Special Education Department

Who Are We?

Educator with four smiling boysMembers of the Special Education Department include the Special Education Coordinator, Special Education Consultants, Itinerant Teachers (Teachers of Blind and Low Vision, Teachers of Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Itinerant Technology Resource Teachers), an Applied Behaviour Analysis Facilitator and Transitional Educational Assistants. Itinerant Teachers travel between schools to work with students. Transitional Educational Assistants work at schools for up to six weeks to support special transition situations (e.g. students returning from a treatment program or transitioning from a new school or board).

How do Special Education Consultants help staff and students?

  • make recommendations about programming, strategies and resources for students with all types of special needs who require accommodations, modifications or alternative curriculum
  • work with staff to submit claims for specialized equipment (e.g. Special Equipment Amount - SEA) and submit requests for Special Incident Portion funding (SIP)
  • provide professional development in Special Education
  • participate in Consultant Support Team Meetings
  • Consultants provide leadership related to the following exceptionalities:
    • Intellectual Disabilities
    • Developmental Disabilities
    • Giftedness
    • Low Incidence Disabilities (e.g. blind and low vision, deaf and hard of hearing, and physical disabilities)
    • Learning Disabilities
    • Autism Spectrum Disorders
    • Behaviour
     
  • Consultants will support schools in various ways to help students with special needs learn and to make special education run efficiently in the school, examples include:
    • teach and lead
    • support student transition plans
    • ongoing parent/guardian contact
    • check Special Education Conference regularly
    • manage SEA equipment
    • program suggestions for teachers including integrating technology into student programs
    • gather supporting documentation for SEA claims (see“SEA checklist”)
    • prepare materials for IST, CST (see“CST Best Practices”)
    • IPRC review, and Central Level IPRC Meetings (see“Steps to a Central Level IPRC”)
    • resource to teachers and educational assistants
    • resource and liaison with child and youth counselor/attendance & counseling, speech/language pathologist, occupational and physiotherapists when required
     

Who are the students Itinerant Teachers work with?

Itinerant Teachers work with students who are deaf and hard of hearing and students who are blind or have low vision. Itinerant technology teachers work with students with SEA equip- ment, who have identified learning disabilities and need technology to access the curriculum. Other itinerant teachers work with some students with learning disabilities using technology and some students with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

How else do we help?

Special Education Consultants:

  • chair Identification, Placement and Review Committees at the school board level
  • support special projects and new directions of the school board and Ministry of Education

Philosophy of Special Education: Guiding Principles

  • We believe all students can learn
  • We value each student’s unique ability, individuality, learning style and pace of learning
  • We believe that the growth, the development and the learning of each student is enhanced in the most enabling environment
  • We believe that the inclusion of exceptional students in the school community provides a valuable learning experience for all children
  • We deliver programs which incorporate realistic goals and objectives through individual- ized teaching and assessment methods
  • We respect the rights of parents to make informed decisions in the best interests of their children
  • We respect, value and encourage collaborative partnerships with parents, community agencies and professionals
  • We provide a diversity of placements and resources which reflect effective programs and strategies for exceptional pupils
  • We recognize the wealth of learning opportunities in the community which assist students with transitions, to offer work experiences and to allow their pursuit of special abilities or talents
  • We value early intervention for all students experiencing difficulties in school and/or needing enrichment