Students with Diverse Abilities
The more we know about your child before they start school, the better we are able to provide a fulsome, supportive program for them. In addition to the information we receive from you, we also count on the professionals who worked with your preschooler to share their knowledge and expertise. The school team is happy to collaborate with you and these individuals in planning your child’s transition into kindergarten.
The district has an Inclusive Education Team available to support students with additional needs. This team is the group of specialists who collaborate with classroom teachers and families to establish and monitor the interventions, goals and strategies being put in place to help your child be safe and successful at school. For some learners, this also involves the creation of an Individualized Education Plan or Student Support Plan.
More information about the school district’s structures and supports is available in the “What Are Inclusive Education Services” pamphlet.
School Age Therapy
Your child may have received therapy from a Speech and Language Pathologist (SLP), Occupational Therapy (OT) and/or Physiotherapist (PT) at the Child Development Centre (CDC).
Occupational and physiotherapy is available on a limited basis in our school district. If your child is currently receiving support through the Early Intervention Program at the CDC, these services can continue until your child turns six. After that time, students may qualify for support through the School Aged Therapy program. This service is more limited than the Early Intervention support. For School Aged Therapy, students must meet criteria involving either acute health needs, deteriorating physical conditions or pervasive feeding issues. Referrals for services at school are facilitated by your child’s case manager at school.
Each school also has a part-time Speech and Language Pathologist. SLPs can provide direct assistance to students as well as providing training and support to parents and staff.
Exchange of Information
We need your permission to talk with, and receive reports from any individuals or organizations that have worked with your child. The form required is a Consent to Exchange Information. Once this is completed, we are able to reach out to the individuals who can help us to learn about the needs of your child, and to determine the ensure that supports and interventions are in place.
This consent can be uploaded as part of the online registration process, or can be provided directly to your child’s school.
In May or June, the school’s Inclusion Support Teacher will organize a transition meeting so that you and your preschool team can share information about your child’s strengths and needs. This meeting is an opportunity for everyone to ask questions, voice concerns and determine the resources that need to be in place for a smooth start to Kindergarten. This might be your first time dealing with a school as a parent rather than as a student. We look forward to getting to know you and hope you’ll find this collaboration to be helpful and productive. You’re welcome to bring along a friend or family member to lend support and help you advocate for your child.
Creating a snapshot of your child’s interests, strengths, needs, and supports, is very helpful for the school team in planning. Having a meeting and sharing reports is a great start – but if you would like to share additional information, two of the more common options are described below.
The Transition to Kindergarten Planning Tool can be used to guide the discussion. If possible, bring the completed form to the meeting. Your child’s preschool teacher or a representative from the CDC team could help you complete the form. Whether the form is completed or not, the meeting is a good time to tour the building and determine whether there are any accessibility issues in the physical environment of the school, to discuss your child’s particular familiarization / orientation needs and if needed, arrange an opportunity for a team member to observe your child at preschool.
If you’re technologically-minded, another option is to create a “My Booklet” (free, at https://mybookletbc.com/) to share some information about their child with the school. This is something that can grow with your child, and be shared from year-to-year.
Some students are eligible for bus service on an accessible bus. For these routes, priority is given to students who have physical mobility limitations, and who are attending their catchment school. If scheduling and space permit, students with other disabilities may be accommodated. Criteria for bus ridership are reviewed annually and are subject to change.
If your child is an appropriate candidate, the school will assist you with completing a Busing Ridership Application and submit it to Learning Services. If the application is approved, the District Transportation Manager will contact you and a pick-up/return schedule will be set up. An EA will be assigned to meet the bus when it arrives at school and deliver your child safely to the Kindergarten classroom.
Some Common Acronyms
Student Support Plan
Speech and Language Pathologist
Universal Design for Learning
Vancouver Island Children’s Assessment Network