Workshops for Winter 2004
How to Successfully Interact with your School Board.... a two hour workshop designed to make people familiar with key aspects of education law and where to find them. Strategies and successful advocacy tips are shared. A companion book, “Education Access Resource Guide 2001" may be purchased for $10. This workshop has been presented more than 60 times.
Writing Effective Needs Statements ... a practical two-hour workshop where people are given the opportunity to practice developing effective needs statements for their exceptional students (or clients). This has been VERY successful with parents, support workers and foster parents. Since special education is a”needs-driven” process, and boards have a statutory obligation to MEET the needs of the the exceptional pupil, it is critical that parents and professionals develop this skill. The new Standards for IEPs and the emerging IEP standards for each exceptionality are explained.( As an arbitrator, I have often found that parents have difficulty in enunciating their child’s needs, and the school often doesn’t know what the parents expect.... good programming starts with clear communication of the student’s needs)
Guide to the IPRC Process.... an overview of the legislation and process of Identification, Placement, and Review, as well as Appeals and Tribunals. Salient court cases and OHRC decisions will be explained. This can be tailored to the needs of parents or support professionals ( or both). New legislation in Reg 181 is highlighted with a focus on the “more parent friendly” process. ( this workshop has been successfully delivered more than 40 times)
Understanding Educational Funding ....with Education Finance Reform, a new system of funding Education is evolving. The Intensive Support Amount is a key piece for exceptional students, yet parents, professionals, associations and school level staff often do not have a clear understanding of this funding. Without information they are not able to access dollars to make equipment and support happen. I was a validator for the Ministry of Education (July- Nov 1998) and am familiar with all aspects of the ISA process, including the new rules for Sept 2001. This 2 hour workshop includes detailed reference materials and has been successfully presented more than 30 times to CAS case workers and foster parents, VON-Family Support workers and clients, Group Home Operators, Treatment Centre staff, and for various chapters of Easter Seals, Down Syndrome Society, Autism Ontario, CHADD, Community Living, and Integration Action Group.
Integration of High Needs Students into a Secondary Program.... This workshop has been delivered to secondary staff and to parent groups. It begins with an overview of legislation, credits, service delivery models and philosophies of integration. Case studies will be developed to explore a variety of secondary situations. A review of the new Transition Plan process and the IEP requirements from Regulation 181 and the Standards documents, will show how to utilize these requirements to develop effective secondary plans for high needs pupils.
Understanding Section 20 Agreements... This workshop is aimed at group home operators and staff, CAS case workers and administrators, COMSOC staff and Educational Support staff. It starts with an overview of education in Care, Treatment, and Correctional Facilities, looks at pertinent legislation, funding and how to develop an effective Agreement with your school board. Common questions will be answered as well as an open discussion of local issues.
Transitions... This workshop can be an overview of the three transitions or it can be focussed on a specific transition. 1) School Entry:, JK through Grade :. The workshop covers attendance rights and responsibilities, the registration and initial IPRC processes, Special education programming in the primary grades, pertinent school board documents you should have, and a general overview of education legislation. Some excellent models of Early Years Transitions have been developed by some boards. 2) Transition to High school: deals with the changes between grades 7-8 and the high school system. Helpful hints on how to manage this transition are discussed. 3)Transition to work, post secondary, or community: this process begins with Reg 181 and the Transition Plan for students who are 14 years+ and walks participants through the various stages of ensuring a smooth transition from school to community. Attendance rights and innovative cooperative programs for students over 21 will be discussed as well as Co-op Education, Job Shadowing and SALEP.
Partners: Parent, School,& Community... This workshop focuses on building the relationship between home, school and community agencies to coordinate services for high needs kids. Issues and opportunities around the partnering will be discussed in this interactive workshop.
SEAC Training... Offered directly to district school board Special Education Advisory Committees or to parent associations ( to train their SEAC reps) this workshop focuses on the legislative mandate of the SEAC, information and resources required by SEAC members, and examines specific strategies and procedures which will enable SEACs to effectively support exceptional pupils and realize their potential as an important standing committee of the school board. This workshop has been successfully presented to 13 SEACs and to more than 8 associations. It has been received VERY positively by reform-minded SEAC members who wish to make the SEAC more effective.
Discipline & the Exceptional Pupil...This workshop examines issues around suspension, expulsion and discipline of exceptional pupils. A careful examination of the new Code of Conduct and its implications for special education is included, as well aa a comprehensive review of Human Rights and other litigation. A frank and open discussion of this topic from a variety of positions. This workshop is very interactive and can focus on local issues.
Office Hours..... Several agencies have paid my expenses to a particular location and scheduled family appointments on an hourly or half hourly basis ( parents usually pay for time scheduled) to discuss specific cases and situations. The agency has provided me with faxed or e-mailed information so that I am able to focus the response. This has been very successful in areas where previous workshops have been held or as an immediate follow up to a current workshop.
Understanding Common Assessments... Exceptional students are usually assessed many times in their school lives. This workshop is designed to help parents and professionals to better understand various assessments commonly used in educational planning. These assessments are critical in obtaining ISA funding and appropriate educational services and programs. The presenter, Paul Thompson, draws on many years of assessment, teaching and consulting with exceptional children.
Teaching Organizational Skills ...Help is finally here!! Problems with organization plague the majority of exceptional pupils and report cards repeatedly tell the pupil “you must be more organized, ready to work..” But HOW??? This workshop is designed to give parents and professionals practical strategies and techniques for the management of time, tasks, and materials by exceptional pupils. There is something here for everyone! The presenter, Paul Thompson draws on his experience as a teacher and consultant at a provincial demonstration school for Learning Disabled students to provide ideas on how to teach these difficult skills, or to suggest compensatory strategies..
Current Issues in Special Education... This interactive workshop explores 10 “current issues” (updated continually) and their potential impact on exceptional pupils. This discussion-oriented workshop is excellent as a community-building session. It has been used by several parent groups to raise their profile in the community and by SEACs to “raise awareness” and provoke discussion for SEAC members.
Educational Advocacy Training... This 3 hour workshop is designed to teach the role and skills of the advocate.. This can be delivered as a direct training workshop or on a “train-the-trainer” basis ( where people are equipped to train advocates at a local level). In an increasingly complex (and occasionally hostile) educational environment the demand for trained advocates is rising dramatically.
Special Education–an Overview ... This full day workshop uses the Ministry of Education document “Special Education- a Guide for Educators” as a vehicle to lead parents, educators and support workers through current legislation and all aspects of Special Education in Ontario. Participants should obtain a copy of this 252 page document from the internet prior to the training session (or arrangements may be made to have it available on site)
Community Partnering-----Local agencies work together with a facilitator, to identify both the things thing the agencies already do collaboratively, and the areas where new partnerships need to be developed. Barriers and local limitations are identified and the expected outcome is to set up local inter-agency teams to develop local protocols and agreements to find “ a unique local solution”. Areas that commonly identified are preschool to school transition, speech and language services, Youth in Transition (ages 14-21), children with mental health issues, and children in care of CAS. This is usually a two day workshop, but can be customized to meet local needs. This process has been successfully worked through in four communities .
If any of the above are of interest to your staff or the parents you work with, please give me a call at 1-519-660-0493 (e-mail: email@example.com ) The above workshops are based on a fee of $40/hour of preparation (generally 1 hour per workshop) and presentation ( ranges from 2- 3 hours per session), plus travel (40 cents/km + accommodation if required.) A non-refundable deposit of $40/single workshop, or $50/day for multi-day workshops) is required at time of booking . This deposit is then deducted from invoiced costs of the workshop. I believe that these fees are among the lowest available for presentations of this quality. All handout masters are supplied by Comhnadh, and the host is responsible for location, handout reproduction or copying cost, and any refreshments. Many groups choose to group several workshops into a half or full day program.
I would be glad to discuss any of the above workshops, or customize training to meet your needs. Please give me a call!!!! Trained staff and parents can really help exceptional children.