Your browser does not support JavaScript!
March 24, 2010 - Special Education Advisory Committee Minutes
Special Education Advisory Committee
March 24, 2010

        A meeting of the Special Education Advisory Committee was held at the Limestone Education Centre, 220 Portsmouth Avenue, Kingston, on Wednesday, March 24, 2010, at 6:00~p.m.

Present Trustees:
Elaine Crawford, Co-Chair
Helen Brown
Present Members:
Kathy Bennett, Community Living Kingston
Nadine Carson, Epilepsy Kingston
John Freeman, Member-at-Large (Queen’s University)
Pat LaLonde, Autism Ontario
Brad Shoniker, Member-at-Large
Kelly Henry, Family & Children’s Services, Lennox and Addington
David Williams, Learning Disabilities Association of Kingston
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
Darlene Kirkpatrick, Recording Secretary
Paula Murray, Trustee
Joan Young, Student Trustee
Charlene Whalen, Family & Children’s Services, Lennox and Addington
Kathy McVety-Kavanagh, Special Education Program Coordinator
Steve Ward, Vice-Principal, Educational Services

        The meeting was chaired by Trustee Crawford, who welcomed those present to the meeting, especially the SEAC representatives from the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board, and the Hastings-Prince Edward District School Board.  She also welcomed Lynn Ziraldo, who was present to provide SEAC Training this evening.

        Those present introduced themselves.

Approval of Agenda

        MOVED BY Brad Shoniker, seconded by John Freeman, that the agenda, as distributed, be approved.–Carried

Approval of Minutes

        MOVED BY Brad Shoniker, seconded by Nadine Carson, that the minutes of the February 17, 2010 meeting, as distributed, be approved.–Carried


        Ms. Akey referred to a letter received from Julie Williams, Acting Director, Special Education Policy and Programs Branch, Ministry of Education, advising of the information the Minister of Education would like to share, and referring to the letter from the Minister of Education where she personally thanks SEACs for their contribution and commitment to improving services and programs for students with special education needs.  The letter from the Minister notes that the Ministry of Education is committed to ensuring that SEACs are provided with the appropriate information and resources to continue to provide assistance to school boards in supporting the needs of children with special needs.  The letter also indicates that in an effort to support SEACs in this role, the Ministry has identified opportunities to improve communication and information sharing with SEACs.

        Ms. Akey referred to the Minister’s letter, drawing SEAC members’ attention to paragraph 3, which states:

        “The ministry is currently in the process of reviewing the SEAC e-learning website.  At this time, we are asking that SEAC chairs facilitate a discussion with their members about the website during a SEAC meeting and provide feedback and suggestions on how it can be utilized to be a more effective source of information for SEAC members.  The SEAC e-learning website can be found at along with information on how to provide the ministry with your feedback.”

        Ms. Akey stated that this matter is timely for us as when the LDSB SEAC looked at SEAC website training in the fall, members determined that they would prefer to have someone attend a SEAC meeting to provide the training.  She said that at the April 21, 2010 SEAC meeting, the matter of the Ministry’s SEAC e-learning website to determine the feedback they can provide to the Ministry, will be discussed.

SEAC Training – Lynn Ziraldo

        Kathy Bennett introduced Lynn Ziraldo, noting that her background is extensive with regard to special education.  She advised that Ms. Ziraldo is present at this evening’s meeting in order to provide SEAC training.

        Ms. Ziraldo thanked SEAC members for the invitation to provide SEAC training this evening.   She said that she is the parent of two adult children who have special needs.  She advised that she is currently the Executive Director of the Learning Disabilities Association of York Region.  Ms. Ziraldo stated that she has been involved with the Association for many years at the local, provincial, and national levels.  She has represented learning disabilities and/or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder on numerous committees/task forces on education, health, social and legal issues throughout York Region, Ontario, Canada, and the United States.

        Ms. Ziraldo indicated that she was a torch bearer with regard to the Olympics, and that she was really pleased to be one.

        Ms. Ziraldo said that special education has been her passion, stating that she believes that SEACs are needed, and they are present for a reason.  She said that these are the conversations we need today to bring down the boundaries.

        Ms. Ziraldo provided SEAC training.

        Trustee Crawford thanked Ms. Ziraldo for her excellent presentation and training, presenting her with a small gift in appreciation for her attending this evening’s meeting.

Association Updates

Learning Disabilities Association of Kingston

        David Williams reported that a workshop, ADHD Facts and Myths: Focusing the Energy, will be held March 31, 2010, from 7-9 p.m. at the Ongwanada Resource Centre, Kingston.  The keynote speaker is Dr. Kenny Handelman, Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatrist, Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry, UWO.  Admission is free, and if anyone wishes to register, they should call 613.545.0373, or they can register on-line at

        Mr. Williams advised that the Turning Blue Bluegrass Concert Series continues, noting that there is a performance taking place tonight, and the next one is being held on April 21, 2010.  The event takes place at Christ Church Cataraqui, 990 Sydenham Road, Kingston, beginning at 7:00 p.m.  Advance tickets are $20 per person, and they are $23 at the door.

        Mr. Williams advised that LDAK continues to look for new office space.

Autism Ontario-Kingston

        Pat LaLonde shared information about an Autism Workshop being held in Kingston on March 31, 2010, at the Invista Centre, for First Responders during the day, and for Parents, Caregivers, Teachers, Educational Assistants, etc. in the evening.  She advised that Dennis Debbaudt is a leader in this area, and that he will be the speaker at the workshop.  She further advised that Dennis will then be in Ottawa the next day to kick off 911 Going Live for Autism.

        Pat LaLonde advised that April is Autism Awareness Month, and April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD), and she encouraged everyone to wear blue on Friday, April 2nd in recognition of WAAD.

        Ms. LaLonde reported that Autism Ontario-Kingston is hosting a Theatre Night, called “A Red Letter Day” on April 7, 2010, at 8:00 p.m. at the Baby Grand, to raise much needed funds for autism.

        Ms. Lalonde advised that the Leftovers Hockey League  hockey tournament, in support of autism, is being held Monday, April 5th to Saturday, April 12th at the Strathcona Paper Centre in Napanee.  She indicated that that they are still looking for prizes for this event.

Epilepsy Kingston

        Nadine Carson advised that March 26 is Epilepsy Awareness Day, and she encouraged people to wear purple.
Next Meeting Date

        The next meeting of the Special Education Advisory Committee is scheduled for Wednesday, April 21, 2010.  The remaining meetings for the 2009-2010 school year are scheduled for May 27, 2010 (fourth Thursday), and June 9, 2010 (second Wednesday).  The May~27, 2010 meeting is a Joint Meeting of the Hastings-Prince Edward District School Board and the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board, and the meeting will be held at the Hastings-Prince Edward DSB office, Belleville.  Committee members were asked to RSVP by the April SEAC meeting with regard to their attendance at the May 27th meeting.  Dinner will be provided at 5:45 p.m., and Dr. Nasreen Roberts will provide a presentation at that meeting.


        MOVED BY Brad Shoniker, seconded by Pat LaLonde, that the meeting adjourn at 9:00~p.m.–Carried