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Frequently Asked Questions About Special Education

1.       What is an IEP?

·         A written plan and working document that describes the strengths and needs of an individual exceptional pupil.  It outlines the program and services to meet that pupil’s needs, and how they will be delivered. An IEP identifies specific goals and expectations for a student.

·         Developed for any student identified as an exceptional student by an Identification, Placement and Review Committee (IPRC) and likewise can be developed for a student who is not identified, but who requires a special education program and/or services, and requires modified or accommodated expectations.

·         Describes the student’s progress based on a thorough assessment of the student’s strengths, interests and needs.

 

2.       What is the difference between an accommodation and a modification?

Accommodation

Modification

§Refers to the special teaching and assessment strategies, human supports, and/or individualized equipment required to enable a student to learn and to demonstrate learning.

§Accommodations do not alter the provincial curriculum expectations for the grade.

 

Examples:

Instructional

Environmental

Assessment

§Duplicated notes

§Assistive technology

§Graphic organizers

§Use of manipulatives

§Quiet setting

§Strategic seating

§Proximity to the instructor

§Alternative work space

§Extended time limits

§Verbatim scribing

§Assistive devices

§Prompts to return to task

§Changes made in the age-appropriate grade-level expectations for a subject or course in order to meet a student’s learning needs.

§These changes may involve developing expectations that reflect knowledge and skills required in the curriculum for a different grade level and/or increasing or decreasing the number and/or complexity of the regular grade level curriculum expectations.

 

Examples:

§Working on a lower grade level of curriculum

§Testing measures are lowered

§Materials simplified

3.       What type of support is available for students with an IEP at St. Michael CHS?

·         Students have access to the Student Success Room throughout the school day at St. Michael.  This room is supervised by Special Education Resource Teachers (SERT) who can help to clarify, prompt, and assist all students with their assignments or assessments.

·         One-to-one support is also available for our students.  The Special Education Department works in conjunction with the classroom teachers to ensure that students’ accommodation and/or modifications are in place according to their IEP.

 

4.       What Assistive Technology and software are available at St. Michael?

·         A variety of assistive technology items and software are available to students with an IEP.  Some examples include programs such as Kurzweil, Dragon Naturally Speaking, Word Q, Inspiration, and Boardmaker.  Other examples of assistive technology items include laptops, Interactive White Boards, ELMOs, and sound field systems.

 

5.       What is an IPRC?

·         IPRC stands for Identification, Placement and Review Committee.  Ministry regulations require that all school boards set up IPRCs.

·         An IPRC is composed of at least three people, one of whom must be a principal or supervisory officer of the board. 

·         The IPRC will identify the areas of your child’s exceptionality, decide the appropriate placement, and a review meeting will take place once each school year. Notification will be given to the parents by the Special Education Department 10 days in advance of the meeting.

 

6.       How does the Special Education department assist with transitioning to a new grade?

·         The Special Education Department will do their best to attend a student’s IPRC the year before they enter into a new grade.  Open communication takes place with the student’s parents and previous teachers to ensure a smooth transition.

 

7.       How will my son or daughter be accommodated for EQAO assessments?

·         Students who have an IEP are permitted the same accommodations for any EQAO assessment as outlined on their IEP.  The two assessments that take place at the high school level include the Gr. 9 Mathematics Assessment and the Gr. 10 Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test.

·         Special Education Teachers communicate with classroom teachers, students, and parents to ensure the appropriate accommodations are in place for the test day.  Some students may write their assessments in an alternative location and may be provided extended time.

 

8.       What do I do if I have concerns about my child’s IEP or programming?

·         I a parent has a concern about their son/daughter’s IEP or programming, they should contact either the classroom teacher or the child’s Special Education Resource Teacher.  These staff members will work together with you to find a way to ensure that your son/daughter’s learning needs are met.

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