Special Education Program
- EA Support COVID-19 Safety Protocols
- Education Assistants (EAs)
- Installing and Using Read&Write
- Special Education
- Special Education Experiential Design - SEED
- Using Read&Write with Provincial Assessments
- What is Read&Write?
EA Support COVID-19 Safety Protocols
Due to COVID-19 being with us for the foreseeable future, we will be working in a unique environment for the 2020-21 school year. Public health officials are encouraging each of us to do our part to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 where we work, live and play by following these health and safety guidelines:
- If you’re sick, stay home.
- Practise physical distancing (minimum 6 feet).
- If physical distancing can’t be maintained, wear a mask.
- Wash your hand frequently - minimum of 20 seconds with hot water and soap.
- Avoid touching your face/eyes.
During COVID-19, online learning is the preferred method and should be considered. If online learning is not feasible, HCOS is preparing to provide in-person EA support to students/families in September with the following safety protocols in place. You will be notified of any modifications to the protocols below, should directives via Public Health and the Ministry of Education change.
Safety Measures for In-Person EA Support:
- EA daily self-health check - fever, dry cough, tightness in chest, extreme fatigue, etc.
- Check-in with the family the morning of a scheduled session to ensure that there is no illness in the home - fever, dry cough, tightness in chest/shortness of breath, extreme fatigue, etc.
- EAs are required to wear PPE in the form of a mask if physical distancing can’t be maintained. EAs are responsible for providing their own masks.
- Handwashing upon arrival and prior to leaving the student’s home.
- Sanitization of workspace prior to and after a session.
- Consider hybrid learning - a mix of online and in-person learning.
- Engage in outdoor activities whenever possible.
- Use open space inside the home rather than small more enclosed space.
- Avoid sharing writing utensils or other learning materials.
EAs Working at Community Connections:
- The Learning Groups team is working to be creative, flexible and innovative to make learning happen as closely to what has been traditionally offered. Learning Groups come in a variety of shapes and sizes and the LG staff is working together with venues, facilities and coordinators to help ensure health and safety measures are met. The goal is to make any precautionary measures as routine and natural as possible.
- Please send any questions and concerns regarding a Learning Group activity to firstname.lastname@example.org and one of the LG team members will be happy to assist you. Please note which LG opportunity you are inquiring about.
Teachers will encourage their SE families to have disinfecting wipes/sprays available for use for high touch areas and workspaces. EAs are also encouraged to carry their own supply.
If you have concerns about possible exposure to COVID-19, call 811and monitor for symptoms. Please contact your SE teacher immediately.
Thank you in advance for your part in helping to ensure that HCOS provides a healthy learning environment for students and Education Assistants.
Education Assistants (EAs)
The Ministry of Education has provided funds for the Distributed Learning (DL) Special Education program for your child. It is a privilege to have an Education Assistant (EA) working in your home. HCOS values the commitment that Education Assistants make to students/families.
- A parent/guardian is required to be present in the family home during EA sessions. EAs are not permitted to work in their own home with a student.
- EAs may work in a public setting like a library, if sessions are not feasible in the family home.
- Ensure that siblings are supervised during EA sessions to avoid distraction and disruption. EAs are not responsible for the care/supervision of siblings that are not under contract with HCOS for EA support.
- Ensure the student is ready for services upon arrival of the EA, including having the necessary materials ready.
- If an SE student is supported by an EA at Community Connections or a Learning Group, notify the EA when the student will not be in attendance.
- Inform the EA of sickness in the home in advance of the EA’s arrival. A mutually agreeable standard should be in place around cancelling sessions when an EA, student or other family members are sick.
- Parents/guardians cannot dismiss an EA. They are a contractor of HCOS. If there are personnel related problems, contact your SE teacher immediately.
Education Assistants - Scope of Work
The Education Assistant is contracted to provide the following services, as requested by HCOS:
- Participate in the creation of the IEP, and if necessary, be available for collaboration on term reviews with the SE Teacher.
- Perform and comply with the duties listed in the IEP and with any other reasonable requests from HCOS administration considered to be normal relational responsibilities between the SE Teacher, the EA, the child(ren), and the parents/guardians of the child(ren).
- Collaborate with the SE Teacher/parent on the acquisition, organization and modification of instructional material.
- Be in weekly contact with the SE Teacher around student progress
- Attend EA meetings as required
- Give advance notice to the family and the SE Teacher if unable to complete their duties for a specific period of time (i.e., vacation, etc.).
- Create guidelines around provision of service pertaining to sickness of the EA, student or other family members.
- Follow the time-sensitive behaviour/incident reporting protocols.
- Collaborate with parents/guardians of the student in a respectful manner and as a team member.
- Prioritize the needs of the student.
It is vital that we are good stewards of the resources and people that are in place to assist in the education and support of students.
The following policies are in place around cancelled sessions.
- Cancelled sessions are billable - hours per week as outlined in an EA’s addendum/invoice are billable if the session is cancelled or if session time is shortened by the parent/guardian.
- The EA is not obligated to reschedule a cancelled session.
- EAs will use cancelled sessions for lesson preparation, completing student reporting in FileMaker, teacher communication, professional development and any other administrative type tasks.
- An EA cannot invoice for scheduled sessions that fall on a statutory holiday, unless those hours are worked.
- The EA must report all cancelled/shortened sessions on their invoice.
- In the event of inclement weather where school is cancelled in the local school division and/or buses are not running, HCOS will deem it unsafe for an EA to drive. The scheduled session can be cancelled and hours invoiced.
- It is the responsibility of the Education Assistant to give a minimum of 24 hours’ notice for any sessions that must be cancelled with a student (outside of sudden illness or other unforeseen circumstances). Unless session time is rescheduled, these hours are not billable.
If there is a consistent pattern of cancelled EA sessions by the parent/guardian, this may result in the reduction or cancellation of EA services.
- The final day of EA services for any given school year is June 15.
- EAs do not provide services during the summer months.
- EA invoices are sent via email to parents/guardians mid-month. Parents are required to verify EA sessions and respond to the EA office with their confirmation of hours, or to report discrepancies.
Installing and Using Read&Write
Brief Description of Read&Write from HCOS' point of view
Logging into Chrome with HCOS Student Account
Adding the Read&Write Extension
Google Drive - part of your HCOS Account/li>
Basic Functions of Read&Write
Dictionary (can read aloud)
Screen Mask (for students with visual tracking issues or Irlen syndrome)
Highlighter, Clear Highlights and Collect Highlights
Practice Reading Aloud
Quick Reference Chat - might be worthwhile printing
Video recorded May 8th as part of pilot training with some HCOS teachers. Please watch if you want more in-depth training to support your child/student.
Documents from the training
- Key Tools
- Installing and Accepting Permissions for Read_Write for Google Chrome
- Snapverter Overview
- Key Tooks for Specific Needs
- Let's Get it READ!
- Quick Reference Guide
- Handout for Training
- Tool Usage Guide
- How To Survive the First Morning of Daylight Savings Time OCR - sample document
Links to further Support - reference in training video above
- Tech Support - http://support.texthelp.com
- Video Support - http://bit.ly/RWGoogleVideos
- Training Portal: https://training.texthelp.com
Read&Write is also known as Google Read and Write
Special Education (SE) Program
Our SE Program works with students who receive additional funding to help build specialized programs that aid in their success as learners. Our diverse and robust program is made up of British Columbia certified teachers who specialize in SE education, Education Assistants (EAs) who work directly with students in home, an experienced office support team, and a wide variety of community-based support services throughout the province. If you would like more information on our SE Program, please visit the SE Program page.
Learning Services (LS) Program
We also offer an LS Program for students who are not designated SE students but would benefit from specialized planning and, where possible, some additional support. Some students may have learning challenges that are outside of SE designations; these include but are not limited to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), dyslexia, speech difficulties, giftedness, and written output delays. If you suspect your child would benefit from extra help and are seeking advice with regard to their learning, please contact your support teacher with your concerns. The support teacher will then contact our LS Team to discuss how best to offer support. For more information on our LS Program, please see this page: LS Program.
Individual Education Plan
In addition to a Student Learning Plan (SLP), which all students receive, students in our SE Division and some LS supported students also have an Individual Education Plan (IEP) that outlines specifically how their education program will be adapted to help them succeed. Teachers work closely with parents and other support team members to write the IEP.
Special Education Experiential Design - SEED
The HCOS Special Education Experiential Design (SEED) program, brings students together with Google Workspace including Google Classroom and many other digital resources, allowing EA or parent support to be given easily. The exciting and innovative virtual tools create expectations that encourage students to strive to reach their potential. SEED successfully captivates students, allowing them to learn at their own pace and through their personal interests. SEED facilitates a group experience in a creative environment under the guidance and direction of an HCOS SEED teacher. The virtual aspect allows pacing, technology in the place of handwriting, and robust support through EA and/or parents in the home.
A high percentage of students move on from SEED to a Dogwood or Adult Dogwood, when it wasn't part of the original planning earlier in their academic schooling. SEED focus on building the core competencies, building on a student's strengths and teaching students how to self advocate for support. SEED also helps students who want academic programs when Dogwood isn't the focus. Most students end up doing 2-3 years of the SEED program due to their huge growth, an increase of self-confidence, social skills and even taking on leadership within the small group synchronous classes.
In Experiential Design, the goal is that all learning (SEED) is planted deeply and given the opportunity to be rooted and grounded with solid comprehension. By fully experiencing learning practically and personally with authentic and meaningful projects wherein choice, collaboration, critical thinking, communication, and creativity are a part of the teaching pedagogy, students’ educational experiences will far surpass mere knowledge without experience. Learners will be filled up with the richest of opportunities to grow and blossom into who God has created them to be, and also be provided with meaningful interactions and experiences with the world around them as followers of our amazing, loving God.
Ephesians 3: 16-19 Amp.
May He grant you out of the riches of His glory, to be strengthened and spiritually energized with power through His Spirit in your inner self, [indwelling your innermost being and personality], 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through your faith. And may you, having been [deeply] rooted and [securely] grounded in love, 18 be fully capable of comprehending with all the saints (God’s people) the width and length and height and depth of His love [fully experiencing that amazing, endless love]; 19 and [that you may come] to know [practically, through personal experience] the love of Christ which far surpasses [mere] knowledge [without experience], that you may be filled up [throughout your being] to all the fullness of God [so that you may have the richest experience of God’s presence in your lives, completely filled and flooded with God Himself].
2021/2022 SEED Course Offerings
- Grades Five to Nine program covers five grade level courses:
- All courses are adapted unless previous arrangements are made with SEED Teacher, SE Teacher, RA and SEED Admin
- IEP courses can be offered to grade 10-12
- Adapted courses available for Grades 5 - 9
- Applied Design, Skills and Technologies
- Language Arts
- Social Studies
- Grad - some students (modified) in grades 10-12 may be a good fit to join the grades 8 and 9 in SEED. This can be discussed with the SEED teachers and admin - Steve Bastian.
- Grades Five to Nine program covers five grade level courses:
The heart and soul of the SEED Program and the SEED Teachers is to love, care, and guide each individual student along their own path, fulfilling the academic and social goals of BC’s Modernized Curriculum. Through the guidance, inspiration, and support of the Holy Spirit, we, the SEED teachers, hope that the students will experience the knowledge of God’s love for themselves. Benefits of the program include:
- 1:1 support as needed on a weekly basis through regular meetings with SEED teachers on Zoom.
- SEED teachers work to build significant relationships with each of their students and caregivers.
- Social skills development within a safe group environment.
- Lessons are differentiated to support all learning styles, with multiple ways to present learning.
- Students are prepared to be ready for the transition from Grade 9 to Grad through grade-level content and development of the competency skills needed to be successful.
- Strong emphasis on growing and developing a student’s personal faith and service-oriented lifestyle.
- Interaction in Group Meeting Weekly in order to build relationships with others and gain confidence in oral skills. Literature Circles are great opportunities for students to practice sharing. Each student comes to meetings prepared to elaborate about their assigned role from a novel that is being read by the whole group.
- Safe Digital Citizenship and gaining increased technology skills.
- Efforts are significantly praised and struggles are supported with love and care.
- Formative Assessment to help students progress steadily.
- Goals and expectations are set to stretch according to where a student is in their personal journey in collaboration with parents, SE teacher, and other support.
- ADST - Tynker, Scratch, Minecraft and Roblox Building Projects,, Digital Citizenship Course, Google Suite Tools for Education, Modules completed based on grade level Competencies, Content, and Big Ideas.
- LANGUAGE ARTS - Novel Studies Complete with Literature Circle Meetings (3 Novels completed each year and the list will be supplied in advance so purchases can be made early in the year. The parent can utilize Encom funds for the novels. Best to get ordered using Amazon via order in Encom as the school has Amazon Prime and it really reduces the costs of shipping.), Grammar developed through Grammaropolis for grades 5-7, Weekly Editing assignments, Shakespeare, Writing Development throughout the year using a variety of tasks including blogging, forums, collaboration with Google Docs, reports, essays, Passion Projects, Comics with Pixton, hands on projects and much much more.
- SCIENCE - Virtual Interactive experiments, Hands-On Activities, Exploring the Scientific Method through completing experiments, Inquiry projects, Research, using Google Apps to chart Data, BrainPOP, Discovery Education videos, Gizmos from Explore Learning, and more.
- SOCIAL STUDIES - Inquiry-based research projects for topics such as Turning Points in History, Discrimination in History, Google Earth Voyages, AR virtual field trips. What in the World and The Canadian Reader are used extensively.
- Each new student will be connecting 1:1 for 45 - 60 minutes with the SEED Teacher for the first two weeks. After the first two weeks, the 1:1 schedule will be every other week. These time slots are chosen individually in consultation with the SEED teacher. As time is particularly booked to fit the student and teacher schedule at the beginning of the year, changes cannot be made during the year. If a meeting is missed, a make up time is not available, however, each teacher has Drop In office hours that a particular need can be addressed.
- Group Connections are on Friday’s and time is dependent upon grade level. “Woodlands” (grades 5 - 7) is at 9:00 and “Evergreens” (grades 8 and up) is at 10:00. These meetings are almost every Friday, but there are a few that are missed due to holidays or ProD with teachers.
- All meetings are done via Zoom and the links for the meetings will be shared in September.
- If a connection time is to be missed, please inform the SEED teacher; work due is still expected to be turned in on time.
- New Students meeting start week of September 13th for One-on-Ones
- ALL Group Meeting Starts Friday, September 17th
- Returning Students One-on-Ones start week of September 27th
- Full Year Schedule will be available in Google Classroom
Technology & Resources Needed and Utilized
- Either a PC or Mac will work with all software and platforms within SEED
- Items Needed for all grades:
- Every computer being used for meetings needs to have either a built-in webcam and microphone or an external one. Video is an essential part of the program. (In order to be excused from using video in group meetings, it needs to be documented in the IEP and talked about with the SEED teacher to give an understanding of the reasons. Video in face-to-face meetings with the teacher is essential to build the relationship.)
- A Noise Cancelling or Sound Isolating Headset with microphone is a requirement unless a student is working in a completely quiet area. Distractions from background noises cause many students sensory and focus challenges.
- A directional microphone. Since many students are sensitive to distracting noises, having a quality microphone that won't pick up background noise is very helpful.
- Additional Technology Needed: There are a multitude of kinds of Virtual Reality Goggles and a particular kind is not required.The Google Cardboard VR Glasses work well and are very cheap. A cell phone (Apple or Android) or iPod within the family that can be used periodically to add in the VR App is needed as well. Encom funds can be utilized to purchase the VR Headset, but not the phone or iPod. Please communicate with the SEED teacher as this varies from grade to grade.
- Multiple Programs will be utilized at no cost or minimal within the lessons: Google Workspace Apps including Google Classroom, Read & Write, Important to use Chrome as the student’s browser for doing schoolwork, Wolf Quest, Fanschool, FlipGrid, PixtonEDU, Infographics, Screencastomatic, Zoom, etc. All instructions with significant 1:1 support will be provided as we use the programs through the year.
- Experiential Items are used in many lessons and practice. Your teacher will provide a list two weeks in advance of items needed and guardians are expected to purchase these items as part of their school supplies. Eg. popsicle sticks, elastic bands, plastic bottles, play doh, cardboard, glue, outdoor supplies such as twigs, stones, leaves, pipe cleaners, beads, paper clips, pasta, water colour paints or markers, poster board, fabric, seeds, food colouring, salt, sand, model supplies, baking soda, vinegar, steel wool, salt, cabbage (purple), thermometer, magnifying glass...
Student Admittance Process
- Only available to Special Education or Learning Services designated students. KQPR and ADFGH SE grant students. If you are unsure, please contact your casemanager teacher.
- The application form is completed by SE Teacher or LS Regional Administrator.
HCOS considers the privacy and protection of student information of utmost importance. We also hold the value of community and relationship between students and teachers to be paramount. In an online learning environment this is achieved primarily through the use of technology including, but not limited to: Zoom, Google Workplace, Google Classroom, and FlipGrid.
These services, and others, allow our teachers and students to share information, share recorded class sessions and interact with each other at a distance. As such student names and faces may be visible in recordings shared with students and parents.
Prior to participating in a class that may involve some form of recorded student presence we ask that you review our online session recordings policy and complete the question below.
Online Recording Policy
Please let you SE or LS teacher know that you agree with this policy for acceptance into SEED.
- Please note, the course work is managed through use of Google Classroom. Family and students must be comfortable with having a student account with Google. Legal Guardians will be required to sign the school forms on the Google Student Policy.
- Student and Family will be emailed a "Get to know you form" in order to gather further information and best ensure success/supports within SEED.
- SEED is a 10-month synchronous program (September to June). We require commitment for the 10 months, from a family, student, SE Teacher and EAs to ensure success. Students sometimes hit the "proverbial wall" and may require extra effort from the entire team to climb over and proceed to success in the program. We have seen students that remain committed to a whole school year are successful and return for 2-3 more years in the SEED program. These are celebrated moments of growth.