The Wikwemikong Board of Education (WBE) recognizes that children are more confident and successful in school when we support their learning in a variety of ways. Identification of students early in their schooling is important and getting them the help they need. The special education resource teacher’s work together to provide for our students the resources and assistance they need.
The Wikwemikong Board of Education currently employs two Special Education Resource Teachers (SERTs); one working with students from Junior Kindergarten to grade 6 and the other from grade 7 to 12. These two SERTs work together with the educational assistants, the classroom teacher and the principal to meet the needs of exceptional students. The instructional needs for these students will require accommodations and/or modifications and as well may require alternative courses to ensure these students experience success. The Wikwemikong Board of Education strives to provide the quality programming needs of their exceptional students.
At the High School a self-contained classroom for students with additional or profound needs is staffed by Educational Assistants (E.As) and a Special Education Resource Teacher. Both the Pontiac School and Junior School have resource rooms which facilitate withdrawal of students for extra Educational Assistant resource help as well as one-on-one programming with high needs students.
The WBE utilizes designations consistent with the Ontario Ministry of Education. These designations are decided on at the Individual Placement and Review Committee (IPRC) meeting. The exceptional students may be found to have any one or more of the ministry designations as set out below:
Specific behaviour problems over a period of time and to a marked degree
- Language Impairment
- Speech Impairment
- Learning Disability
- Deaf and Hard of Hearing
- Speech and Language Impairment
- Mild Intellectual Disability
- Developmental Disability
- Physical Disability
- Blind and Low Vision
- The profile of the student does not meet current Ministry of Education and Training definitions of exceptionality.
A combination of learning or other disorders, impairments or physical disabilities
Individual Placement and Review Committee also referred to as the IPRC:
This meeting is held once a student has been assessed by a Speech and Language Therapist, an Educational Psychologist and/or a medical diagnosis and meets one of the Ministry of Education designations of exceptionality. The parent and school team meet to decide on the student’s placement within the school which may be one of the following:
- Regular class with resource support
- Regular class with resource withdrawal
- Partial integration
- Indirect Service
Special Education Team
The in-school special education team addresses student’s needs and challenges, working together in providing the best instructional support and developing creative solutions to address student’s needs within the available resources.
The team includes:
- School principal;
- Special education resource teachers (SERT);
- Classroom teachers;
- Education Assistants (EA)
Resources available to students:
- Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy
- Speech and Language Therapy
- Psychological Educational Assessments
- Counselling services
Individual Education Plans
Individual Education Plans also referred to as the IEP
The Ministry of Education and the Wikwemikong Board of Education require that every student who has been identified as exceptional must have an individual education plan (IEP) which is coordinated by Special Education Resource Teachers. A student who requires special education programs or services to be successful in school, but who has not been identified as exceptional may also have an IEP.
The IEP describes your child’s learning strengths and needs and identifies specific learning goals. It tracks student’s progress towards achieving their goals. Parent and/or guardian input is sought at this stage of IEP development as you have knowledge about your child the school may be unaware of. The level of support for students is indicated in the IEP under the subject area. The IEP also explains the special education services and teaching strategies the school will use to support their learning. In order to customize student’s IEPs, the special education team may gather information from various area such as:
- Parents & Caregivers relating to child’s personality, development, learning and preferences;
- Guidance Counsellors;
- Ontario Student Record (report cards)
- Previous IEPs
- Assessments: Medical, in-school, psychological-educational
- Representatives of community agencies or services
The Wikwemikong Board of Education also encourages student involvement in their educational goals. Students 16 years or older have the right to be consulted in the development and review of their IEPs and are encouraged to attend their IPRC.
Levels of Support for Students
Given the support and tools to assist them in completing grade level work eg. Scribe their answers, more time to complete task, photocopied notes
Changing the number and complexity of grade level material and/or altering grade level subject material to one or more grades below their current grade level eg. Student currently in grade 5, however requires a modified language arts subject at a grade 2 level and rest of the work is at his grade 5 level
Skill areas that are not within the Ontario Ministry of Education curriculum eg. Social skills
SERTs are available for parent consultations at their respective schools. Should any parent want additional information on how they can assist their child the SERTs are always willing to answer questions. They are available at parent- teacher nights and school functions. One of the department’s goals is to have that dialogue with parents of exceptional learners. Studies have shown that the parents and guardians who are involved with their child’s education – their children do better in school.
Assessments that are done by the school will have several recommendations. Recommendations will be from any one of the following or a combination from the Speech & Language Pathologist, Occupational Therapist/Physiotherapist, or Educational Psychologist. We encourage parents to take the time to review these documents that have been reviewed with them during a school feedback meeting and/or were mailed. These recommendations are carefully reviewed by the school team and incorporated into the student’s program at school to ensure every child’s success.
IPRC time is an excellent opportunity for parents to meet and discuss with the school team what their child’s needs and strengths are. These are scheduled once a year for exceptional students. Pick up a brochure at your child’s school for more information.
Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC)
The Wikwemikong Board of Education also formed their own SEAC with community agencies who participate in quarterly meetings. The Ministry of Education requires every school board to establish a Special Education Advisory Committee (SEA) with representatives from local parent associations and other community stakeholders and associations.
To find meeting dates and SEAC members please contact either SERT at their respective schools.
Catherine Fox, SERT, Grades: K-6
Wikwemikong Junior School 705-859-3536 – Monday, Wednesday PM, Thursday PM, Friday
Wikwemikong Pontiac School 705-859-3133 – Tuesday, Wednesday AM, Thursday PM
Roselynda Francis, SERT, Grades: 7 – 12
Wikwemikong Pontiac School 705-859-3133 – Monday PM, Wednesday PM, Thursday AM
Wikwemikong High School 705-859-2870 -Monday AM, Tuesday, Wednesday AM, Thursday PM, Friday