Q. My child is having trouble in school. Who should I talk to? A. Start with the classroom teacher to discuss what might be causing the difficulties and decide what changes could be made to improve your child’s learning. The classroom teacher can share her/his observations, may complete some assessments, and determine your child’s learning preferences and current levels of academic performance.
Q. I am working with the teacher, but I really think my child needs more help. What is the next step? A. At this point, the principal or learning coach may become more involved. They may suggest additional supports. District consultants are also available to provide support on request of school staff.
Q. When are more assessments and consultations necessary? A. In addition to school based intervention, outside supports may be required. The school staff and district consultants, in consultation with parents, may make a referral for specialized assessments and consultation. Written informed parental consent is required.
Q. What formal assessments may be used?A. A variety of assessments may be used to determine a child’s intellectual, social, emotional, sensory, communication and/or behavioral development. These assessments must be administered and interpreted by a qualified individual.
Q. What may happen next? A. The administrator, Learning Coach and/or teacher will consult with parents about the assessment results. The diagnostic information will likely identify your child’s areas of strength and need. If the assessments indicate that your child has special education needs, an Alberta Education special education code may be recommended for your child. School staff will assist with making decisions, developing an Individualized Program Plan (IPP) or Personalized Learning Plan (PLP), providing support services, and determining adapted or modified programming for your child.
Q. I have a lot of questions about the school’s experience with inclusion. What should I do?A. Prepare a list of questions to discuss with the teacher, learning coach or principal. Make an appointment to discuss your questions and gain more information.
Q. My child has a severe special needs code. How much money does the school receive and how will they use it?A. "Alberta Education provides funding to school boards so that they can deliver programs and services for all of their students. School boards allocate the funding they receive from Alberta Education to support the local programs and services they choose to offer. School boards also make decisions regarding class size, staffing levels, resources and materials."http://education.alberta.ca/admin/supportingstudent/schoolleaders/funding.aspxIn the past, a specific amount of funding was allocated for each coded student. This is no longer the case. For several years, Alberta Education has provided funds to jurisdictions in a “block” or lump sum. Every jurisdiction determines the distribution of those funds. In our District, the majority of the funds are allocated to schools to support programming for students with diverse needs. Our district provides a base amount to the school for special needs codes. The school principal determines the best use of the severe special needs funds and other funds, in order to meet student needs. Parents are encouraged to discuss with the principal how the school uses funds to support diverse student needs.