The Northern Lights School Division is committed to offering the best possible learning situations for all students, including those with diverse learning needs. The learning needs of students can vary tremendously from those who require basic care and life skills programming to those who excel in one or more areas of performance and require specialized enrichment to match their need for challenge and inspiration. No matter what the need, we will do everything within our capacity to make the learning situation a positive one.
Every school in the NLSD is required to have a Student Support Team to coordinate and oversee the programming for students with special needs. Each team has a coordinator who is the "go to" individual in the school in the area of special needs.
If you know that your child has special learning needs or suspect that your child may need some extra support, please make sure that you discuss these with your child's teacher, or with the SST Coordinator for your school.
The concern will be addressed through a procedure of screening and assessment to accurately identify the need and the best programming and instructional methods to meet the need. When it is determined that a learning need is present and that a modification in curriculum, strategies, or materials is needed, an Individualized Program Plan (IPP) Individual Support Plan (ISP) is developed involving the child's teacher, parents, and where appropriate, the student as well. The IPP or ISP are crucial in identifying goals and strategies and in measuring the success achieved. The IPP is reviewed during the year to provide for adjustments or additional modifications.
We very much encourage parents to be actively involved in the identification and programming for special needs from the earliest stages. Your observations and input are invaluable in helping us to do what is best for your child.
If a situation arises where the parent has met with the teacher and the SST Coordinator but is not satisfied that the school is providing an adequate program to meet the identified needs of a student, the Director of Student Services is available to assist in reviewing the child's needs and the programming offered to see what other options may be available.
If this is not successful, the Director of Learning - Inclusive Education and Community Support will be available to assist the parent(s) in pursuing an appeal to the Assistant Superintendent and the Board of Trustees. An explanation of the appeals process is explained below, or you may inquire at the school.
Should a situation arise where you are not satisfied with the programming being offered by the school for your child, an appeals process is available to have the situation reconsidered. The Principal of your school can explain the process by which funds are distributed, or you may contact the Director of Learning - Inclusive Education to inquire about how inclusive education resources are distributed in the Northern Lights School Division.
Program Unit Fund (PUF)
PUF is available for preschool students who are experiencing severe difficulties in one or more areas of their development. Many children receive support for communication delays, behavioural and/or developmental concerns. Funding is available for children as young as 2 years 6 months. Funds can be used to provide programs in the home or to access community resources according to assessed needs and program guidelines. If you are new to the area or the province and are not familiar with the PUF procedure, please inquire at your neighborhood elementary school.
Regional Collaborative Service Delivery - RCSD
This program provides invaluable health related services to the students in the Northern Lights School Division. These services include assessment, intervention, and consultation in the areas of Speech and Language, Occupational Therapy and Counseling.
If you feel that your child is in need of extra support and assistance, please contact your NLSD School and speak with the Student Support Team Coordinator or the Principal. We want to do the best job we can in meeting your child's needs, and we can best do that when we all work together with that common goal.
Handbook for Aboriginal Parents of Children with Special Needs This handbook provides Aboriginal parents with information about their rights and responsibilities regarding the education of their children with special needs as well as the education supports and services available to them. Sections include: parents rights, Alberta Education requirements for special education, roles and responsibilities of parents, other family members, community members and school staff members, as well as strategies to enhance communication between home and school. View a brochure.
Director of Learning - Inclusive Education and Community Support Janice Fulawka
Lac La Biche NLSD Office 10220-101 Avenue Box 870 Lac La Biche, Alberta T0A 2C0 Phone: (780) 623-4414 Fax: (780) 623-4041