Early Education Program and Specialized Services Program
EARLY EDUCATION PROGRAM
Early Education (EE) is funded by Alberta Education through Program Unit Funding (PUF). The program services preschool children with a severe delay in one or more developmental areas including language. Children with two moderate delays (with at least one area in the language realm) may also be eligible for PUF.
Children with mild/moderate needs are also eligible for programming. Children accessing this funding must be 2.8 years as of September 1 and must have mild or moderate a delay in one or more developmental areas including language.
Children coming to our program require programming from specialists and benefit from the knowledge of all staff members. In order to meet programming requirements for PUF, identified strategies as outlined by the Learning Team are incorporated into the classroom experiences for each child.
Learning is fostered within the context of play. The classroom environment focuses on learning opportunities using play as a tool to create language rich experiences, foster social interaction and promote growth in all developmental areas. Staff interaction and engagement with children is essential to this approach. Each child is treated as a unique individual with strengths and needs. When interacting with children in a meaningful way, staff are constantly adjusting their approach and modifying their expectations to meet the needs of individual children.
The Early Education Learning Team includes:
- Speech Language Pathologist (SLP)
- Occupational Therapist (OT)
- Physical Therapist (PT)
- Two Educational Assistants (EA)
- School Family Liaison (SFL)
- Float Aide
- SLP Aide
SPECIALIZED SERVICES PROGRAM (SSP)
In conjunction with the PUF program, Family Support for Children with Disabilities (FSCD) funds a site-based specialized services program at Waverley. The SSP program provides intensive intervention for families of children with severe needs that are significantly limiting their ability to participate in normal daily living activities. FSCD determines eligibility based on a number of criteria which include; the child has critical service needs in two or more areas including behavior, communication and social skills, physical abilities, cognitive abilities or self-help and adaptive functioning, and that the family needs support to acquire specific skills and learn strategies to help promote the growth of their child’s development and participation.
The SSP and EE teams work together to ensure that strategies and goals for each child are consistent across environments (EE, the child’s home and community settings). The SSP specialists collaborate with the PUF specialists assigned to each child’s classroom to ensure all strategies are consistent in each environment. SSP staff attends meetings with EE classrooms to collaborate and provide any new information about the children’s programming needs.
The focus of the SSP program is parent education. Parent education occurs through regular individualized home visits with a primary coach, parent in-services and group community outings. Parents should plan on participating in programming once per week.
The SSP Team consist of:
- PT (as required)
- Program Coordinator
- Family Support Coordinator
INDIVIDUALIZED PROGRAM PLAN AND INDIVIDUALIZED SERVICE PROGRAM PLANS
Children in the EE program have an Individualized Program Plan (IPP). The IPP is created in collaboration with the parents and the Learning Team. The IPP identifies priority goal areas and strategies for each child and is updated throughout the school year.
Children in the SSP program do not have an IPP. Instead they have an ISPP (Individualized Service Program Plan). The ISPP encompasses goals and strategies in all environments and is created in collaboration with all team members and parents.
Yellow Bus: Edmonton Public Schools arranges for transportation through a private company.
You Drive: You may choose to transport your child to and from school.
Children learn through routine, repetition and play. This is accomplished if attendance is regular. Parents will be notified if their child is missing school on a consistent basis. In the event that attendance is sporadic for long periods of time it may be necessary to cancel placement in the program.
In the Early Education Program, there are some things that parents need to do as a part of the funding requirements set out by Alberta Education.
- Your child must attend regularly.
- You must attend and participate in the IPP or ISPP planning process.
Parents are also requested to:
- participate in Family Oriented Programming (FOP) session facilitated by School Family Liaisons and the Learning Teams.
- phone the school and transportation company in the event of an absence.
- keep your child home when he/she is ill.
- dress your child appropriately according to weather conditions.
- provide a good nutritious diet for your child.
- read all newsletters to be informed of important school events.
- keep the school informed of changes in address, telephone number, etc.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR INCLUSION
Typically developing children attend the EE program as role models for the EE children. Playpals also benefit from the school experience and social interaction with others. Playpals must be toilet trained and able to use the bathroom with minimal adult assistance. Playpals attend two days per week as decided between parents and the classroom teacher.
ORANIZATION FOR INSTRUCTION
Each classroom has between 10 and 13 children with one teacher and two educational assistants. Children can attend a morning or afternoon classroom. Waverley staff strives to ensure that each child is placed in a classroom that meets their unique needs and abilities and promotes growth and development in all areas. Opportunities for learning occur in the context of play, small group instruction and whole group guided learning
- Waverley School sends a monthly newsletter with information and important dates. Classroom newsletters are also sent home on a regular basis.
- All teachers use communication books on a regular basis to describe classroom activities and to tell you specific things about your child.
- Teachers make periodic phone calls to discuss things going on at school.
- School Family Liaisons visit you once a month and provide family oriented programming sessions.
- The occupational therapist, physical therapist and speech-language pathologist may also provide consultation on a home visit.