Minutes – October 13/09
District ABA Advisory
Meeting called to order – by Nancy Robins – 7:07 pm
Attendance – 14
Guests – Ann Turner and Rick Ryan
We asked Ann and Rick questions that were outstanding from our last meeting, and then we opened the floor to members questions.
If a child moves from one school to another is a posting automatically triggered, do you have to repost. Under what conditions would it be acceptable to not repost and to have the existing ABA SW move with the child?
Ann – if a move takes place mid year the ABA SW moves with the child then the posting comes in June – unless there are extra ordinary circumstances, which will be considered on an individual basis
If your regular ABA SW calls in sick – what happens – can they call ask for a specific replacement who may have been successful with your child before – what might it take to make that possible?
Ann – It would remain as to whether the person is still on the Sub board – you can certainly request – Anne has talked to HR about this and they try to make it possible whenever possible – put the request forward make it known to your school and we will try to fulfill it – perhaps make a list with your principal of any names that you know have been effective – some schools may use an internal SEA and shift them to your child – try to build capacity inside your school
A former ABA SW who would like to be on call for the district? Is that possible? Training already in place person with many hours has an outside part time job that is a shift work job and sometimes leaves school hours open.
Ann – They should call HR and let them know what days they could be on the sub-list and give available days – people could also apply to be on the sub list if they are qualified.
For schools that provide summer school – can parents get ABA SW’s for those programs? If the school cannot pay – can the parent pay my ABA SW to cover that time? If not what are the alternatives?
Ann – this has happened last year – it was a learning experience for continuing ed. – honoring the programs that are in place for children were important – some schools do summer school for extra support in subjects and this does not apply in some areas – summer school does not apply for children in modified programs – children who are trying to get a Dogwood diploma.
Ann – we will make enquiries to Continuing Ed for children who are on modified programs who need “keeping up” over the summer.
Question from parent – could it be a district ABA SW who works with your child at home versus at school for a summer program?
Rick – it would end up being a seniority question and then who is willing to do this work – although we could make an argument to the union for continuity.
Several parents have been told by their IT’s that they may not speak to the ABA SW about their child. One was also told that she was not entitled to a
Ann – I dislike the word never, it is vital that the classroom teacher know what is going on – it is not that the ABA SW should not speak to the parent, “it was a bad morning” – if it is a larger issue then the parent should arrange a teacher/ABA SW/parent meeting.
Parent – is the communication book a right?
Ann – communication book is vital to the success – teachers should review add comments, as well as parents and ABA SW’s.
Eleanor – one of my children has an email format communication book.
Parent – some kids cannot handle having a book so an email can be easier to stop from talking in front of the child.
Nancy R – what if a parent ran into the problem – teacher not having a Communication book?
Ann – ask the teacher first then the principal.
Eleanor – I think parents in this forum have has less teacher issues in this area and more IT issues.
Ann – I have been working with the IT’s to explain that the role is to support the child – I have been meeting with IT’s in smaller groups going over issues and using case studies that demonstrate an issue that I am trying to move their opinion on – there are 12 new IT’s – when hiring, I look for course work that will support this role and do they have the capacity and room to grow that will make them effective in this role.
Rick – what we are looking for is a willingness to learn and our ability to infuse into them the necessity to keep an open mind, collaboration, trying new things, some of the more established employee’s come from an expert model that Anne is working through – we have moved them from our building and into schools to show that it is relational and that IT’s need to be part of the school team.
Parent – how many schools does an IT have.
Anne – typically two – some only one but they tend to have less than full time hours.
Parent – some of our therapists would like to work as volunteers when the ABA SW is sick.
Rick – we were attempting to address this question last year – a position on volunteers has been sent to HR with an attempt to make that possible – criteria has been developed and it will be revisited with HR as it has been in no person’s land – volunteers would be temporary – it is something that he is open to and will continue to look into it
Elaine – what is the relationship going to look like in the school so that no one is displaced.
Rick – I commented on that on in my writing – I think the principal being on board is critical – I will follow up on that with HR.
Nancy W – arranged with principal that her drop off person would wait to be sure that a sub could work with her son.
Elaine – would a volunteer be allowed in the school to cover breaks?
Rick – that would be more problematic – it would be taking the work from the employees – when we start to talk about this being daily.
Parent – if the ABA SW is sick – is there a parent notification rule?
Nancy W– risky for parents who may drop and go to work.
Anne – we work with schools to provide parent notification – a phone call from the head secretary or person responsible for absences should be the person to call the parent.
Rick – should this happen, (there should be calls made and the matrix is not perfect) there should be a protocol.
Nancy W – make a contingency plan – what happens if there is not a suitable person for your child once the day starts – work with the staff of the school and make them aware of your anxieties and worries.
Eleanor – speech language services? Are there any?
Rick – Puis Ryan should get those calls.
Rick – there are services – and we have hired almost our full compliment – there are wait lists.
Parent – are there physio or occupational services for children?
Elaine – I have been told we are nowhere on the priority list.
Ann – all those requests go through our office to Child Development – prioritized by need – children who have been through the Child Development Centre are eligible for those services to be continued in K – it is a problem that we do not have enough OT’s available to the district.
Rick – School Psychs, Speech Language, OT are three areas where we are spread thin.
– for OT we contract services through the Child Development Centre – they have not received increased funding in 20 years or so from the government so they have not been able to increase services.
Ann – if you have an OT goal in your IEP, there has to be consult for that goal.
Parent – you can request a consult?
Ann – yes – through your IT.
Nancy W – we need the government to put more money into the district to skip through the district hands to go to consultants for the services just as the OTs are structured.
Nancy W – we talked a year or so ago about having designated IT’s – are we now getting a good balance of ITs with skills?
Ann – what I see is we need to build capacity and to take the mystique out of it – as part of the IT support, teachers come together for monthly in-services – we bring examples that represent children with all needs and services – we feel it is important to build those.
Parent – what is the wait list for Psych Assessments?
Rick – School Based teams make those recommendations – we expect those assessments once approved will be completed within one year – you need a school based team meeting – if they determine you should be in the queue for assessment then – SBT – looks at any community supports that children would be requiring in your school.
Elaine – told by someone at Centre for Child Development – that all ABA SW’s are full time.
Rick – not all children are bell – to – bell.
Ann – a needs assessment will drive the request for additional time – that principal might be saying that is not available – but we need to look at the needs of the student. There are five special helping teachers in the district – there are 4 zones – there is one who is the direct helping teacher for each zones – they may be able to do assessments where they are necessary to relook at those hour assignments. There are High needs High intensity – Liz Abrams works with those kids
Rick – we have gone to this new district calendar saving 6 days of school – in order for ABA SW’s to have that extra 10 minutes – there should be no change to service delivery for those children receiving – in those cases where the child has bell to bell coverage.
For those children who do not have bell to bell coverage, teachers should approach the principal to get a new assessment.
Nancy R – when are reassessments done?
Ann – needs assessments are completed annually, they are completed at the school level and then to Ann.
Nancy R– when would parents be notified?
Ann – parents should be told – there needs to be enough coverage to provide delivery to the child – we are working for independence for children – and therefore we are looking to meet those needs.
Eleanor – are parents notified if hours are changed?
Ann – do we have a safe environment – should it be a secret – no – these assessments are done in April.
Nancy R – could a parent ask how many hours and who do you ask?
Ann – your principal.
We have 75 ABA SW positions in the district and 60 staff members to fill them.
Thanks to Anne and Rick
Motion to change the AGM from the Tues to the Wed that week January 13th.
Adjourned at 8:35