Co-ordinated Services Initiative
- Parents have identified a need to improve planning for children transitioning into school from: early intervention programs to school, such as the Intensive Early Intervention Program for Children with Autism and the Pre-School Speech and Language Initiative; Children’s Treatment Centres; day nursery programs and home. The Ministry of Education, in collaboration with MCFCS and MOHLTC, is developing a guideline, which will require school boards to develop transition plans for these children in collaboration with their service providers.
- Because the responsibility for certain health care and support services is divided between school boards and health care agencies, parents, educational partners and stakeholders have identified gaps in needed services. The Ministry of Education, in collaboration with MCFCS and MOHLTC, will develop policies that will lead to better coordination in the provision of speech and language services, Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy (OT/PT), Assistive Devices and Adaptive Equipment.
- The Ministry of Education, in collaboration with MCFCS, MOHLTC and key stakeholders, will be conducting a comprehensive review of psychosocial services offered in school, which when completed, will identify service demand; gaps and issues with services, and will identify practices that effectively coordinate children’s mental health services with school boards.
- Children’s Treatment Network (CTN)
- Kinetic School Support Program
Council of Directors of Education (CODE) Special Education Project (2005 – 2008)
Over the last three school years, the Ministry of Education has provided additional funding to support students with special needs through the Council of Directors of Education (CODE). The York Catholic District School Board special education project has maintained a focus on improved literacy, learning, and numeracy skills through the use of assistive technology as a component of universal design and differentiated instruction.
The goals for the project have remained consistent:
- To decrease the exemption rate for the grades 6 and 10 provincial assessments, of the pilot schools, to a level that is at or below the provincial rate.
- To establish, in the pilot schools, that assistive technology is a suitable accommodation for assessments, including the provincial assessment.
- To increase the percentage of students with special education needs, of the pilot schools, who successfully complete the test to the same level as their peers.
- To increase the teacher’s use of assistive technology where appropriate to differentiate curriculum.
During the three years, more than half of the schools in the Board were involved in the project. Over 800 teachers were trained in the use of assistive technology as it applies to literacy and numeracy instruction. All students involved in the project at both the elementary and secondary levels demonstrated improvement in their literacy and/or learning skills.
Ontario Psychological Assessment Project (OPA)
One of the commitments of the Board is to ensure that assessments are done in a timely manner, with sufficient follow up leading to more successful student outcomes. However, with significant waiting lists, minimal follow up with school staff was possible. It was these issues that were addressed through the Ontario Psychological Assessment Project (OPA).
The OPA project occurred over two cycles and involved fifteen schools. The initial objective was to complete assessments. For the duration of the project, 224 assessments were undertaken by psychology, speech and language pathologists, and physical/occupational therapist.
The focus was to collaboratively implement the recommendations for students who received more than one assessment. The total number of students tracked was 40, ranging from SK to grade 3. The selection of students was based on professional assessments performed and the commonalities of learning difficulties. Both the classroom and special education teachers for the primary division participated in several professional development sessions. All students involved in the project demonstrated significant improvement in their literacy skills.
(Excerpt from Promising Practice Summary)
Program Policy Memorandum 140 – Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA)
In the spring of 2007, the Ministry released Policy and Program Memorandum 140 (PPM140) requiring school boards to implement Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) methods in the classroom.
Other requirements include:
- ABA methods in the teaching and assessment strategies contained in an Individual Education Plan (IEP), where required.
- appropriate community agencies involved with the student as part of the input process for Individual Education Plan (IEP) development.
- a transition plan in the Individual Education Plan (IEP) that addresses transitions within a school setting (activities, locations) and to other locations outside the school
- School Boards to develop a plan to implement PPM140 and consult with their SEAC regarding implementation and monitoring of the plan.
YCDSB Implementation Plan
The ABA implementation plan included training for approximately 400 teachers and 300 support staff involved with students who have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The Ministry provided $104,000 to YCDSB Board to support the implementation of PPM 140.
The outcome of the May 2008 Individual Education Plan Collaborative Review conducted by the YCDSB indicated most individual Education Plan (IEPs) submitted for review met the standards outlined in the PPM140 which requires ABA strategies to be included in the Education Plan (IEPs) for students with ASD.
- Questions and Answers: Students and Autism
- Effective Educational Practices for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders
- CODE Special Education Project Education for All: The Report of the Expert Panel on Literacy and Numeracy Instruction for Students with Special Education Needs, Kindergarten to Grade 6, 2005
- IEP Collaborative Review Subtopic 5 Shared Solutions – A Guide to Preventing and Resolving Conflicts Regarding Programs and Services for Students with Special Education Needs