Elementary Special Education Support Model

Limestone Learning Foundation
Elementary Special Education Support Model
Posted on 02/29/2024
Image of Special Education Review 2023-2024 graphic

A Special Education Review was conducted between February 2023 and October 2023. Over 3,400 participants responded to the question: “What key supports and services are important for students with special education needs to experience success at school and reach their full potential?”  More than 4,000 individual thoughts were shared through the exchange, and participants rated 76,000 thoughts. Additionally, Educational Services staff met with small focus groups of students, parents/guardians, and staff to explore the data together. This extensive feedback was incredibly valuable, and we extend our deepest gratitude to the families and students for their participation in the review process.     

This review aimed to identify the key supports and services critical for the success of students with special education needs by elevating the voices of students and families. Our goal was to use this data to inform and develop a model of support that is flexible, responsive, and tiered.  

The primary reasons for the restructuring include the following  

  • to provide equitable access to special education support and services within a students’ home school, and to leverage current supports to meet the needs of all students.
  • to minimize barriers to support and services such as diagnosis, identification, and geographic location.  
  • to provide flexible and responsive support, programming, and access to resource spaces that adapt and respond to a student’s unique learning profile. 

As a result of these changes, elementary LDSB special education classrooms and itinerant support positions will not be continuing, and staff will be reallocated into schools. This restructuring will positively impact school-based support for students in Junior Kindergarten through Grade 8. This is inclusive of students who attend Intermediate school sites. Choices @ 7 - Challenge, LEAP, ATLAS and ECPP programs are not impacted. Over the next few months, our school and district teams will continue to support students and families with this transition. There are no current changes to the secondary special education service delivery model.  

This change in the elementary service delivery model does not reflect any cost savings and in fact, this model has an overall staff increase. Through this restructuring, we will reallocate 29 special education teacher positions to schools across the district, in addition to educational assistants, literacy intervention, mental health and clinical supports.   

An overview of the new elementary service delivery model is included in the Administrative Report: Elementary Special Education Support Model presented to Trustees at the February 28, 2024, Board Meeting.   

Details about the review and a list of frequently asked questions have been posted to the board’s website under Special Education – Special Education Review 2023-2024. 

Our school and district teams will continue to support students within a fully inclusive learning environment in every Limestone school. 

The Limestone District School Board is situated on traditional territories of the Anishinaabe & Haudenosaunee.