WCDSB has a process in place for early identification procedures and intervention strategies for our students in Junior Kindergarten to Grade One. This process is mandated by the Ministry of Education (as per Policy/Program Memorandum No. 11).
Early and ongoing identification of children's learning needs is a systematic process through which each child's strengths and needs are identified and documented. The ultimate purpose of this process is to ensure that each child develops to maximum potential through the provision of appropriate programming.
Early and ongoing identification is not a separate program. Rather, it is an integral part of a continuous process of assessment and program planning which begins when the child is first registered for school and continues until the end of Grade 1, or beyond in some cases.
Classroom Teachers have the responsibility of gathering information, observing, collaborating with parents and other school/board staff, and seeking additional resources to assist the child. The Home-School partnership is begun during the spring registration process and continues into the fall when parents complete the School Entry Questionnaire. Information shared by parents makes an important contribution to the discussion during subsequent home-school contacts that typically occur in September, and at scheduled parent conference times during the school year.
Strong communication between home and school ensures that parents are made aware that their child may be experiencing difficulties. Procedures for referrals, assessments, identification, communication and interventions are discussed with parents as student needs arise. For more specific information about special education processes at WCDSB parents are encouraged to check the first section of the Special Education Website and to speak with their child's Classroom Teacher and/or Principal.
The model for early and ongoing identification is founded on the principle of a close home-school partnership characterized by frequent communication and collaborative program planning. The school-based team and the Collaborative Teams are important resources to assist parents and school staff related to early identification and intervention.
In addition, the Board has clearly outlined processes to streamline the transition to school for students with special needs. Meetings with pre-school service providers, agencies, parents, school staff, and system professionals clarify expectations, outline programs and services, and coordinate transfer of responsibilities. Please see the Transitions Section of the Special Education website for more information or speak to staff at your child's school.