Special Education Advisory Committee
December 12, 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, December 12, 2012, at 6:00~p.m.
P. Murray, Co-Chair
Karen Jeffrey, Lennox and Addington Resources for Children
Andrea Martin, Member-at-Large (Queens University)
Pat LaLonde, Autism Ontario
Erin Sheldon, Community Living Kingston
Brad Shoniker, Member-at-Large
Charlene Whalen, Family and Childrens Services of Frontenac, Lennox & Addington
David Williams, Learning Disabilities Association of Kingston and Co-Chair
Chris Herron, Educational Services & Safe Schools Coordinator
Ann-Marie Lacoursière, Principal of Educational Services
Alison McDonnell, Supervising Principal
Steve Ward, Vice-Principal of Educational Services
Darlene Kirkpatrick, Recording Secretary
Nadine Carson, Epilepsy Kingston
Drew Boyce, School to Community Coordinator
Jennifer Davidson-Harden, Chief Psychologist
Jennifer Murphy, Special Education Program Coordinator
Alexis Stefanovich-Thomson, Special Education Program Coordinator
The meeting was chaired by Trustee Murray.
Approval of Agenda
MOVED BY Brad Shoniker, seconded by Charlene Whalen, that the agenda, as distributed, be approved.Carried
Approval of Minutes
MOVED BY Karen Jeffrey, seconded by Brad Shoniker, that the minutes of the November 21, 2012 meeting, as distributed, be approved.Carried
Business Arising From the Minutes
School Council Liaison Committee (Parent Involvement Committee)
It was confirmed that Pat LaLonde would serve as SEAC’s representative on the School Council Liaison Committee (Parent Involvement Committee), and Karen Jeffrey would be the alternate SEAC representative on this committee.
Election of Agency Co-Chair
Trustee Murray called for nominations for the position of Co-Chair from the representatives of the agencies.
MOVED BY Trustee Crawford, seconded by Brad Shoniker, that David Williams be appointed to the position of Agency Co-Chair of the Special Education Advisory Committee, for the period December 1, 2012 to November 30, 2013.
Trustee Murray asked Mr. Williams if he would accept the nomination. Mr. Williams indicated that he would.
Trustee Murray called for further nominations three times.
Trustee Murray congratulated Mr. Williams on being acclaimed to the position of Agency Co-Chair of the Special Education Advisory Committee, for the period December 1, 2012 to November 30, 2013.
Mr. Williams stated that he was pleased to accept the position of Agency Co-Chair, indicating that he is looking forward to continuing in the role.
Educational Services Update – Strategic Plan Reference: Item 1.1
Ms. Lacoursière provided an Educational Services update, as follows:
Completion of Special Incidence Portion Claims
- Funding for staff support to ensure the health and safety both of students who have extraordinarily high needs related to their disabilities and/or exceptionalities and of others at school
- Health Claim – student with a diagnosed medical condition that requires intensive support to maintain the health of the student
- Safety Claim – student who requires intensive support for the safety of the student and/or others from behavior that is injurious to self and/or others
Ms. Lacoursière provided information about Dr. Ross Greene’s presentations on December 5th and 6th, 2012.
Ms. Lacoursière indicated that Educational Services will be involved in secondary staffing with regard to hiring School to Community Services, LINKS Program, and Autism Support teachers for semester two.
Trustee Murray thanked Ms. Lacoursière for providing the above-noted information.
(a) From Carol Bryden, Chair of the Board, St. Clair Catholic District School Board, a copy of a letter addressed to The Honourable Laurel Broten, Minister of Education, dated December 4, 2012, requesting that the Ministry of Education continues to recognize the importance of professional development in the area of Special Education for all teachers because of the increased complexity of exceptional needs students. They also urge the Ministry of Education to put into action the necessary changes to ensure that a comprehensive Special Education preparatory course be a mandatory part of the pre-service programs for all Teacher Colleges in Ontario.
(b) From David Marcus, Special Education Advisory Committee Chair, Renfrew County District School Board, a copy of a letter addressed to The Honourable Laurel Broten, Minister of Education, dated November 7, 2012, acknowledging the receipt of the Minister’s letter dated June 7, 2012, in response to their letter of December 12, 2011. Their SEAC wrote to the Minister to request that the funding model for special education reflect the actual cost of provision of special education service and that it provide fair allocation for all students, wherever they live in Ontario. They advise that they continue to struggle to fund the services exceptional students require. They indicate that it is imperative that the Ministry announces a fair and equitable Special Education model that
provides ample funding to serve the needs of exceptional students.
(c) From Amy Booth, Special Education Advisory Committee Chair, Upper Canada District School Board, a copy of a letter addressed to The Honourable Laurel Broten, Minister of Education, dated November 21, 2012, regarding their support of the Near North District School Board Special Education Advisory Committee’s concern with respect to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder. The Near North DSB has recently suggested that the Ministry of Education examine the Health Curriculum and modify it so that Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder can be discussed with students earlier than Grade 11.
Secondly, the Upper Canada DSB adds it agreement and support to the Wellington Catholic DSB SEAC’s request to have Special Education preparatory courses become mandatory for all Teacher Colleges in Ontario.
Lennox and Addington Resources for Children (LARC)
Ms. Jeffrey reported that LARC is involved in many Christmas activities, noting that the Early Years Centre is having a breakfast with Santa event.
Trustee Murray thanked Ms. Jeffrey for providing the above-noted information.
Mr. Shoniker reported that Ongwanada is going through the accreditation process. He further reported that they held their annual Christmas dinner, with meals served to 656 families and clients.
Trustee Murray thanked Brad Shoniker for providing the above-noted information.
Family and Children’s Services of Frontenac, Lennox & Addington
Ms. Whalen reported that Family and Children’s Services of Frontenac, Lennox & Addington is busy with its Christmas campaign. She also advised that there is a Christmas concert taking place in Newburgh on Saturday, December 15, 2012, with the proceeds from the concert in support of gifts for children in need. She said that there are two shows; one at 3:00 p.m. and one at 7:00 p.m.
Trustee Murray thanked Ms. Whalen for providing the above-noted information.
Ms. Martin reported that the Faculty of Education, Queen’s University, went through accreditation recently, advising that a panel of eight from the Ontario Teachers’ College were involved in the process. She said that their results will not be known for 180 days.
Ms. Martin advised that the number of applicants applying to Bachelor of Education programs has declined. She said that last year at this time, the Faculty of Education at Queen’s University had 1,700 applicants, and this year, there are 1,300 applicants. She commented that the decline in applications is of concern.
Ms. Martin reported that Queen’s Faculty of Education candidates are now in week two of three weeks in schools. She said that they are working hard.
Trustee Murray thanked Ms. Martin for providing the above-noted information.
Community Living Kingston
Ms. Sheldon advised that January 16, 2013 has been confirmed as the date that Caroline Mussellwhite will come to Kingston. She said that she will be presenting at the Faculty of Education at Queen’s University, on Creating a Balanced Literacy Program for Students with Learning Disabilities. She said that the event is open to the public, and free to anyone who works for a school board.
Ms. Sheldon is to forward the information to Darlene Kirkpatrick so that it can be forwarded to SEAC members.
Trustee Murray thanked Ms. Sheldon for providing the above-noted information.
Learning Disabilities Association of Kingston
Mr. Williams advised that the Learning Disabilities Association of Kingston has recruited two new Board members recently.
Trustee Murray thanked Mr. Williams for providing the above-noted information.
Ms. LaLonde reported that the Kingston Chapter of Ontario Autism Children’s Christmas Party was a huge success.
Ms. LaLonde advised that the Kingston Chapter of Ontario Autism’s Halloween event was a huge success, raising $4,000. She further advised that the Lego Club is going well. She said that they are in the process of deciding what their spring fundraiser event will be.
Special Education Plan 2012-2013 – Strategic Plan Reference: Item 2.1
Trustee Murray drew attention to the Board’s Strategic Plan, indicating to SEAC members that the Special Education Advisory Committee is listed in it. She reviewed the three goals, drawing attention to the Special Education Advisory Committee’s role.
Trustee Murray, as an example, referred to page 9, section 2.2.3 and indicated that the Board established a multi-year accessibility plan. She said that document is brought to SEAC members for review, noting that it is then posted on the Board’s website, and that the public can provide input at that time.
Trustee Murray thanked SEAC members for their work, saying that their role is important. She also thanked staff for their work.
Ministry Updates – Strategic Plan Reference: Item 2.1.5
Ms. McDonnell advised that the mental health nurse assigned by Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) to the Limestone District School Board has resigned her position with CCAC. She indicated that CCAC will be re-hiring for this position, and that she would keep SEAC members updated, as we receive information.
Ms. Herron commented on the Service Collaborative, one of the Ministry’s initiatives related to mental health initiatives. She advised that two meetings were held, to which a couple of Educational Services staff attended. She indicated that a large group of people attended the initial meeting to determine interest in the community. She reported that a working group was established to determine a gap and to address that gap. She reviewed the themes that they were to consider.
Ms. Herron reported that the group will meet in January, and at that time, will look at the selection of co-chairs for the committee. She advised that they are working in tandem with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). She said that there is a lot of discussion about information that would be relevant to determine what gap they would want to select. She said that education will be represented in the working group.
Mr. Williams advised that he was also in attendance at the meeting, as well as many other service providers. He said that at the next meeting they will identify a particular gap or gaps in the Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox and Addington area.
Ms. McDonnell stated that the premise is for organizations to use the resources they have at their own disposal. She said that whatever focus is chosen would be of specific need to a particular community, with a view towards sustainability.
Next Meeting Date
The next meeting of the Special Education Advisory Committee is scheduled for Wednesday, January 16, 2013, at 7:00 p.m., at the Education Centre, 220 Portsmouth Avenue, Kingston. The remaining meeting dates for the 2012-2013 school year are: February 20, 2013, March 20, 2013, April 17, 2013, May 22, 2013 (4th Wednesday), and June 5, 2013 (1st Wednesday).
MOVED BY Pat LaLonde, seconded by Brad Shoniker, that the meeting adjourn at 6:45 p.m.Carried