I Belong Here…Together we are God’s Good News is the current CDSBEO Board theme and our CDSBEO Special Education Department is working very hard to bring this theme to life through re-engaging students and families.
Working from the premise that all learners are different and that their individual needs are different, our staff have been working diligently to ensure that each child is supported and that they have what they need in order to access their curriculum and meet with success. Staff are doing this work by ensuring students feel welcomed, represented and supported, by adapting teaching practices to be learning practices and by combining outdoor education, digital experiences and rich in class face to face learning, thinking and innovating.
In order to best support student well-being, CDSBEO staff were provided with professional development that included such topics as looking at what the data tells us about COVID-19 and Mental Health in a Canadian context, the impact of the pandemic on Ontario families, trauma, linking and resuming – sensory, social, and emotional reconnections, 6 common factors of well-being for good mental health and finally resources to help both students and staff through this transition.
Staff were also provided professional development on how to re-engage students. Through including assessment “for”, “as” and “of” learning, by ensuring student voice is heard, by providing students with choice in what they are learning and how they are demonstrating their learning, when they provide relevant and engaging lessons and when all this happening in a safe welcoming rich learning environment, quality learning takes place. Through careful planning, reflection, support, enthusiasm, and caring CDSBEO Special Education staff are working hard to ensure that students start to feel safe in our midst once again and thrive in their learning as they continue to have high expectations for all students while ensuring that wellness and belonging are at the center of everything they do.
Chair of the CDSBEO