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Special Needs Education


The Division believes in providing appropriate programming for students who have special needs.

Consistent with the regulations, the Division shall provide an appropriate educational program for all its resident students. A student may be determined to have special needs based on their behavioural, communicational, intellectual, or physical characteristics, or a combination of these characteristics. Such educational programming will be provided in the most enabling learning environment available with the Division’s resources.

Students with special needs may require changes to any or all of the following:

  • Regular curriculum
  • Staffing
  • Instructional and evaluation strategies
  • Facilities or equipment

In addition, some students may require specialized health care services. Students with special needs may require placement in a special education program a part from the regular classroom.


Special Education refers to the education of students with mild, moderate, or severe disabilities and those who are gifted and talented.


  1. Students who have been identified with potential special needs will be referred through the Principal or designate for further assessment by appropriate personnel.
  2. All referrals for formal assessment must have written parental consent.
  3. Following assessment, a summary of results will be given to the Principal or designate and the Student Services Coordinator. Thereafter, a post-conference will be held with parents to inform them of the assessment results and the subsequent instructional program recommendations. The student will be included for all or part of the process as appropriate.
  4. The educational requirements of special needs students will be identified through screening, individual or group assessment, classroom observation, and/or information available from outside agencies.
  5. Within a school site, the decision to place a student outside the regular classroom for some portion of the school day will be made by the Principal in consultation with the Student Services Coordinator and the parent(s) or legal guardian(s). The Principal may determine that the school has no appropriate program to meet the student’s educational needs. In the absence of Division programs the student may be recommended to a program run by another Division. The Principal, in consultation with the Student Services Coordinator, will make this recommendation to the Superintendent who may direct the student to a program outside of the Division.
  6. Signed parental consent must be obtained prior to placement of a student in a special program. Any placement change to or from a special needs program must be  discussed with the parents prior to implementation.
  7. Parents who are dissatisfied with the placement of their special needs student may appeal to the Board through the Appeals Policy.
  8. The development, implementation, and evaluation of special needs instructional programs will be consistent with Alberta Education policy and guidelines.
  9. Programs for students with special needs will work toward full integration in the regular classroom environment wherever possible.
  10. Specific criteria will be established for admission to and exit from a Special Needs Program.
  11. The regular classroom teacher, in conjunction with the special needs teacher, and parents, will develop an Individual Program Plan (IPP), for each student with special needs. The completed IPP will be reviewed with, and signed by the parents. Any changes to the students’ IPP must be discussed with the students’ parents. Ongoing consultation with parents is encouraged.
  12. The progress of special needs students will be monitored and evaluated on an on-going basis to determine the appropriateness of placement.
  13. Placements will be reviewed each spring by the Principal and the Student Services Coordinator.
  14. The decision to return a student to the regular program will be made by the Principal in consultation with the Student Services Coordinator, appropriate school personnel and the parent or legal guardian.


Sections 8, 18, 20, 23, 45, 47, 48, 96, 113, 123, 124, 125 School Act

Student Record Regulation 71/99

Education Placement of Students with Special Needs Policy 1.6.1

Special Education Policy 1.6.2

Guide to Education ECS to Grade 12

Standards for Special Education

Board Policy 12 Role of the Superintendent


Reviewed July 2010