Special education in SD51 discussed at meeting

At a recent meeting, School District 51 (SD51) discussed its current status with special education compared to the provincial average.

At a recent school board meeting, School District 51 (SD51) discussed its current status with special education compared to the provincial average.

A chart provided by the Ministry of Education – Diversity branch looked at how the school board compared between the provincial rate compared to the school district every year, noted Director of Instruction Maxine Ruzicka.

Districts are required to report to the ministry reasons why there is an increase in any category that is above the provincial average, she added.

The results show the incidence rate of student designations in various special education categories in SD51 from 2006 to 2013.

“The two areas that I have to report on, because we are above the provincial average again, are the Intensive Behaviour piece and the Serious Mental Illness piece,” Ruzicka explained. “The provincial average (for Intensive Behaviour) is 1.26 of their kids and we’re at 1.68, but I did report that we did go to an all-time high in this category from 29 students last year to 22 students this year. We’re still making improvements on that.”

Under these categories, Ruzicka pointed out the school district has decreased the number of students with those designations over the past two years.

“The other one piece is students with Mild Intellectual Disabilities, where we are quite a bit over the provincial average with that and that is very specifically assessed,” she said. “One thing I did point out to the ministry, is when they do our percentages is  – what is the significant difference with a small district with a small number when you look at the reliability and actuality, compared to hundreds of thousands of kids – are these significantly different?”

According to statistics from the district’s school psychologist Jennifer Turner, there have been three full psychological educational assessments completed this year, with two assessment consultations.

There were seven students who had educational programming consultations, and two preschool provincial integration specialist program applications and assessment reviews.