As students return to schools, preexisting health care plans will remain in place and will be revised in collaboration with families, their health care providers and schools. In preparing for a return to school, families are encouraged to speak with their healthcare providers about their child’s specific needs and considerations during this time. We will continue to work closely with our Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) partners to plan for the provision of nursing to support the safe return to school for students who need nursing support.
Need for enhanced PPE and Protocols related to its use
We recognize that all our students are unique and will have different needs when we return to schools and classrooms. Our staff are committed to following Public Health guidelines to provide the safest environment and care for our students and staff. We are working to ensure that all staff will have the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) required in order to meet all the needs of students throughout the day at school.
Protocols for Itinerant Student Services Staff
Some of itinerant services include: Speech and Language Pathology (SLP), Psychological, Social Work, Physiotherapy/ Occupational Therapy (PTOT), Applied Behaviour Analysis Facilitators, Autism Consultants, Interdisciplinary Team staff and teaching supports for students with vision impairments or profound hearing loss. We have developed a safe and comprehensive protocol for delivery of these services that includes a blend of interpersonal, on-site support and virtual consultation or provision of services. All disciplines continue to keep students' needs and safety at the centre of the work that we deliver. Student Services staff will continue to receive referrals for specific services and continue to support transition needs during the return to school. Case management will be carefully reviewed on an ongoing basis.
Protocols for External Services and Community Agencies
Student Services works collaboratively with various External Regulated Health Professionals from Community Organizations who provide support to students during the school day. To minimize risk and maximize available support, we are developing a protocol for how these external services can be safely and gradually introduced to the school. This will be accomplished through collaboration and consultation with the various External Regulated Health Professionals from community organizations. Where available and appropriate, ongoing virtual services will continue to be provided by our external partners. Referrals to external agencies through our board Regulated Health Professional staff will continue.
Learning, teaching and supporting students will look different for all members of the Student Services team this fall. Several professional learning opportunities have been prepared for all staff so they have the tools and strategies to support student learning in a variety of contexts.
Non-Violent Crisis Intervention Training will start in September. Safety Protocols are being updated to support staff and student safety at times when students may present a safety risk to themselves and/or others.
Supporting students with significant special education needs who opt for full time online learning
Students with significant health, medical or special education needs who choose to continue online learning from home will be supported by a Special Education Resource Teacher. Learning will be provided through an online platform such as Google Classroom with synchronous and asynchronous learning and check-ins from a teacher/SERT/support staff (e.g., EA). Support of the Student Services team will be engaged to ensure programming is accessible and reflects students’ Individual Education Plans.
IEPs that reflect the learning model
Individual Education Plans are written plans describing the special education program and services required by a particular student, based on a thorough assessment of the student's strengths and needs that affect the student's ability to learn and demonstrate learning. Teachers will be supported to write Individual Education Plans that reflect the individual learning circumstances of each student this fall. Families will have an opportunity for input so that identified students have clear goals outlined for their learning.
Supporting Families with Digital Tools resources to support continued online learning
This fall, students may be accessing learning in a variety of different ways. Some learning may be occurring remotely from home at different times for different students. We will work to ensure that learning is accessible to all students. New software is being explored to maximize the engagement of all students and work collaboratively with teachers to provide professional learning and consultative support.
SEA Equipment - High Incidence
Individual learning and training opportunities for students and families to use their Special Equipment Amount (SEA) provisioned laptop is an important part of creating accessible learning opportunities. The board is working to safely resume SEA training this fall.
SEA Equipment - Low incidence
We appreciate that during the period of school closure, many students and families may have borrowed their child’s specialized school based equipment (SEA equipment). This equipment is an important part of your child’s Individual Education Plan and as school resumes we will be communicating a process for the return of this equipment to your school. We will be developing updated Individual Education Plans that will incorporate the safe use of this equipment as your child returns to school.
ASD PA Day
We are developing professional learning for staff specific to Autism Spectrum Disorder. Staff will be collectively focussing on Mattering and Belonging, ABA Strategies and Universal Design for Learning specific to students who have been diagnosed with ASD.
Care and Treatment Programs
Care and Treatment programs will resume in-person programming and care, including transportation, in alignment with school opening safety protocols.
PEAK and Transit Training and O & M
To minimize risk, there will be limited community based transit training with Orientation and Mobility Instructor for students who are blind or have visual impairments. The instruction will take place in the school and local community with interpersonal safety measures to support the learner. There will be practice and described video scenarios for students regarding new COVID-19 considerations when taking public transit if the need arises to support their Expanded Core Curriculum IEP goals.
WETC and Work Placements, PEAK
We appreciate the value of community based Work Experience Placements for students. We are investigating safe in-school alternatives to community based work placements. We will continue to work with Public Health to identify safe opportunities to have students working in the community.