Special Education Advisory Committee
April 20, 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, April 20, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.
Paula Murray, Co-Chair
Kathy Bennett, Community Living Kingston
Nadine Carson, Epilepsy Kingston
Gail Eaton-Smith, Alternate, Learning Disabilities Association of
Karen Jeffrey, Lennox and Addington Resources for Children
Brad Shoniker, Member-at-Large
Charlene Whalen, Family & Children’s Services, Lennox
David Williams, Learning Disabilities Association of Kingston
Kristin Check, Coordinator/Projects Lead
Darlene Kirkpatrick, Recording Secretary
Alison McDonnell, Supervising Principal, Special Education
Steve Ward, Vice-Principal of Educational Services
Pat LaLonde, Autism Ontario
Andrea Martin, Member-at-Large (Queen’s University)
Anne Peace-Fast, Member-at-Large
Scot Gillam, Principal, Educational Services
The meeting was chaired by Kathy Bennett, who welcomed those present to the meeting, especially Kathy McVety-Kavanagh, Drew Boyce, and the teachers who were taking the Additional Qualifications Special Education, Part 2 course. Committee members introduced themselves.
Approval of Agenda
MOVED BY Brad Shoniker, seconded by Karen Jeffrey, that the agenda, as amended, be approved.–Carried
Approval of Minutes
MOVED BY Nadine Carson, seconded by David Williams, that the minutes of the March 23, 2011 meeting, as distributed, be approved.–Carried
Business Arising From the Minutes
Review of SEAC Member Recruitment Information Package and SEAC Orientation Package
Kathy Bennett advised that a subcommittee, consisting of Trustee Murray, Nadine Carson, Pat LaLonde, Kristin Check and herself, was established to put together a package that could be given to prospective SEAC members. She said that SEAC is trying to have a larger representation of parents from different associations to be part of SEAC.
Committee members reviewed the information that was distributed. David Williams suggested that the package include internet links to the Ministry of Education and the Limestone District School Board. Ms. Bennett stated that those links could be provided.
In response to a question from Mr. Williams, Ms. Bennett stated that we would like to get word out about SEAC membership through our agencies and our contacts. She said that an advertisement seeking interested parents for the SEAC was placed in The Kingston Whig-Standard in January.
Trustee Murray advised that no funding information has been received from the Ministry of Education at this time. This matter was deferred to the next meeting of the Special Education Advisory Committee.
Educational Services Update
Vice-Principal Ward stated that Educational Services staff are busy supporting schools, planning and preparing for the next school year, with regard to students entering our system, moving schools and moving from our school system. He reported that Educational Services staff are working with affinity groups with regard to what classes of the 21st Century will look like.
Mr. Ward provided the following update:
• ETFO – Special Education Part 2
• Secondary Session – ASD – April 8th
• Presentation to Leadership Course – Differentiated Instruction
• Kathy McVety-Kavanagh and Kristin Check – ETFO Provincial Presentation – Meeting the Diverse Learning Needs of Intermediate Learners Through Differentiated Instruction
• SCS Curriculum Council – Tuesday, April 12th – “Bullying” focus – Lynne Cumming-Clark (Attendance Counsellor) and Leah Carey (Student Support Counsellor) joined the group
• Walk in My Shoes – St. Lawrence College – youth with Autism talk about their experiences living with ASD – many staff attended on April 11th
• Building Bridges – student workshop – April 12th
• May is Hearing Awareness Month
• Dress Loud Day – May 6th
• Life Beyond School – May 10th – LCVI – students, parents and family members talking about their experiences with the transition from secondary school
• Mental Health and Educational Services Display at the April 14th School Council Forum
• Transitions to Early Learning Protocol
• April 14th – community agencies including: Lennox & Addington Resources for Children, Community Living Kingston, the Child Development Centre, Pathways for Children and Youth, Kingston Frontenac Lennox & Addington Public Health, Frontenac Children’s Aid Society, Lennox & Addington Child & Family Services, Frontenac Club Day Care and Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School board joined Limestone District School Board in the signing of a Community Transition to Kindergarten Protocol for students with special needs.
Kristin Check thanked Karen Jeffrey who was on the work team for her work.
Trustee Murray thanked Mr. Ward for providing the above-noted information.
(a) From Mary Anne Johnstone, SEAC Chair, Trillium Lakelands DSB, a copy of a letter addressed to The Honourable Kathleen Wynne, Minister of Transportation, dated March 7, 2011, regarding issues related to the use of safety harnesses on school buses. In the letter, the SEAC of the Trillium Lakelands DSB encourages Transport Canada and the Ministry of Education to collaborate and take a leadership role in ensuring the safety needs and legal right to accommodations for all students are recognized and respected and that the legislation is clear and consistent for all stakeholders.
(b) From Kay Gaffney, Chair, Special Education Advisory Committee, Northeastern Catholic DSB, a copy of a letter addressed to The Honourable Leona Dombrowsky, Minister of Education, dated March 29, 2011, indicating that they believe that the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Community and Social Services should have collaborative funds for school boards to enable them to have on-site mental health workers in Ontario schools. They indicated that as Catholic School Teachers, Administrators, Trustees and supporters, they urge the government to bolster the number of partnerships between children’s mental health centres and schools to help more children earlier and more efficiently.
(c) From Camille Parent, SEAC Chair, Peterborough Victoria Northumberland and Clarington Catholic School Board, a copy of a letter addressed to The Honourable Leona Dombrowsky, Minister of Education, dated March 2, 2011, regarding their request that the Ministry of Education create a province-wide special education survey for use by parents, students and other stakeholders. They ask that the Ministry provide the province with an online survey tool to assist parents and educators in more effectively working together to improve the achievement for all of our special needs students.
Kathy Bennett advised that she had received correspondence from Barry Finlay, regarding having the Ministry notify all SEAC co-chairs electronically of any Ministry updates.
Lennox and Addington Resources for Children
Karen Jeffrey reported that Darlene Armer has been appointed as Executive Director of Lennox and Addington Resources for Children.
Learning Disabilities Association of Kingston
David Williams reported that the LDAK AGM was held on Monday, April 18th. He indicated that a board recruitment and volunteer orientation will take place at their May 30th meeting. He reported that LDAK is gearing up for an exciting year, after their fundraising events.
Mr.Williams indicated that LDAK, in partnership with the Faculty of Education at Queen’s University, is preparing a pilot project for Math Tutoring to support children in Grades 5 and 6. He said that they expect the pilot project to begin in September 2011.
Nadine Carson reported that Epilepsy Kingston’s current Executive Director has stepped down, and that they are in the process of hiring a new one.
Community Living Kingston
Kathy Bennett advised that Community Living Kingston is involved in the “Life Beyond School” Information Fair, which is being held Tuesday, May 10th, at LCVI, 153 VanOrder Drive, Kingston, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The event is being sponsored by the Transition Planning Advisory Committee of Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Counties.
David Williams referred to March 23, 2011 SEAC minutes with regard to the correspondence the Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario had received concerning 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, and asked Supervising Principal McDonnell if she had received any correspondence with regard to this matter.
Supervising Principal McDonnell said that she could not find any reference to it, and asked if he would forward her the name of the person who had sent the correspondence to LDAO so that she could further investigate this matter. He indicated that he would forward a name to Supervising Principal McDonnell.
Ms. McDonnell advised that once again the Ministry of Education has requested that all school boards fulfill a commitment to report on implementation of P/PM140 Incorporating Methods of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) into Programs with Autism Spectrum Disorders. She reported that all of our elementary and secondary school Principals received a P/PM 140 survey and were asked to respond to it. She further advised that the Board is creating a survey with the same questions for our parent/guardian community to complete for our information. She indicated that Principals have been asked to include the survey link in the school’s May newsletter and/or post it to the school’s website. She said that the survey will also be available on the LDSB website, and it will be
open until June 30, 2011.
Supervising Principal McDonnell said that any information from parents will be reviewed, and with the assistance of Educational Services staff will inform programming and professional learning for next year.
Trustee Murray referred to the Kingston West/Loyalist Township PARC, and advised that recently the Limestone District School Board passed recommendations regarding Kingston West/Loyalist Township. She said that some of the changes were related to boundaries, and programming in schools. She advised that a motion was brought forward to indicate “that the movement of District Special Education Programs under the recommendation be carefully monitored to ensure that any supports necessary for the four district Special Education programs being relocated are provided.”
Next Meeting Date
The next meeting of the Special Education Advisory Committee is scheduled for Wednesday, May 25, 2011 (4th Wednesday), at 7:00 p.m. at the Limestone Education Centre, 220 Portsmouth Avenue, Kingston. It will be a joint meeting with the Hastings-Prince Edward DSB and the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic DSB. Dr. Garth Smith has been invited to talk about the importance of early learning.
The remaining meeting for the 2010-2011 school year is scheduled for June 8, 2011 (2nd Wednesday).
MOVED BY Brad Shoniker, seconded by Karen Jeffrey, that the meeting adjourn at 7:45 p.m.–Carried