lots of opportunities to train staff

Senior Administrator

  • Review of Safety Audits completed last year at our District Learning Centers and Adult Education Centers – focus will be on reviewing goals and addressing new areas of concern
Future Events

  • Secondary School to Community Teachers – January 29th – Focus on ABA Strategies in the am and Transitions in the p.m.
  •         SST/LPS Meeting – February 25th – Focus on supporting students with LD
  • Assessment and Evaluation – Session 1 – Guidance Heads, Lead Success Teachers and LPS – March 23rd – Session 2 on April 27th – Session 3 – May 14th
  • February 1st PA Day – am focus on Special Education – continue with system support for writing IEPs that are measurable – feedback for Educational Services so that we can provide specific interventions to aid in this goal
  • February 1st PA Day – District Learning Centre and Section 23 PD – focus on IEPs in the a.m. and presentation from Dr. Sean Phillips – p.m. focus on Essential Elements for Section 23 classes
  • Cross Panel Teams – May 7th and 11th – Grade 8 rep., Grade 9 rep., SST, LPS, Lead Success Teachers, etc.
  • IEP Review – collect representation of IEPs across the board – purpose – to continue to develop support plans from Educational Services to assist teachers in writing succinct, purposeful and meaningful IEPs – will occur in late winter, early spring of 2010
Principal Scot Gillam stated that he was proud of the work being done.   

Elaine Crawford thanked Principal Gillam for his presentation and stated that she was always amazed at how much work was being done.   


As noted in the November SEAC meeting, Kathy Bennett shared that there had been a number of letters received by the Limestone DSB SEAC regarding funding and removal of the Ontario Psychological Association Project (OPA) funding.  LDSB SEAC has drafted a letter to the Minister.  It was circulated at the meeting for review to see if anyone had anything to add.  There were no additions.   

Kathy Bennett stated that all SEAC’s in Ontario will be added to the distribution list on the letter and everyone agreed.  It was suggested that Premier McGuinty, the leaders of the NDP and Conservative Parties and their Education Critics should also be added to the distribution list of the letter.

Association Updates

A contract is being designed to follow students progress from grade 9 onwards for eight years.  The purpose of this is to find out what happens to the students after they leave high school.    

Autism Ontario is hosting a hockey tournament at the end of April and all proceeds will go to Autism Ontario.  They are looking for donations for the prize tables.  

Other Business

On February 17th our guest speaker will talk about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder.    

On March 24th Lynn Ziraldo will be speaking at 7 p.m.  New members are invited.

On April 21st items to be discussed include budget, special education planning, any suggestions for new directions.

On May 27th meeting will be held at Hastings-Prince Edward District School Board.  We will discuss this at a later meeting date regarding car pooling and RSVP.  Limestone District School Board will attend this meeting.

Next Meeting Date

The next meeting of the SEAC Committee is to be held on Wednesday February 17th 2010 at the LDSB Education Centre.


MOVED BY Brad Shoniker, seconded by Elaine Crawford that the meeting adjourn at 8:30 p.m.-Carried