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September 19, 2012 - Special Education Advisory Committee Minutes
Special Education Advisory Committee
September 19, 2012

        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, September 19, 2012, at 7:00 p.m.
Present Trustees:
P. Murray, Co-Chair
E. Crawford
Present Members:
Karen Jeffrey, Lennox and Addington Resources for Children
Pat LaLonde, Autism Ontario
Andrea Martin, Member-at-Large (Queen’s University)
Erin Sheldon, Community Living Kingston
Brad Shoniker, Member-at-Large
Charlene Whalen, Family & Children’s Services, Lennox and Addington
David Williams, Learning Disabilities Association of Kingston
Present Staff:
Chris Herron, Educational Services & Safe Schools Coordinator
Ann-Marie Lacoursière, Principal
Alison McDonnell, Supervising Principal
Steve Ward, Vice-Principal of Educational Services
Darlene Kirkpatrick, Recording Secretary
Nadine Carson, Epilepsy Kingston

        The meeting was chaired by David Williams, who welcomed those present to the meeting.

Approval of Agenda

        Mr. Williams advised that Supervising Principal McDonnell would provide an Administration Update, following the Business Arising From the Minutes section of the agenda.

        MOVED BY Brad Shoniker, seconded by Karen Jeffrey, that the agenda, as amended, be approved.–Carried

Approval of Minutes

        MOVED BY Trustee Crawford, seconded by Trustee Murray, that the minutes of the June 6, 2012 meeting, as distributed, be approved.–Carried

Business Arising From the Minutes

        There was no business arising from the minutes.

Administration Update

        Supervising Principal McDonnell advised that in response to Bill 115: Putting Students First Act, individual staff may choose to withdraw some services.  She stated that in the event the staff present are unable to answer Committee members’ questions, any questions or concerns will be taken to the staff not in attendance.  She said that if Committee members have questions about how the withdrawal of services may impact the Special Education Advisory Committee, she would be happy to respond now or at a later date.  She reported that all Educational Services staff members are very dedicated and committed, and value our community partnerships.

Possible SEAC Presentations

        Committee members suggested that a future meeting be held at Southview Public School, a future meeting be held at École Sir John A. Macdonald Public School, and that a future meeting be held at Educational Services.  Ms. McDonnell stated that a meeting could be held at Southview Public School this fall, at Educational Services during the winter months, and at École Sir John A. Macdonald Public School in the spring.

        Ms. Sheldon advised that she is attending the Closing the Gap: Changing lives with assistive technology Conference, that is being held October 17-19, 2012, at Minneapolis.  She said that one of the workshops relates to implementing iPads in classrooms, and that she would send the information to Principal Lacoursière.

        A Committee member suggested that the SEAC also visit an Autism Classroom during the 2012-2013 school year.

Educational Services Update

        Ms. Lacoursière stated that it has been a busy start up, as in previous years.  She reported that during the summer, Educational Services moved from the basement of LCVI to the Calvin Park building.  She showed photographs of the new area, indicating that they now have more space.  She said that they look forward to hosting a future SEAC meeting at their new site.

        Ms. Lacoursière commented on the following continuing and upcoming projects:

•     IEP Engine
•     Request for Proposal for SEA per pupil equipment
•     Continuation of elementary School to Community Services review
•     Mental Health Initiatives
•     Professional Learning

        Ms. Lacoursière provided an overview of Educational Services, as follows:

Student Support Counsellors

Lead:   Chris Herron
•     Social, emotional and behaviour and/or attendance issues
•     Emphasis on early intervention and service within the classroom and school environment
•     Behaviour – consultation, observation, and evaluation
•     Counselling in bereavement, self-esteem, social skills and behaviour management
•     Crisis management
•     Consultation with:
        •     Community agencies to support families
        •     Classroom teachers and administration for strategies
        •     Families in need of support
•     Behaviour Action Team

Adolescent Care Workers

•     One in each secondary school across the District
•     Similar role to Student Support Counsellors who work in elementary schools

Attendance Counsellors
Lead:   Chris Herron
•     Most often for secondary students
•     Support for students identified as “at risk” due to poor attendance records
•     Involvement of community agencies where appropriate
•     Monthly check-in based on school-level review of Trillium attendance reports

Speech-Language Pathologists
Lead:   Ann-Marie Lacoursière
•     Consultative support for teaching staff in phonological awareness, receptive and expressive language delays, early language development and augmentative communication
•     Assessment of speech and language difficulties
•     Assessment of articulation issues and identification of students to receive articulation support from Speech Educational Assistants

Clinical Consultants
Lead:   Chief Psychologist
•     Consultation with Student Support Teacher to address students with learning difficulties
•     Psycho-educational Assessment
•     Crisis Management/Counselling, Behavioural Consultation

Multidisciplinary District Teams
Early Learning Team
•     Providing support for Full-Day Kindergarten programs
•     Speech-Language Pathologist
•     Educational Assistant
•     Clinical Consultant
•     Special Education Coordinator

Autism Team
•     Student Support Counsellors
•     Speech-Language Pathologist
•     Special Education Coordinator

School to Community Team
•     Student Support Counsellor
•     Transitions Coordinator
•     Speech-Language Pathologist
•     Special Education Coordinator

Behaviour Action Team
•     Student Support Counsellors
•     Hotel Dieu/SNAP Liaison
•     Aboriginal Student Support Counsellor
•     Attendance Counsellor
•     Clinical Consultant
•     Itinerant Behaviour Teacher
•     Educational Services and Safe Schools Liaison Coordinator Chris Herron

Resource Teachers
•     Deaf/Hard of Hearing and Blind/Low-Vision
•     District Assistive Technology:
        •     Web-based Kurzweil and SEA Claim Support
        •     IEP Engine Lead

District Programs and Learning Centres
•     Medical Instruction (Home/Hospital) – Steve Ward
•     Learning Disabilities – Steve Ward
•     Behaviour Programs – Steve Ward
•     Autism Programs
•     Atlas, LEAP and Challenge – Site Principals
•     Section 23 – Ann-Marie Lacoursière

Our Continued Focus

•     Providing support and service to our students throughout the system
•     Emphasis on student achievement for all in academic and alternative curriculum expectations

        Mr. Williams thanked Principal Lacoursière for providing the above-noted information.


        There was no correspondence.

Association Updates

Lennox and Addington Resources for Children (LARC)

        Ms. Jeffrey distributed copies of LARC’s new brochure, advising that they have expanded their After School programs.  She stated that the programs have been expanded into Southview Public School, Bath Public School, Odessa Public School, Fairfield Elementary School, Amherstview Public School, J.J. O’Neill Catholic School, The Prince Charles School, Tamworth Elementary School and Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic School.  She indicated that Early Childhood Educator staff have been added to this program to create separate Kinder programs for 4 and 5 year olds, which fits into Full Day Learning.

        Ms. Jeffrey stated that LARC’s Resource Consultant is getting an increase in calls from schools with regard to the transition to school process, asking LARC to assist with the transition process.  She said that they feel this is a result of the transition to school protocol.

        Ms. Jeffrey stated that she had extra copies of the resource, “William! Won’t You Wash Your Hands?” for anyone who wanted a copy.

        Ms. Jeffrey advised that the Child Care Programs in Lennox and Addington County have participated in the “Raising the Bar” program.  She further advised that the “Raising the Bar” program is a program designed to help families ensure their children are receiving high-quality early learning and child care services.  The presence of a “Raising the Bar” certificate is a sign that the program is committed to maintaining provincial regulatory standards, as well as local community standards.

        Mr. Williams thanked Ms. Jeffrey for providing the above-noted information.

Brad Shoniker

        Mr. Shoniker reported that Ongwanada has three new interns who are doing their PhD year.

        Mr. Williams thanked Mr. Shoniker for providing the above-noted information.

Family & Children’s Services, Lennox and Addington

        Ms. Whalen stated that the Frontenac County area of Family and Children’s Services will be moving into its new administration site at the end of the month, and that Family and Children’s Services, Lennox and Addington, will remain at its current site.

        Mr. Williams thanked Ms. Whalen for providing the above-noted information.

Autism Ontario

        Ms. LaLonde reported that October is Autism Awareness Month.

        Ms. LaLonde advised of the following events taking place in October:

October 13, 2012, 9:00 a.m. - 9:15 p.m. – The Kingston Chapter of Autism Ontario is holding a Yoga Day Fundraiser, at Extend-A-Family, 361 Montreal Street, Kingston, with profits from the event going to support Autism Ontario.  For further information, call 613-507-7896.

October 16, 2012 – Family Support Meeting

October 19, 2012, 8:00 p.m. until 1:00 a.m. – Hallowe’en Party at Zorba’s Banquet Facility.  Advanced tickets are $12/single or $20/couple, and at the door, they are $15/single or $25/couple.

October 24-27 – “God’s Middle Name” production is the story of one mother’s ten-year episodic journey through the unchartered territory of raising her autistic child.  All proceeds to go the Quintilian School and Kingston Foundation for Autism.

        Ms. LaLonde stated that she was approached by the City of Kingston to see if information concerning an exercise program for people with exceptionalities that the City is running could be distributed throughout the Board.  She said that there are only five registrants for the program at this time, and that the City needs 10 in order to run the program.  She asked if the information could be sent to special education teachers to share with their students.  Principal Lacoursière said that she would support Ms. LaLonde’s request.

        Ms. LaLonde stated that Kingston Elite Exceptionals Cheerleading Team is looking for participants for the team.

        Mr. Williams thanked Ms. LaLonde for providing the above-noted information.

Community Living Kingston

        Ms. Sheldon reported that Community Living Ontario is holding an Inclusive Education Webinar Series, which includes three mini series.  She indicated that she would forward information about the webinar series to Darlene Kirkpatrick, who could then forward the information to SEAC members.

        Ms. Sheldon indicated that Community Living Kingston will be looking at an Inclusive Recreation Program model in Upstate New York that supports students with exceptionalities who participate in recreation programs.  She said that Community Living Kingston is planning to bring representatives from the Upstate New York program to Kingston to do a presentation. She indicated that for this program, the state provides funding for a parent to be trained through an initial grant, and then asks school boards to pick up half of the cost for the trainer to train other parents.

        Ms. Williams thanked Ms. Sheldon for providing the above-noted information.

Andrea Martin

        Ms. Martin reported that there are 650 teacher candidates at the Faculty of Education, Queen’s University, this year.  She said that the students are keen and eager.  She said that they are at the Faculty for five weeks, then they practice teach for three weeks, then come back to the Faculty for another five weeks, and then go out to schools for another three weeks, bringing them to the Winter Break.

        Mr. Williams thanked Ms. Martin for providing the above-noted information.      

Learning Disabilities Association of Kingston

        Mr. Williams stated that the Learning Disabilities Association of Canada has announced closure of its office, due to a lack of funding.  He said that they have enough money to operate their office until the end of next month, and then the office will run on a volunteer basis until the end of March 2013.  He said that they are continuing to look for money.  He said that we will end up with a voluntary national organization, with 10 provincial organizations.  He reported that no current client programs are affected to date, as they are operated at the provincial level.

        Mr. Williams reported that the Annual General Meeting of the Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario is being held today, and that there are no great changes to that plan.

        Mr. Williams stated that the Learning Disabilities Association of Kingston will continue to offer its “Learning = Power” workshops this year.  He stated that the “IEP 101 Individual Education Plan” for the elementary panel is being held on Wednesday, October 3, 2012, from 7:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m., at Loblaws Kingston Centre, Community Room, and that the “IEP 101 Individual Education Plan” for the secondary panel is being held on Monday, November 12, 2012, from 7:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m., at Loblaws Kingston Centre, Community Room.
Association Updates (continued)

        Mr. Williams reported that a Career Planning workshop will be held on Wednesday, October 17, 2012, from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. at Duncan McArthur Hall, Faculty of Education, Queen’s University.  He advised that there would be a presentation on an on-line program called “Career Cruising.”

        Mr. Williams stated that the Learning Disabilities Association of Kingston office continues to be busy, with the secretary in the office three days per week.

Other Business

Special Education Plan 2012-2013

        Ms. McDonnell stated that throughout last year, different sections of the Special Education Plan were shared with SEAC members to provide input.  She said that at the May 2012 meeting, Principal Lacoursière shared a draft copy of the Plan.  She reported that the final copy of the document was sent to the Ministry of Education, and that the completely revised version of the Special Education Plan is now available on the Board’s website, under the Our Programs tab, Special Education tab.  She said that the intent is to work through the Special Education Plan consultation process with SEAC members throughout this school year.  She indicated that sections of the Plan will be brought to SEAC members on a monthly basis this year, for sharing and input.
Mental Health Initiatives

        Ms. McDonnell reported that a Regional Special Education Committee meeting will take place in mid October, and that she hopes to hear about the roll out of special education initiatives at this time.   She stated that we have consulted with our community partners around Mental Health/Addiction Nurses.  She reported that Community Care Access Centre has hired a Mental Health Nurse Leader, Elizabeth Harrison, whose office is out of Belleville, ON.  Ms. McDonnell stated that interviews are to take place soon for the actual positions for Mental Health/Addiction Nurses.  She advised that the Limestone District School Board will receive two Mental Health/Addiction Nurses or one Mental Health/Addiction Nurse and one Mental Health/Addiction Registered Practical Nurse.

        Ms. McDonnell stated that there was discussion around the need to balance consistency across LINs within the province and the need to acknowledge local school board and community needs as well.

        Ms. McDonnell stated that as we receive more information around our local mental health nurses, she will bring that information to SEAC members. She said that Public Health has been advised and are aware of the roll out.  She said that the intent is to augment, rather than duplicate, services that we currently have in district school boards and within local communities.

EQAO Achievement Results for Students with Special Education Needs

        Ms. McDonnell stated that our students with special education needs did very well in the EQAO testing.  She stated that there was increased achievement for students with special education needs in four of six areas and that the exemption rate was reduced.  She reported that at the Primary level, 34% (6% increase) of Grade 3 students with special education needs met the provincial standard in Reading, 52% (5% increase) of Grade 3 students with special education needs met the provincial standard in Writing, and 36% (3% increase) of Grade 3 students with special education needs met the provincial standard in Mathematics.

        Ms. McDonnell stated that at the Junior level, the percentage of Grade 6 students with special needs who met the provincial standard remained the same in Reading at 41% of Grade 6 students with special education needs meeting the provincial standard.  She said that there was a decrease of 1% in Writing, with 36% of Grade 6 students with special education needs meeting the provincial standard.  Ms McDonnell stated that there was a 4% increase in Mathematics, with 23% of Grade 6 students with special education needs meeting the provincial standard.

        Ms. McDonnell commented on the Limestone District School Board’s focus on building teacher capacity around differentiated instruction and establishing cultures of high expectations for all of our students.  She also commented on the incredible work of Educational Services staff Mark Ryan and Hazel MacDonald in the area of assistive technology.  She said that it is important for our SEAC members to share in the celebration.

Next Meeting Date

        The next meeting of the Special Education Advisory Committee is scheduled for Wednesday, October 17, 2012, at 7:00 p.m.   The remaining meeting dates for the 2012-2013 school year are: November 21, 2012, December 12, 2012 (2nd Wednesday), January 16, 2013, February 20, 2013, March 20, 2013, April 17, 2013, May 22, 2013 (4th Wednesday), and June 5, 2013 (1st Wednesday).


        MOVED BY Brad Shoniker, seconded by Pat LaLonde, that the meeting adjourn at 8:10 p.m.–Carried