Inclusive Learning Programs
Foothills School Division offers a responsive, meaningful, high-quality learning environment that encourages the social-emotional, behavioural and academic potential of every learner. In support of this inclusive environment and learning for all, FSD has a continuum of strategies, supports and structures that matches student needs with the appropriate levels of support:
- Universal Supports: Universal supports for all students begin with a focus on reducing barriers from the onset and supporting differentiated instruction, ensuring that all students are given the opportunity to have their learning directed by sound instructional practice.
- Targeted Supports: Some learners may need more time or interventions to master their learning and ensure their success. Learning Coaches in all of our schools work collaboratively with parents and school personnel to identify a student’s strengths and areas of need. They then, in collaboration with the school based and school linked teams develop strategies and supports to meet those needs. For many students, the use of effective instructional approaches in the classroom is sufficient. If more extensive assistance is required, the team designs and implements supports outlined by an Inclusive Learning Plan (ILP).
- Individualized Supports: We will endeavor to meet the needs of all students within their neighborhood schools. In some cases where emotional, social, behavioural and/or learning needs require more individualized supports, we offer specialized regional programs within our school district. A decision to move a student to a regional program with more directed support is a team based decision with input from parents, the Director of Inclusive Learning, school administration and teachers. The school based and school linked teams assist students to develop academic and social-emotional skills and competencies very specific to the learner. These supports are located in schools in three geographic areas — High River, Okotoks and High Country.
School Based Team
The school based team consists of classroom teachers, school administration, Learning Coach and other staff that provide support to the student such as an Educational Assistant, Youth Development Coach, or Family School Liaison Counsellor. This teams meets to collaboratively plan to ensure the most appropriate educational program for the student:
Learning Coaches: Learning Coaches work collaboratively to build teacher capacity in sustaining an inclusive environment in meeting the diverse needs of all students. Learning Coaches work cooperatively with parents, the school based team and school linked team to ensure programming is responsive to the student’s needs.
Family School Liaison Counsellors (FSLCs): All schools have access to counseling services. FSLCs provide short term counseling, small group support and skills training, and universal classroom supports around social-emotional learning. Our FSLCs also support families in providing parent information and connecting families to outside agencies.
School Counsellors: School counselors have a teaching background and are located in all of FSD’s high schools.
Youth Development Coaches: Youth Development Coaches work collaboratively with the school based team in supporting the positive development of student behavior and social-emotional learning.
Educational Assistants: Under the direction of teachers, the educational assistants work directly with students individually or in small groups to deliver activities that reinforce and advance the educational program.
School Linked Team
Director of Inclusive Learning: The Director of Inclusive Learning is responsible for ensuring and supporting a strong continuum of supports is present and accessible in all schools, ensuring that both the knowledge, understanding, skills and attitudes for personal excellence are developing in all students in a safe, caring and welcoming community.
Behavior Learning Strategist: The Behaviour Strategist is responsible for working closely and collaboratively with students, parents, classroom teachers, administrators, other school personnel and professionals to support and help create effective intervention strategies for students who are experiencing behavioural difficulties that put them at risk of not achieving their full potential.
Counseling Coordinator: The Counsellor Coordinator is responsible for working closely and collaboratively with all Family School Liaison Counselors to support and help create a strong continuum of supports in each school including both proactive measures and individualized supports for students who are experiencing social-emotional difficulties in ensuring a safe, caring and welcoming school.
Therapists: We have a number of therapists who regularly visit our schools to provide wrap-around services for our students. The learning coach, in consultation with parents and teachers, accesses this team:
- Speech Language Therapists: Speech-Language therapists provide support to our students with a number of communication needs. Supports include but are not limited to: articulation, speaking in full sentences, learning word meanings, listening comprehension, and augmentative/alternative communications systems.
- Occupational Therapists: Occupational therapists provide support to our students with fine motor and sensory regulation needs.
- Physical Therapist: Physical therapists provide support to our students with gross motor or well-being needs.
- Psychologist: A school psychologist comes in to work collaboratively with teachers in supporting the emotional and behavioral needs of our students. Assessments and recommendations of strategies are provided to support the well-being of our students.
- Consultant for the Blind or Visually Impaired (BVI): These professionals provide support for learners who have low vision or are blind. They provide training and consultation on issues such as access to the learning environment, assistive technology, braille literacy, and orientation and mobility.
- Consultant for the Deaf or Hard of Hearing(DHH): Consultants for students who are deaf or hard of hearing provide support in optimizing the learning environment for students with hearing loss.
Foothills School Division knows that working collaboratively with the school based team, school linked team, and parents is essential in ensuring success for all students.
Director of Inclusive Learning