SUPPORT FOR STUDENTS
All students are provided with appropriate programs and services according to their strengths and needs. A variety of services are available across the region to meet the needs of secondary school students.
Elementary and secondary school staff collaborate with parents and students to determine the appropriate placement and level of support in the Grade 8 to 9 transition process. Staff members collaborate with parents as the student moves through secondary school, to monitor progress and to review support and program placements.
The Annual Education Plan (AEP)
All students will develop an AEP with the assistance of parents and/or a guidance counsellor. This planning process will help students to set goals, choose appropriate courses, and identify the extra-curricular activities in which they wish to participate.
For students who have an Individual Education Plan (IEP) and who are receiving special education programs and services, the AEP will complement the IEP.
Students who have been identified as exceptional by an Identification, Placement and Review Committee (IPRC) will be reviewed annually and their IEP will reflect accommodations and/or modifications of curriculum expectations. Brochures are available at each school for parents regarding the IPRC process and the IEP. A copy of the Board's Special Education Plan is also available in each school. These documents can also be accessed on the Board’s website at - http://www.yrdsb.edu.on.ca/speced.
Accommodations refer to special teaching and assessment strategies, human supports, and/or ndividualized equipment required enabling a student to learn and to demonstrate learning. Accommodations do not alter the provincial curriculum expectations for the grade. Modifications are changes made in the age-appropriate grade-level expectations for a subject or course in order to meet a student's learning needs. These changes may involve developing expectations that reflect knowledge and skills required in the curriculum for a different grade level and/or increasing or decreasing the number and/or complexity of the regular grade-level curriculum expectations. (Ministry of Education, Individual Education Plan [IEP] document, 2004)
Students who require special education are also supported through a variety of options including indirect service, in-class resourcing, learning strategies courses (GLE), and partially integrated classes.
The Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) is composed of representatives from twelve community associations, three trustees and Board staff. This committee examines, reviews and makes recommendations regarding the provision of special education programs and services outlined in the Board plan.
English as a Second Language (ESL) / English Literacy Development (ELD) - support for English Language Learners (ELL)
Students from various linguistic and cultural backgrounds may need special programs to help them develop the level of proficiency in English required for success at school. Through courses in ESL and ELD, students can learn the English language and develop their literacy skills. Placement in these courses will be determined in each secondary school based on an individual language assessment completed at the Board's Reception Centre if the student is new to Ontario and entering a public school in York Region. The Centre may also assess students' mathematical ability before they proceed to their designated secondary school. For students coming from another school in Ontario, placement will be determined by using information in the OSR, from the report card and through an initial assessment at the school. For students coming from an YRDSB elementary school, placement in ESL/ELD courses should be done in consultation with the grade 8 teacher and the Secondary ESL and Guidance departments.
Guidance and Career Education
Each secondary school has qualified guidance counsellors to assist students with course selection, an academic plan, post-secondary and career planning, learning skills and personal counselling support. Information about secondary school and specific details regarding career education, apprenticeship programs, colleges and universities is also available on the Board's website at http://www.yrdsb.edu.on.ca/guidance.services.
Library and Information Services
School libraries are dynamic learning environments where students are encouraged to explore a wide variety of texts, develop a broad range of literacy skills, and engage in critical and creative thinking. As well, students develop inquiry skills including exploring ideas, selecting appropriate and relevant information from a variety of sources, analyzing, evaluating and synthesizing their findings, and properly citing, sharing, extending and transferring their learning. Teacher-librarians partner with subject teachers to provide strong support for student achievement across the curriculum.