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September 15, 2010 - Special Education Advisory Committee Minutes
Special Education Advisory Committee
September 15, 2010

A meting of the Special Education Advisory Committee was held at the Limestone Education Centre, 220 Portsmouth Avenue, Kingston, on Wednesday, September 15, 2010, at 7:00 p.m.
Present Trustees:
Elaine Crawford, Co-Chair
Paula Murray
Present Members:
Kathy Bennett, Community Living Kingston
Nadine Carson, Epilepsy Kingston
Pat LaLonde, Autism Ontario
Andrea Martin, Member-at-Large (Queen’s University)
Brad Shoniker, Member-at-Large
Gail Smith, Alternate, Learning Disabilities Association of Kingston
Charlene Whalen, Family & Children’s Services, Lennox and Addington
David Williams, Learning Disabilities Association of Kingston

Present Staff:
Marg Akey, Supervising Principal
Kristin Check, Coordinator/Project Leads                                 
Scot Gillam, Principal, Educational Services
Darlene Kirkpatrick, Recording Secretary
Kathy McVety-Kavanagh, Special Education Program Coordinator
Mark Ryan, District Assistive Technology Resource Teacher
Alexis Stefanovich-Thomson, District Autism Resource Teacher
Steve Ward, Vice-Principal, Educational Services

        The meeting was chaired by Kathy Bennett, who welcomed those present to the meeting.  Those present introduced themselves.
        Ms. Bennett congratulated Brad Shoniker on his recent marriage.

Approval of Agenda

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

Approval of Minutes

        MOVED BY Brad Shoniker, seconded by Trustee Murray, that the minutes of the June 9, 2010 meeting, as distributed, be approved.–Carried

Co-Chair’s Remarks

        Kathy Bennett commented on the following goals for SEAC:  recruiting agency alternates, as well as more members, and developing a handbook for members.  She suggested that perhaps subcommittees could be established to work on the above-noted goals.

        Marg Akey referred to LDSB Policy 10 (Committees of the Board), Section 5.1.3 which outlines the membership of the SEAC, as follows:

•     Two Trustees, two alternates
•     One representative from each of the local associations, not to exceed twelve, to be nominated by the respective associations and appointed by the Board
•     One alternate for each representative, nominated by each local association and appointed by the Board
•     The Director and/or designates
•     One or more additional community members who are not representatives of a local association.

        Ms. Akey suggested that some of the agencies with whom the school board partners could be contacted to see if they would be interested in having a representative from their organization become a member of SEAC.

        Ms. Akey advised that the term for the current SEAC will end on November 30, 2010; and therefore, the current members would need to ask their agencies/organizations to nominate them, sending a letter to her advising her of the person’s name.  They would then be appointed by the Board.

Structure of SEAC Agenda

        Committee members reviewed a sample agenda that Lynn Ziraldo presented to SEAC on March 24, 2010.  Following discussion, Committee members believed the existing LDSB SEAC agenda template is reflective of the sample agenda, and therefore, no changes were made.

Educational Services Update

        Scot Gillam welcomed members to the first SEAC meeting of the new school year, and thanked them for their support last year.  He said that the startup has been busy.

        Mr. Gillam commented on the Educational Assistant placement meeting, noting that this year it was held at the end of June.  He said that having the meeting at the end of June, rather than in August (as in previous years) seemed to work well, noting that there was not a lot of student movement over the summer.  He said that Educational Services has been busy problem solving around student moves and students with special education needs new to schools.

        Mr. Gillam introduced Mark Ryan, the District Assistive Technology Resource Teacher.  He said that we believe that assistive technology is a good teaching strategy for all students.  He commented that the work Educational Services does aligns with the Board’s Strategic Plan.  He indicated that Educational Services supports teachers and students to access curriculum properly.

        Mr. Gillam reported on the September 2nd PA Day, Educational Services staff addressed “21st Century Learning” and what our classrooms will look like.  He said that Educational Services is moving student achievement forward in whatever role they play.  He explained how the day rolled out, indicating that those at the September 2nd PA Day were provided with an overview of all the things Educational Services is involved in to support the system.

        Mr. Gillam provided an Educational Services update, as follows:

Ministry Goals

•     Increased student achievement
•     Reduced gaps in student achievement
•     Increased public confidence in publicly funded education

Ministry Special Education Goals

•     Improved student achievement and well-being
•     Increased capacity of schools to effectively meet the needs of all learners
•     support the development and implementation of effective IEPs
•     Improved balance between teaching and learning and required processes and documentation

Learning For All

•     Still in draft format
•     Final Version in 2010-2011
•     What Drives Education Services
•     All Students Can Achieve
•     One Size Does Not Fit All
•     Criteria for Achievement
•     Tiered Approach

Equity and Inclusion

Ministry Goal:
An equitable, inclusive education system is fundamental to achieving these priorities, and is recognized internationally as critical to delivering a high quality education for all learners.

Board Strategic Goals

•     Improve achievement and success for all students.
•     Foster health and wellness in safe environments for students and staff.
•     Ensure fiscal responsibility and further develop the efficient use of resources.
•     Develop and improve work practice and leadership through professional learning.
•     Prepare for future system changes and plan for environmental sustainability.
•     Strengthen communication and engagement with parents/guardians, educational and community partners and the public.

Board Improvement Plan

•     Special Education Branch of the EDU, with LNS and student Success are ensuring that the achievement of students with special education needs are included in the Board Improvement Plans (BIPs)
•     Educational Services will provide key information in the formation of BIP goals, strategies and next steps
•     Educational Services Strategy Sessions

Ministry – Special Education Update

•     Achievement of Students with Special Education Needs

        Ms. Akey stated that we are very happy with the assessment results of Grade 3 and 6 students with special education needs, noting that they had done wonderfully on the EQAO assessments.   She indicated that LDSB students with special education needs continue to perform well in relation to the provincial average. She said that of note, the percentage of Grade 3 students with special education needs reaching the provincial standard increased from 37% to 46% in Writing.  She reported that the percentage of Grade 3 students with special education needs who met the standard in Writing improved this year, and are 1% above the Provincial average.
        Ms. Akey said that similarly, the Grade 6 LDSB students with special education needs continue to perform well in relation to the Provincial average.  She advised that the percentage of Grade 6 students with special education needs who met the standard in Reading improved by 2% this year (4% above the Province), by 5% in Writing (6% above the Province), and by 4% in Mathematics (2% above the Province).  She said that the proportion of students writing all Grade 6 assessments increased this year and the participation rate of LDSB students with special education needs is now approximately the same as the Province.

        Ms. Akey advised that in 2009-2010, there were 24% of LDSB students identified with Special Education Needs, which is 6% higher than the provincial average.

        Ms. Akey congratulated Educational Services staff on the results, noting that the students with special education needs achieved so well as a result of all the work Educational Services staff does.

        Ms. Akey stated that with regard to the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT), 28% of the students who wrote the test had special education needs, noting that 79% of all students in LDSB were successful the first time around, and that was above the provincial average.  She said that very few individuals deferred the writing of the OSSLT.

        Ms. Akey said that the Grade 9 students with special education needs are doing Applied Mathematics, and that we are finding the participation rate is higher.  She said that we are finding that those achieving level 1 are decreasing and those achieving levels 2 and 4 are increasing.

        Mr. Gillam continued with the following Educational Services update information:

•     Collaborative Service Delivery Model (CSDM) for Student with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)
•     Behavioural Expertise Amount (BEA)
•     Early Learning Program – 8 sites
•     Mental Health and Addictions
•     MOHLTC – July 2009 – Every Door is the Right Door – sets out a framework for a proposed mental health and addictions strategy
•     Special Education Branch of EDU is involved in decisions to support roll out plans
•     Student Support Leadership Initiative (SSLI) – joint initiative of EDU and MCYS – extended for this year
•     Goal – community partners to develop joint referral processes with schools, boards and child and youth mental health agencies
•     Demonstration Project – Working Together for Kids’ Mental Health
•     EDU, MCYS and MOHLTC – improve the ability of professionals across sectors to identify and respond to indicators of mental health needs in children and youth
•     A review of common assessment tools as screens for children and youth with mental health and addictions issues
•     April 2010-March 2011 in four communities involving up to 10 schools
•     Follow-up from Ministries following the completion of the project


•     Dispute Resolution Pilot Project – based on Shared Solutions – A Guide to Preventing and Resolving Conflicts Regarding Programs and Services for Students with Special Education Needs
        •     pilot began in 2007 – Provincial Advisory Committee submit a report this spring
•     Special Education Advisory Committee (SEACs) Capacity Building Projects
•     Barrier Free Education Initiatives for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students
•     VOICE Ontario School Board Training and Mentorship Program – Auditory-Verbal Mentorship Training Program (AVT) to train teachers of the Deaf in the auditory-verbal approach – Eva Carlin and Terry Farrell
•     CODE – JK-1 Assessment and Intervention Strategies – Hastings-Prince Edwards DSB was lead board – Phonological Awareness Training – information shared with CODE for final report in July 2011 – continues to inform our work with SSTs and Special Education teachers
•     Parent Engagement – March 2010 – reorganization and enhancement to the special education section of its website – considered also in revisions to the Guide

Resource Documents

Learning For All K-12 – gathering feedback and resources developed by lead boards for final version – 2010-2011 school year

Caring and Safe Schools in Ontario: Supporting Students with Special Education Needs Through Progressive Discipline, K-12 – a resource guide to assist school and system leaders to promote a safe and caring school culture and to provide information about strategies and resources to help address behaviour challenges with students with special education needs – released last week

Supporting English Language Learners with Special Education Needs: A Practical Guide for Ontario Educators, K-12 – in development

Draft Guidelines for Programs and Services for Students who are Deaf/HH (K-12) – effective practices for district school boards when providing support and services – released may 2010 – developing further guides for students who are Blind and one for students with LD

Special Education Guide (2011)  – reflect current regulations, policy directions, effective practices, etc. – Spring 2011

Individual Education Plan (IEP), A Resource Guide (2004) – revised and released in Spring 2011

Assessing Achievement in Alternative Areas (A4) – lots of great work from LDSB in this area – Drew Boyce, Carrie Guy and Jessi Lalonde – 2010-11 – Special Education department will finalize provincial guidelines and share the findings of the regional projects


P/PM ?? – Special Education department is working on a P/PM on the planning of effective transitions for students with special education needs

P/PM 149 – Protocol for Partnerships with External Agencies for the Provision of Services by Regulated Health Professionals, Regulated Social Service Professionals, and Paraprofessionals – LDSB protocol is complete and roll out will occur in 2010-2011

Early Learning

•     8 sites – Westdale Park, Sharbot Lake, Frontenac, Centreville, Perth Road, NAEC, Prince Charles (Verona) and First Avenue Public Schools
•     Early Childhood Educators hired and working with teaching staff in various PD opportunities this summer
•     Special Needs Community Work Group – Transition to School Protocol, Community Services, Early Intervention Teams
•     CCAC, Public Health (Early Expressions), Hotel Dieu, Community Living Kingston, Child Care, Educational Services staff, Pathways

Growing Success

•     Growing Success Assessment, Evaluation, and Reporting in Ontario Schools (2010) – K-12
•     reporting implications – progress report in Fall, Report Card #1 in Winter 2011 and Report Card #2 in Spring 2011
•     special education implications – adjustments to School to Community Reporting processes and looking at the Reporting of Alternative Curriculum – more information to come


•     SEA – significant changes in funding – working through a protocol – currently a moratorium of the submission of SEA claims and the initiation of CCAC referrals for assistive technology until protocol can be created with the support of Educational Services, IT and other community agencies
•     SIP – continuing process with a few minor adjustments including a three-year span for health claims

Section 23 Update

•     PDD–LD (former APPLE) Program Changes – now located at Central PS
•     IBI Program – J.G. Simcoe PS

Training for Educational Assistants

•     Y Training
•     August 30–September 2
•     Created and facilitated by Educational Services Staff – lead – Lynne Rousseau
•     28 Educational Assistants

Program Links

•     Elementary Program Team – Scot Gillam, Kathy McVety-Kavanagh, Kristin Check
•     Secondary Program Team – Steve Ward, Kathy McVety-Kavanagh
•     Joint Program Team – Marg Akey, Scot Gillam, Steve Ward, Kathy McVety-Kavanagh, Kristin Check

Enrichment Studies Stats

•     SEEDS – Commuter Program – Winter 2010 – 78
•     Residence Program – May/June 2010 – 4
•     Commuter Program – June 2010 – 46

•     E=MC² – Commuter Program – May 2010 – 38
•     Residence Program – May 2010 – 5

•     Significant increase in LDSB numbers from previous years

Grade 8/9 High Risk Transitions Framework

•     2nd year of framework
•     Educational Services staff have supported the transition of over 60 “at risk” students from elementary to secondary

Secondary Autism Support Teacher

•     Built upon the success of the LCVI Pilot Project and Review Process last spring
•     Semester 1 – KCVI and LCVI
•     Semester 2 – Bayridge SS and LCVI
•     Geneva – huge success with over 25 staff attending the session

Professional Learning

•     SST/LPS – September 21 – Discussion of A4, Brigance – new Green Brigance – one for every school, Phonological Awareness
•     Elementary Principals – same
•     Bus Driver Training – mental health, ASD, and safety procedures - NAEC – October 30th
•     Tech Teachers – Differentiated Instruction

Educational Services Courses

•     Educational Assistant Course
•     SST/LPS – Fall 2010 – Round 1
•     Autism Exceptionality Course – Fall 2010
•     Learning Disabilities – Spring 2011
•     Special Education – Part 2 – ETFO – 50+ people interested

Community Partners’ Meetings – October 7th, 2010

        Mr. Gillam stated that Educational Services staff are very excited to be working with their partners in SEAC this year.

Ministry of Education Public Website about Special Education

        Kathy Bennett referred to the Ministry of Education’s Public Website about Special Education and asked if anyone had feedback about the site.  

        Brad Shoniker suggested that once Committee members have reviewed the website, and if they have any comments to let the Chair know.

        Committee members agreed that this item be referred to the October 20, 2010 meeting of SEAC under the “Business Arising From the Minutes” section.

SEAC elearning website

        Kathy Bennett referred to the elearning website www.seac-learning-ca and asked Committee members to review the site.  She indicated that this item is to be referred to the October 20, 2010 meeting of SEAC under the “Business Arising From the Minutes” section.


        Ms. Bennett advised that a letter was received from The Honourable Leona Dombrowsky, Minister of Education, dated June 4, 2010, in response to SEAC’s letter about special education funding, including the Measures of Variability (MOV) amount and the Ontario Psychological Association (OPA) Student Assessment Project.  Minister Dombrowsky indicates that the government is committed to developing a more effective special education funding system, and she outlines what the Ministry is doing in her letter.

Association Updates

Family and Children’s Services, Lennox and Addington

        Charlene Whalen reported that Family and Children’s Services, Lennox and Addington hosted a children’s summer camp in their new administrative building in Napanee.

        Ms. Bennett thanked Ms. Whalen for her report.

Brad Shoniker

        Mr. Shoniker reported that there are three psychological interns doing their PhD internship at Ongwanada, noting that they will help to provide services at Ongwanada.

        Ms. Bennett thanked Mr. Shoniker for his report.

Learning Disabilities Association of Kingston

        David Williams advised that the LDAK office has moved to 993 Princess Street, Unit 110, and that their telephone number is 613-546-8524.  He advised that there office will be open Tuesday through Thursday from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

        Mr. Williams indicated that they applied for and received a grant for an after school math tutoring program for Grade 6 students.

        Mr. Williams advised that LDAK is hosting a fall workshop, October 23, 2010, at St. Lawrence College in Kingston.  He reported that the morning workshop is about working with teenagers with AD/HD and the afternoon workshop is about Math teaching strategies.  He said information about the day can be accessed through their website.

        Ms. Bennett thanked Mr. Williams for providing the above-mentioned update.

Epilepsy Kingston

        Nadine Carson reported that Epilepsy Kingston survived its consultation from the United Way, noting that the consultation allowed them to look at everything they did.  She further reported that they have three new Board members that have experience in governance.

        Ms. Carson advised that their Homework Club is running on Saturday mornings from 9:00 a.m. until 12 noon at their office.

        Ms. Bennett thanked Ms. Carson for providing the above-noted information.

Autism Ontario

        Pat LaLonde reported that October is Autism Awareness month in Canada.  She further reported that their chapter applied for and received a Trillium grant that has allowed them to advertise and interview to hire a part-time person to run their office.

        Ms. LaLonde indicated that the opening of their office will be held October 2, 2010, from 1:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. at the Canadian Mental Health Office, located at 6 Ordnance Street, Kingston.

        Ms. LaLonde reported that the deadline to apply for the ASUS Queen’s Buddy Program is Friday, September 17, 2010, and that they are having an event October 3, 2010.  She further reported that the Awesome Possums Group will soon be up and running and they have received money to buy legos to support their Lego Club.  She advised that a Support Meeting will be held October 19th; there is a playtrium event October 22nd, and swimming at Artillery Park October 30th.  Ms. Lalonde indicated that they are holding an event “Wagon Rides” on October 10th and 11th at the Cataraqui Region Conservation Area.

        Ms. Bennett thanked Ms. LaLonde for her update.

Community Living Kingston

        Kristin Check advised that Community Living Kingston will be in accreditation review beginning in October.  She said that they have been actively soliciting for Community Living and an orientation binder has been developed for Community Living Kingston.

Andrea Martin

        Ms. Martin, Faculty of Education, Queen’s University, stated that she is delighted to be on the Committee, noting that she is taking John Freeman’s place while he is on sabbatical.

Other Business

        David Williams advised that he received a letter from Christy Falkenberg, a financial advisor from Edward Jones, who wanted to speak to a variety of constituencies about the kind of benefits they would have.   Mr. Williams indicated that he will tell Ms. Falkenberg that she should approach each agency individually.

Agenda Items

        The following items were suggested as items for future agendas:

•     Early Learning Programs presentation to focus on students with special education needs
•     Crown Ward Championship Team
•     Report Cards - work we have done with CAS and Family Services – partnership around report card data
•     Growing Success regarding students with special education needs
•     Caring and Safe Schools Resource Guide
•     Visit and highlights of programs – Deferred Autism Program, PDD-LD Program for Autism Intervention Program
•     IEP Review
•     Initiatives around IEPs
•     P/PM 140 information – we are distilling parent survey – will share information
•     Impact on Connections Program on those schools looking at new guidelines for Deaf/HH
•     Sharing of Safe Schools, Equity and Inclusive Education and ITS plans
•     Assistive Technology/Smart Boards
•     Community Living Presentation

October 20th Agenda – feedback about two websites (see items above referred to October 20, 2010 meeting); Caring and Schools; Capacity Building Information; Community Living Orientation Handbook
November 17th Agenda – Looking at 21st Century Classrooms
January Agenda – IEP Update and Assistive Technology Presentation

Next Meeting Date

        The next meeting of the Special Education Advisory Committee is scheduled for Wednesday, October 20, 2010, at 7:00 p.m. at the Limestone Education Centre, 220 Portsmouth Avenue, Kingston.  The remaining meetings for the 2010-2011 school year are scheduled for: November 17, 2010, December 8, 2010 (second Wednesday), January 19, 2011, February 16, 2011, March 25, 2011 (4th Wednesday), April 20, 2011, My 25, 2011 (4th Wednesday), June 8, 2011 (2nd Wednesday).


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