Policy Statement for Delta Christian School Educational Support Services (Learning Resource Program)
At Delta Christian School (DCS), the Educational Support Services (ESS) provide a wide range of resources and educational assistance to best meet the varied needs of individual learners as set out in their Individual Educational Plan (IBP): The purpose of the ESS is to provide staff and parents access to resources and to meet the individual needs of students with ongoing assistance.
To enable DCS to ensure the success of all students, this policy serves to accommodate the varying developmental levels and learning needs of each student with special learning needs in a flexible and effective manner by:
- Providing a range of options and services and diverse learning environments to meet the specific needs of each student
- Providing the most enabling environment that will effectively meet the student’s best interests socially, emotionally, behaviourally, physically and educationally
- Considering all the needs of the student as expressed by the student, his/her parents, and the involved professionals
In order to promote the most successful development and implementation of an IEP for a student with special learning needs, DCS strongly supports all of the following essential components:
- Early identification and a multidisciplinary assessment encompassing the student’s academic, social and emotional strengths and needs
- An IEP established through the collaborative effort of educators, parents, and involved professionals – the IEP for funded students to be completed by the Special Education Coordinator and the IEP for non-funded students to be completed by the classroom teacher
- An IEP which includes appropriate instructional goals, objectives, timelines, accommodations, placement and service decisions, along with procedures for the evaluation of program effectiveness
- Class sizes that enable the teachers to adequately meet the needs of all students in the classroom
- Adequate support for the classroom teachers including the availability of an ESS teacher, materials, educational assistants, specialists, and extra time for planning and team meetings
- A positive, supportive, educational environment characterized by acceptance and understanding of special learning needs in order to develop equal opportunities and achievable outcomes. .
- Frequent and timely communication on the progress‘ of the individual student with the parents and all other team members
- Transition planning to accommodate changes in the student’s setting and/or program,
- Continuing professional development opportunities for the educational support team in order to meet the on-going needs of students with learning challenges (to be included in the budget)
- Recognition that teachers, ESS personnel, and parents have a major role in facilitating success.
The ESS require the proper placement or setting to deliver the student IEP and to fulfill its goals. It may include all or some of the following components:
- A regular class with access to the accommodations and differentiated teaching methods and strategies
- A regular classroom augmented by regular withdrawal into smaller units for the purpose of more direct small group instruction
- An individualized program, coordinated by the ESS team, with directed instruction by the ESS teacher or educational assistant that parallels classroom curriculum
Potential families who wish to apply for their child with special learning needs must first go through the regular DCS application process and interview with the school administration. Upon recommendation by the administrator, families must:
- Provide appropriate documentation of any previous assessments, diagnosis or specialists’ reports
- Permit DCS ESS personnel to observe the student at his/her present school, as well as to discuss the student with the appropriate professionals
- Meet with the ESS coordinator to discuss the student’s learning needs and what services DCS could provide
The staff who are part of the ESS team communicate regularly with the classroom teachers and are often in the classrooms observing and assisting students. If additional services seem necessary, parents will be notified and informed of the nature of the suggested intervention. ESS staff will attend the first parent-teacher interview with the classroom teacher and parents to discuss educational needs and interventions. Progress reports will be written on students receiving these services and included in their term report cards.
Parents who have educational concerns about their child are encouraged to make an appointment to discuss these concerns with the teacher and ESS staff. Parents of children with special needs will participate in IEP meetings and specialist meeting as arranged by the ESS Coordinator.