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North Vancouver School District
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Policy 211: Special Education Services and Programs

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Revised: September 25, 2001
Revised: October 8, 2002


The Board will provide educational programs for all students who have special needs, limited only by its ability to provide the necessary resources. Students who have special needs, as defined by the Ministry of Education, are those students who have a disability of an intellectual, physical, sensory, emotional or behavioural nature, or who have a learning disability or have exceptional gifts or talents.
The Board is committed to a philosophy of inclusion, which is founded on the belief that students who have special needs should receive their education, whenever educationally feasible, in age-appropriate regular classrooms, in their neighbourhood schools.
To translate this philosophy into successful practice, schools require:
    • Multiple layers of support, involving both the School District and community agencies, when appropriate
    • Curricular adaptations and modifications on an individual basis
    • Organizational structures based upon collaborative decision-making
    • Strong home-school partnerships.

Administrative Procedures

Guiding Principles

The following are guiding principles for special education services and programs offered by the School District:
  • Special education services and programs should be characterized by inclusionary practices that promote participation and interaction for all students
  • Students who have special needs should be assisted to experience success and should be challenged to strive toward their maximum potential
  • Quality programs and services should be organized to provide equitable access to all areas of the curriculum and to provide consistency in offerings across the School District.
Organization of Special Education Services and Programs
All students in North Vancouver School District will be instructed in regular classrooms, with the exception of the few students whose interests are best served by enrollment in a small selection of specialized alternate programs.
Students who have special learning needs will receive support from school-based staff, including learning assistance teachers, resource teachers, counsellors, and English Second Language teachers, as appropriate.
When special education services and programs are offered on a District-wide basis, they will be organized within the Student Services Department, and will be supervised by the District Principal - Student Services. Services offered on a District-wide basis include those provided by counsellors, resource teachers, school psychologists, and specialists in other areas such as behaviour, hearing, vision, and speech-language pathology.
Identification, Assessment and Planning
School-based resource teams play a formal role in assisting classroom teachers to develop and implement instructional techniques and methods of management that will facilitate the inclusion of students who have special needs. The school-based team also coordinates support services within the school for students who have special needs.
Program development for students who have special needs will begin with assessment and intervention at the classroom level. If necessary, the school-based team will seek further consultation and support from specialist personnel from the Student Services Department. If the school-based resource team has reason to pursue further diagnostic information or evidence of need for additional services, the consultation with Student Services staff might involve an extended assessment.
If an extended assessment offers evidence that a student is in need of additional services, the District Principal - Student Services will oversee the appropriate adjustment of service levels. Students who are identified as meeting the criteria for Ministry of Education special needs categories will be included on School District lists for submission to the Ministry.
Individual Education Plans
An Individual Education Plan (IEP) will be developed for any student who is identified by a school-based resource team as requiring significant adaptations or modifications to methods of instruction, methods of assessment, or instructional materials. In addition, an IEP will be developed for every student whose timetable includes 25 hours or more per year of remedial instruction. IEPs will be developed without delay upon identification of need, and will be reviewed yearly. The parent will be invited to contribute to the development of an IEP. Whenever possible and appropriate, the student will also be invited.
Services and Special Program Options Available in the School District
A current listing of services and special program options for students with special needs will be maintained on the School District’s Web site:
A coordinated approach to effective programs for students who have special needs will require partnerships with other ministries and community agencies. The School District will seek the involvement of other ministries and community agencies, as appropriate, to support both the identification of students who have special needs and the design and implementation of special programs.
Other Useful References
Special Education Services, A Manual of Policies, Procedures and Guidelines. Ministry of Education.
Draft Manual of Special Education in North Vancouver. North Vancouver School District.
North Vancouver School District Policies: