The School Board

We’ve been working hard over the last month to get Precious into the right placement next year in Grade One. We got all our paperwork done and submitted it before the deadline and asked that she be placed in a special class at a nearby  school. The local school team was amazing and they really went out of their way to get it in on time.

We’re part of a mailing list for a wonderful local group called Walking In My Shoes, run by a volunteer retired social worker. Through the list, we found out about a local session being given for parents who have a child or children who are ‘exceptional’ learners. This definition includes gifted children, children with special needs, learning disabilities, behavioural issues, autism, etc. The speaker spent almost two and a half hours describing the kinds of support mandated by the Ministry of Education for my province, our responsibilities as parents, the school board and local school’s responsibilities.

With lots of experience as an advocate for parents (for a fee, I suppose, although I’m not sure) the speaker told how to set up the Indentification Placement and Review Committee (IPRC) which identifies the student as an exceptional learner. It includes the child’s needs and strengths, as well as what kind of support the school recommends. She showed us strategies for getting the right resources for our child’s needs, and particulars for before during the after the meeting, along with dealing with the principal, the board and how to appeal if we don’t get the decision we want.

I was really surprised that the school hadn’t suggested we get an IPRC;  in fact, I’m pretty sure the head of the special education program at the school was discouraging it. I think it’s a lot of work for them, but I think my daughter needs one, and I plan to spend my ‘free’ time this week researching why this is something we’ll insist on. Either the teacher or the parents can refer the child. I plan to speak to the teacher as she has experience with children with special needs and see what she thinks. From what I know now, the sooner we start the process, the better. If we need to appeal, nothing will happen during the summer so it’s in our best interest to get this resolved before school lets out for the summer at the end of June.

Along with report cards, the  psychologist’s report, the occupational therapist’s report, physicotherapit’s report, and the report from the developmental pediatrican, we’ll need to set up a re-assessment with the speech and language pathologist to get even more information to support our case at the IPRC.

Why does it seem like every meeting or appointment spawns as least one or two action items that keep us busy?

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