SCHOOL IDENTIFICATION AND PLACEMENT PROCESSES
TIPS FOR PARENTS
Most schools provide little or no print information on identification of giftedness and placement processes. All should provide full print explanations immediately when asked. Peel District School Board has prepared an overview of available Getting to know special education programs and services (48KB PDF) and A Parent's Guide to Identification, Placement and Review Committees (84KB PDF).
Parents are advocates of their children and play an important role throughout the whole process. The first step is to get your child's classroom teacher to agree that your child shows signs of giftedness, then for the teacher to "bring the child's case" to the In-School Review Committee, then have formal testing carried out. That testing may be one of a variety of assessment processes, some simple and carried out by school staff, costing very little time and effort, for example CAT/CCAT tests. Other assessments are much more comprehensive and require the time of a Board psychologist, who will have to meet the student on one or more occasions, as well as the parents; writing up the assessment and the evaluation may take many hours.
Specialists in psycho-educational assessments have a range of well-established assessment tools available. For giftedness, the most frequently used are:
If the in-school methods with a teacher or support staff are not used, there may be great delays and reluctance to use the resources of a psychologist on what some see as "just a gifted kid". So, some parents go for the private psycho-educational services, which might possibly be paid for by a medical coverage plan.
Note that all assessments and evaluations should be carefully read and reviewed by you. You should not reach a decision on your child's needs or placement without carefully looking into what is available, how soon, and what is the content of the program that is proposed for a placement. Most of all, educate yourself on the available programs, options and placements. If in doubt, ask the principal, the field office staff, the board staff or even ABC Peel (we think that we give the unbiased point of view), as many in-school staff are not as aware as they should be of the implications of programs or choices.
Note the difference between:
In-school review committee (ISRC), an informal meeting, usually of the principal, the vice principal, the classroom teacher, and the in-school support person who meet to discuss the academic performance (perceived positives or negatives), social behaviour, and other areas of concern about a student. Usually initiated by the classroom teacher. Often results in changes to "in-class" handling of the student, but may require a formal assessment to find the fundamental of the student's performance or behaviour, also an IPRC may be proposed. Parents may be invited to an ISRC, though that does not often happen. Alternatively, parents may be invited to a Case Conference, in which the participants and subject matter is much the same as an ISRC, though a more comprehensive review of the child’s needs might take place.
In-school IPRC, usually the principal, the in-school support person and a support person from the field office. This in-school IPRC can make a decision on the "exceptionality", but it can ONLY MAKE IN-SCHOOL PLACEMENTS at its own location. It might not mention that a regional placement at a congregated class is an option, and that will require a REGIONAL IPRC.
Regional IPRC, at the regional and field offices: these can provide a full range of placements.
(By the way: a PLACEMENT is a place at a school, and in a given class or set of classes with appropriate special education supports to meet the identified needs. A PROGRAM is the content of what is taught in that classroom, i.e., the curriculum, its modification, the teaching style, the expectations of the students, their work patterns, the teaching tools used, and assessment methods. A CURRICULUM (set out by the Ministry) is the subject matter that has to be covered during a school year or semester.)
See Eduspeak and the Gifted for a glossary of terms used by educations
So, be aware of the type of IPRC meeting and its decision making powers.
Please go to the “Steps to Take” page for “Making the Most of School – Sources of Help for You and Your Child”
Please go to the “IPRC” page for a summary of the IPRC process