Search... 
    
Home | Policy Table of Contents

HGB Special Education

Adopted:  March 9,1983
Amended:  May 2003, June 2003, June 2005, June 23, 2009

Background

The Board of Education is believes all children can learn and reach their full potential given opportunity, effective teaching and appropriate resources. Instruction, rather than setting, is the key to student success; therefore each teacher’s practice shall be in keeping with the provincial Teaching Quality Standard.

Policy

Each student identified with a special educational need by the Board of Education shall be provided access to an appropriate special education program in the most inclusive setting possible.

Definitions

Inclusive education is the differentiation of instruction and support for students with special education needs in regular classrooms. It is also increasing the participation of all students in the curricula, programs and activities of all schools.

Individualized Program Plan (IPP) means a concise plan of action designed to address a student’s special educational needs. An IPP is based on assessment information that provides the basis for intervention strategies and it includes the following components:

  1. assessment data
  2. current level if performance and achievement
  3. identification of strengths and areas of need
  4. measurable goals and objectives
  5. procedures for evaluating student progress
  6. identification of coordinated support services, as appropriate
  7. relevant medical information
  8. required classroom accommodations (e.g., changes to instructional strategies, assessment procedures, materials, resources, facilities or equipment).
  9. transition plans
  10. year-end summary of results on the effectiveness of programming provided.

School-based Learning Team is a group consisting of appropriate school staff, District consultants and parents that consults and shares information relevant to a student’s education program and plans accordingly.

Special education refers to the education of students identified with mild, moderate or severe disabilities and those who are gifted and talented. Special education is reflected in each student’s Individualized Program Plan (IPP).

Guidelines

The following guidelines shall guide the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of special education:

  • Students with special educational needs are provided additional supports and services to appropriately address their educational assessed educational needs.
  • Assessments are used to assist in the development and implementation of appropriate educational programs and improve student achievement.
  • Placement decisions are made in consultation with parents, although the Board of Education is ultimately responsible for making placement decisions that are in the best educational interest of the student with special educational needs that are balanced with the need to ensure learning and safety of all students.
  • The Superintendent will ensure that special education is provided in keeping with the provincial Standards for Special Education (2004).

Procedures

Access to Special Education

Special education programming and supports shall be provided to students with one or more of the following enabling/disabling conditions, where the condition(s) significantly impact the student’s ability to successfully learn:

  1. Gifted and talented abilities; and
  2. Mild, moderate or severe disabilities, including:
    1. Sensory disabilities such as visual and hearing impairments;
    2. Physical and/or neurological disabilities such as autism spectrum disorder, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, genetic syndromes and traumatic brain or birth injury;
    3. Developmental disabilities such as learning disabilities, emotional or behaviour disorders, cognitive delays, speech, language or communication impairments.

Students who are believed to be in need of special education programming shall be first formally identified through the assessment process that includes, but is not limited to:

  1. classroom teacher observations, screening tools, academic assessments; and
  2. school-based achievement testing and behaviour data collection; and
  3. parent provided medical reports or other health related assessments, and;
  4. specialized assessments by qualified professionals that assists in determining eligibility for special education

The responsibility for conducting psycho-educational assessments of students rests with the Board. Parents must provide written informed consent to conduct a psycho-educational assessment of a student enrolled in a school operated by the Board.

Student Services Department provides additional support and service to District staff working with students with diverse learning needs. The Student Services Handbook provides procedures and guidance on how staffs support the special needs of students and use of best practices in special education. The Student Services Handbook is to be updated to ensure congruency with District and provincial policies. The responsibility for updating the Handbook rests with the Director of Special Education.

Appropriateness of Special Education

Appropriate special education programming shall be based on formal assessments, consultation with parents, and the recommendations of the school principal or designate. The responsibility for making placement decisions lies with the Superintendent of Schools.

Students with special educational needs shall be provided an inclusive education program in the closest neighbourhood school.

Students shall have access to additional specialized programming if the learning and safety of the student are significantly beyond the supports provided in the regular classroom and the student meets special education program criteria.

Each student identified with a special educational need must have an Individualized Program Plan (IPP) developed, implemented and evaluated annually.

The classroom teacher, in consultation with parents, shall regularly review student progress in order to determine:

  1. Continued access to special education supports; and
  2. Appropriateness of individualized program plan; and
  3. Student achievement and growth as a result of supports and services provided.

The school principal shall establish a learning team to provide consultation, preparation, and resources to support programming for students with special educational needs.

The school principal shall identify teachers whose responsibility it is to coordinate, develop, implement, monitor and evaluate IPPs. The regular classroom teacher can be assigned full responsibility for individualizing program plans for each student with special educational needs assigned to that teacher.

Teachers of students with special educational needs shall:

  1. involve parents, the student, and other appropriate professionals, in the development, implementation and evaluation of annual IPPs;
  2. review and report student progress with parents and student;
  3. make changes to the IPP as needed and based on consultation or assessment reports;
  4. obtain parent signatures on IPPs to indicate agreement with the special education program provided on an annual basis;
  5. keep a written record should parent signature not be obtained on the IPP. The record shall include procedures used to communicate with the parent, reason(s) for refusal, actions taken to resolve the matter by the teacher, Learning Assistance Coordinator and principal.

Accountability for Special Education

The principal shall ensure each student’s IPP includes information about the student’s current level of performance and achievement relative to learner outcomes of the student’s program of study.

Teachers shall use results and reports of any assessment or consultation to support student learning and individualize programming.

Parents shall be informed of student progress at regularly scheduled reporting periods and be consistent with the Board’s policy on Student Assessment Evaluation and Reporting.

The Superintendent shall ensure that special education programming is monitored and evaluated on a regular basis. Evaluation of special education programming shall include reporting student achievement results and behaviour growth.

The Learning Assistance Coordinator shall ensure written consent of parents is obtained before teachers of students with special educational needs request external consulting services.

Staff shall collaborate and coordinate services with other professionals or service providers, including the local health authority and Edmonton Regional Consulting Services (ERECS) to support eligible students with special educational needs.

The student’s final year-end IPP and formal assessments shall be placed on the student’s record.

Teachers interpreting the results of any formal assessment must maintain competency to do so, including competency with the District’s Assessment Protocol (see Student Services Handbook).

Appeal of Special Education

Where a parent disagrees with the special education placement or program, or support services provided to a student with special educational needs, every effort shall be made to resolve the dispute in a collaborative, timely, fair and open manner. If this process does not lead to a satisfactory resolution, parents may appeal to the Director of Special Education. Subsequent appeals may be made to the Associate Superintendent, Education and Administration. In the event that parents are not satisfied with a decision of the Associate Superintendent, they have the right to request a review by the Superintendent, then to the Board of Education. Finally, parents have the right to request in writing a review of the decision of the Board to the Minister of Education.

References

Legal Reference:

Alberta School Act: Sections 3; 8; 23; 45; 47; 48; 123; 124
Standards for Special Education (2004). Alberta Education

Standards for Psycho-Educational Assessment (1994). Alberta Education

Student Record Regulation(2006). Alberta Education.

Cross Reference:

Student Services Handbook (2009). Fort McMurray Public Schools

Home | Policy Table of Contents