Meet The Special Education Team
In Rainbow Schools, our special education staff members play an important role in creating the best possible learning environment for each exceptional student. Whether a classroom teacher, program consultant or educational assistant, we are a group of professionals dedicated to supporting exceptional learners so they maximize their potential and become productive and satisfied members in a global community.
The Superintendent of special education and program articulates the vision for special education programs and services by establishing direction for professional learning to meet the current needs of the exceptional students of the Board.
The Principal of special education programs and services works collaboratively with students, parents/guardians and special education staff to ensure the effective implementation of special education programs and services.
School Principals and classroom teachers, as part of the special education team, are involved in the development and implementation of Individual Education Plans (IEPs), including accommodations, learning expectations, teaching strategies, assessment methods and the use of assistive technology.
Special education teachers facilitate the identification of and programming for exceptional students. They provide direct and indirect support to exceptional students as well as consult with classroom teachers, central special education staff, parents/guardians and community agencies to plan and implement special education programs and services.
Educational assistants provide support in regular or self-contained classes in relation to developmental, corrective or care needs of exceptional students. The work of the Educational Assistant is planned and directed by a certified Special Education Teacher.
Professional support staff, which includes psychologists, psychometrists, as well as speech and language pathologists, conduct specialized individual student assessments and Board-wide assessments and screenings. They are responsible for providing written reports of assessment, diagnosis and recommendations as well as communicating diagnosis results to parents/guardians and special education school staff, among others.
The special needs training and program officer provides ongoing intensive training to teachers, educational assistants, administrators, etc. in techniques based on principles of applied behavioural analysis (ABA), an approach designed to address the social, communication and behavioural needs of exceptional students. The Special Needs Training and Program Officer also observes ASD students in both self-contained and regular class placements to provide suggested strategies, techniques and resources regarding the programming needs of these students and to support the teaching team in the implementation of the individual programs.
The Individual Education Plan (IEP) lead teacher is responsible for the development of a three-year plan of action in order to maintain system compliance with Ministry IEP standards. The IEP lead teacher also serves as a resource person by providing mentorship and training to staff in order to develop their expertise in this area.
Special education consultants (elementary) and coordinator (secondary) act as a resource to parents/guardians, teachers, Principals and Superintendents in designated schools/areas. These professionals are well versed in matters pertaining to the learning and behavioural needs of students and in the design and implementation of programs for exceptional pupils.
The coordinator of special needs (secondary and elementary) acts as a resource to parents/guardians, staff and community and outside agencies such as the Canadian Hearing Society, Canadian Hard of Hearing Association, Children's Treatment Centre and the EC Drury School for the Deaf. The Coordinator of Special Needs also acts as a resource person to all Education Centre staff, in cases of suspected hearing loss and/or diagnosis, use of specialized equipment and specific teaching techniques to address the needs of these students. As a critical member of Rainbow Schools Special Education staff, this individual is also responsible for providing technical support for special education equipment and other resources.
The program leader of special education (secondary) is responsible for the day-to-day operation of special education programs and services within their respective school. The program leader ensures that the needs of exceptional secondary school students, as outlined in their IEPs, are being addressed and ensure compliance with the guidelines established in the Rainbow District School Board Special Education Plan.
The itinerant teacher of students who are blind/low vision provides direct instruction to students who are blind/low vision, shares specific strategies to be used with these students with all school personnel and acts as a liaison between community and outside agencies such as the CNIB and W. Ross Macdonald School.
The itinerant teachers of students who are deaf/hard of hearing provide direct instruction to students who are deaf and hard of hearing, share specific strategies to be used with these students with all school personnel and provide in-service training to school personnel about the impact of hearing loss on learning and communication.
The communication disorder assistants work under the direction of a speech and language pathologist to prepare observational reports on children, support the integration of exceptional children in the regular school program, implement remedial language/speech programs and prepare written and oral progress reports.
The assistive technology computer technician provides technical support and training of teachers and students in assistive technologies.