Annual Report 2018 – Spec Serv2018-12-12T09:35:14-05:00

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2018 Annual Report

 Specialized Services and Safe and Accepting Schools


Work in the Specialized Services Department is grounded in the vision that all students and staff flourish and learn in an accepting and safe community. Together we support, innovate, and inspire a flourishing school community. This year, we focused on building capacity in students and staff through the use of data which helped to inform excellent programming and next steps. This concentration on specific and focussed data helps us to design learning for students that brings them to a place where they can achieve.

What is executive functioning?

Trillium Lakelands District School Board (TLDSB) teachers have been investigating executive functioning skills with students. Executive functions are like a conductor in the brain helping to direct unique creativity and strategies to help achieve goals. Over 150 educators took part in Level 1 Activated Learning for Executive Functioning training this year. Activated learning helps students learn about executive functioning skills, identifying skills that are required for a task, skills that may be personal barriers, and plan for working around those barriers.

Programs for students with behaviour needs

Meet Milo!

Milo is an interactive robot who provides a non-threatening way for learners with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to practice their communication and social skills.

Milo can walk, talk, and even model human facial expressions. He never gets frustrated or tired, and he can even dance.

Our itinerant teachers have been using Milo in focused programming across TLDSB with good success.

Behaviour Intervention Resource Team (BIRT)

The TLDSB Behaviour Intervention Resource Team (BIRT) consists of two consultants, seven itinerant EAs, a speech language pathologist, and a psychoeducational consultant who work as a team to support students, staff, and parents. Our team travels throughout the board to co-plan, co-teach and lend support in schools when working with students with behavioural challenges.

Road to self regulation

Key initiatives

Elephant in the Room: students at Haliburton Highlands Secondary School are leading ‘Elephant in the Room’, a national anti-stigma campaign designed to address the stigma associated with mental illness. The premise is, when an individual displays a blue elephant, it signifies that they care about the wellness of others and demonstrates a safe place to talk about mental illness, without fear of being viewed differently. Participating teachers will display an elephant in their classroom letting everyone know that the teacher is a safe person to go to when a student needs someone to speak to. The teacher represents a safe person, but not a counsellor. Teachers will direct students to a professional counsellor, or administration – whichever will best support their need.

Elephant in the Room

Inspiring Leaders Series: We held a series of sessions with leaders from schools across the district. Participants enjoyed presenter Sandra Herbst and a guest panel at these dinner sessions. An April retreat was also held to review the Ontario Leadership Framework.

Monitoring and supporting school improvement planning: superintendents and principals use Google Meet to discuss the progress they are making on their School Improvement Plans for Student Achievement and Wellbeing (SIPSAW).

SEAC: the Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) welcomed students from Huntsville to share their work in ensuring “Everybody Counts”, a gathering of student voice activity.

SEAC presentation

IEP Development: TLDSB gains national attention with our Individual Education Plan (IEP) goals, which incorporate collaborative and proactive solutions into the learning.


Taking our temperature

Parents and students had the opportunity to provide feedback in a school climate survey. The overall results showed us that a high degree of students feel a sense of belonging, that they have positive relationships and that there are high academic expectations. Schools continue to dig into the results to foster positive and supportive school climates. As part of this work, the Safe and Accepting Schools board team revised the name of the TLDSB Report Bullying tool to Safe@School. Students and parents now have the opportunity to report a variety of incidents online.


  • 4241 Grade 4-8 students
  • 3307 Grade 9-12 students
  • 1315 parents

Specialized Services staff numbers

  • 1 Superintendent
  • 1 District Principal
  • 1 Senior Manager of Psychological and Speech Language Services
  • 1 District Manager of Mental Health Services
  • 1 Executive Assistant
  • 2 Administrative Assistants
  • 1 SEA Clerk
  • 8 Consultants
  • 15 Students Services/Attendance Counsellors
  • 6 Itinerant Teachers
  • 7 Itinerant Educational Assistants
  • 7 Psycho-educational Consultants
  • 4 Speech and Language Consultants
  • 4 Communicative Disorders Assistants


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