Keeping in touch with Kinonjeoshtegon
MFNERC employs many Special Education Specialists who meet regularly with schools to provide support to educators who work with special needs students. On September 17, 2013, Gertrude Sanderson delivered an informative workshop to teachers at Lawrence Sinclair Memorial School on the Kinonjeoshtegon First Nation. Kinonjeoshtegon is a beautiful community located on the west side of Lake Winnipeg. And Lawrence Sinclair School serves 74 nursery to Grade 10 students. The school is bright and airy with a friendly atmosphere and helpful, caring staff. As Principal Adeline Travers states, “We strive to balance the students’ educational needs with cultural awareness and pride.”
Gertrude’s workshop focused on reviewing Individual Education Plans (IEP) for Lawrence Sinclair’s special needs students. The IEP is a written document that describes the educational plan for a student with a disability. Among other things, the IEP talks about the specific special needs of the student, what skills the teacher needs, what are the objectives for the student during the school year, and what services the school will provide. The overall purpose of the IEP is to make sure that everyone—the teacher, the family, and school staff — know what the special needs student’s educational program will look like.
The IEP is first developed during an initial IEP meeting. MFNERC specialists such as Gertrude meet with all those involved — the classroom teacher, parents, resource teacher and, if an agency is involved, the representative — to discuss and develop IEP goals. Then, throughout the year, these goals are continuously reviewed and revived.
Workshops like the one conducted at Lawrence Sinclair by Getrude can be quite lengthy and detailed; however, they are vital for a successful IEP and a successful student. MFNERC is committed to providing these supports for all our First Nations schools.