The Fort Vermilion School Division is committed to supporting all students in attaining the goals contained in the Ministerial Order on Student Learning. All students, regardless of race, religious belief, colour, gender, gender identity, gender expression, physical disability, mental disability, family status or sexual orientation, or any other factor(s), will have access to meaningful and relevant learning experiences within welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environments. We strive to ensure that all students are accepted and have a sense of belonging within their classrooms and school community.
Today’s classrooms are made up of a range of diverse learners. In an inclusive education system, all learners and their unique needs are taken into consideration when planning for instruction. Some learners, however, require more specific supports and services than others. These learners, identified below as students with diverse learning needs, include those with mild, moderate or severe needs and gifted and talented students who have been identified with a Special Education code as well as those who are functioning below grade level and those who are experiencing challenges in the classroom or school due to a number of possible factors.
- Each school shall include students with diverse learning needs in the regular classroom wherever possible and establish appropriate supports and services based upon the academic, physical, medical, emotional and social needs of the individual students.
- Each school shall establish appropriate supports and services to meet the diverse learning needs of students based upon the following:
- The academic, physical, medical, hearing, vision, emotional, behavioural and/or social needs of the students
- The number of students requiring a specific program or service
- The availability of appropriate facilities
- The availability of appropriately qualified staff
- Program costs
- School and division budgets
- Other factors significant to a specific program or service
- Diverse learning needs of students will be identified through individual assessment, classroom observation and parental/guardian input.
- Development of Individualized Program Plans for students with diverse learning needs will be done by the teacher(s) in consultation with, and approval of, the parent/guardian.
- At minimum, all students identified with a Special Education code (mild/moderate/severe/gifted) as well as those who do not have a Special Education code but who are functioning below grade level and for whom program modifications and/or accommodations are in place must have an Instructional Support Plan/Individualized Program Plan.
- Students with significant diverse learning needs will be referred through the Inclusive Education Coordinator at the school for specialized assessment. This includes school-level assessments such as the Woodcock Johnson achievement and/or cognitive tests as well as specialized assessments such as psycho-educational assessments, speech and language assessments, physical therapy assessments, and occupational therapy assessments among others.
- All referrals for specialized assessment must have parental/guardian consent.
- Appropriate personnel must inform parents/guardians of assessment results and recommendations.
- Written parental/guardian permission is required before a student is placed on an Individualized Program Plan or in a specialized program, and parents/guardians must be informed of any program change.
- Programming supports and services will be based on classroom and standardized assessment data, as well as specialized assessments administered at the school level or by a qualified specialist(s) where applicable.
- The classroom teacher(s), along with appropriate personnel including parents/guardians, will develop, implement, monitor and evaluate the Individualized Program Plan for each student with diverse learning needs. This plan will be developed collaboratively with, reviewed and signed by the members of the student’s Learning Team, including the parents/guardians. Preferably, these discussions will take place in a wraparound meeting involving parents/guardians and all involved school staff.
- Individualized Program Plans must be developed within a reasonable length of time.
- Student progress will be regularly evaluated in terms of stated goals and objectives and reported to parents. At minimum, the IPP will be reviewed with the student’s Learning Team, including parents, and updated two times per year; i.e. when the IPP is developed for the year, as well as at the end of the year.
- Support services are available to assist with the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of all programming for students with diverse learning needs.
Two Diverse Learning Coordinators: are available to assist teachers in understanding students and developing plans to meet the needs of the students within their classrooms.
Program Unit Funding is available for children with severe disabilities, subject to approval from Alberta Education, to supplement the cost of educational support services for children up to the age of 6.
- Children as young as 3 years of age on or before September 1 of a given school year may be eligible for funding, depending on the severity and type of need.
- Documentation must include a recent thorough assessment (for example, medical, psycho-educational, or speech and language pathology among others, depending on the disability).
- A Learning Team must be in place to guide the program for each PUF-funded child. The Learning Team should include the parent/guardian, ECS teacher, Inclusive Education coordinator, other school personnel as appropriate and additional service providers who are involved in developing, implementing and monitoring the child’s program.
- An Individualized Program Plan must be in place and implemented.
- Psycho-Educational Assessment services are available from contracted and divisional psychologists.
- Some students are eligible to access services from the multi-disciplinary team funded by Northern Lights Regional Collaborative Service Delivery. This team provides coordinated assessment and programming consultation services in the following disciplines: psychology, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, educational programming, as well as services for the deaf and hard of hearing and the blind and visually impaired.