Special Education Advisory Committee
February 16, 2011
A meeting of the Special Education Advisory Committee was held in the Board Room at the Limestone Education Centre, 220 Portsmouth Avenue, Kingston, on Wednesday, February 16, 2011, at 7:00 p.m.
Paula Murray, Co-Chair
Kathy Bennett, Community Living Kingston
Nadine Carson, Epilepsy Kingston
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
David Williams, Learning Disabilities Association of Kingston
Drew Boyce, School to Community Coordinator
Kristin Check, Coordinator/Projects Lead
Scot Gillam, Principal, Educational Services
Darlene Kirkpatrick, Recording Secretary
Alison McDonnell, Principal, Rideau Heights PS
Mark Ryan, District Assistive Technology Resource Teacher
Steve Ward, Vice-Principal
Charlene Whalen, Family & Children’s Services, Lennox and Addington
The meeting was chaired by Trustee Paula Murray, who welcomed those present to the meeting.
Approval of Agenda
Kathy Bennett advised that she would like to present a report from the Orientation and Recruitment Subcommittee meeting held this evening, prior to the Special Education Advisory Committee meeting. Chair Murray advised that this item would be added to the agenda following the Educational Services update.
MOVED BY Brad Shoniker, seconded by Pat LaLonde, that the agenda, as amended, be approved.–Carried
Approval of Minutes
MOVED BY Pat LaLonde, seconded by Nadine Carson, that the minutes of the January~19, 2011 meeting, as distributed, be approved.–Carried
BUSINESS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES
Declaration and Oath of Allegiance
Kathy Bennett and David Williams, agency members who were not present at the January~19, 2011 meeting, 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.
Ms. Bennett and Mr. Williams also took an Oath of Allegiance, swearing that he/she would be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.
Tri-Board Student Transportation Services – Use of Harnesses
Steve Wowk, Chief Executive Officer, Tri-Board Student Transportation Services Inc., provided information about the use of harnesses on school buses.
Mr. Wowk provided a demonstration of how the harnesses are used on school buses. He reported that there are two types of harnesses, one by Easy On, which is a custom-made prescription-ordered harness, and the other being a school bus parts vest.
Mr. Wowk reported that a couple of years ago, Keel Cottrelle, a law firm, provided a 14 page brief on the use of harnesses on school buses. Keel Cottrelle indicated that harnesses were illegal on school buses, and should an accident occur where a child was injured, insurance companies would not cover the liability costs.
Mr. Wowk stated that OSBIE, the Board’s insurance company, indicated that boards could still use harnesses on school buses, and they would have liability insurance. He indicated that the Transportation Consortia in the Province of Ontario wrote letters to the Road Safety and Motor Vehicle Bureau asking them to approve the use of harnesses in school buses. He noted that if this wasn’t allowed, many children would not be transported to school. He said that after this, we then used a consultant from the Ontario School Bus Association. He commented on the correspondence received from Transport Canada which had to be interpreted.
Mr. Wowk commented on the adult monitors used on school buses. He said that every single time, when someone requests a harness be used for a child, he considers the situation closely. He said that he considers the reasons, and that harnesses will be used as a last resort. Mr. Wowk said that Tri-Board will use a harness in the extreme case of a student not staying in their seat and if it becomes a safety issue. He stated that he would like to reduce the number of monitors on school buses. He indicated that Tri-Board is using harnesses for hard to serve students, as well as monitors.
In response to a question regarding seat belts on buses, Mr. Wowk stated that school buses are exempt from the regulations on seatbelts in vehicles. He said that it is sixteen times safer for a child to ride on a school bus without being in a seatbelt than for a child to ride in a car with seatbelts.
Chair Murray thanked Mr. Wowk for providing the above-noted information.
Educational Services Update
Principal Gillam provided the following update:
- Autism Course – ongoing
- Connections Teams – March 4, 2011
- Community Threat Assessment Protocol – Provincial – Levels 1 and 2
- School to Community Curriculum Corner – A4 information and best practices
- Autism Curriculum Corner – Smartboard Technology
- SST Curriculum Corner – February 22 – Information, best practices, setting future agendas
- Compass Solutions – six Occupational Therapists on Community Development Placements
- Kurzweil Web Use
- SEA claims for 2010-2011
- Staffing Update
- Deaf/HH Fun Night – March 2nd, 5:00-7:00 p.m. at Lord Strathcona PS
- Easter Seals – Free Skate, March 20th; Telethon – Sunday, April 10th
- Work team Update
- Differentiated Instruction Regional Conference – March 23rd – LDSB Team
- Equity and Inclusion – February 17th
- JK-1 CODE Project – published
- A4 Sharing continues
- Special Education Guides/IEP – anticipation
- Regional Special Education Committee – March 3 – hosted by LDSB
Educational Services Departmental Plan
Mr. Gillam reviewed the Educational Services Departmental Plan and how it connects to the Board Improvement Plan. He said that the Board Improvement Plan is now inclusive of all students, including those student receiving special education services. He said that the goal is to take the Board’s Strategic Plan and have the work Educational Services does, align with the Board’s Strategic Plan.
Mr. Gillam reviewed the following information:
- Exemption rates and accommodations
- Aligned with Program Team supports
- Focus on Teacher Learning Critical Pathway (TLCP) supports – service delivery
- Early Intervention – team discussion
- Developmental Readiness/Curriculum Expectations
- Instructional accommodations listed more frequently by an overwhelming majority
- Very few environmental or assessment accommodations
- Traditional accommodations common – very few unique and individually tailored to particular student needs
- Students receiving Special Education did quite well
- Six exemptions between the three sites reviewed
- Board Profile – lots of examples of low Reading, with Grade level Writing and Math – Tamworth – Grade 3 – six students with 0 or 1 in Reading, and 2s and 3s in Writing and Math
- Accommodations consistent – prompts, scribe, setting
- Development of goals
- Differentiated goals to support Success For All
- Development goals vs. Learning interventions – the dilemma
- Possible support – student, group, class, division, school – and how do we move this agenda forward – system messages, service delivery continuation
Next Steps for Teacher Learning Critical Pathway
- Goal selection/development – division, class, group of students, individuals
- Program team suggestions
System Next Steps
- Interventions – Administrators, SST clarification and support
- EDI/Kindergarten/Full Day Learning Program/Early Intervention Team
- Class Profiles – weave current curriculum with special needs
- Systematic Intervention and Messaging – Year 2 of Service Delivery
Mr. Williams requested a copy of the Educational Services Departmental Plan.
Ms. Martin asked that an update about the mental health initiative be provided at a future Special Education Advisory Committee meeting.
Trustee Murray thanked Mr. Gillam for providing the above-noted information.
Orientation and Recruitment Subcommittee
Ms. Bennett presented the report of the Orientation and Recruitment Subcommittee of February 16, 2011.
Ms. Bennett advised that she, Kristin Check, and Nadine Carson met to discuss an orientation package for SEAC members and a recruitment package for potential SEAC members. She said that the recruitment package would be presented in an information folder, and the information would include such things as an introduction, issues around the Special Education Advisory Committee, number of meetings, the cyclic tasks that SEAC oversees, the history of SEAC, an organizational chart, SEAC’s mandate, etc.
Ms. Bennett reported that the orientation package would be more in-depth than the recruitment package information. A suggestion was made that the information to also be included in the package be taken from the Professional Parent Advisory Committee of SEAC, as well as from the LDSB’s website and from the SEAC Learning site. A suggestion made at the subcommittee meeting was that an orientation session be held for new members, as well as for current members to remind them of our best practices.
Ms. Bennett advised that the recruitment package would be put together first, followed by the orientation package.
It was suggested that information from the orientation package be reviewed at a future SEAC meeting, and discussion of recruitment strategies be discussed at a future SEAC meeting.
Pat LaLonde suggested that Lynn Ziraldo be contacted to see what information she may have that could be used in the information packages.
Chair Murray thanked Ms. Bennett for presenting her report.
(a) From Grand Erie DSB, a copy of a letter dated October 18, 2010, concerning the public consultation process with regard to the proposed integrated accessibility regulation. They request that SEACs across the Province be invited to participate in a consultation process over the next year with recommendations to be forwarded to the Minister’s Council on Special Education by October 2011, for consideration by the Minister of Education.
(b) From the District School Board Ontario North East, a copy of a letter dated January 6, 2011, regarding the implementation of accessibility for Ontarians with disability, in support of the letter from the Grand Erie DSB dated October 18, 2010. They request that the Ministry of Community and Social Services reassess the timelines and provide school boards with an opportunity for input into the time frame and implementation process.
MOVED BY Anne Peace-Fast, seconded by Andrea Martin, that the two above-noted correspondence letters be sent electronically to SEAC members to review, with a view to deciding if the LDSB SEAC should also send correspondence regarding the proposed integrated accessibility regulation.–Carried
(c) From the Ottawa-Carleton DSB, correspondence dated February 15, 2011, regarding a motion to its Education Committee concerning Ottawa-Carleton DSB’s Special Education Policy.
Chair Murray is to contact the Ottawa-Carleton DSB (OCDSB) to see if the motion was actually passed by the OCDSB.
The above-noted correspondence is also to be forwarded to SEAC members electronically.
(d) From Marg Akey, thanking SEAC members for their support and hard work over the past few years. She also thanked them for their kind words in recognition of her retirement at the last SEAC meeting.
Lennox and Addington Resources for Children
Karen Jeffrey reported that interviews will be conducted in the near future for their new Executive Director.
Pat LaLonde reported that there are a number of exciting things happening at the Kingston chapter of Autism Ontario. She said that there are a number of new programs, some involving swimming, bowling and cooking classes for youth and adults. She said that the programs can be accessed through their website. She encouraged those in the education field to share the information with parents.
Ms. LaLonde advised that the Arts & Science Undergraduate Society (ASUS), Queen’s University, is holding a 5km Run on March 19th, with the proceeds raised going to the Kingston Chapter.
Ms. LaLonde reported that the Autism and Behavioural Students at St. Lawrence College held a gala in support of Autism Ontario, Kingston Chapter.
Ms. LaLonde commented on the Extend-A-Family Chilifest, which is being held on February 17, 2011.
Learning Disabilities Association of Kingston
David Williams reported that the Motown Fundraising Dance, held recently, was very successful.
Mr. Williams advised that the Winter Bluegrass Concert Series is being held at The Kingston Christian Fellowship Church, 2621 Highway 38, Kingston, 7:00 p.m. He advised that the opening act for all the concerts is Bill White & White Pine. The cost of the series tickets for the three concerts is $50; the cost of individual tickets purchased in advance is $20; and at the door, the cost of a ticket is $23. Tickets are available from Renaissance Music, World of Rentals or LDAK. The concerts are as follows: The Spinney Brothers (February 23rd), Charlie Sizemore (March 23rd), and Russell Moore & IIIRD Tyme Out (April 13th).
Mr. Williams reported that a Kid for a Day event is being held at Queen’s University on Saturday, March 5th. He said that attached to that is the Queen’s University Vogue Charity Fashion Show, March 30 and 31st, and April 1st at the Grand Theatre, in support of the Learning Disabilities Association of Kingston.
Nadine Carson advised that March is Epilepsy Awareness Month.
Ms. Martin commented on the successful reading experience at the Faculty of Education to ensure that they have the best candidates possible.
Community Living Ontario
Ms. Bennett reported that the Community Living Kingston Subcommittee on Education met on January 13th wherein information about the webinars was provided. She said that the Education Subcommittee is working on current supports for students transitioning from schools, and a lot of the work is being done in conjunction with Donna Abbink, Transition Planning Coordinator.
Ms. Bennett advised that Community Living Ontario’s Commence 2011 Know Yourself - Promote Yourself is being held March 10 and 11, at the Sheraton Parkway Toronto North in Richmond Hill. She said that this is a symposium on the passage of high school for all students creating a future of possibility, beginnings, and valued roles. She indicated those wishing may register online at www.communitylivingontario.ca, under the “Families & Individuals” tab, and then the “Passport Mentoring” tab. More information about Commence 2011 can be obtained from Blair Groves at email@example.com or 1-519-444-8201. The cost is $199 + HST per person, and partial subsidy is available by request, on a first come first served basis when one registers online.
Trustee Murray advised that she had attended the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association (OPSBA) Public Education Symposium at the end of January, advising that Trustee Crawford sits on the OPSBA Policy Development Committee and she is the alternate. She reported that a Special Education Sector Consultation was held with the Ministry of Education yesterday, and that the results from the consultation will not be known for a while. She commented on the two-day conference for SEAC chairs and members that was held recently. She further commented that school boards continue to deal with unique funding requirements that are not covered in the Ministry’s funding model. She stated that it is expected that consultation will result in changes to the funding model
to make the funding formula more transparent. She said that the special education funding model needs to take into account the growing number of students with special education needs in our schools.
Trustee Murray reported that the other key initiative was the children’s mental health issue.
Next Meeting Date
The next meeting of the Special Education Advisory Committee is scheduled for Wednesday, March 23, 2011 (4th Wednesday), 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: April 20, 2011, May 25, 2011 (4th Wednesday), June 8, 2011 (2nd Wednesday).
MOVED BY Brad Shoniker, seconded by Pat LaLonde, that the meeting adjourn at 8:45~p.m.–Carried