April 24, 2017 -

Special Education

Here you will find District School Board Ontario North East's Special Education Plan as well as those responsible for the implementation and development of these guidelines. Our Special Education department consists of the following people:

Superintendent of Schools: Steve Pladzyk

Acting District Special Education Administrator: Joanne Marsh-Peters

Special Education Secretary: Noella Dufresne (New Liskeard Board Office)

District Special Education Resource Teachers (SERTs):

Northern Region: Chad Dagenais

Central Region: Sean Robertson

Southern Region: Karen Smyth

District Social Worker: Sabrina Swann

Mental Health Leader: Denise Plante-Dupuis (Schumacher Board Office)

Acting Autism Support Officer: Vanessa Harmanmaa

Special Education Forms

Special Education Forms for District School Board North East can be accessed and downloaded through the Docushare System. Click here to access the DocuShare folder

Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) Members

  • Chair: Christine Heavens(Parent)
  • Vice-Chair: Kathy Farrell (Community Living Timmins)
  • Gary Dowe(Cochrane Temiskaming Resource Centre)
  • Gayle Wiseman(Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario – Timmins Branch)
  • Arline Chasle (Education Officer, Timiskaming First Nations)
  • Alice Hearn-Flannigan (VOICE for Hearing Impaired Children)
  • Bruce Cutten (Board Trustee)
  • Dennis Draves (Board Trustee)
  • Peter Osterberg (Board Trustee)
  • Bruce Hayter (Parent)
  • Melanie Hebert (Parent)

Contact with any of our SEAC members can be made by calling Dianne Gaudreau, Executive Assistant to Steve Pladzyk, at the Schumacher Board Office at (705) 360-7691 or 1-800-381-7280, extension 17691.

SEAC Meeting Schedule for 2015-2016

Meetings are held at the Schumacher Board Office (153 Croatia Avenue) with video-conferencing to the New Liskeard Board Room (198022 River Road) from 12:00 pm noon to 1:00 pm.

Current Year's Meetings:

  • February 15, 2017
  • March 8, 2017 Meeting Minutes
  • April 5, 2017
  • May 3, 2017
  • June 7, 2017

Meetings from 2015-2016:

SEAC Parent Representatives

District School Board Ontario North East requires parent representatives for its Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC). Interested parties can download and fill-out the SEAC Member Nomination Form

Roles and Responsibilities of SEAC Representatives:

  • May make recommendations to the district school board respecting matters affecting the establishment, development, and delivery of special education programs and services for exceptional pupils of the board.
  • Is provided with the opportunity to participate in the annual review of the board's Special Education Plan.
  • Participates in the board's annual budget process as it relates to special education.
  • Reviews the financial statements of the board as they relate to special education.

For further information on becoming a parent representative of the Special Education Advisory Committee of District School Board Ontario North East, contact Dianne Gaudreau at 1-800-381-7280.

Why Special Education?

The following excerpt comes from the 2016 Director's Annual Report.

Learning Differently

This year we welcomed the opportunity to partner with the Learning Disabilities Association of Sudbury to provide a learning opportunity for both our students, and school staff. Angie DeMarco, Community Outreach Worker, traveled across our school board to speak to grade 7 to 10 students and present LD Means Learns Differently. The primary goal of the presentation was to develop an understanding of what a learning disability is, what it is not, and what it feels like.

Additionally, a small group of teachers had the chance to work directly with Angie to build capacity in an experiential workshop related to the neurodiversity of students with learning disabilities, and the connection between a student's emotional state and the impact on learning.

Both the school presentations and the interactive workshop succeeded in building awareness regarding the processing differences that affect the academic success of students with a learning disability. They also highlighted that all learning differences can be addressed by honouring a student's learning profile through the provision of appropriate accommodations. Angie is a dynamic speaker who is very passionate about sharing her knowledge regarding learning disabilities and how this impacts a student's experience in the classroom. This presentation was a great introduction to what will continue to be a primary focus in Special Education in the coming school years.

Professional Development – Special Education Resource Teachers (SERTs)

As part of our ongoing commitment to further improve our practice at the school level, training specific to the needs of our Special Education Resource Teachers took place throughout the year. The sessions concentrated on writing effective Individual Education Plans (IEPs), and Transition Plans. The IEP is a vehicle for ensuring that a student's needs are being addressed, whereas, the transition plan ensures that the short-term goals of the academic year align with the long-term goals of the student. Both are key structures that continue to be a driving force in our efforts to positively enhance student achievement and outcomes.

In addition, both our school SERTs and Educational Assistants had the chance to work with our iCoaches to further their understanding of how the iPad can be utilized as a tool to support students with special education needs. The iCoaches demonstrated the use of several apps, as well as the iPad accessibility features. It was empowering to learn how this tool can be used to support instruction in an engaging manner, to effectively access the curriculum, and to allow students to demonstrate their knowledge in creative ways.

Camp Bickell

Again this year forty students had the opportunity to participate in an overnight stay at Camp Bickell. This unique camping experience was designed specifically for students with special needs, and for some may have been their first time away from home. The students participated in many outdoor events, a talent show, and campfire activities. Great fun was had by all!

As always, we would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our families, staff, and community partners for working together to implement best practices and innovative approaches. We value everyone's contribution in supporting each student in reaching their full potential.