INCLUSION OF STUDENTS WITH UNIQUE NEEDS
All students in the District have a right to an education in a setting appropriate for their learning needs. In order to establish the appropriate school environment, a careful assessment must be made of the students' functional levels, including learning strengths, needs and styles. Essential to the selection of the educational setting are such factors as age-appropriateness, safety, parental acceptance and support services.
- Inclusive education is an integral part of the District's education program, not a separate component. In keeping with this philosophy, the District believes that every student has the fundamental right to an education in the most appropriate setting for their needs.
- The education of students with unique needs, as for all students, is a shared commitment. The Ministry of Education, the District, parents, and community agencies each have prime responsibility for some areas of the students' development while sharing responsibility for other areas. Maximum benefit to students occurs where the efforts and expectations of those involved with them complement each other.
- The purpose of education for students with unique needs is the same as that for all students - to provide for their optimal development to reach their fullest potential as members of society.
- The process of inclusion follows a continuum that varies from full-time placement in a regular class to full-time placement in a specialized program. This may take different forms, such as physical, functional, social, academic, and/or societal inclusion. To the maximum extent appropriate, students with unique needs are to be educated with age-appropriate peers. Placement of students in specialized programs is to occur only when their needs cannot be met in non-specialized environments, even with the provision of adequate supplementary support.
- Goals for inclusion will be clearly identified.
- The process of inclusion will be facilitated with the support of, and full consultation with, school administrators, teachers, and District Learning Services.
- Support services, such as education assistants, computer equipment and materials, will be identified and in place.
- Basic safety procedures, as directed by student needs, will be clearly outlined and provided prior to placement for each student.
- Support staff, teachers, and administrators will meet to determine strategies for the attainment of Individual Education Plan (IEP) goals and designate areas of responsibility for each goal.
- Physical Facilities
- Classroom space will be provided for students with unique needs that is conducive to interaction with age-appropriate peers.
- Prior to placement, basic equipment and facilities will be adapted to the needs of students with unique needs in the regular classroom and throughout the school.
- As appropriate, education assistants will be scheduled in consultation with the Principal and Learning Services staff.
- Itinerant teachers and other support staff, such as speech/language pathologists, psychologists, counsellors, and education assistants will be provided within available resources and need.
- Teachers who support students with unique needs will have special training in the appropriate areas as specified by the District.
- The classroom teacher, in conjunction with the Case Manager and Principal, has primary responsibility for programming for the student with unique needs.
- When a student is included part-time, the classroom teacher and inclusion support teacher will assume joint responsibility for programming.
- Support will be available to classroom teachers responsible for students with unique needs.
- Long-term goals developed for each student with unique needs must include transition plans.
- Individual Education Plans (IEPs)
- IEPs for all students with Ministry designations will be developed by a designated teacher in consultation with the Learning Services team, where appropriate, and/or other relevant professionals.
- Parents are to have meaningful consultation in the development of their child's IEP.
- IEPs for each student with unique needs will include appropriate goals that reflect their designation.
- Parents have the right to be consulted in the educational program for their child.
- When parents have a concern relating to the educational needs of their child, they are to involve those listed in sequential order:
- The classroom teacher and/or Case Manager;
- The Principal or Vice-Principal;
- The Director of Instruction, Diversity and Inclusion;
- If the avenues suggested above have been explored and no resolution has been reached, the parents may invoke the appeal process through Board Policy 16 – Appeals Bylaw.
- School Leaving
- School leaving certificates will be awarded to all students upon successful completion of their IEP goals.