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October 16, 2013 - Special Education Advisory Committee Minutes
Special Education Advisory Committee
October 16, 2013

A meeting of the Special Education Advisory Committee was held in Committee Room C at the Education Centre, 220 Portsmouth Avenue, Kingston, ON, on Wednesday, October 16, 2013, at 7:00~p.m.
Present Trustees:
P. Murray, Co-Chair
E. Crawford

Present Members:
Amanda Collins, Easter Seals
Meghan Leuprecht, Alternate, Family & Childrens Services, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington
Andrea Martin, Member-at-Large (Queens University)
Brad Shoniker, Member-at-Large
Present Staff:
Jennifer Davidson-Harden, Chief Psychologist
Chris Herron, Educational Services and Safe Schools Coordinator
Darlene Scarlett, Principal of Educational Services
Alison McDonnell, Supervising Principal
Steve Ward, Vice-Principal of Educational Services
Darlene Kirkpatrick, Recording Secretary        
Nadine Carson, Epilepsy Kingston
Karen Jeffrey, Lennox and Addington Resources for Children
Erin Sheldon, Community Living Kingston
Charlene Whalen, Family & Childrens Services, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington
David Williams, Learning Disabilities Association of Kingston and Co-Chair

The meeting was chaired by Trustee Murray.  She called the meeting to order, welcoming those present to the meeting.  She welcomed Meghan Leuprecht, the alternate representative from the Family Support Program, Family and Children’s Services, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington.

Declaration of Conflict of Interest

        No SEAC member declared a conflict of interest.

Approval of Agenda

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

Approval of Minutes

MOVED BY Amanda Collins, seconded by Brad Shoniker, that the minutes of the September 18, 2013 meeting, as distributed, be approved.–Carried

Business Arising From the Minutes

Potential Time and Day Change for SEAC Meetings

        Trustee Murray advised that SEAC members were polled with regard to a potential time and day change for SEAC meetings.  She said that the results indicated that SEAC members wished to remain with the status quo, and therefore, meetings would be held the third Wednesday of a month, beginning at 7:00 p.m.

Consultation: Building the Next Phase in Ontario’s Education Strategy, “From Great to Excellent (Strategic Plan Reference:  Item 1.1)

        Trustee Murray stated that the Ministry of Education makes mention of the 21st Century classroom, and answering the seven key questions in the Ministry of Education Visioning Consultation Process “From Great to Excellent” document will help them to focus on what that will look like.

        Trustee Murray stated that in the Limestone District School Board, we have forwarded the seven key questions to over 20 agencies for response.  She said that the questions have also been sent to SEAC members and they will be brought to the November Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee (ESAC) meeting.  She reported that Trustees will answer the questions individually, forwarding their responses to the Director’s Office where the suggestions will be synthesized to formulate a Limestone DSB response at the November Board meeting.

        Ms. McDonnell stated that SEAC has been asked specifically to be engaged in this consultation.  She advised that the deadline for feedback is November 15, 2013.  She indicated that because of the deadline we have shifted the agenda item related to Goal Setting to the November SEAC meeting so that SEAC would be able to answer the questions.

        Ms. McDonnell stated that, if agreeable to SEAC members, SEAC members would divide into groups to answer the questions.  She said that she would then collect the responses, collating them to send electronically to the Ministry of Education, as part of the consultation process.

        SEAC members broke into groups.  Following their work in groups, Ms. McDonnell collected the responses.

        Trustee Murray thanked SEAC members for their responses.  She said that if they have further information they want included, to please e-mail her or Supervising Principal McDonnell.   

Educational Services Update (Strategic Plan Reference:  Item 1.1)

        Principal Scarlett provided a brief Educational Services update, as follows:

Professional Activity Day (October 11)

  • Learning Goal:  To better understand the concept of a growth mindset
  • Build knowledge and understanding
  • Apply our new learning and reflect through small group activities, discussion questions, and sharing back with the larger group
  • The Power of Belief – Mindset and Success
  • The article entitled “Mindsets and Equitable Education” by Carol Dweck was distributed
  • We used this article on our P.A. day and asked our staff to draw visual representations of fixed and growth mindset
  • Each group presented their visual to the larger group and explained how their drawing represented the concepts of fixed and growth mindset
IEP Writer Implementation

  • Implementation plan has been developed to transition from the IEP Engine to IEP Writer ongoing throughout November
  • Meetings with Information Technology Services and Cardinal (IEP Writer provider) ongoing with our “Go Live” date scheduled for December
  • Training plan is developed to train our school staff across the district in the new IEP writer
Trustee Murray thanked Ms. Scarlett for providing the above-noted information.


        There was no correspondence presented at the meeting.

Association Updates

Amanda Collins, Easter Seals

        Ms. Collins reported that Easter Seals is working on the seven key questions regarding the Ministry of Education Visioning Process “From Great to Excellent” document.

Trustee Murray thanked Ms. Collins for providing the above-noted information.

Andrea Martin

        Ms. Martin reported that Bachelor of Education students attending the Faculty of Education at Queen’s University are doing practicum placements at this time.

        Trustee Murray thanked Ms. Martin for providing the above-noted information.

Meghan Leuprecht, Family Support Program, Family and Children’s Services, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington.

        Ms. Leuprecht reported that Family and Children’s Services, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington is hosting a Transitions Night for families with children with special needs.  The transitioning process is from high school to adult services.   

Trustee Murray thanked Ms. Leuprecht for providing the above-noted information.

Other Business

EQAO Data – Students with Special Needs (Strategic Plan Reference:  Item 1.1)

        Ms. McDonnell stated that she does have a power point presentation on EQAO results for students with special needs prepared, but in light of the time SEAC members agreed that this item is to be placed on the November SEAC agenda.  

Ministry Updates (Strategic Plan Reference:  Items 1.1 and 2.1)

        Ms. McDonnell reported that the Board did receive a memorandum that was sent to Directors of Education about a consultation session for the development of a provincial framework to support programs not based on provincial curriculum.  She said that the consultation will take place on October 24, 2013, from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. in Smith Falls, ON, at the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario.  She advised that the focus will be on collecting information that will inform the Ministry’s direction around programming that supports students who do not access the provincial curriculum.

        Ms. McDonnell reported that each district school board is to send five or six delegates, those being a superintendent or designate, special education coordinator or consultant, elementary teacher who works with this particular group of students, secondary teacher who works with this particular group of students, a staff member who is responsible for alternative programming, and a SEAC member.  She said that those attending should have a willingness to participate and be prepared to discuss the following three areas:

  • What is the range of students in programs that are not based on provincial curriculum?
  • What resources are used in a district school board for those students?
  • Be prepared to discuss the skills, knowledge and characteristics of this particular group of students to succeed in school and as they transition out of school and into the workforce.
Ms. McDonnell asked that any SEAC member who would like to participate in the consultation session to please e-mail her to let her know.
Next Meeting Date

The next meeting of the Special Education Advisory Committee is scheduled for Wednesday, November 20, 2013, at 7:00 p.m., at the Limestone Education Centre, 220 Portsmouth Avenue, Kingston.  The remaining meeting dates for the 2013-2014 school year are:  December 11, 2013 (2nd Wednesday), January 15, 2014, February 19, 2014, March 19, 2014, April 16, 2014, May 28, 2014 (4th Wednesday), and June 11, 2014 (2nd Wednesday).


MOVED BY Brad Shoniker, seconded by Andrea Martin, that the meeting adjourn at    8:40 p.m.–Carried