Inclusion is not just about learners with special needs. It is an attitude and approach that embraces diversity and learner differences and promotes equal opportunities for all learners (Alberta Education).
Every student has unique needs which must be met with flexible and responsive learning goals and environments. Peace River School Division strives to support students’ academic, behavior, and social/emotional needs through a continuum of supports in a variety of school settings.
Flexible and responsive supports include:
- Universal supports – strategies/supports incorporated into the environment for all learners, such as flexible learning resources and technologies, differentiated instruction, and positive behaviour supports.
- Targeted strategies or interventions – for learners who need more specialized learning opportunities or access to more specialized support, such as writing accommodations, explicit instruction, or reading intervention.
- Specialized/Individualized supports – supports that directly relate to individual learning needs and may involve external expertise such as the use of alternate and augmentative communication systems (ACC), or mental health support.
All Peace River School Division schools have dedicated Inclusive Education time. If your child needs further support, please contact your local school.
Early Learning & Kindergarten Programming
What does PRSD offer:
The Early Learning Team supports children in their emotional, social, intellectual and physical development through play-based environments. We support equitable opportunities for children to participate in early learning experiences that include early intervention.
The Early Learning Team is responsible for providing educational programming and support services for children 2 years, 8 months to 6 years of age. Specialized and targeted programming for children is inclusive within our kindergarten programs.
- Early Learning Intervention
- Early Literacy and Numeracy
- Early Learning Coordinator
- Occupational Therapists
- Physical Therapists
- Speech And Language Pathologists
- Professional Learning
- Transition Planning
Programs by School
Please see each individual school website for specific program options and availability.
Early Childhood Development
Early entry to PRSD’s Early Learning and Kindergarten programs is available as early as age two years and eight months old (2.8). Early Learning programs are offered at every PRSD school and are designed to support students who have been identified by Alberta Health Services with severe disabilities and delays.
All of PRSD’s Kindergarten and Early Learning programs offer specialized support for students with delays or special needs.
Project Peace Program
Project Peace is an Alberta Health Services Mental Health Capacity Building Project. It is a 12-month program focused on universal supports for the promotion and prevention of Mental Health. This program is funded in Peace River and Grimshaw and is managed by a Program manager who works out of Central Operations.
School-based I-Coaches & Divisional Inclusive Education Coordinators
School-based I-Coaches are teachers who work with students with exceptional needs. In this role, they work with teachers to develop programming for students, collaborate with external service providers, provide support to EAs, and work with teachers to provide tier supports and organized interventions.
PRSD schools are supported by Divisional Inclusive Education Coordinators who are responsible for providing comprehensive supports to K-12 school-based staff to improve overall student achievement in an Inclusive Education setting. They work collaboratively with division-level personnel to ensure seamless supports to school-based personnel including teachers, support staff, vice-principals, and principals.
School Social Workers
The School Social Work program provides short-term supportive assistance to students and their families who are experiencing difficulties and require support at school. It is available free of charge to students between 5 and 19 who are attending Peace River School Division schools.
Referrals to the School Social Worker (SW) can be made by:
- Parents or guardians
- School staff
- The student
The SW will determine the need of the student and will contact the parent/guardian. A meeting with the student will be arranged at the school that the student attends.
If the SW determines that the student’s needs are beyond their scope of practice, or beyond the mandate of the program, the SW will recommend alternate community supports.
Youth Education Support Workers
Youth Education Support Workers work with children, youth, and staff in schools, and they focus on universal supports for the promotion and prevention of Mental Health. This program is funded through community grants in some PRSD schools.
Youth Education Support Workers provide universal programming in the areas of mental health, addictions, and social/emotional learning to students at the following schools:
- Menno Simons Community School
- Worsley Central School
- Hines Creek Composite School
- Fairview Jr./Sr. High School
- Manning Elementary School
- Paul Rowe Jr./Sr. High School
- Dixonville School
Success Coaches work with children, youth, and staff in schools, and they focus on universal supports for the promotion and prevention of Mental Health. This program is funded through the Project Peace Program.
Success Coaches provide universal programming in the areas of mental health, addictions, and social/emotional learning to students in the following schools:
- Springfield Elementary School
- TA Norris Middle School
- Peace River High School
- Grimshaw Public School
Family Liaison Worker
The Family School Liaison Program provides services and programming to school-age youth (K-6) at EE Oliver Elementary School with a focus on mental health and healthy lifestyle (social, emotional, physical). This is managed by delivering classroom presentations and workshops, early intervention service with individuals and small groups, crisis response, community awareness activities, and collaborating with community agencies. The Family School Liaison Program seeks to provide these supports so that children and youth are empowered to develop his/her gifts, abilities, and healthy life skills.
The Family School Liaison Program is made possible by a funding partnership with Alberta Health Services Mental Health, Fairview Family & Community Support Services, and EE Oliver Elementary School.
Community Helper's Program
The Community Helpers Program is a free training initiative available in area jr/sr high schools and the broader community to promote mental wellness for youth and persons who connect with youth 12 to 30 years. Through outreach and training, the program:
- promotes awareness of mental health, suicide prevention and helping resources.
- provides skill development that can improve how youth are supported.
- increases help-seeking behaviours.
- encourages self-care in those who help others.
- enables a stronger community of support for our youth.
CHP is supported by funding from Alberta Health Services and is coordinated through PRSD Learning Services.
External Service Providers
The following external services are delivered by certified professionals employed by Peace Collaborative Services (PCS). PCS provides support to students in PRSD schools using various interventions and services. If you think your child needs further support in these areas, please contact the I-Coach at your local school.
Speech Language Pathology: Speech Language Pathologists (SLP) assist with communication needs in the classroom, strategies to facilitate learning for specific children, and overall information regarding phonemic awareness and language in the classroom. Other areas of practice include assistive technology and augmentative communication.
Occupational Therapy: Occupational Therapists (OT) work collaboratively with teachers, students, families, and other team members to support active engagement in school-related activities that are important for learning and participation in the school community. Examples of consultation focus for school-based Occupational Therapists include:
- School environment (e.g., desks/chairs, classroom design) and routines
- Organizational skills
- Self-regulation and sensory programming
- Play with toys and peers
- Printing and assistive technology for literacy (i.e., reading and writing)
- Functional life skill programming and transition planning
- Self-help skills (e.g., dressing for recess, eating)
Psychology: School-based psychologists work collaboratively with the PCS team to provide a number of services, including:
- Helping others understand child development and how it impacts learning and behaviour
- Developing strategies/interventions for classroom management, behavioural support, and academic programming
- Comprehensive assessments that identify a student’s strengths and challenges in such areas as learning, behaviour, and social-emotional development
- Providing training and resources on a number of topics such as child trauma, various developmental challenges, social skills, emotional control and mental health issues
- Assisting school communities in responding to crisis situations
- Providing professional development opportunities tailored to meet the needs of staff and/or students
Vision Specialist: The consultant for the Blind and Visually Impaired assists learning teams with ongoing specialized curriculum, such as braille literacy, assistive technology, social skills, etc., for students who are blind or those with low vision. Functional vision and learning media assessments to aid in appropriate classroom adaptations, teaching strategies, and educational accommodations for these students may also be provided.
Physical Therapy: School-based Physical Therapist evaluates the child’s ability to function in the school environment which includes the classroom, playground, and common spaces around the school. A school Physical Therapist may make recommendations for physical therapy if the child demonstrates difficulty accessing these environments or participating with other children in these environments due to a disability.
Deaf and Hard of Hearing: The Deaf and Hard of Hearing Consultant provides consultation support for students with hearing loss in the areas of listening skill development and assistive listening devices (hearing aids, cochlear implants, personal FM systems). Support is also available to address the individual needs of the student with hearing loss in the classroom setting as well as an assessment of language and academic skills.