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Upper Canada special ed plan approved

Upper Canada district schools will have a new curriculum plan for their special education programs. %e Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) approved its 2015 Special Educa- tion Plan during the Sept. 9 board of trustees session.%e 51-page document covers policy guidelines ranging from student placement to sta"ng levels suggested to meet the dis- trict goals. Valerie Allen, program superintendent, told trustees that the report also deals with the current drop in provincial government support funding for special education pro- grams. %is term will see «a slight decrease» in sta& assigned to special education, noted Allen, but there should be «minimal impact» on service to students and their families. «%e sta"ng re#ected in the report,» sta- ted Allen, «shows minimal impact in the area of school and classroom special education teachers, and a consistent level of educa- tional assistant support within our schools. Schools are still supported by a number of specialized professionals and paraprofes- sionals, such as psychologists and speech language pathologists.» %e report noted that this term, the UCDSB will have the 580-full-time-equi- valent sta& providing special education programming. %at number includes 338 school-based educational assistants, 10 special educa- tion teachers for the Section 23 program, 92 elementary learning resource coaches, 57 secondary learning resource coaches, Operators of subsidized housing facilities in Prescott-Russell may get the help they need to stay in business and keep their tenants safe and satis!ed. All of themayors on the United Counties of Prescott-Russell (UCPR) council have agreed with a proposal for one-dollar inc- rease in the daily subsidy that the counties provide to operators of low-cost housing for each of their tenants who quali$es for it. UCPR Social Services Director Anne Comtois-Lalonde made the recommenda- tion in a report she presented during the Sept. 9 committee of the whole session for the counties council. %e report followed up on a presentation earlier this month to the counties council from local housing operators. Hawkesbury Mayor Jeanne Charlebois indicated that she supported having the subsidy increased, but she did not want the counties to then reduce the number of eligible residents who would receive the funding aid so that the UCPR could continue to keep its budget balanced and avoid raising the property tax rate. “I’mnot prepared to reduce the number of people aided who are at the lower end of the income scale,” Mayor Charlebois said. “I think there are other things we can cut (from the budget) before we cut human respect.” All the mayors agreed to have the daily subsidy increase be part of the 2016 counties budget and to also try to work out a way GREGG CHAMBERLAIN








Superintendent Valerie Allen discusses the 2015 Special Education Plan during a recent Upper Canada District School Board session.

10 speech language assistants, and eight itinerant student support workers, who will go from school to school on assignments. Also noted in the report is a district philo- sophy that promotes «early intervention» to help students who are struggling to succeed,

along with information on types of student issues like learning disabilities or language impairment, which the special education program tries to address.%ere is also infor- mation on how students can make use of assistance technology.


Hope for new housing subsidy during the upcoming budget discussion round to avoid putting on a cap on the num- ber of low-cost housing tenants who would bene$t from the subsidy increase.

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%e social services report and resolution for increasing the housing subsidy will come back to counties council for voting approval at its Sept. 21 regular session.


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