Special Education Advisory Committee
Social Worker Services | Occupational Therapy
Applied Behaviour Analysis
Planning for Success - 2023-2024
The Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board is committed to meeting the needs of all students with exceptionalities. Our Board provides Special Education Services in accordance with the
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
, The Ontario Human Rights Code
The Education Act
and all regulations made under the
The Board is committed to the belief that all teachers are "special" educators; each child is unique; the needs of our students with exceptionalities will be met through programs and services which foster the atmosphere of a Catholic School Community in the most enabling environment; and parents and guardians play an active role and share responsibility in the education of their children.
The Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board strives to educate each student in the most enabling environment. Parents and guardians play an active role and share responsibility in the education of their children, and the ALCDSB works with parents and guardians with the Special Education Delivery Model. The Delivery Model used by ALCDSB focuses on the individual needs of each student. The model encompasses an integrated approach in which a program is provided for each student within the classroom in an inclusive manner. In all our Catholic schools, we aim to prepare all students to be contributing members of their community. We are committed to meeting the needs of all students who are exceptional.
Regulation 464/97 sets out requirements for school boards with respect to SEACs and outlines their role, membership and scope of activities. The SEAC is responsible for submitting carefully developed and appropriate recommendations to the board on all matters related to the provision of special education programs and services to its pupils with exceptionalities. The SEAC must ensure that these recommendations focus on the most appropriate special education programs and services for all students with exceptionalities, individually and collectively. For more information on the consultation plan process, please see:
SEAC Manual 2019-23
The Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board’s site based Social Worker Program offers mental health support services to students in our secondary schools and provides evidence-based individual/group psychotherapy and mental health support.
What supports are offered?
Individual/group counselling may take the form of psychotherapy treatment programs such as:
Brief Intervention for School Clinicians (BRISC)
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Dialectical Behavioural Therapy
Or other evidence-based interventions
Social Workers can provide guidance and information to parents/families regarding school-based supports and referrals to community-based treatment strategies for students. As part of their role, Social Workers coordinate referrals and work closely with school staff to collaborate with community agencies to provide appropriate mental health services.
How does it work?
School staff can refer students to Social Work Services who may exhibit a range of presenting problems that may include but are not limited to: suicidal ideation, self-harm, anxiety, depression, trauma, difficulty with stress management, etc. Students over the age of 12, can refer themselves to social work services and do not require parental consent.
Occupational therapy (OT) is a field of practice concerned with helping people participate in activities (or "occupations") that they want to do, need to do, or are expected to do. A child's occupation is to develop skills through participation in play, self-care, social and academic activities. Participation can be impacted by physical, developmental, sensory, attentional, mental health, and/or learning challenges. Occupational therapists can enhance student participation and function at school by modifying the environment, adapting activities, supporting skill development, and facilitating integration of adaptive tools.
OT Role at ALCDSB
Ongoing consultation and collaboration with educators and school teams to:
Implement proactive strategies in the classroom at universal (Tier 1) level
Support inclusion and participation of students with neurodiversity utilizing principles of Universal Design of Learning
i.e., task adaptations, environmental modification, integration of assistive tools, instructional strategies
- Provide opportunities for building capacity of educators through collaborative practices, in-services, and development of resources on topics related to neurodiversity, child development, and OT strategies and approaches
i.e., fine motor skills, gross motor skills, executive functioning skills, self-care skills, sensory processing, visual perceptual skills, social skills, self-regulation
Consultation to schools to support environmental modifications to support accessibility, participation, inclusion and opportunities for skill development in various learning environments
Collaborate with Student Services team to address barriers to inclusion and promote engagement
Applied Behaviour Analysis Services
Applied behaviour analysis (ABA) is a science dedicated to understanding human behaviour. ABA is an approach aimed at producing socially significant behaviour changes that are important to the individual, their families, and the community. This is achieved by using evidence-based procedures to teach functional skills (e.g., social skills) and reduce behaviours that interfere with learning (e.g., self-injury).
Policy and Program Memorandum 140 (PPM140) was introduced in 2007 in order to establish a policy framework to support the incorporation of ABA methods into school boards’ practices. PPM140 provides direction to school boards to support their use of ABA as an effective instructional approach in the education of many students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and other special education needs (Ontario Ministry of Education, 2007).
As members of the Student Services Team, Board Certified Behaviour Analysts (BCBAs), ABA Advisors, and Itinerant Educational Assistants (IEAs) provide tiered support and training in the use of behavioural strategies and interventions for elementary and secondary schools.What supports are offered?
- Board wide professional development for educators to learn about the principles of ABA and Behaviour Management Systems (BMS).
- In-class observation and consultation to identify target behaviour(s), data collection systems, and evidence-based interventions. The implementation of intervention is supported with a focus on building the capacity of educators. Response to intervention is monitored, and through consultation, strategies are adjusted as needed.
- Planning and facilitating successful transitions as part of a multidisciplinary team (e.g., entry to school, daily transitions, grade to grade).
- Collaborating and consulting with families and community partners to support the student’s ability to access the curriculum and participate in school activities.
- Skill Development Program which offers virtual and in-person small group services to students with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder.
Ontario Ministry of Education. (2007). Policy/program memorandum No. 140. Retrieved here