The Keewatin-Patricia District School Board is continuing to improve supports for students across the region. Their latest initiative is to improve their Special Education programming, curriculum and support services.

Superintendent of Human Resources and Special Education, Joan Kantola, presented the board’s 2018-2019 Special Education Plan at a recent board meeting. Kantola says that the plan guides the work of schools and the board in terms of supporting and enhancing special education services.

“The Special Education Plan is a road-map for the organization of our special education supports and services across our system. We have maintained a very strong and inclusive model. We accept all students, and we put them first,” said Kantola.

The special education plan also includes more resources for mental health supports for both students and staff, improvements to classroom-based programming, as well as increased access to alternative options and accommodations outside of a typical classroom structure.

“We have designed our plan to ensure that our supports and services are integrated across all of our schools, in collaboration and consultation with our special education resource teachers, administrators, parents, guardians, community partners, and central support staff,” Kantola added.

Areas of focus for the plan include:

- Providing programs and services in the student’s home wherever possible – including appropriate accommodations and modifications,

- Promoting a focus on inclusive practices in schools and respect for differences and diversity,

- Providing a range of placement options for students,

- Collaboration with curriculum central support staff to ensure support for the development of quality programs and provision of services for all students.

The board is required to update their special education plan every school-year, and to follow strategies and recommendations made in the board’s Continuous Improvement Plan.

In March, the KPDSB received $1.2 million from the Ministry of Education for special education funding.

The KPDSB’s Special Education Advisory Committee is also seeking new members. The SEAC advises the board of trustees on all matters related to the provision of special education programs and services to exceptional pupils within the KPDSB.

The committee is comprised mainly of parents who represent a local association that shares an interest in supporting exceptional children. SEAC is also served by trustees of the Board, and acting in an advisory capacity are Special Assignment Teachers and a Supervisory Officer.

Anyone interested is asked to contact Nicole Perron, KPDSB Executive Assistant, at 1-877-275-7771 – ext. 236.

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