INCLUSION OF STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
A. STATEMENT OF INTENT
Policy #5147 and its Regulations are intended to:
• facilitate the welcoming of every student to the school within their catchment area;
• ensure that all reasonable accommodations will be made to provide appropriate educational opportunities within the home school community;
• provide a framework within which individually designed student programs, based on learning needs and expectations for long-term outcomes, will aim toward student independence, at the greatest level possible;
• provide a starting point and yet allow for flexibility in development and implementation of plans, based on an individual school staff’s operational style and stage of development;
• provide alternative services and programs for students who are not achieving their goals in the inclusive setting;
• recognize the profound change in moral, ethical, social and pedagogical values and practices by acknowledging that the development of the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for the successful inclusion of students with special needs is a long term process of planning, reflection and evaluation, requiring the most effective use of available fiscal and human resources.
B. DEFINITIONS OF POLICY TERMS
1. Specific student support/special education services:
These services may include:
a) the itinerant services, as available, of support personnel such as the school psychologist, Counsellor, occupational and physiotherapists, speech-language pathologists, teachers of the visually and hearing impaired, integration support teachers, the secondary team and the District Counsellor;
b) school-based services of the resource/support teacher, and associated support staff, as available, and
c) the School-based Team.
2. Inclusion/inclusive setting:
Inclusion is a belief that all learners benefit from association with age-appropriate peers and integrated and equitable access to all aspects of school and community life.
3. Additional/alternative services:
These services imply enrollment in a program or class not necessarily housed in an student’s catchment area school and access to the support services outlined in definition #1; they are intended to provide for achievement of student policy goals which, for a particular student, are not/cannot be achieved in the inclusive setting.
C. ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES FOR DISTRICT PERSONNEL
1. Board of Trustees:
The Board of Trustees is responsible for the deployment of the available resources for implementation of the policy.
2. District Administration:
a) Upon contact with families enrolling students for the first time, will inform them of the policy, its regulations and options available.
b) Will conduct regular reviews of these regulations to ensure that implementation and service delivery are in accordance with Ministry mandate, student needs and District policy.
c) Will conduct regular review and monitor all programs and services
(both District special classes and inclusive settings) to ensure that
service delivery is equitable in opportunity and consistent in philosophy.
d) Will promote community and inter-ministerial co-operation in order to access the optimum levels of service and information sharing.
e) Will provide resources, as available, to each School-based Team on identified needs.
f) Will develop a calendar outlining time frames for decision-making and information sharing by all District employees involved in inclusion.
g) Will identify upcoming facility needs.
h) Will resolve transportation issues in a fair and equitable manner.
i) Will co-ordinate/facilitate placement of students in District special classes.
j) Will establish and maintain clear entry and exit criteria for all programs including:
i) assessment of student skills upon a move to an inclusive or an exclusive setting, and
ii) evaluation of transition needs and supports.
3. District School Services Staff
District school services staff will provide support and services that enhance the educational programs for students.
4. School Administration
a) Will welcome all students to the school.
b) Will establish a file of relevant information regarding the student and their needs.
c) Will provide a safe and healthy environment for students prior to student attendance. If necessary, an administrator may, in consultation with a parent/guardian, after enrollment, temporarily delay attendance until health and safety issues have been addressed. Parent disagreement regarding the temporary delay in attendance
would be referred to the Assistant Superintendent who would make the final decision.
d) Will be familiar with:
i) the relevant inter-ministerial protocols and guidelines and their implications,
ii) the School Act, and
iii) District regulations, policies and contracts regarding health and safety concerns (i.e. medically fragile students and health plans, dispensing of medications, etc.)
e) Will establish and maintain a School-based Team (SBT). One purpose of the SBT will be to facilitate inclusion of all students into the school community, to monitor student success and to identify strategies to improve both services and student success.
f) Will ensure that all students with special needs, whether enrolled in a District special class or the inclusive setting, have access to the support of the SBT in the school the student is attending.
g) Will promote acceptance of students with special needs by communicating specific information and modeling an inclusive attitude to all members of the school community.
h) Will ensure that the resources allocated by the District for student support/special education purposes are used directly for delivery of services to students with special needs.
5. School-based Team
a) Will facilitate inclusion of all students into the school community, will monitor student success and identify and implement strategies to improve both services and student success;
b) Will maximize the use of available resources through comprehensive planning, effective collaborative teaming and creative problem solving;
c) Will be composed of all persons who are instrumental in planning and implementing the student’s day to day activities;
i) at a minimum, will include an administrator, the school-based resource teacher/facilitator and support staff, the counsellor and public health nurse;
ii) will routinely include teachers, district support staff and community health/support personnel as necessary;
iii) may also include the student, their peers and parents, who may contribute a valuable perspective with ideas for adaptation, preparation of materials, facilitation of inclusion, etc.;
d) May assign a team member the co-ordination responsibilities of scheduling meetings, information sharing, liaising with community health and support services and other SBTs as appropriate, documenting student support services, etc.;
e) Will make parents aware of referrals for their children, obtain consent for these referrals and follow up with parents verbally; written reports will typically be made available upon request;
f) Will ensure that parents have access to the SBT and will consult with parents at a minimum as outlined in District policy;
g) Will assist in the training of classroom and support staff in problem-solving, behaviour management, etc.;
h) Will meet as soon as possible to determine the needs and appropriate direction(s) to be undertaken for each student; if appropriate and/or with documentation from previous agencies, immediate referral to other programs may occur;
i) Will outline student goals and periodically review and modify/update goals as necessary.
Greater Victoria School District
Approved: October 25, 1993
Revised: March 2019
Modification to this document is not permitted without prior written consent from the Greater Victoria School District.
Regulation 5147 Page 5 of 5