Special Education Advisory Committee
March 23, 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, March 23, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.
Paula Murray, Co-Chair
Nadine Carson, Epilepsy Kingston
Andrea Martin, Member-at-Large (Queen’s University)
Brad Shoniker, Member-at-Large
David Williams, Learning Disabilities Association of Kingston
Drew Boyce, School to Community Coordinator
Darlene Kirkpatrick, Recording Secretary
Alison McDonnell, Supervising Principal, Special Education
JoAnne Payne, Senior Administrator, Educational Services
Steve Ward, Vice-Principal
Kathy Bennett, Community Living Kingston
Kristin Check, Coordinator/Projects Lead
Karen Jeffrey, Lennox and Addington Resources for Children
Pat LaLonde, Autism Ontario
Anne Peace-Fast, Member-at-Large
Scot Gillam, Principal, Educational Services
Charlene Whalen, Family & Children’s Services, Lennox and
The meeting was chaired by Trustee Murray, who welcomed those present to the meeting.
Approval of Agenda
Chair Murray stated that the Review of SEAC Member Recruitment Information Package and SEAC Orientation Package item, under the Business Arising From the Minutes, is to be deferred to the April SEAC meeting.
MOVED BY Trustee Crawford, seconded by Brad Shoniker, that the agenda, as amended, be approved.–Carried
Approval of Minutes
MOVED BY Brad Shoniker, seconded by Andrea Martin, that the minutes of the February 16, 2011 meeting, as distributed, be approved.–Carried
Mental Health Initiatives in LDSB
JoAnne Payne, Senior Administrator, Educational Services, provided an overview of the mental health initiatives in the Limestone District School Board.
Ms. Payne showed the “Open Up, School-Based Mental Health and Substance Abuse” video, a collaboration production of the Canadian School-Based Mental Health and Substance Abuse Consortium, Mental Health Commission of Canada Youth Council, and the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board. The video outlined the following:
• 1 in 5 students in Canada struggles with a mental health problem
• many more experience distress (bullying, loss, isolation, pressure)
• serious enough to interfere with academic performance and social well-being
• up to 80% of these children do not receive treatment
• many researchers suggest that school is the best place to identify and prevent child and youth mental health problems
• one caring adult can make a powerful difference in a young person’s life
• the best thing an educator can do is to listen to a student
Ms. Payne stated that the LDSB has taken an approach in terms of children and adolescent mental health. She said that the Board is successful because we have taken the time to develop a sound infrastructure of support, noting that we are fortunate to have good, solid protocols with our service providers: Ministry of Community and Social Services, Ministry of Health, and the grassroots organizations to ensure that “the right child gets the right support and at the right time”.
Ms. Payne stated that we have to understand as referring agents, that we need to ensure we have supports in the community before we start to enhance the understanding of educators. She said that we have referral protocols with Hotel Dieu Hospital/Kingston General Hospital Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Pathways for Children and Youth. She said that we have begun the conversation with adult psychiatry, noting that we have an adult psychiatrist in-servicing Limestone DSB secondary Vice-Principals, Adolescent Care Workers and Educational Services personnel tomorrow. She said that we need to be better prepared and more knowledgeable about the early onset of adult psychiatric illness within the young adult population.
Ms. Payne commented on the following: urgent response, intervention and education. She advised that urgent response is when there is a situation that is urgent, requiring immediate or 24 to 48 hour response because a young person is at risk for self-harm or putting others at risk.
Ms. Payne reported that recently, Pathways for Children and Youth have a urgent care pilot project with regard to the right student being given the right support at the right time. She said that not every person who is in a crisis needs to go to the hospital; a person may need support from a community-based agency. She said that LCVI, QECVI and Frontenac Secondary School are involved in the Teen Mental Health Curriculum pilot project.
Ms. Payne commented on the LDSB Suicide Guide for staff to assist them in supporting students in urgent need, or when there are concerns from staff and other students that a student’s behaviour has changed.
Ms. Payne advised that with our 21 partners and three co-terminus boards, a Threat Assessment Protocol has been developed. She further advised that Carleton University asked us if they could do a study on our 81 different CTAPS to see if there was a common ground. She said that they found that those students who are at high risk for suicide or hurting other students were diagnosed with depression, but not getting intervention at the time of the incident. She said that the infrastructure we have for care and treatment is through our partnership with HDH Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. She commented on a new position at Educational Services where a staff member works with psychiatrists for those students on an in-patient ward or referred for out-patient services. She said that information can be brought back to the school and the classroom teachers so when the student is demitted from the ward or discharged by a psychiatrist, they have a better understanding about how the
student mental illness may manifest in the classroom.
Ms. Payne commented on the NEXUS Program, which is a Pathways for Children and Youth program, noting that it is effective for students who require a small classroom, intervention focused setting. She stated that it is more effective for primary age children. She said that if this intervention is put in place early enough, a child can successfully return to their community school.
Ms. Payne commented on the Roots of Empathy program, noting that it is an early intervention/prevention program. She said that the program builds on self awareness that allows children to build coping strategies.
Ms. Payne commented on a project by Dr. Kutcher from Dalhousie University who is the Sunlife Insurance Chair of Adolescent and Child Psychiatry. She said that the LDSB has adopted Dr. Kutcher’s program. “Opening Doors to Teen Mental Health Awareness” training occurred in early March. She said that because it is a research project, HDH/KGH Child & Adolescent Psychiatry is involved, as well as Queen’s University. She said that we are excited about this project because it is for secondary school classroom teachers. She said that this project has been piloted at LCVI, QECVI and Frontenac Secondary School.
Ms. Payne advised that the Board received a grant from the Ontario Principals’ Council to develop resources for site Principals. She further advised that the Student Support Leadership Initiative supports mental health initiatives, noting that this initiative is involved in the implementation of an early screening tool. She indicated that this pilot project is being piloted in other school boards across Ontario.
Ms. Payne commented on the Friends for Life program, which looks at developing coping strategies for children in the primary, junior and intermediate grades.
Ms. Payne referred to the information she brought, indicating that if anyone wishes to take it, to please do so.
Chair Murray thanked Ms. Payne for providing the above-noted information.
Educational Services Update
Vice-Principal Ward provided the following update:
• Learning Disabilities Course – 4 weeks – over 30 teachers/administrators will take part in the course
• Functional Behavioural Analysis – March 25th – BLC/Autism teachers and members of the BAT and Autism Teams
• Elementary Vice-Principals/Student Support Teachers – March 24th – Exemptions/Accommodations and supporting students in the classrooms
• Mental Health – JoAnne Payne shared information, as listed above
• SST Curriculum Council – February 22nd Inaugural Meeting – well attended and the word is getting out – a meeting is being held this evening
• Focus for March 23 – Angela Moslinger, LD Support Program Teacher and other group-selected topics
• Pre-school transitions
• Grade 8/9 transitions
• Post-secondary transitions
• RAFT Presentation – Kathy McVety-Kavanagh in Ottawa March 23rd to present – 200 Elementary/300 Secondary teachers involved in Differentiated Instruction projects in LDSB
• Easter Seals – LDSB – 26 panel – Educational Services staff joining in
• Staffing – Kathy Lowery-King and Heather Giffin have returned, and Kassie Knott is the new secretary
Trustee Murray thanked Mr. Ward for providing the above-noted information.
Learning Disabilities Association of Kingston
Mr. Williams reported that the Queen’s University Vogue Charity Fashion Show, is being held March 30 and 31st, and April 1st at the Grand Theatre, in support of the Learning Disabilities Association of Kingston.
Mr. Williams advised that the Winter Bluegrass Concert Series has been well received. He advised that the next concert is being held on April 13th, with Russell Moore & IIIRD Tyme Out performing. The concert is being held at The Kingston Christian Fellowship Church, 2621 Highway 38, Kingston, 7:00 p.m. The opening act for all the concert is Bill White & White Pine. The cost of individual tickets purchased in advance is $20; and at the door, the cost is $23. Tickets are available from Renaissance Music, World of Rentals or LDAK.
Mr. Williams advised that the AGM of the LDAK is being held on Monday, April 18, 2011 in the Community Room at Loblaws, Kingston Centre, at 7:00 p.m.
Nadine Carson advised Purple Day, in support of March Awareness for Epilepsy, is being held March 26th at the Kingston Frontenac Public Library, in the Wilson Room, from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.. She said that Epilepsy Kingston is offering a full day program, and the topics will include: Epilepsy & Women’s Issues, Employment & Epilepsy, Sports Injuries, Teens & Risk Behaviour, Quality of Life for all ages. More information can be obtained by calling 613-542-6222 or sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
David Williams referred to correspondence the Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario had received with regard to the Additional Qualifications Course Guidelines in Special Education. He indicated that the College of Teachers has asked Boards and SEACs for consultation about the qualifications.
Supervising Principal McDonnell stated she would investigate this matter.
Next Meeting Date
The next meeting of the Special Education Advisory Committee is scheduled for Wednesday, April 20, 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 May 25, 2011 (4th Wednesday), and June 8, 2011 (2nd Wednesday).
MOVED BY Nadine Carson, seconded by Brad Shoniker, that the meeting adjourn at 7:50 p.m.–Carried