By Janis Mann, District Vice-Principal, Inclusive Education
Roughly 80 North Vancouver School District employees recently came together to hone their strategies for supporting students with executive functioning skills. Executive functioning refers to the ability to plan, organize and complete tasks. These are skills that can be taught. By supporting students in this manner, our staff help students reach their full potential. Executive functioning skills can be harnessed in all students, and students with special needs benefit greatly from this learning.
Over two days, Learning Services Teachers, Speech and Language Pathologists, Augmentative and Alternative Communication Speech and Language Pathologists, Counsellors, Family of Schools Teacher Leaders, Family of Schools Leaders, Administrators, Education Assistants, and district Psychologists, partook in a seminar presented by Sarah Ward, a well-known Speech and Language Pathologist and expert in the implementation of practical strategies to improve executive functioning. The seminar was hands-on and offered practical strategies for supporting executive functioning for all learners. Participants learned strategies for areas such as teaching students how to devise a plan to achieve their goals, how to improve students' awareness skills as they enter and participate within a space, to be flexible thinkers when processing and accessing information, and to increase awareness of and plan based on an understanding of the passage of time.
The seminar was co-hosted with the Surrey School District. Sarah Ward was presenting live in Surrey, and webcasting to the North Vancouver School District. All those who participated in this meaningful learning came away with practical tools and strategies they can use right away with their students.