Inclusive Education - Programs, Admission & Delivery Policies
Flex Response to Intervention (RTI) Model
Flex Academy uses a Response to Intervention (RTI) framework, utilizing formative assessment to regularly collect data to make instructional decisions in a multi-tier model. While valuing prevention and early intervention, teachers use ongoing assessment to inform teaching practice and allocate instructional resources to provide appropriate, evidence-based interventions.
Central elements of all RTI models include early screening of all students to identify those at risk for academic difficulties, implementing research-based interventions matched to student needs and increasing the intensity of intervention when needed.
RTI also involves continuous monitoring and recording of student progress during interventions to guide decisions for both the student (e.g. further assessment, individualized planning) and the teacher (e.g. using small group or one- to-one learning contexts, topics for professional development).
Although RTI originates from inclusive education, it is intended for use with all students in general education. For further details, consider Tiered Approaches to the Education of Students with Learning Disabilities.
Tier 1: Universal Programming
Tier 1 may include Learning Support (LS) Monitoring students, those who are minimally meeting expectations but whose needs are being managed by teachers with minimal Inclusive Education coordinator or Learning Support involvement.
Depending on the teacher's training and experience, they may ask the IE coordinator for suggestions. If the teacher asks and there seems to be reason for concern, then the student will be considered to be on LS Monitoring status.
Tier 2: Targeted Interventions
Tier 2 students comprise approximately 5-15 percent of the student population. They are typically in one of two categories.
LS students are struggling to minimally meet or are not meeting expectations. They have been referred to LS and their teachers are receiving regular LS consultations through the Inclusive Education coordinator on how to help these students and families.
These are non-designated students who have adaptations in place in the Educational Supports module. For students requiring significant support, an Individual Education Plan (IEP) may be considered along with diagnostic assessment; these students are expected to have regular or adapted courses.
If needed, students may receive a small subsidy for therapy or investigative assessment (e.g. Speech and Language Pathologist (SLP) assessment for speech impediment, psycho-educational testing for programming direction, etc.).
High Incidence Students
High Incidence students have been designated according to Ministry of Education guidelines, whether K: Mild Intellectual Disabilities, P: Gifted, Q: Learning Disabilities, or R: Students Requiring Behaviour Support or Students with Mental Illness. While these designations do not receive additional funding support from the Ministry, these students may need significant support.
These students' programs are overseen by the Inclusive Education coordinator in order to receive graduated support. The IE coordinator ensures an IEP is in place; students may also receive funded supports.
Tier 3: Low Incidence Inclusive Education (IE) Students
Inclusive Education (IE) students with an A-H (funded) category designation comprise approximately five percent of a student population. These students are placed on the IE coordinator’s caseload and receive a substantial needs-based student budget to meet their proposed IEP goals.
Programs, Admissions, and Delivery
Learning Support (LS) Services
Our Learning Support (LS) team works with the IE Coordinator to equip teachers to serve the needs of their Tier 1 and Tier 2 students.
To provide equitable access to all students, teachers should confirm student learning needs with the IE Coordinator and recommend the LS Referral process to the family if further intervention is needed. The parent and/or teacher then submits the LS Referral Form and the learning support team continues to assess the need through screening assessments (numeracy and literacy achievement and cognitive skills).
Program and Delivery
Flex provides LS/IE students with teacher-directed personalized programs comprised of a combination of in-house resources and community-based professional support. Teachers who have an LS student on their caseload are encouraged to consult with the Inclusive Education coordinator. Consultations offer practical support for individualized LS/IE related strategies, adaptations, modifications, resources, screening and/or programming assessments, appointments/therapies, and IEP creation.
Designated Inclusive Education Support
Teachers work with Tier 3 students assigned to their classes, directing programs to meet the educational needs of students in collaboration with the student's IEP team, which includes administration, the IE coordinator, parents/guardians, education assistants, and community-based professionals.
- Flex Academy conducts three program intakes annually: September, January, and May/June (i.e., pre-approval for the following school year).
- To indicate interest, the parent fills out the Flex Academy application at the Flex Academy website.
- The Director of Flex Academy arranges a tour and interview for prospective students.
- If there is potential for a good fit, the IE Coordinator calls the parent to discuss IE program requirements, IE funded categories, and documentation necessary for HCOS Flex to apply for supplemental funding.
- If the parent, Director and IE Coordinator agree that Flex is a good fit for the family, then the IE student is conditionally accepted.
- After the IE Office has received all supporting documentation from the parent and the IE administration is able to approve an IE category designation, then the student is accepted into Flex.
Program and Delivery
The IEP is key to understanding the personalized programming and delivery of support services to each IE designated student. Generally, the class teacher(s) directs the learning program, engages in ongoing communication with the parent, conducts IEP meetings with the IE Coordinator to assess IEP goals and gather/observe samples and progress, engages in weekly communication with education assistants (EAs), and ensures there is at least one progress report a year from third party professionals.