The Special Education Department at Henry Street High School offers a variety of programs to meet student needs. The Special Education teacher is responsible for providing academic and life skills support to students identified through the Identification, Placement and Review Committee (IPRC) process. This involves making accommodations and/or modifications and developing an Individual Education Plan (IEP) for each student. Special Education teachers are supported by members of the "Area Team" (see below) from the Education Centre. Further information is available on the Durham District School Board website:
- Instructional Facilitator, Psychological Services staff, Social Worker, Teacher of the Hearing Impaired, Vision Resource Teacher, Facilitator for the Gifted, Speech and Language Pathologist.
The Academic Resource teacher is responsible for coordinating the program of the "Identified Exceptional student". This may involve assessment/testing, both formal and informal, making program accommodations consistent with student needs, and developing a "Individual Education Plan" for each student. Time is also spent monitoring students throughout the year to see that the programs are meeting the special needs of the students.
Part of the Academic Resource teacher's role is to act as a liaison person and coordinator of services. Liaison work occurs between teachers, administrators, parents, Special Education Services at Board level, school social workers, Psychological Services, and Alternative Education Services (e.g. SALEP) etc.
The Academic Resource Program offers the following:
1) academic support
2) skill development within subject areas
3) training in study skills (subject based)
4) test/exam writing strategies
5) note taking skills
6) time management training
7) organizational skills
8) alternative evaluation support to classroom teachers (e.g. oral tests, extra time, question explanation, etc.)
9) resource support (testing, learning style information, University/College entrance information, AR reports/letters of reference, etc.)
LEARNING STRATEGIES: Skills for Success in Secondary School GLE1OS (Grade 9) and GLE2OS (Grade 10)
These courses explore strategies for learning more effectively and help students become more independent learners while increasing their personal management skills, both in school and in other contexts. Students will learn to develop and apply a range of strategies to improve their learning and achievement, particularly their literacy, numeracy, communication, and planning skills. The goal of these courses is to increase students' confidence, motivation and ability to learn.
These course objectives will be accomplished in 3 different but interconnected ways:
1. Course content - teaching learning strategies.
2. Skill development - academic skills will be practiced and developed through use of computer programs such as "Success Maker" or "Reading Academy"..
3. Application of learning strategies - students will be given time to work on other subjects and thereby apply the skills learned in this course to the "laboratory" of their other courses.
SENIOR MODIFIED PROGRAM Grades 9-10
The grade 9 and 10 Modified program is predominantly self contained. Students take courses which have alternative expectations, as compared to credit based courses. In grade 9, six "K Courses" are taken in a self contained setting and there is one integrated course per semester. In grade 10, four courses are taken in the self contained setting and four courses are taken in the regular program. The student's achievement in these courses is not based on provincial curriculum policy documents, but by the expectations set out in the student's Individual Education Plan. The focus is based on employability skills and transition from school to work. Students require intensive support on a daily basis to meet their educational and self care needs. The students will be working toward a Certificate of Accomplishment upon leaving secondary school.
SENIOR MODIFIED PROGRAM Grades 11-12
The Senior Modified Program provides a program geared toward meeting the needs of students that have difficulty coping with the academic and applied level in the regular classroom. Students spend part of their day in "self contained" classes (in which the class consists only of modified students), and part of the day integrated into the regular program. The amount of integration increases in senior years; in grade 11 and 12, six of eight courses are taken in an integrated setting. As much as possible, modified students receive Education Assistant support in their integrated classes. Cooperative Education Placements are encouraged in the senior grades in order to ease the transition to the world of work. The modified program does not prepare students to enter post secondary education after high school.
LIFE SKILLS- SENIOR ASSOCIATED CLASS
This class focuses on four areas: Functional Academics, Life Skills, Work Experience and Social/Recreational skills. As part of the life skills part of the program students shop for groceries and prepare weekly meals for the class. Bowling, swimming, dances and theatre are all a part of the social and recreational program.
The students in the Life Skills-Senior Associated Class are an important part of Henry Street High School. Integration occurs when appropriate and students especially enjoy participating in gym and in music class. The class also takes responsibility for the recycling program in the school.
Practical Learning Program (PLP)
This class is similar to the Life Skills class but with increased integration. This class focuses on four areas: Functional Academics, Life Skills, Work Experience and Social/Recreational skills. As part of the life skills part of the program students shop for groceries and prepare weekly meals for the class. Bowling, swimming, dances and theatre are all a part of the social and recreational program.
MULTIPLE EXCEPTIONALITIES (M.E.) SCHOOL TO WORK PROGRAM
The School To Work Program is designed for graduates of the Multiple Exceptionalities Program. The program assists graduates of the M.E. program to make the transition from Secondary School to the work force and independent living. The Henry Street Program provides students with both classroom instruction and work placements in the community. The in-school component is designed to assess student strengths and needs for the purpose of career planning and developing employability skills. Work experience will allow these students to build on their strengths and be productive citizens within the community. In addition, on-going programming in the areas of social skills, functional academics and communication are provided.
ESSENTIAL COURSES in English, Math, Science, History (Grade 9, 10)
Ministry approved, “Essential Courses” are offered to students that have difficulty with the Applied and Academic levels in grades 9 and 10. These courses are offered in English, Math, Science and History and count toward the achievement of compulsory credits. In most cases students that take Essential courses will proceed to the “Work Stream” in grade 11 and 12.
COMMON CLASSROOM ACCOMMODATIONS
For Students With Writing Difficulties:
1) Give more time to complete written work.
2) Encourage the use of word processing on computer.
3) Give several shorter assignments rather than one long one.
4) Assign oral presentations.
5) Let student photocopy another student's notes or copy notes on carbon paper.
6) Consistent checking of notebook.
7) Allow student to copy overheads before the class or supply copies.
8) Encourage note taking using maps and diagrams.
For Students With Reading Difficulties:
1) Teach how to decipher most important points and highlight them.
2) Present information in a visual form (e.g. maps of written content, diagrams, charts, graphs of written content ).
3) Give student a list of key vocabulary for each major unit.
4) Give a tape recording of a text or provide an adapted version of the text.
5) Encourage reading for pleasure by having interesting and relevant books and articles available.
6) Teach how to use the text i.e. table of contents, headings, subheadings, pictures, diagrams.
7) Reinforce different reading methods depending on purpose of reading i.e. rereading, skimming, self questioning, reading in depth for detail, etc.
For Students With Organization, Concentration and/or Attention Difficulties:
1) Give preferential seating.
2) Emphasize eye contact.
3) Use visual aids.
4) Keep directions slow, clear and simple and reinforce them.
5) State the purpose of the lesson at the beginning.
6) Agree upon breaks during class time.
7) Encourage the use of a homework book/daily planner.
8) Tell student what is important to study.
9) Teach study skills during class time.
10) Segment long assignments so the student may complete in small sections.
PROFILE OF THE LEARNING DISABLED STUDENT
By definition, Learning Disabled Students are average to above average in their ability level. However, they have a greater discrepancy between strengths and weaknesses than the average student. To be Learning Disabled is not to be a slow learner. It is possible to be identified as both "Learning Disabled" and "Gifted". A Learning Disabled Student may experience any of the following:
1) Poor or at least fragile self-concept and history of underachievement in some areas.
2) Low frustration tolerance - tends to give up easily.
3) Poor or negligible organizational and time management skills - forgets books, due dates, scattered notes, loses things.
4) Difficulty accepting her own feelings - doesn't believe she is entitled to feel angry, hurt, frustrated.
5) Sets unrealistic expectations for himself.
6) Denial of the existence of a problem.
7) Believes that she does not deserve to succeed. Refuses to stand up for her rights or if she does, she uses an aggressive or tactless approach which brings a negative reaction and confirms for her that everyone is against her -victim complex.
8) Fear of risking failure - does not try - can then attribute failure to lack of effort rather than lack of ability - blames failure on factors outside of himself - maintains that he could do it if he tried.
9) Attributes success to luck or ease of the task (extrinsic factors) rather than effort or ability (intrinsic factors).
10) Unable to see her role in the dynamics of a situation or interaction - cannot understand that she sometimes causes her own problems.
11) Unable to come to grips with the fact that he can control many of the things that happen to him.
12) Frequently, considerable discrepancy between abilities in strong and weak subjects.
13) Frequently has trouble with tasks consisting of several stages. May even get as far as completing the assignment and forget to hand it in.
* Any given Learning Disabled student will not necessarily experience all of these characteristics.