The Special Education Policy in the IB Programme at R.E. Mountain Secondary is based on inclusion, belonging and community. Our goal is that all students feel a sense of connectedness, acceptance, value and support.
Students come to school with varying abilities, talents, aptitudes and challenges. This shapes how a student learns and accesses the knowledge and understanding of the curriculum. Students with special educational challenges are not excluded from admission into the IB Programme.
Because all students who enter the program are unique, all may, at some point, require additional support. If they have a designation as defined by the Ministry of Education, then support is determined by an Individual Education Plan.
Ministry of Education Designations include:
- Physically Dependent
- Moderate to Profound Intellectual Disabilities
- Physical Disability or Chronic Health Impairment
- Visual Impairment
- Deaf or Hard of Hearing
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Students Requiring Behaviour Support or Students with Mental Illness
- Students Requiring Intensive Behaviour Intervention or Students with Serious Mental Illness
- Mild Intellectual Disabilities
- Learning Disabilities
- Chronic Health
Students with designations are supported by a team of people at the school in addition to the teachers or their classes.
Resources offered by the school and the District include:
- Resource Teachers
- Special Education Assistants
- Youth Care Workers
- English Language Learner Teachers
Resources offered by the school and the District include: (continued)
- English Language Learner Assistants
- Speech and Language Pathologists
- Occupational Therapists
- District Helping Teachers
- School-based Administration
- District Deaf Resource Teacher
Additional Resources available to students may include:
- Audio Systems
Adaptations for students with special circumstances may include**:
- Reduced workload
- Adapted expectations around assignments
- Extended exam writing time
- Exam modification (audio, braille etc.)
- Alternate exam schedule
- Alternate locations to do school work or write tests
- Scribes and/or readers
- Computer support
**Application for adaptations, modifications and/or exemptions for internal or external assessments must be approved by the International Baccalaureate Department for Adverse and Special Circumstances.
It is primarily the teacher who is responsible for the educational programming for their students. If a student enters the class with a designation or Individual Education Plan, the teacher will refer to that plan and consult with the resource teacher to facilitate their work with that student.
If a student within the class exhibits unanticipated behaviours or challenges, that student may be referred to the Counselling Department, Administration or to the School-Based Team for support or guidance.
- All counsellors at R.E. Mountain Secondary are trained both as school and clinical counsellors. Counsellors provide personal counselling to students, and may refer students to outside agencies for more in depth counselling and other interventions.
- The School-Based Team consists of the Resource Teacher, Psychologist, Vice-Principal, Teacher and any other staff that may be able to contribute to the conversation around the challenges facing the student. Results from these meetings may include but are not limited to strategies for supporting the student within the class, referral for psychological services, recommendations for pediatric services, provision of additional staff support in the classroom or the request for assistance from other paraprofessionals.
In all cases, there is extensive communication with parents to ensure their input and understanding around the challenges and issues, collaboration and consistency around strategies and transparency around processes and services.
In cases where a student is referred to a psychologist for testing, it may be that a designation will be assigned to the student as listed above, based on the Psychoeducational Assessment. In all those cases, except the designation of gifted, an Individual Educational Plan (IEP) is required. IEPs include a student profile of strengths, challenges, assessments and services. IEPs must provide the basis for student programming, classroom adaptations and strategies employed to ensure student success in the classroom.
This policy was developed in consultation with R.E. Mountain Secondary School IB teachers and the Special Services Department, with the assistance of a committee chaired by the head of school. It will be reviewed along with other policies during IB staff meetings and may be adjusted as the needs and/or profile of the Programme changes. It is posted on the school website under IB Program Overview.