SPECIAL EDUCATION ADVISORY COMMITTEE (SEAC) Thursday, June 16, 2011

SPECIAL EDUCATION ADVISORY COMMITTEE (SEAC) Thursday, June 16, 2011
SPECIAL EDUCATION ADVISORY COMMITTEE (SEAC)
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board
PUBLIC MINUTES
_________________________________________________________________________________
Present:
Betty Jean Brookes
Katie Cudmore
Kimberly Doyle
Thelma Goodfellow
Lucille Kyle
Megan Luke
Kelly Mathieson
Benzie Sangma
Susan Seaman
Dwayne Stacey
Jennifer Vincent
Resource:
Cathy Portt
June Rogers
Tonia Shelmerdine
Catherine Wijshijer
Regrets:
Lorrie Arsenault
Eve Jelley
Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte
Children’s Treatment Centre
Community Living Prince Edward
Trustee
Trustee
Children’s Mental Health
Family Space Quinte
Member-at-large
Counselling Services of Belleville and District
Children’s Aid Society
Loyalist College
Assistant Superintendent of Education, Special Education Services
Superintendent, Special Education Services
Ontario Principals’ Council (OPC)
Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF)
Community Living Quinte West
Member-at-large
Absent:
Nil
Minutes:
Julie Kezar
Administrative Assistant
Call to order
Welcome
Chair Stacey welcomed members and resource personnel to the meeting. He then welcomed and
introduced Superintendent Rob McGall, who will be replacing Kathy Soule as Director of Education in
the fall. Superintendent McGall shared that he is a proud graduate of Quinte Secondary School, and
that he grew up in this area. He also had the privilege of becoming the Principal of Quinte Secondary
School, prior to his role as Superintendent of Education which he has held for 7 years. Superintendent
McGall shared that it was an honour and a privilege to be appointed as Director of Education and that
he looked forward to continuing to work with members of the Special Education Advisory Committee.
Members congratulated Superintendent McGall on his appointment.
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Minutes of June 16, 2011________________________________________________________
Chair Stacey then offered congratulations on behalf of SEAC to Cathy Portt, in her recent transfer from
Special Education to Curriculum Services and noted her great contributions to children with special
education needs. Chair Stacey noted that it was a pleasure working with Assistant Superintendent
Portt, and that she was an active member of many committees. Superintendent Rogers also
commended Assistant Superintendent Portt for her hard work, and exceptional knowledge of special
education.
Delegations and Presentations
Project Audio presentation
Superintendent Rogers welcomed and introduced Stephanie Taylor-Harvey, Principal and Becky Hicks,
In-School Resource Teacher at V.P. Carswell Public School who shared information regarding the
Project Audio project. She further noted that during her visit to V.P. Carswell Public School, she was
truly inspired by the students who were very proud of their accomplishments.
Principal Taylor-Harvey thanked members for the opportunity to share the fantastic things that the
students are doing to improve their independent reading skills at V.P. Carswell Public School. She also
commended Becky Hicks in the success of her project.
Ms. Hicks shared that her project focussed on students in Grades 4 to 6 who were struggling readers
with special education needs. This innovative project, enabled students the opportunity to read with
their ears as well as their eyes. With the assistance of the Hastings and Prince Edward Learning
Foundation, a grant was received for the purchase of MP3 players. Students used MP3 players to
download reading materials, which enabled them to listen to audio books. A variety of books were
available for download through AERO (Alternate Educational Resources of Ontario), through the
Ministry of Education. They used the MP3 players during literacy, and during other periods of the day.
Principal Taylor-Harvey shared that their small scale project, had a significant impact for students
including increased self esteem/confidence and classroom engagement.
Chair Stacey commended both Principal Taylor-Harvey and Ms. Hicks on the success of their project
and thanked them for attending. Members were anxious to know if this project could be considered in
other schools, to increase the literacy skills of students.
Draft Police Protocol
Chair Stacey welcomed and introduced Mandy Savery-Whiteway to the meeting. Assistant
Superintendent Savery-Whiteway reviewed the draft Police Protocol with members.
The Ministry of Education has 22 mandated components of the protocol that must be included, and
development must be in consultation with local police services. The goal is to have the draft Police
Protocol in place by September, 2011. Key pieces were presented by Assistant Superintendent SaveryWhiteway, with a request for feedback. Safe Schools legislation changes and Bill 158 have been
shared with members in the past. The first Police Protocol in the Province came out in 2001, with many
changes occurring since this time with Police Services and School Boards. Training occurred in
January with the Toronto Police Academy, where it was very clear that the link of the Police Protocol is
to Safe Schools. The draft Protocol has been reviewed by all police services, Children’s Aid Society,
Safe Schools Advisory Committee, Facility Services staff as well as representatives at the Education
Centre. Members of SEAC are now being asked for feedback, specifically in the area of supports for
students with special education needs. All feedback received will be reviewed, with the goal of having a
final version ready for September, 2011. All feedback can be provided to Assistant Superintendent
Savery-Whiteway, by June 30, 2011.
Special Education Advisory Committee
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Minutes of June 16, 2011________________________________________________________
Approval of the minutes
Moved:
Seconded:
Lucille Kyle
Benzie Sangma
That the minutes of April 14, 2011 be approved.
Carried
Approval of the minutes
Moved:
Seconded:
Kimberly Doyle
Thelma Goodfellow
That the minutes of May 25, 2011 be approved.
Carried
Business arising from the minutes
Trustee Goodfellow inquired if the board tracks students who participate in Supervised Alternative
Learning (SAL). Superintendent Rogers will follow up with Curriculum Services about this inquiry, and
return the information in the fall.
Chair Stacey shared that the joint SEAC meeting was informative, with a good presentation made by
Dr. Garth Smith. The presentation focussed on brain development and early literacy skills, as well as
diagnoses/health issues of children.
Discussion/Decision/Recommendations
Special Education student exceptionality data
Assistant Superintendent Portt presented the Special Education student exceptionality data with
members. She noted that student enrolment is down by 4000 students since 2001; however,
approximately 25% of the population of students with special education needs has maintained. Chair
Stacey noted that the data demonstrates significant drops. Assistant Superintendent Portt noted that
there are questions about the data being posed, which has resulted in the request for Angela Harvey,
Research Coordinator, to do some further review. This item will be returned to the fall SEAC meeting,
for further review and discussion.
Budget follow-up discussion
Superintendent Rogers distributed the Draft 2011-2012 Budget handout, dated June 6, 2011 as
Superintendent Rutherford was unable to attend the meeting, due to a prior commitment. The Senior
Administration team took recommendations to the Trustees on ways to reduce the $1.6 million shortfall.
The board deficit is now $892,000 which will be taken from accumulated surplus funds. Again, the
board is over in Special Education in the area of Educational Assistant staffing costs. Next year, we will
have to be vigilant in moving the float Educational Assistants from school to school. Superintendent
Rogers also commented that all requests for additional Educational Assistant support are brought to the
Senior Administration team for consideration and approval. Superintendent Rogers also reviewed the
2011-2012 Budget – Provincial Grant Announcement document, noting that boards with declining
enrolment have had the High Needs Amount (MNA) funding reduced.
A discussion ensued, and members shared the following comments/concerns:
 some of the metro boards are feeling they are under-funded. We need to be clear about the
needs of our community, when communicating with the Ministry of Education;
 concern that even when good plans are developed to support a child who may be in a Care and
Treatment class (Section 23, when they return to the regular class), the resources/supports are
not being used effectively. Good processes are developed, but there are challenges with the
plans not working they way they were envisioned;
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Minutes of June 16, 2011________________________________________________________
Superintendent Rogers thanked members for their comments and suggestions.
Shared Solutions feedback
Feedback from the Shared Solutions presentation has been summarized and was included in the
agenda package. Superintendent Rogers stated that the feedback was positive and that the committee
will this information when planning the next session.
Trustee Goodfellow noted that there was great feedback submitted under Question #6 – What parent
workshops would you like to see in the future? One suggestion was for creative solutions for behaviour
management, which would be a great topic. There was also a suggestion for a mental health
workshop. Chair Stacey also noted that one suggestion was improvements regarding the Identification,
Placement and Review Committee (IPRC) process.
SEAC goal setting
Chair Stacey reviewed the goal setting topics for the 2011-12 school year. The tentative schedule from
the minutes in April was reviewed again. Members are asked to review the list over the summer, and
bring back any feedback/suggestions to the September meeting.
Month
September, 2011
October, 2011
November, 2011
December, 2011
January, 2012
February, 2012
March, 2012
April, 2012
May, 2012
June, 2012
Topic
Shared Solutions outcome/feedback/next steps
Parent engagement/inclusion
Autism Spectrum Disorder data discussion
Suspension and expulsion data
Modified days data
Continuous assessment feedback
Budget discussions
Integration with Education/community
projects/transitions/protocols/data
Full Day Learning
- How effective is Full Day Learning? How are
schools dealing with the special education
population?
Special Education budget
Joint SEAC meeting (ALCDSB?)
Comments
More time to review the
information/discussions.
Resource Program - name
Assistant Superintendent Portt shared that the new program at York River and Pinecrest Memorial
Elementary School require a name. One suggestion from the May meeting was to use a name that had
more of a student success or student support program theme. Members were asked again, for
suggestions on naming the new program. One suggestion was to ask the students to help name the
program.
Information
Psych statistics
Assistant Superintendent Portt distributed the Psychological Assessment Data, covering the period of
September, 2008 to June, 2011. The information was reviewed including the number of psych
assessments, psych consults, and Special Equipment Amount (SEA) consults. The data was reviewed
for 2008-2009, 2009-2010 and 2010-2011. No additional funding was received last year or this year.
Assistant Superintendent Portt noted that consults and assessments are different this year, in that
many of the outside assessments being received can be in excess of 15 to 20 pages as they are for
students who have very complex needs, with many professionals working on the student assessments.
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Minutes of June 16, 2011________________________________________________________
One question was posed, to see if there was any way to find out the number of students in each school
who require a psych assessment, above the number that the school is able to submit. Assistant
Superintendent Portt noted that the members from the psych services team would be pleased to attend
a future SEAC meeting, if requested. Chair Stacey suggested that we move this item to September’s
agenda for further discussion. He further questioned if, when the Ontario Psychological Association
(OPA) funding ended, if boards were supposed to have processes in place. Are the processes working
the way we expected? More discussion will occur in the fall.
Report from members, resource and staff
Kimberly Doyle – shared that their monthly newsletter has been released, and that the Annual General
Meeting will occur on June 27, 2011.
Jennifer Vincent – shared that there are still a couple of seats left for the assistive technology camps at
Loyalist College, which are occurring in July.
Susan Seaman – shared that CampAbility which is the partnership with the YMCA will be running again
this year.
Megan Luke – continues to work on the Working Together Project with Children’s Mental Health, noting
that funding has been received for another year.
Thelma Goodfellow – recently attended the Children’s Mental Health Summit Conference, which
provided great information regarding children who have mental health needs.
Dwayne Stacey – shared that their Annual General Meeting will occur on June 23, 2011 at 5:00 p.m.
He also shared information that he became aware of, at a recent conference, called the Letterbox Club.
The Letterbox Club focuses on improving education for children in care, by providing them with a
special parcel of books once per month for six months, which promote literacy and math skills. Further
consideration and thought is occurring to determine how to implement this in Ontario.
Correspondence
Draft 2011-2012 Meeting Schedule
Superintendent Rogers reviewed the Draft 2011-2012 Meeting Schedule with members, noting that the
first meeting is scheduled for Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 5:00 p.m. at the Education Centre.
Director’s Retirement Reception
Superintendent Rogers shared the flyer for Director Soule’s retirement reception, and welcomed
members to attend.
Miscellaneous SEAC Correspondence
 Niagara Catholic DSB letter – May 3, 2011
 Bluewater DSB letter – February 24, 2011
 Peel DSB – June 3, 2011
Chair Stacey provided a brief overview of the miscellaneous SEAC correspondence received. If there is
any area that you feel a great passion for that we should champion as a cause, please bring this item
forward.
Adjournment
The meeting adjourned at 7:10 p.m.
Special Education Advisory Committee
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Minutes of June 16, 2011________________________________________________________
Next Meeting:
Thursday, September 22, 2011 – 5:00 p.m.
Education Centre – Board Committee Room
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