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June 6, 2012 - Special Education Advisory Committee Minutes
Special Education Advisory Committee
June 6, 2012

        A meeting of the Special Education Advisory Committee was held in the Human Resources Committee Room at the Limestone Education Centre, 220 Portsmouth Avenue, Kingston, on Wednesday, June 6, 2012 at 5:30~p.m.
Present Trustees:
P. Murray, Co-Chair
E. Crawford
H. Brown

Present Members:
Kathy Bennett, Community Living Kingston
Nadine Carson, Epilepsy Kingston
Andrea Martin, Member-at-Large (Queen’s University)
David Williams, Learning Disabilities Association of Kingston
Present Staff:
Jennifer Davidson-Harden, Chief Psychologist
Chris Herron, Educational Services & Safe Schools Coordinator
Ann-Marie Lacoursière, Principal
Alison McDonnell, Supervising Principal
Jennifer Murphy, Special Education Program Coordinator
Alexis Stefanovich-Thomson, Special Education Program Coordinator
Steve Ward, Vice-Principal of Educational Services
Darlene Kirkpatrick, Recording Secretary
Karen Jeffrey, Lennox and Addington Resources for Children
Brad Shoniker, Member-at-Large
Pat LaLonde, Autism Ontario
Charlene Whalen, Family & Children’s Services, Lennox and Addington
        The meeting was chaired by Kathy Bennett, who welcomed those present to the meeting.

Approval of Agenda

        Trustee Murray suggested that since there was a quorum present, an item concerning the election of the agency co-chair be added to the agenda.

        MOVED BY Nadine Carson, seconded by David Williams, that the agenda, as amended, be approved.–Carried

Approval of Minutes

        MOVED BY David Williams, seconded by Trustee Crawford, that the minutes of the May 14, 2012 meeting, as distributed, be approved.–Carried

Business Arising From the Minutes

There was no business arising from the minutes.

Annual Accessibility Plan, September 2012-August 2013

        Supervising McDonnell stated that on an annual basis, the Board is responsible for submitting its Accessibility Plan to the Ministry of Education.  She reported that the Plan was approved by the LDSB Property/Operations Committee at its meeting held May 30, 2012, and that it would be going to the Board for approval at its meeting to be held June 20, 2012.  She said that the Board has a commitment to the Special Education Advisory Committee to share its Annual Accessibility Plan.

        Supervising Principal McDonnell provided a brief overview of the Annual Accessibility Plan, September 2012-August 2013.  She said that the Plan is a collaboration between Educational Services and Facility Services staff, as well as the Accessibility Committee.  She said that no significant changes have been made to the Plan, other than the update to projects that have been or will be completed for the next year.

        Supervising Principal McDonnell reported that a listing of the members of the working group for the 2011-2012 school year is included in the Plan.  She indicated that there was a wide variety of people who had expressed interest in participating on the Accessibility Committee.  She advised that there were two new community members who joined the Accessibility Committee, one from CNIB and the other from the Canadian Hearing Society.  She indicated that members of the SEAC were given an opportunity to participate on the Accessibility Committee.  She said that if any SEAC member knew of anyone from their agencies or knew of someone who would be linked to their organizations, who would like to participate on the committee, that we would be thrilled to have them do so.

        Ms. McDonnell stated that Appendix A lists the Barrier-Free Projects as of May 2012.  The Plan has been updated to include in the list, the projects that have been currently completed at each school.  Ms. McDonnell advised that the Accessibility Committee was pleased to be involved in the input for the new schools.

        Ms. McDonnell referred to Appendix F, noting that the chart includes each of the schools by school groups, starting with the secondary school and then each of the elementary schools in their Family of Schools, and the list shows where the school would fall in the area of accessibility.

        Ms. McDonnell stated that Section J includes in-service and communication information, noting that the Accessibility Plan is more than physical and architectural items; it also addresses other barriers students may require removed in order to have access to curriculum.

        Ms. McDonnell stated that Appendix K includes the administrative procedures the Board has in place that address Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Monitoring and Feedback on Accessible Customer Service, Notification of Disruption of Service, Use of Assistive Devices by the General Public, Use of Service Animals by General Public, Use of Support Person by the General Public.  

        Ms. McDonnell stated that Employee Workplace Emergency Response Plan is the most recent addition to accessibility standards, noting that employers need to have individual emergency response information available if requested by staff, as well as an individualized emergency response plan if requested by the staff member.

        Ms. McDonnell stated that we are working with the Accessibility Committee in anticipation of other standards that we need to be compliant with in January 2013.  She said that this information will be included in future Accessibility Plans.

        Ms. McDonnell advised that the Accessibility Plan will be posted on the Board’s website in July, once it has been sent to the Ministry of Education.

Educational Services Update

        Ms. Lacoursière provided the following update:

Special Education Plan 2012-2013

  •         Electronic copy of Special Education Plan shared on the weekend – huge team effort to review the Plan to ensure that the information and services to students with special education needs are reflected accurately.  Ms. Lacoursi re thanked the team for their work in reviewing the Plan
  •         Hard copy
  •         Presentation to SEAC for feedback
Updates and Additions to the Special Education Plan

  •         Tiered levels of support
  •         Tiered levels of support within Service Delivery Model for Affinity groups
  •         Updated portfolio descriptions
Changes to the Service Delivery Model
  • District Learning Centres:
  •         the Learning Centre North – moved from Prince Charles Public School to Harrowsmith Public School and reduced to 0.5
  •         Junior Learning Centre (0.5) at J.G. Simcoe Public School not continuing
  •         Offset by addition of primary program at Rideau Heights Public School to meet emergent needs
  • New Model of Support for Learning Disabilities:
  •         Creation of 0.50 Learning Disabilities Support Teacher role for Southview Public School
School to Community Services

  •         Movement of site-based School to Community Services programs to meet needs and numbers of students
  •         Allocation of Itinerant teacher support for students requiring School to Community Services
  •         Elementary School to Community Services Review continues
Individual Education Plan (IEP)

  •         Current Ministry IEP Review underway
  •         Changes necessary to IEP template for improved functionality for users
  •         New IEP Engine for 2012-2013
Special Equipment Amount (SEA)

  •         Updated from ISA and former SEA equipment processes
  •         Updated SEA transfer protocol to ensure timely access of computers and software for students moving within Limestone DSB and into or out of other district school boards
Care, Treatment, Correctional and Custody Programs

  •         Addition of two new Section 23 – Mental Health programs in partnership with Hotel Dieu Hospital
  •         Current program adjusted to Grades 1-5
  •         One new classroom for Grades 6-8
  •         One new classroom for Grades 9-12
Changes to the Document

  •         Improve access
  •         Format and Readability
  •         Re-release to the system
        Ms. Lacoursière stated that in looking forward, Educational Services is involved in the following:

  •         Continuing to hire staff
  •         Educational Assistant allocations to schools
  •         Committee meetings for fall placements of students
  •         Affinity and Group meetings for school groupings in the fall
  •         Celebrating and saying farewell to staff members
  •         Preparation for the move to our new location
        Ms. Bennett thanked Ms. Lacoursière for providing the above-noted information.

Election of Agency Co-Chair

        Trustee Murray asked for nominations for the position of Agency Co-Chair of the Special Education Advisory Committee for the period September 1, 2012 to November 30, 2013.  David Williams volunteered to be the Agency Co-Chair of the SEAC.

        Trustee Murray asked for other volunteers or nominations three times.

        MOVED BY Trustee Crawford, seconded by Nadine Carson, that nominations be closed.

        Trustee Murray congratulated David Williams on being acclaimed to the position of Agency Co-Chair of the Special Education Advisory Committee, for the period September 2, 2012 to November 30, 2013.


        Trustee Murray advised that a letter was received from Michael Riordon, Chairperson, District School Board of Niagara SEAC, dated April 26, 2012, to The Honourable Laurel C. Broten, Minister of Education, indicating that they support the broad consensus across Ontario that “views the School Health Support Services program as a beneficial support service delivered to children in Ontario schools” (Deloitte, July 2010).  They express concerns about Access and Equity and Coordination of Services, noting that they are very concerned over the quality of the services students are receiving.  The letter states in part, “It is our hope that you will continue to be vigilant with regards to the School Health Support Services program and that you will continue to coordinate with the other ministries to ensure that students across Ontario receive quality health support services in a timely, equitable and coordinated fashion.”

Association Updates

Learning Disabilities Association of Kingston

        David Williams advised that there office will be closed during the summer.  However, people will be checking their e-mail and their telephone messages during this time.

        Mr. Williams stated that the LDAK is preparing for the fall, noting that they are extending their workshop sessions.  

Epilepsy Kingston

        Nadine Carson provided information about exciting research in the field of epilepsy, commenting on epilepsy seizure monitors, and how they work.

Andrea Martin

        Ms. Martin brought forward information about some of the changes to the Bachelor of Education program, which will be brought into effect in the fall.  She said that in the fall they are moving to two three week blocks interspersed with three or four weeks on campus.  In the winter, there will be a four week block in February and March and then they will continue with a three week alternate practicum. Ms. Martin stated that one of the election promises the present
government made was that Faculties of Education could extend their program to a two-year program.  She said that negotiations with a number of stakeholders are taking place for an extended program.

Community Living Kingston

        Kathy Bennett commented on the changes in the funding application process for special services at home, noting that they now have to go through the Development Services Office.  She said that the changes will have implications in terms of accessing funds for families.

Other Business
Mental Health Initiatives
        Ms. McDonnell provided an update regarding the Mental Health/Addiction Nurses.  She reported that at the Regional Special Education meeting, Mental Health/Addiction Nurses in schools were discussed.  She indicated that funding for this initiative has been transferred to the CCACs.  She advised that our local CCAC will work with four district school boards – Limestone DSB, Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic DSB, Hastings-Prince Edward DSB and the Upper Canada DSB.  At this point, it is our understanding that these registered nurses and/or registered practical nurses would be in district school boards working with students by November 2012.  She said that she will continue to report back on this initiative.

        Ms. McDonnell stated that at this point, there are no specific parameters around the particular use of these positions in district school boards.  The Ministry of Education has commented that they are to enhance service for boards; the nurses are not there to provide counselling.  Ms. McDonnell indicated that we will be working with community partners as to what the role will look like to meet the needs within our system and community.  She said that we are excited about this opportunity, as are our partners.

        Ms. McDonnell commented on the Mental Health professional learning opportunities provided by Dr. Stan Kutcher.  She advised that Dr. Kutcher provided three days of professional learning in the community, through Working Together for Kid’s Mental Health funding in collaboration with Pathways for Children and Youth, Limestone DSB, Algonquin and Lakeshore DSB, Queen’s University, and Hotel Dieu Hospital.  She advised that Dr. Kutcher worked with teachers and staff members around Mental Health Literacy and Go To Educator training.

        Ms. Herron reported that on May 23, 2012, Dr. Kutcher and his assistant presented directly to teachers from each of the five pilot schools, as well as Educational Services staff from the Limestone DSB, a train the trainer model.  She indicated that staff from Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic DSB and Pathways for Children and Youth also attended.  She said that there were 25 participants the first day.

        Ms. Herron indicated that on May 24, 2012, Dr. Kutcher provided Go To Educator training, which was delivered to Pathways for Children and Youth staff.  It was targeted for a support network in schools.  The five pilot secondary schools were asked to send their “Go To Educator” staff to the training.  She stated that Adolescent Care Workers and Guidance Counsellors also attended.  She said that day we had 30 staff, among Limestone DSB, Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic DSB and Pathways in attendance.

        Ms. Herron reported that on May 25, 2012, Dr. Kutcher provided training to primary care physician within the Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox and Addington community.


        Trustee Murray advised that the Board will pass its budget at its June 20, 2012 meeting.  She said that she would provide a formal report in the fall.

        Trustee Murray thanked SEAC members for their involvement on the committee, and she thanked Educational Services staff for their work.

Presentation to Kathy Bennett

        Trustee Murray indicated that Ms. Bennett is retiring from the Special Education Advisory Committee, and she thanked her for her years of service, as well as her commitment to children with special needs.  She wished Ms. Bennett all the best.

        Ms. Bennett thanked Trustee Murray for her words, stating that it has been a pleasure to serve on the Special Education Advisory Committee with so many committed parents and staff, to improve education options for our young people.  She thanked staff for their work.

Next Meeting Date

        The next meeting of the Special Education Advisory Committee is scheduled for Wednesday, September 19, 2012, at 7:00 p.m.


        MOVED BY Nadine Carson, seconded by Andrea Martin, that the meeting adjourn at 7:10~p.m.–Carried