LEARNER-FOCUSED EDUCATION RATIONALE
In order to fulfill both district and school mission statements, schools commit themselves to the intent implicit within the following six significant learning outcomes and their component behaviours as the base upon which to focus learning in order to ensure graduates can lead productive lives in a rapidly changing world. The curriculum is the vehicle through which these outcomes will be realized.
SIGNIFICANT LEARNING OUTCOMES
As a result of each student’s experience in Greater Victoria School District schools, they will be:
A QUALITY PRODUCER AND PERFORMER WHO:
• evaluates products and performances for quality
• creates quality standards for their own products and performance
• creates intellectual, artistic and practical products demonstrating high quality standards
• revises and reworks products and performances until they demonstrate high quality standards
• uses resources and technologies as appropriate
A SELF-DIRECTED LEARNER WHO: • sets challenging but achievable goals
• plans effectively to achieve those goals
• stays focused on and carries through with their plans
• assesses their progress, inviting assessment from others, and re-planning as necessary
A PERCEPTIVE THINKER WHO: • relates their experience to new situations
• gathers, assesses and uses information
• explains, forms opinions, and creates new ideas or products
A FLEXIBLE PROBLEM SOLVER WHO: • discovers and defines problems
• relates their experience to problems
• gathers, assesses and uses information to supplement their experience
• structures experience, information, intuition and chance in ways that may lead to solutions
A COMMUNITY CONTRIBUTOR WHO: • respects the rights of others
• participates actively in the community
• co-operates in solving interpersonal problems
• understands and works within diverse cultures and organizational settings
• considers the need for change and its effects on the global environment
AN EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATOR WHO:
• conveys their thoughts, feelings and competencies to others through a variety of media
• reacts appropriately to the expressed thoughts, feelings and competencies of others
PROVIDING LEARNER FOCUSED EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS FOR STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
Schools provide a range of educational programs and services to all students. In order to realize the six significant learning outcomes for all students, many students with special needs require programs and services not usually provided to other students. Services may include planning with other ministries and community agencies where necessary. Some of the services required to support students with special needs are
available through community-based agencies or other ministries through inter- ministerial protocol agreements.
AN OVERVIEW OF THE PROCESS
THE INTEGRATED PLANNING PROCESS IS DIVIDED INTO FIVE PHASES:
THE PROCESS IS:
incorporated into the regular routines of planning, evaluation and reporting that occur for all students.
supports collaboration and ongoing consultation among teachers, administrative and support personnel, parents, students and representatives of district/community agencies.
THE DISTRICT SUPPORTS THE PROCESS THROUGH:
recognition (as resources allow) of the time and space required for planning/consultation;
procedures which ensure prompt transfer and sharing of information while protecting privacy; (in accordance with Policy #5125.1)
establishment of qualification standards for personnel; and
continuing in service opportunities to support staff development to promote effective consultative models, school-based teams and inter- ministerial collaboration.
EARLY IDENTIFICATION AND ASSESSMENT
Early identification is the first step in successful program planning for students with special needs.
Ideally, identification begins before children enter school, when parents and health or other community personnel identify the students’ special needs and begin planning to meet those needs. In such instances, schools make use of available information by incorporating it into educational planning activities.
Students whose special needs are less readily evident are often not identified until they enter the school system. Thorough assessment of students’ strengths and needs is essential for developing Individual Education Plans (IEPs).
Planning educational programs for students with special needs begins in regular school classrooms, where classroom teachers, in consultation with parents, assess children through criterion based assessments and by comparing their performance with expected learning outcomes for their age or grade. In many cases, students have their special needs met by classroom teachers with no additional assistance.
When classroom teachers – in consultation, with parents and the school-based team or the school administration – believe that students require more intensive individual assessment of how they learn and the best ways to teach them, such assessment takes place at the school level using expertise within the school-based team.
More specialized assessment is required for a few learners whose special needs are more complex. At this level, specialized personnel appropriately trained to carry out more complex assessments (for example, school psychologists) support schools in the assessment and planning process.
Where assessments indicate that students need additional support, such support is planned based on both the careful assessment of those needs and the availability of resources.
INDIVIDUAL EDUCATION PLANS (IEPS)
School personnel, after collaboration with parents and outside agencies, (as appropriate) establish goals for children that take into account the children’s special needs and strengths.
Educational planning for individual students is documented in IEPs.
Students designated by ministry criteria as having special needs must have IEPs.
Students with special needs are not designated, and do not require an
IEP, in the following situations:
! the student with special needs requires only minor adaptations to educational materials, or instructional or assessment methods;
! the expected learning outcomes established by the applicable educational program guide have not been modified for the student with special needs; and
! the student with special needs is receiving, in a school year, 25 hours or less remedial instruction, by a person other than the classroom teacher in order for the student to meet the expected learning outcomes.
Schools may develop IEPs to track adaptations/services provided to students who are not designated.
IEPs must be implemented, reviewed and updated at least annually.
! Are written records of planning conducted by students, parents/guardians, school personnel and other service providers.
! Provide coherent, short-term and long-range plans for student learning and service needs.
! Provide administrators with evidence of individualized planning.
! Support the transition of students with special needs from one setting to another.
! Help to determine how well students meet their goals, and form the basis of reporting students’ progress.
Though planning occurs collaboratively, principals/school based teams ensure that all students with special needs are assigned case managers to co-ordinate the development, documentation, and implementation of their IEPs.
Teachers and parents should be partners in IEP development for IEPs to be effective. Parents must be given the opportunity to participate in the planning process.
To the extent that they are able, students also participate.
All of the participants who develop the plans should have access to them, within the provisions of the School Act and the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
IEPs must outline:
! the present levels of educational performance of the student;
! the learning outcomes set for that student for that school year where the learning outcomes are different from the learning outcomes set out in the applicable educational program guide;
! all the required adaptations to educational materials, and instructional and assessment methods;
! all the support services to be provided;
! a description of the place where the educational program is to be provided;
! the names of all personnel who will be providing the educational program and the support services for the student during the school year; and
! the period of time and process for review of the IEP.
PROGRESS REPORTS FOR STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
Like all parents, the parents of students with special needs have a right to regular information about their children’s progress.
! For students with special needs who are expected to achieve or surpass the learning standards set out in the provincial curriculum, regular letter-grading and reporting procedures are followed, although adapted assessment methods may be used.
Ministerial Order 191/94, Student Progress Report Order, sets out the requirements for student progress reports:
! Where it is determined that students with special needs are not capable of achieving the learning outcomes set out in the provincial curriculum and course or program modification is necessary, specific individual goals and objectives will be established for the students in their IEPs.
! The use of letter grades and percentages for reporting the progress of these students is not appropriate.
! Structured written comments will be used to report the level of the students’ success in achieving their modified goals and objectives. In these circumstances, when students meet the learning outcomes as reflected in their IEPs, the efforts of these students should be recognized.
Specialist support personnel other than classroom teachers who are responsible to provide some portion of students’ educational
programs (for example, speech-language pathologists, orientation and mobility instructors), should provide written reports on the students’ progress for inclusion with the reports of the classroom teachers.
Greater Victoria School District
Approved: March 25, 1995
Revised: September 24, 2001
Revised: March 2019