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May 23, 2013 - Special Education Advisory Committee Minutes
Special Education Advisory Committee
May 23, 2013

A meeting of the Special Education Advisory Committee was held at the Hastings-Prince Edward DSB Education Centre,156 Ann Street, Belleville, on Thursday, May 23, 2013, at 5:00~p.m.
Present Trustees:
Paula Murray, Co-Chair
Elaine Crawford
Present Members:
Brad Shoniker, Member-at-Large
Charlene Whalen, Family & Childrens Services, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington
David Williams, Learning Disabilities Association of Kingston and Co-Chair
Present Staff:
Jennifer Davidson-Harden, Chief Psychologist
Chris Herron, Educational Services & Safe Schools Coordinator
Ann-Marie Lacoursière, Principal of Educational Services
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

Amanda Collins, Easter Seals
Nadine Carson, Epilepsy Kingston
Karen Jeffrey, Lennox and Addington Resources for Children
Pat LaLonde, Autism Ontario
Andrea Martin, Member-at-Large (Queens University)
Erin Sheldon, Community Living Kingston
The meeting was chaired by David Williams.  He called the meeting to order, welcoming those present.  

Approval of Agenda

MOVED BY Brad Shoniker, seconded by Charlene Whalen, that the agenda, as distributed, be approved.–Carried

Approval of Minutes

MOVED BY Brad Shoniker, seconded by Trustee Murray, that the minutes of the       April 17, 2013 meeting, be approved.–Carried

Business Arising From the Minutes

        There was no business arising from the minutes.

Educational Services Update (Strategic Plan Reference:  Item 1.1)

        Ms. Lacoursière stated this time of year is busy as Educational Services plans for next year while maintaining support for this year.

        Ms. Lacoursière stated that Educational Services staff continues to move forward with emergent literacy.  She said that a group of teachers and educational assistants as part of the CODE Pilot met to look at data they have collected and the changes that have occurred for students.  She said that they hope to have that data available in June so that the results can be shared.

        Ms. Lacoursière indicated that Erin Sheldon, in partnership with Limestone DSB, submitted a Reaching Out Pro-grant proposal, noting that if successful, funding would be used for an extension of the CODE project.  She further indicated that the grant supports parent engagement.  She reported that Ms. Sheldon’s proposal is to have parents learn about what our teachers learned about technology as part of the CODE Project and focuses on how our parents can support literacy for non-verbal students.  She said that we look forward to hearing whether the application for funding was successful.

        In response to a question from Ms. Collins, Ms. Lacoursière advised that the CODE (Council of Directors of Education) asked for proposals in the fall related to learning and technology.  She said that Mark Ryan, Educational Services; Wayne Toms, Manager of ITS; and Superintendent Labrie put in a proposal that supports the development of literacy skills for students who are functional non-verbal.

        Ms. Lacoursière reported that at the Professional Activity Day tomorrow, members of the PSSP group is going to listen to Dr. Sean Phillips talk about attachment and trauma for students in the morning, and then will consolidate their learning in the afternoon.  

        Ms. Lacoursière advised that our IEP Review takes place May 29, 2013 from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at Educational Services.  She indicated that Karen Jeffrey, David Williams and Amanda Collins have agreed to be part of the review team.

        Ms. Lacoursière stated that staffing is busy for both the elementary and secondary panels.

        Ms. Lacoursière advised that the IEP Writer pilots are completed in both the elementary and secondary panels.  She said that the pilots were well received, and that the roll-out plan for the fall is being put in place.  

        Ms. Lacoursière reported that Educational Services staff have been working through updates for the Special Education Plan, and that the plan will be brought to the June SEAC meeting.

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


(a)     From John Watkins, SEAC Chair, Durham DSB, a copy of a letter dated April 3, 2013, addressed to The Honourable Liz Sandals, Minister of Education, adding Durham District School Board SEAC’s support to the recent letter sent to the Ministry on December 12, 2012 by the Wellington Catholic SDSB’s SEAC, in highlighting their concerns with the current funding model for special education.

(b)     From Dianne Wdowczyk, Chair, SEAC, Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic DSB, a copy of a letter dated May 8, 2013, addressed to The Honourable Liz Sandals, Minister of Education, lending the Brand Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board SEAC’s support of other boards and their respective SEACs pertaining to Special Education Preparatory courses becoming a mandated requirement for all teachers graduating from a College of Education in Ontario.

Association Updates

Charlene Whalen, Family & Children’s Services, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington

       Ms. Whalen reported that the staff at Family & Children’s Services, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington is busy organizing its summer camps to support children.  She said that the camps are always well attended.  

Amanda Collins, Easter Seals

        Ms. Collins advised that her first meeting with Easter Seals is next week.

        David Williams advised that Easter Seals has nominated Amanda Collins as its representative on the Limestone DSB SEAC, and that we plan to swear Ms. Collins in at the June SEAC meeting.

David Williams, Learning Disabilities Association of Kingston

        Mr. Williams reported that the Learning Disabilities Association of Kingston is winding down for the summer, indicating that their office is closed during the summer.  He said; however, that someone for LDAK will be responding to e-mail and telephone calls over the summer.

Other Business

        Ms. McDonnell indicated that the administrative team at Educational Services will be restructured due to anticipated reduction in specific funding lines for next year.  She advised that Principal Lacoursière will be returning to an elementary school (Glenburnie Public School), and next year, Darlene Scarlett (Secondary Principal currently on leave) will be the Principal at Educational Services.  Ms. McDonnell advised that Vice-Principal Ward will have an opportunity to return to a school mid-year during the 2013-2014 school year.  She advised that a Mental Health Leader will be hired, but that this role is funded separately.  She advised that Director Hunter had indicated that the savings in terms of staffing at Educational Services will be reinvested in Educational Services’ delivery of services.

        Ms. McDonnell said that we will bring forward more specifics in June around the Special Education budget and what services delivery will look like for the 2013-2014 school year, based on the budget.

        Ms. Herron provided an overview of the four professional learning days with regard to the KFL&A Mental Health and Awareness professional learning.  She said that the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic DSB, the Limestone DSB, as well as our community partners were involved in these professional learning days.

        Ms. McDonnell advised that with regard to correspondence received from Director Hunter through the Ontario College of Teachers, regarding feedback for additional courses for Special Education for Parts 1, 2 and 3, the Ontario College of Teachers is collecting feedback around the structure of special education.  She said that the e-mail would be sent to SEAC members via the Recording Secretary.  She said that a link and the feedback form are located there.  She advised that if SEAC members wished to provide feedback they could do so individually or could send their feedback to her to be collated and sent together.

        Trustee Murray indicated that she and Trustee Crawford will be advocating for funding for students with special education needs during budget deliberations.

Next Meeting Date

The next meeting of the Special Education Advisory Committee is scheduled for Wednesday, June 5, 2013, at the Limestone Education Centre, 220 Portsmouth Avenue, Kingston.  The time is to be determined.


MOVED BY Trustee Crawford, seconded by Brad Shoniker, that the meeting adjourn at 6:00 p.m.–Carried