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Special Education FAQ's

Q. My child is having trouble in school.  Who should I talk to?

A. Start with the 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. Inclusive Education funding is allocated to school authorities through a formula that aims to ensure an equitable distribution of funding.  Funding is not determined through coding.  School authorities distribute the funding they receive based on the needs of students within their school communities.  Your child’s school principal determines the best use of inclusive education funding to meet the programming needs of students within the school.  Parents are encouraged to discuss their child’s programming needs and how the school can support with the school principal.

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