Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Do you know your alphabet?

Navigating the school system, especially the special-needs aspect of it, seems to involve a lot of acronyms -- to the point where you sometimes feel as if you're learning a whole new language!
For example:
- IPRC (Identification, Placement & Review Committee)
- IEP (Individual Education Plan
- SERT (Special Education Resource Teacher)
- EA (Educational Assistant)
Yesterday Richard and I attended the annual meeting of Jonathan's IPRC (see above!). This committee consists of his teacher, the vice-principal, the special ed person from the school board, and us his parents, and is mandated to meet at least yearly to review Jonathan's identification as a special needs student and his appropriate placement in school. At Rideau at least, these meetings are always very encouraging because the school is so interested in Jonathan's progress and so proactive in ensuring that his needs are met. The teacher talked about Jonathan's improvements in language skills, familiarity with routines, interest and attentiveness to classroom activity, etc. -- and everyone gushed about what a long way he's come since this time last year. That's very encouraging for us to hear because we aren't always aware of the ways he's progressing. While he is not working at grade level, he has his own IEP (see above!) which establishes goals for him in every area -- academic, social, physical, self-help, etc. -- and his EA works one-on-one with him in all of these areas.

Next year he will be in a regular Grade Two classroom with EA assistance. While he's been fortunate enough to have the same teacher for the past two years, he will have a new one this fall, so that will be a change, but I'm sure he will handle the transition well. It will also be special for him to have Allison at the same school; I think they'll both really enjoy that!

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