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April 16, 2014 - Special Education Advisory Committee Minutes
Special Education Advisory Committee Meeting Minutes
Limestone District School Board
April 16, 2014

A meeting of the Special Education Advisory Committee was held in the Barry C. O’Connor Board Room at the Limestone Education Centre, 220 Portsmouth Avenue, Kingston, ON, on Wednesday, April 16, 2014, at 7:00 p.m.

P. Murray, Co-Chair
E. Crawford

K. Jeffrey, Lennox and Addington Resources for Children
A. Martin, Member-at-Large (Queen’s University)
E. Sheldon, Community Living Kingston
B. Shoniker, Member-at-Large Frontenac, Lennox and Addington
C. Whalen, Family & Childrens Services, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington
D. Williams, Learning Disabilities Association of Kingston, and Co-Chair
A. McDonnell, Supervising Principal
J.  Davidson-Harden, Chief Psychologist & Mental Health Lead
C. Herron, Educational Services and Safe Schools Coordinator
D. Scarlett, Principal of Educational Services
A. Stefanovich-Thomson, Special Education Program Coordinator
P. Babin, Superintendent of Business Services
S. Burnett, Special Education Program Coordinator
N. Carson, Epilepsy Kingston
A. Collins, Easter Seals
J. Murphy, Special Education Program Coordinator
M. Aitken, Records Management Coordinator

        Co-Chair Murray called the meeting to order, welcoming those present to the meeting, at 7:07 p.m.

  • Approval of Agenda
MOVED BY Mr. Shoniker, that the agenda, as distributed, be approved. Carried.

  • Declaration of Conflict of Interest
No declarations were made.   

  • Approval of Minutes – March 19, 2014
        MOVED BY Ms. Whalen, that the March 19, 2014 meeting minutes, as distributed, be approved. Carried.

  • Business Arising From the Minutes
  • Follow-Up to Goal Setting Activities
Co-Chair Murray informed the committee that she presented the goal-setting activities document to the Trustees at the Regular Board Meeting on April 9, 2014. Co-Chair Murray relayed that “the Trustees were very impressed and happy to see the good work SEAC is doing”. She stated that the presentation will go to the Tri-Board meeting on May 14, 2014.

  • Tri-Board – May 14, 5:00 p.m.
Co-Chair Murray advised the committee of the upcoming
Tri-Board meeting. She stated that each regional SEAC committee gives a one-hour presentation.

ACTION:  Program Coordinator Stefanovich-Thomson will gather the historical documents for the presentation. A name is still needed for the goal-setting document.

Co-Chair Murray thanked the staff who had participated over the last several months for all their work.

  • Presentation – “Overview of Government Grants & Budget” (Strategic Plan Ref. Item 3.1.1.) – Superintendent Paul Babin
Superintendent Babin gave a presentation on the latest government grants and budget, as recently released by the provincial government. He stated that the information being delivered was very early information which was released on March 27, 2014. Further, he stated that a paper is being released on April 10, 2014 by the government with more data. Superintendent Babin also informed the committee that the Ministry forms used to calculate grant entitlements are not yet available.

        Superintendent Babin informed the committee of the upcoming Public Budge Consultation meeting, May 12th at 7:00 p.m. at the Board Office.

        Superintendent Babin answered questions posed by the committee.

Co-Chair Murray thanked Superintendent Babin for the information shared.

  • Educational Services Update (Strategic Plan Reference:  Item 1.1.) – Principal Scarlett
Principal Scarlett gave a presentation and update on Educational Services.

Principal Scarlett reported that new staff have been hired; a clinical consultant, a teacher of deaf & hard of hearing, and a speech language pathologist.

Principal Scarlett informed the committee of the presentation on the Limestone District School Board’s Mental Health strategy given by Dr. Davidson-Harden in March at the University Hospital Foundation fundraiser.  Dr. Davidson-Harden represented the board on the expert panel alongside Dr. Khan, Dr. Craig and Clara Hughes.
Principal Scarlett commented on the excellent work of our assistive technology resource teachers in supporting our eleven secondary schools with assistive technology support for the OSSLT.

        Principal Scarlett thanked staff for their ongoing work supporting students with Autism with their transition to
grade nine with the Building Bridges program.

        Principal Scarlett reported that two staff successfully completed the intensive Behaviour Management Systems Train the Trainer course in March. She noted that ASIST training is planned for 23 teachers and student support counsellors in the secondary section in April, as well as training for SST, LPS, Student Success and Guidance teachers with PPM 156: Transitions.

        Principal Scarlett shared the information from the Autism Awareness event held recently at Welborne Public School. She stated that it provided many excellent tools to both students and teachers.

Co-Chair Williams thanked Principal Scarlett for her presentation.

  • Correspondence
Co-Chair Murray shared with the committee that letters were received from the Sudbury SEAC, regarding full-day kindergarten in the Rainbow District, and from the Greater Essex County School Board, Windsor, and the Niagara District School Board regarding funding.

ACTION:  The letters will be scanned and sent to the committee electronically.

  • Association Updates
Karen Jeffrey - Lennox and Addington Resources for Children

Ms. Jeffrey reported that the group had just completed a placement with the Queen’s School of Occupational Therapy. She stated that this year the focus was on children with sensory challenges in a daycare setting. Fidget kits were created, noise reducing activities to help kids focus were discussed, and they presented a workshop on how to use toys and fidgeting strategies. Also emphasized was how to look at one’s environment, and coping strategies were developed.

Bradley Shoniker, Member-at-Large Frontenac, Lennox and Addington

        Mr. Shoniker stated there are no updates.

Andrea Martin, Member-at-Large (Queens University)

Ms. Martin informed the committee that the 2014 - 2015 list of Bachelor of Education entrants has been sent out. Queen’s is anticipating approximately 700 students in the program, which is very close to the number in 2013 - 2014. Ms. Martin stated that the transition piece will start in May 2015, as well Queen’s will be running programs for exiting Concurrent Education students, including those that started the five year program in 2015. The goal is to meet the Ministry’s mandate of being “modernized and enhanced” by 2019.

Erin Sheldon, Community Living Kingston

Ms. Sheldon stated that Community Living Kingston has been holding planning committees meetings for months, on topics such as group homes, and support programs, and relayed that there has been a good deal of interesting communication and much contact with families and
discussion around shaping education. She stated that the feedback is that families want a lot more involvement. Ms. Sheldon stated that two workshops will be offered in May.

Ms. Sheldon relayed that people have expressed wanting more information via social media, and noted that at the last workshop every person had learned of the workshop from another parent via Facebook.

David Williams, Learning Disabilities Association of Kingston

Co-Chair Williams expressed that the Learning Disabilities Association is also working on Facebook and agreed that social media is a valuable communicative piece.

Co-Chair Williams informed the committee that he has stepped down as President of the group, however will continue his duties as the newly elected President is currently on leave.
Co-Chair Williams shared that there are four new board members, and currently the group is recruiting a new SEAC representative.

Co-Chair Williams stated that the group is preparing for the fall with some learning disabilities and mental health initiatives, such as Walk In My Shoes, to be held in Toronto. The date is to be determined.

Co-Chair Murray and Supervising Principal McDonnell thanked all presenting members for their updates.

  • Other Business
  • Ministry Updates - (Strategic Plan Reference:  Item 2.1.5) - PPM 156
Supervising Principal McDonnell presented an update on the IEP (Individual Education Plan) Review. She stated that this is an annual internal review. Supervising Principal McDonnell requested the participation of SEAC members, along with staff from educational services, and administrators, in completing an internal review. This will take place May 30th, 2014 in a full-day session, in a process similar to the one used last year, which was based on the Ministry’s external review process.

Ministry Updates (continued)

Supervising Principal McDonnell noted that it is open to all SEAC members to participate and asked that members inform her of their interest. Ms. Sheldon, Co-Chairs Murray and Williams, Mr. Shoniker, expressed an interest and Ms. Jeffrey will refer to her schedule and confirm availability.

Supervising Principal McDonnell shared that the information gathered in the internal review will be used to inform the continuous improvement of Individual Education Plans.

  • Passing of Colleague
Co-Chair Murray informed the committee of the recent passing of Ms. Joanne Maltby, Executive Director of Pathways for Children and Youth. Both Co-Chairs and Supervising Principal McDonnell extend SEAC’s condolences to her friends, family and her staff. Co-Chair Murray asked that a letter of condolence, on behalf of SEAC, be sent.

ACTION:  Ms. Aitken will draft the letter.

  • Funding for New Secondary School
Co-Chair Murray reported that the board had received funding from the Ministry of Education to construct a new secondary school. She informed the committee that SEAC will
have a role in the integration committee as we begin the process of building and designing the new school.

  •  Next Meeting Date
The remaining meeting dates for the 2012-2013 school year are:  

May 14, 2014 at 5:00 p.m.
June 11, 2014 at 7:00 p.m.

  • Adjournment
        MOVED BY Mr. Shoniker at 8:16 p.m. Carried