Special Education Advisory Committee
January 19, 2011
A meeting of the Special Education Advisory Committee was held at the Limestone Education Centre, 220 Portsmouth Avenue, Kingston, on Wednesday, January 19, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.
P. Murray, Co-Chair
D. Jackson, Alternate
Nadine Carson, Epilepsy Kingston
Gail Eaton-Smith, Alternate, Learning Disabilities
Karen Jeffrey, Lennox and Addington Resources for Children
Pat LaLonde, Autism Ontario
Andrea Martin, Member-at-Large (Queen’s University)
Anne Peace-Fast, Member-at-Large
Brad Shoniker, Member-at-Large
Charlene Whalen, Family & Children’s Services, Lennox and Addington
Marg Akey, Supervising Principal
Drew Boyce, School to Community Coordinator
Kristin Check, Coordinator/Projects Lead
Shelley Farndon, Teacher, Lord Strathcona PS
Carrie Guy, School to Community Teacher, LCVI
Paula Freeman Boyd, Occasional Teacher, LDSB
Scot Gillam, Principal, Educational Services
Jessi Lalonde, School to Community Teacher, Westdale Park PS
Alison McDonnell, Principal,
Rideau Heights PS
Kathy McVety-Kavanaugh, Special Education Program Coordinator
Alexis Stefanovich-Thomson, District Autism Resource Teacher
Steve Ward, Vice-Principal
Kathy Bennett, Community Living Kingston
David Williams, Learning Disabilities Association of Kingston
The meeting was chaired by Trustee Murray, who welcomed those present to the meeting, especially our newest member Anne Peace-Fast, and staff members Paula Freeman-Boyd and Shelley Farndon, who have expressed an interest in SEAC. Those present introduced themselves.
Supervising Principal introduced Alison McDonnell, Principal at Rideau Heights Public School, who will be assuming her portfolio as Supervising Principal on February 1, 2011, as a result of her retirement.
Supervising Principal Akey thanked SEAC members for their effective and sufficient support of the students with special education needs in the system. She said that staff has also been very supportive, and she thanked them.
Approval of Agenda
MOVED BY Brad Shoniker, seconded by Charlene Whalen, that the agenda, as distributed, be approved.–Carried
Approval of Minutes
MOVED BY Brad Shoniker, seconded by Karen Jeffrey, that the minutes of the December 8, 2010 meeting, as distributed, be approved.–Carried
Business Arising From the Minutes
Formation of Subcommittee Re: Orientation Package for SEAC Members
Kathy Bennett, Charlene Whalen, Kristin Check, and Pat LaLonde agreed to be part of the Subcommittee Re: Orientation Package for SEAC Members.
Trustee Murray indicated that some dates will be circulated with regard to the first meeting date via e-mail in the near future.
LDSB Strategic Plan – Feedback
Trustee Murray stated that if anyone has any feedback with regard to the LDSB Strategic Plan, to please forward it to Supervising Principal Akey’s office before the next meeting.
Election of Association Co-Chair
Marg Akey indicated that Kathy Bennett had expressed an interest in being the Co-Chair. No one else present at the meeting indicated that they would like to serve in this capacity; therefore, SEAC members agreed that Kathy Bennett be appointed Association Co-Chair for the session December 1, 2010 to November 30, 2011.
Declaration and Oath of Allegiance
Each agency member or member-at-large made a statement of declaration that he/she was not disqualified under any Act from being a member of the Special Education Advisory Committee and that he/she would truly, faithfully, impartially and to the best of his/her ability execute the office of member of the Special Education Advisory Committee, and that he/she has not received and will not receive any payment or reward or promise thereof for the exercise of any partiality or malversation or other undue execution of the said office, and that he/she would disclose any pecuniary interest, direct or indirect, as required by and in accordance with the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act.
Each Trustee took an Oath of Allegiance, swearing that he/she would be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.
Supervising Principal Akey indicated that Ms. McDonnell would have the members not present at this evening’s meeting make their declarations and take an Oath of Allegiance at the next meeting.
Presentation – A4 (Assessing Achievement in Alternate Areas)
Mr. Boyce introduced Jessi Lalonde and Carrie Guy, noting that the three of them were part of a project in which the LDSB was involved in the Eastern Region of Ontario.
Mr. Boyce provided information concerning the A4 (Assessing Achievement in Alternate Areas) project, as follows:
• Limestone DSB worked with eight other boards in the Eastern Region
• The goal was to develop a skills inventory for students who were not accessing the Ontario curriculum.
• The focus was supporting students and teachers working in regular classroom settings.
• The final project was an A4 booklet for teachers to use to track the development of alternative skills.
• The tracking booklet should follow students throughout their school career.
• Skills inventories are meant to give ideas, suggestions and guidance for planning alternative programming. However, this is not a complete curriculum that teachers must follow.
• Gives an overall snapshot of the student
• Space has been allotted for updating the profile from year to year
• An effort was made not to duplicate the IEP
• Recognizes the importance of a multidisciplinary team
• Functional Math Skills
• Personal Life Management Skills
• Social Skills
• Independent Living Skills
• Community Skills
• Personal/Self Care Skills
• Gross and Fine Motor Skills
• Every student will not need every section
• At the end of each section there is a page for teachers to write in their own expectations, which could be:
• something not included in the skills inventory
• a part of a skill that is listed
Levels of Evaluation
• Emerging: requires constant direct support all of the time
• Developing: requires indirect support some of the time
• Mastery: performs skill consistently with level of independence appropriate for that student
• Generalization: Transferring skill to other situation and environments
Carrie Guy presented information about the Planning Assessment Chart. She said that it makes sharing with parents and tracking progress through the year easier. She indicated that the 10 stakeholder groups around the table wanted to come up with something to track alternate curriculum areas for all students. She said that the various groups went back to their boards to discuss how to track alternate areas and then when they met again that information would be put in a binder. However, it was found that the needs of every board were very different. Ms. Guy said that special education service delivery is very individual to each board.
Ms. Guy reviewed the Alternate Area Assessment Chart, which includes areas for teachers to write in the expectations they have chosen for a particular student, areas of evaluation which is taken from the curriculum documents. She said that this allows for a student to be assessed on their ability to perform a skill, talk about a skill and use their knowledge of why that skill is important, etc. Ms. Guy stated that the achievement chart is very similar to the ones in the curriculum documents, and it was designed for use with the Planning and Assessment Chart. She stated that there is space to indicate the date of assessment for tracking of growth.
Ms. Lalonde demonstrated the A4 website. She said that the website has everything from the A4 booklet and so much more. She provided the following information about the A4 website:
• Skills inventories are expanded
• Lesson ideas included
• Links to tons of resources
Ms. Lalonde indicated that teachers can share ideas for skills, lesson ideas and resources at www.thea4ideaplace.com.
Mr. Gillam stated that as a district school board, we are very proud of our A4 booklet and the work our staff has done. He noted that the Board and staff are getting recognition throughout the region and at the provincial level.
Trustee Murray thanked Mr. Boyce, Ms. Guy and Ms. Lalonde for providing the above-noted information, and she congratulated them on the A4 booklet. She said that this was an ambitious project that was met with success.
Ms. Guy and Ms. Lalonde withdrew from the meeting.
Educational Services Update
Principal Gillam provided the following Education Services update:
• Autism Course – February 10, 2011 for 4 weeks
• ABA – February 3, 2011 – morning and afternoon sessions for educational assistants
Principal Gillam commented on the presentation by the Canadian Hearing Society about Barrier-Free Education at the Principals’ meeting today, noting that it was very well received.
• School to Community Curriculum Council – January 11th – Fitness opportunities
• Autism Curriculum Council – January 12th – Jen Davidson-Harden – Psycho-educational “Assessment Autopsy”
• SST Curriculum Council – January – date to be determined
• SEA – new protocol – Kurzweil update
• SIP – files to Ministry
• Section 23
• Grade 8-9 Transitions
• Preschool Transitions
• Educational Services Departmental Plan 2010-2011
• Program Team Alignment
• Successful LLF Grants – Our Buddy BO – Smartboard Technology in Intermediate ASD class at Cataraqui Woods Elementary School and Lego project in a Primary classroom at Lancaster Drive Public School
Community Threat Assessment Protocol
• LDSB & Kingston Police – funding from Ministry of Community Safety and Corrections
• Provincial Training Package
• February 14 & 15 – Kevin Cameron – Level 1 Threat Assessment Certification
• February 16 – “A Community Threat Assessment Protocol: Mobilizing Communities to Support Safe Schools – Handbook for Partners” sharing session
• Educational Services Staff are meeting to talk about the 21st Century Learner – service delivery and targets for the future
Trustee Murray thanked Principal Gillam for providing the above-noted information.
Supervising Principal Akey referred to a letter from the Ministry of Education, dated December 3, 2010, that was brought to the January 12, 2011 meeting of the Limestone District School Board, with regard to consultation for the 2011-2012 Grants for Student Needs (GSNs). Ms. Akey said that the Ministry is reviewing the Special Education Grant. She said that the Ministry is pleased to announce that representatives from education sector organizations took part in a one day session to discuss special education and declining enrolment funding. The Ministry indicated that the declining enrolment session focused on ensuring that the Ministry’s approach reflects the realities on the ground. Ms. Akey said that the Ottawa session where LDSB was in attendance, LDSB said that
we are a board of declining enrolment, but our enrolment of students with special education needs is not declining. LDSB provided input from our Board’s point of view. She suggested that perhaps SEAC could like to spend more SEAC meeting time on budget input into the Board of Trustees.
Lennox and Addington Family & Children’s Services
Charlene Whalen reported that Lennox and Addington Family & Children’s Services will be amalgamating with Frontenac Children’s Aid Society, and that she will provide further information at future meetings.
Learning Disabilities Association of Kingston
Gail Eaton-Smith advised that LDAK is involved in a project with Queen’s University Faculty of Education with regard to math tutoring for students with learning disabilities. They are using adaptive technology as part of instruction, and it seems to be going well.
Lennox and Addington Resources for Children
Karen Jeffrey reported that the current Executive Director is moving to a higher level and that they are looking for a new Executive Director. (Pam Kent will be the Supervisor of the Children’s Services Unit - Prince Edward Lennox and Addington SS as of February 1, 2011.)
Pat LaLonde reported that the Lego group is going strong in the Kingston Chapter, and that the Kingston Chapter is gearing up for the hockey tournament being held in April.
Pat LaLonde reported that Autism Ontario has closed applications for its March Break funding.
Nadine Carson reported that Epilepsy Kingston has been holding fundraiser drives for the past few months so that their requirement from the United Way can be reduced. She further reported that they are gearing up for “Purple Days”, and that an International Women’s Epilepsy Conference will be held in Kingston in the spring.
Community Living Kingston
Ms. Akey advised that Kathy Bennett had provided flyers with regard to “Your Child’s Inclusive Education – 101" a webinar series brought to you by Community Living Ontario’s Community Inclusion Initiative – “Asserting your vision for your child’s inclusive education” will be held January 26, 2011, from 7 p.m. until 8 p.m.; “The Individual Education Plan (IEP)” will be held February 28, 2011, from 7 p.m. until 8 p.m.; and “The Identification, Placement and Review Committee (IPRC) – A Look At All Perspectives” will be held March 23, 2011, from 7 p.m. until 8 p.m.
Nadine Carson commented on an on-line IEP Workshop, included in the Winter 2011 Newsletter from LDAK, noting that it was a very good learning workshop. The link is http://www.ldakingston.com/newsletters/ldak-winter-2011.pdf.
Future Agenda Items
The Committee suggested the following future agenda items:
• Update on the issue of harnesses in Ontario school buses – February
• Educational Services Departmental Plan
• SEAC Handbook and Orientation – March
• Budget – subcommittee to work on budget – April
• Tri-Board SEAC meeting to be hosted by LDSB – May – Dr. Smith at CDC to be contacted to speak about the importance of early learning and our special learners
• Projects – links with Special Education and Students’ Support Literacy Initiative
• Crown Ward Championship Team
• Accessibility Plan – June
• Board Improvement Plan for student achievement
• new Care Treatment classroom
• new Section program – IBI Academic Classroom, J.G. Simcoe Public School
• Autism Programs – see Limestone Learning Foundation grants in action
• School to Community Program
• Aboriginal Program at Odessa Public School
Trustee Murray thanked Ms. Akey for all of her work over the years for students, and she wished her well in her retirement.
MOVED BY Trustee Jackson, seconded by Brad Shoniker, that the SEAC expresses its appreciation to Marg Akey, Supervising Principal, for her many years of hard work in her various portfolios.–Carried
Ms. Akey stated that it has been an honour to serve in education.
Next Meeting Date
The next meeting of the Special Education Advisory Committee is scheduled for Wednesday, February 16, 2011, 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: March 25, 2011 (4th Wednesday), April 20, 2011, May 25, 2011 (4th Wednesday), June 8, 2011 (2nd Wednesday).
MOVED BY Trustee Crawford, seconded by Brad Shoniker, that the meeting adjourn at 8:40 p.m.–Carried