Special Education Service Delivery Model in the OCDSB: A Guide for Parents Of Students With Giftedness
The Ministry of Education currently describes the exceptionality of Giftedness as:
an unusually advanced degree of general intellectual ability that requires differentiated learning experiences of a depth and breadth beyond those normally provided in the regular school program to satisfy the level of educational potential indicated.
The OCDSB supports students with giftedness in a variety of ways including in a regular class environment or a specialized program class environment. These students may have some of the following characteristics: the mastery of new skills and concepts quickly; advanced vocabulary; superior judgment and reasoning abilities; strong sense of ethics and values; original, flexible and fluent thinking. The OCDSB Gifted specialized program classes are for those students who, in addition to targeted Tier 1, 2, and 3 interventions, would still benefit from a specialized program class.
Here Is What We Do To Support Students with Giftedness (Tiered Intervention Approach)
There is no specific time requirement for each intervention; the length of time an intervention should be tried is dependent on the individual strengths and needs of the learner. Which interventions are tried also depend on the individual strengths and needs of the learner; there is no one-size that fits all.
School Based Support (Tiered Intervention) MAY include but not limited to:
· Classroom Teacher
· Learning Support Teacher
· Learning Resource Teacher
· Principal/Vice Principal
· Educational Assistant
· Early Childhood Educator
· ESL Teacher
· Multi-Disciplinary Team (Psychologist, Speech/Language Pathologist, Social Worker, etc.)
Classroom based supports (Tier One Interventions) for students with Giftedness in the regular classroom MAY include but not limited to:
· Identification of strengths and needs
· Classroom observation and tracking
· Parent/guardian consultation/feedback
· Classroom assessments
· Differentiation of instruction, environment and/or assessment (e.g. ability grouping, visual supports, use of assistive technology)
School based supports (Tier Two Interventions) for students with Giftedness MAY include but not limited to:
· In-School Team Meeting Referral
· Targeted, precise specific instruction to adhere to need (e.g. Critical and Creative thinking tasks)
· Development of Individual Education Plan (IEP)
· Educational Assessment (e.g. WIAT III)
· Specific differentiated supports in place for areas of strength and need (e.g. tasks based on increased depth and breadth, social skills building activities, leadership opportunities, organizational skill building)
· Continued parent/guardian consultation
· Consultation with other departments (i.e. Curriculum Services, Business and Learning Technologies, Facilities and Planning)
Other school based supports (Tier Three Interventions) for students with Giftedness MAY include but not limited to:
· Cognitive Assessment (e.g. CCAT , WISC-IV/V)
· Counseling (social emotional support as needed)
· Continued development of IEP
· Parent/guardian consultation/feedback
· Multi-Disciplinary Meeting/ Updated action plan (e.g. type of assessments used; use of technology; SEA application; further opportunities to work with other gifted/highly talented learners; student-centered project based learning opportunities; intensive school-based support strategies; specialized program class referral)
Identification as a Student with an Exceptionality of Giftedness VS Eligibility for a Specialized Program Class – Gifted Program
Students may be Identified with an exceptionality of Giftedness and not placed into a Gifted Program specialized program class. In these cases the student would receive in-class support in the regular class setting.
Criteria for Specialized Program Class: Gifted Program
Specialized Program Classes Available
English Grades 1-12
Early French Immersion Grades 5-12
Grades 1-3, 20 students per class
Grade 3/4 split, 23 students per class
Grades 4-8, 25 students per class
Assessments, Documentation, and Student Profile for Referral
To ensure best practice, current psychological assessment (within the last 2 years) or verification from a psychologist/psychological associate that an assessment completed more than two years ago continues to be valid is required. The OCDSB will prioritize assessment, for students being considered for a referral to specialized program classes for the following school year, based on need by the multi-disciplinary team and parent consultation. We support this process internally. Any of the following Assessments may be used:
· CCAT (Canadian Cognitive Abilities Test)
· WPPSI-IV (Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence, fourth edition),
· WISC-IV/WISC V (Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, fourth or fifth edition) ,
Primary, (Grades 1-4)
· CCAT: Scores at the 99th percentile on two of the three scales (one must be Verbal) and at least 90th on the third.
· WPPSI/WISC: Full scale or GAI (General Ability Index) or Verbal Index (composed of at least 3 Verbal Reasoning Subtests) at or above 99.6th percentile.
Junior/Intermediate (Grades 5-8)
· CCAT: Scores at the 98th percentile on two of the three scales and at least 90th on the third.
· WPPSI/WISC: Full scale or GAI or Verbal Index (composed of at least 3 Verbal Reasoning Subtests) at or above 98th percentile; alternatively a score at the 98th percentile or above in the Perceptual Reasoning (composed of 3 Perceptual Reasoning subtests scores) accompanied by at least a score at the 95th percentile on the Verbal Reasoning Index (composed of 3 Verbal Reasoning subtests).
Secondary (Grades 9-12)
· For OCDSB students, our LST’s (Learning Support Teachers) for Grade 8 support the referral process into a secondary specialized gifted program class. For outside applicants, your home gifted secondary school will support you directly in this process.
· All students who meet OCDSB gifted identification, as per the Gifted Screening and Identification Manual, are eligible.
To ensure best practice, current educational assessment (within the last 12 months) is required. Two subtests from the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test, third edition, (WIAT-III), reading comprehension and math problem solving, must be included in the referral. The educational assessment may be included in the psychological report. An educational assessment may be completed at your child’s school.
Criteria: There are no specific results criteria for any of the items within this section. The information is used to gather a fulsome picture of the student being referred.
As cognitive ability does not always equate to academic achievement, additional educational information is required for a referral to a Gifted Program specialized program class. A students’ current report card and a current Individual Education Plan (IEP) are required in a referral.
There may be social and/or behavioural factors that warrant being explained as part of the referral process. This information is helpful to provide a fulsome picture of the learner. These social/behavioural observations may be within the classroom and/or at home and may include disengagement, low self-esteem to perfectionist characteristics. There are no specific social/behavioural characteristics needed in order to be referred to the Gifted Program specialized program class.
Additional Supporting Information
Additional information may be helpful to provide a fulsome picture of the student. This information may be relevant to the student’s needs and programming requirements. This may include a Social-Work Assessment, anecdotal reports, awards, extra-curricular interests, achievements, and/or any other evidence supporting a referral.
Note: The progress of a student in a specialized program class will be monitored regularly and reviewed through the Individual, Placement, and Review Committee (IPRC) process to ensure appropriate placement to support student learning needs.
Specialized Program Class Referral Process
Referral Process for the Gifted Program Specialized Program Class for OCDSB students
· Deadline for a referral to a Gifted Program specialized program class (for September placement) is determined by Learning Support Services (usually the beginning of April).
· OCDSB referrals are coordinated through the multi-disciplinary team at your child’s school.
· All questions relating to this process can be directed to your child’s current school.
· Referrals will be considered throughout the year (not only April) on a case by case basis. Once the gifted committee has confirmed that the student meets criteria, if space is available, an offer for placement may be made at that time.
Referral Process for the Gifted Program Specialized Program Class for non-OCDSB students
· Referral forms and information may be provided by the OCDSB Learning Support Consultant with the gifted portfolio.
· Please review OCDSB current criteria for our programs on the OCDSB website prior to requests for referral forms.
· Deadline for the referral to a Gifted Program specialized program class (for September placement) is the same as determined by Learning Support Services.
· Referrals will be considered throughout the year (not only April) on a case by case basis. Once the Gifted Program committee has confirmed that the student meets criteria, if space is available, an offer for placement may be made at that time.
· Referral documentation must be completed as a joint effort between parent(s)/guardian(s) and child’s current school.
· Preference for placement is given to current OCDSB students who meet criteria.
Other Information Regarding Referral Process for all students
· The committee begins reviewing referrals in April for placement in the following academic year. Referrals are not considered on a first-come, first-serve basis. Parent(s)/guardian(s) participate in this process, their input is required as part of a referral form.
· Those students who meet criteria will be placed dependent on availability and home address. All those who have met criteria and who have not been placed will remain on a wait list and will be placed throughout the year as spaces become available (wait lists do not carry over to the next academic year).
· Referrals may be submitted at any time throughout the year and will be reviewed by the gifted program committee upon their next meeting. At that time, if the student has met criteria, a placement may be offered, depending on availability.
· Once in a Gifted Program specialized program class, no further referrals are required to stay in the program each subsequent school year.
· Please note: further information can be provided to referrals through Learning Support Services (LSS) upon request.
We support learners in a variety of ways within the OCDSB. We recognize that each learner has their individual strengths and needs and that what works for one may not work for another within a similar profile. We allow external referrals to the specialized program classes and welcome students within the Ottawa area to consider any OCDSB school as we endeavor to support our learners, both within the regular class program and within a specialized program setting.