Careful planning and co-ordination are essential to the success of providing educational continuity for students who have complex needs during this period when in-class instruction is suspended.
This involves taking a family-centred approach that ensures that priority is placed on supporting the specific areas of focus that align best with what students and their families see as valuable.
Learners with complex needs and their families share the same need as every learner - to remain connected with their classrooms and school communities. Wherever possible, their educational continuity should be designed in a manner that is consistent with their peers.
Ensuring success in this regard requires individualized planning with families to carefully co-ordinate each student’s access to the supports that are essential to their unique educational continuity needs. Providing educational continuity for complex learners will occur in accordance with the B.C. Ministry of Education’s mandate to prioritize a healthy and safe environment for all students, families and employees.
Students who require highly personalized and specialized planning will have their educational continuity plan developed by the member of the school staff who has the closest relationship with the student and their family. This individual may be the student's case manager or classroom teacher. The initial contact with the student's home will involve a comprehensive "check-in" to see how things are going with the student and their family.
Once this preliminary assessment of need has been determined and a plan of support developed, attention will focus on designing an Educational Continuity Plan (ECP) that will determine what aspects of the student's program will be of primary focus. The ECP will align one IEP goal and one Core Competency. This combination will become the primary focus of attention for the student.
Careful consideration will be given to what specialized supports and resources are needed and how they can be provided in a manner that ensures the health and safety of all students, families and employees.
Challenging times such as these, in light of the COVID-19 crisis, afford us an extraordinary opportunity to work in partnership to care for one another. Learning becomes focused on nurturing within our children and ourselves such qualities as kindness, compassion, resilience, gratitude and cooperation.
Our school district staff are all deeply invested in ensuring that these qualities guide our approach to supporting our learners with complex needs as we work together to overcome the challenges that confront us in the days and weeks ahead.