The motion had been originally introduced at the Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) by the Association for Bright Children of Ontario (Dragos Popa) and the Learning Disabilities Association of Ottawa-Carleton (Michael Bates). SEAC members overwhelmingly supported the initiative.
If implemented by OCDSB, the motion has the potential to have a definite positive impact not just on the lives of OCDSB students with special needs, but of all students in the District. If teachers and support staff are able to recognize the individual needs of each child, and know how to help them reach their full potential, this will be a positive change across schools and programs in OCDSB!
MOTION: “Moved by Trustee Boothby,
(A) THAT staff be directed to consider and provide guidance to the Board on the feasibility of Parts i and ii:
(i) Ensure a culture of equity for OCDSB students by making Professional Development on the topics of tiered interventions, differentiated instruction and placement in special education programs a top priority in 2018-2019 and 2019-2020; and
(ii) Dedicate additional paid Professional Development time over and above the 2017-2018 Professional Development allocation, for developing teacher knowledge and skills regarding tiered interventions, differentiated instruction, and specialized program placement.
The Professional Development should also focus on skills to identify and develop an understanding of specific types of instructional tools and metrics that might be used at each tier to expand the teacher’s toolbox; and
(B) THAT staff be directed to provide by the end of March 2018, a memo that explicitly defines the three tiers of intervention, including specific time frames of review of progress and concrete examples of the classroom interventions and accommodations associated with each tier.”
One section of the original motion was referred back to SEAC for further consideration:
“THAT staff be directed to conduct on-going monitoring, reporting, and evaluation of the effectiveness and outcomes from tiered interventions in OCDSB classrooms. In particular, interventions should be evaluated in terms of their impact on students’ academic achievement, social integration, and overall well-being.”
OCDSB offers a range of special education programs, as follows: Autism Spectrum Disorder Secondary Credit Support Program (ASP); Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD); Behaviour Intervention Program (BIP); Blind/Low Vision – Integrated Program (B/LV); Deaf/Hard of Hearing Program (D/HH); Developmental Disabilities Program (DD); Dual Support Program (DSP); General Learning Program (GLP); Gifted Program (Gifted); Language Learning Disabilities Program (LLD); Learning Disability Program (LD); Physical Support Program (PSP); and Primary Special Needs (PSN).