2013 SPECIAL FOCUS SESSIONS

Implementing Response to Intervention: One School Division’s Journey

Thursday, April 4, 2013 --1:00-3:00 p.m.

Leaders: Desiree Narvey, St. James-Assiniboia School Division, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

This session will focus on the research findings from one school division that has implemented response to intervention (RTI) in an inclusive and transparent manner such that all those responsible for its implementation clearly understand their roles and have a voice in the process.  Specifically, the session will highlight the implementation process including areas such as:  introducing RTI to the division; establishing a common language and vision; the strategic planning process; the changing roles of administrators and student services teams (resource/special education teachers, counselors, clinicians, educational support staff); collaboration and teaming; the impact of the class review process, co-teaching, and universal design; and professional development.  Understanding the process and the challenges will assist other divisions/districts in developing a plan for effective implementation of RTI to support the inclusion of ALL students in the classroom and school community.

At the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Identify the characteristics of effective RTI implementation in the school division being studied.
  • Describe the collaboration and teaming required for effective RTI implementation.
  • Understand RTI as an effective framework for supporting inclusion and inclusive practices.

Who Should Attend? Special Educators (All levels), General Educators (All levels)

Universal Design for Learning – Assistive Technology in an Inclusive Classroom

Friday, April 5, 2013 -- 9:15-10:15 a.m.

Leaders: Jane Friesen, Pembina Trails School Division, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Our goal in Pembina Trails School Division has been to promote independence, participation, and engagement of students with special needs in their educational programming through the integration of individualized assistive technology supports within an inclusive learning environment.  In this session, we will share our integration of Universal Design for Learning Philosophy – 3 Block Design and demonstrate how this approach has been effective in supporting all students in our learning communities. We will also focus on assistive technology, planning and implementing low- and high-technology devices to meet students’ communication and learning needs.  Attendees will view clips of students using their devices in an inclusive environment. 

At the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Describe Three Block Design Universal Design for Learning.
  • Learn about an iPad project that was coordinated and systemically implemented.
  • Identify some key characteristics of programming for all students in developing assistive technology.

Who Should Attend? Special Educators (All levels), General Educators (All levels)

Make Your Inclusive Setting a Place of Belonging Through TRACKS

Saturday, April 6, 2013 -- 10:30-11:30 a.m.

Leader: Kimberly Maich, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada

Co-Presenter: Carmen Hall, Fanshawe College, London, Ontario, Canada

TRACKS is a unique program focusing on social skills improvement for students with ASD and is applicable to a range of school and community settings. Peers are taught to interact effectively with children ASD and other socially based disabilities through a peer-mediated approach presented in a fun and engaging manner. Program implementation and related research data has been carried out in London, Ontario, Canada.

At the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the importance of a peer-mediated approach to teaching social skills for children with ASD and other social challenges in an authentic manner within an inclusive setting.
  • Understanding the positive research outcomes of the TRACKS program during summer 2011 and 2012.
  • Identify strategies, approaches, and resources necessary to create and implement an effective program to teach typically developing peers specific behaviorally based skills in a hands-on, engaging format through the four formal stages of the TRACKS program.

Who Should Attend? Special Educators, Classroom Teachers, Parents, and Community Leaders (e.g., Camp Directors)