Our goal is to support the educational development of all students, including those with special needs and learning difficulties. Enabling all students to achieve the goals of academic, social and career development is a responsibility shared by schools, families and the community.
We strive to follow the inclusive model by enrolling students with special needs in the regular classroom, provided the needs of all students can be met in a safe, effective learning environment. Students with special needs are supported in the regular classroom by a school team, which will include the classroom teacher, student services teacher and the school principal. It also may include an education assistant and other support services listed below.
To best meet the education goals that we have for our students, referrals regarding student’s learning difficulties are provided to a School Based Team. The needs of the student are best met through a collaborative approach where students and parents have the right to be, and should be, involved in the decision-making process and education of their children. The School Based Team will endeavor to:
- identify appropriate programs and learning environments
- generate strategies, support systems
- develop an IEP (Individual Education Plan)
- implement the plan to help the child
Definition: Providing intervention services to students who struggle with academic skill development in Kindergarten and Grade 1, 2, 3.
The promising practice of early intervention in school, home and community receives ongoing accolades. There is a strong emphasis on our District on the early acquisition of oral language skills, reading, and writing. This is evident with the Sound Connections program. The District feels so strongly about literacy that one of our District goals is the have all students to read at grade level by the end of grade three.
Early education is not just about literacy but also about developing students’ numeracy, social and emotional skills.
Why early intervention?
Research shows that educational disadvantage becomes entrenched by age 11. The sooner we can develop students’ academic and functional skills the more they will be successful in their academic career.
With the Regular Classroom Teacher making the most of children’s primary school years and intervening with specialized staff where necessary we strive to help all children fulfill their potential.
What if my child is a struggling learner in the French Immersion program?
Today's French immersion classrooms are as diverse as those delivering other programs. At ETMR we strive to support students in the FI program and to help them along in their educational journey, wherever that may be for them. Research has shown that the language of instruction is often not the cause of the learning struggle. If you have any concerns about your child's learning, it is recommended you talk to your child's classroom teacher who might suggest a conversation with your family doctor. Information gained from your physician might offer different instructional strategies that can be used to help students with diverse needs. Supplemental learning support may be available to your child if there is a medical reason that is getting in the way of their learning and success.
If at any time, you have concerns about your child ability to learn, set up a meeting to discuss with your child's teacher. Early interventions have been shown to have the greatest impact. Some signs to watch out for:
- your child has difficulty expressing himself or herself clearly in their first language
- your child has difficulty paying attention even for short periods of time
- he or she is unable to echo words or phrases in French
- very little letter / sound recognition
- very little word identification
- he or she has difficulty paying attention for extended periods of time
- difficulties understanding or recalling information
- they often have difficulty giving information about something they have just seen or experienced
- difficulty with phonetic analysis (that is, identifying or separating the sounds of words)
- they are still reversing letters
- their difficulty with phonetic analysis is hindering comprehension
Remember that it is not unusual in French Immersion…
… for children to be frustrated at first because they're used to understanding things easily or to having their curiosity satisfied quickly;
… for some shy or anxious children to be reluctant to participate in class activities, and for their speaking skills in French to develop slowly at first as a result;
… for the youngest children in the class to experience some delays in acquiring readiness skills and academic skills.
(adapted from "Yes, You Can Help!" Information and Inspiration for Parents of French Immersion Students, CPF publication)