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Programming for Diverse Learning Needs in an Inclusive Education Environment


All children have the right to a quality education that provides a sense of belonging and acceptance in the school community and will lead to personal growth, development and success of the child.

The fundamental goal of Education in Alberta is to inspire all students to achieve success and fulfillment in their learning.  In supporting this foundational statement, the Division believes in providing quality education and appropriate programming for all students.

Consistent with the regulations, the Division shall provide an appropriate educational program for all its resident students.  Such educational programming will be provided in the most enabling learning environment available with the Division’s resources.

A student may be determined to have diverse learning needs based on their behavioural, communicational, intellectual, medical or physical characteristics, or a combination of these characteristics.  Students with diverse learning needs may require programming support in any or all of the following:

  • Regular curriculum
  • Staffing
  • Instructional and evaluation strategies
  • Assistive technology
  • Facilities or equipment
  • Health care services



  1. Educating students with diverse needs in regular classrooms in Northern Gateway Public Schools shall be the first placement option considered in consultation with students, parent(s)/guardian(s), and school staff.
  2. Students who have been identified with potential diverse learning needs support will be referred through the Principal or designate for further assessment by appropriate personnel.
  3. All referrals for formal assessment must have informed written parental consent.
  4. Following assessment, a summary of results will be given to the Principal or designate, Inclusive Education Facilitator and the teacher(s).  Thereafter, a post-conference will be held with parents to inform them of the assessment results and the subsequent programming recommendations. The student will be included for all or part of the process as appropriate.
  5. The educational programming requirements of students with diverse learning needs will be identified through screening, individual or group assessment, classroom observation, and/or information available from outside agencies.
  6. Within a school site, the decision to program for a student outside the regular classroom for some portion of the school day will be made by the Principal in consultation with the Inclusive Education Facilitator, teacher(s) and the parent(s) or legal guardian(s).  In the absence of Division programs the student may be recommended to a program run by another Division. The Principal, in consultation with the Learning Services Coordinator for Inclusive Education, will make this recommendation to the Superintendent who may direct the student to a program within the Division or outside of the Division.
  7. Specific criteria will be established at school sites for admission to and exit from a specialized program.  Signed parental consent must be obtained prior to placement of a student in a specialized support program. Any placement change to or from a specialized support program must be  discussed with the parents prior to implementation.
  8. Parents who are dissatisfied with the student's specialized programming supports may appeal to the Board through the Appeals Policy.
  9. The development, implementation, and evaluation of instructional programs will be consistent with Alberta Education policy and guidelines.
  10. Students with specialized programming supports will work toward full integration in the regular classroom environment wherever possible.
  11. The regular classroom teacher(s), in conjunction with the Inclusive Education Facilitator, the student (where appropriate) and parent(s)/guardian(s), will develop an Instructional Support Plan(ISP), for each student requiring specialized supports.  The completed ISP will be reviewed with, and signed by the parent(s)/guardian(s).  Any changes to the student's ISP must be discussed the the student's parent(s)/guardian(s).  Ongoing consultation with parent(s)/guardian(s) is encouraged.     
  12. The progress of students with specialized supports will be monitored and evaluated on an on-going basis by the Principal, the teacher(s), the student (where appropriate), and the parent(s)/guardian(s), to determine the appropriateness and effectiveness of the supports. 
  13. Supports will be reviewed each spring by the Principal and the Learning Services Coordinator for Inclusive Education to inform future programming.


Sections 3, 11, 16, 31, 32, 33, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 53, 56, 196, 197, 222 Education Act

Student Record Regulation 97/2019

Education Placement of Students with Special Needs Policy 1.6.1

Guide to Education ECS to Grade 12

Standards for Special Education

Board Policy 12 Role of the Superintendent


Revised February 2020

Revised August 2018