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Update on ASD project slated


Rainy River District School Board trustees will receive a report on the Autism Spectrum Disorder pilot project that has been running this school year.

Special Education administrator Char Bliss will present the overview during tonight's regular board meeting.

The local board is part of the pilot project led by the Ministry of Education, in partnership with the Ministry of Children and Youth Services, to improve school-based supports for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

“The intended outcomes of the pilot project include increasing skilled direct support for students with ASD, as well as a more seamless day for students with ASD and their families,” reads the report from Bliss.

There are two components to the province-wide project: dedicated space for external Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) practitioners and targeted education assistant training.

The RRDSB is participating in the second component as Community Child Care Resources already is providing therapy to students on-site.

“To provide evidence-based best practices in supporting students with autism, the ministry has partnered with the Geneva Centre for Autism to deliver a 40-hour online ABA-based training module for education assistants,” Bliss noted.

She said the online training also will be accompanied with hands-on professional learning that will take place in the classroom, supported by the board's autism support worker and behaviour therapists.

“By participating in this project, the Rainy River District School Board hopes to build capacity in using ABA strategies with our students that have ASD, and to ensure our students are receiving skilled direct support in the classroom and in their school,” Bliss added.

Also at tonight's meeting, which gets underway at 7 p.m. at board office, the board will:

  • present the Fort Frances High School breakfast program with its monthly “Recognition of Excellence”;
  • give board reports on the SEAC, Policy, Finance, Audit, FNMI, and Bylaw committees;
  • hear reports from the student trustee, board chair, and director of education; and
  • receive a letter from the Fort Frances Chiefs Secretariat acknowledging the receipt of Chief Will Windigo's letter of resignation and appointment of Chief Brian Perrault to the Rainy River District School Board.
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