Transition: Off to School
Facilitating your child's transition to school
With the transition to school, children mainly access support services through their school district rather than through preschool or child care settings.
It is best that parents contact the school well in advance of the time your child will enter. This will give school staff time to work with you to plan for your child's educational program.
A number of other steps that can help facilitate your child's transition to school are:
- Provide the school staff with information about your child and show your willingness to be involved in planning your child's education program.
- Offer to be a link between the professionals who have been working with your child in the preschool years and the elementary school staff.
- Find out about the various programs and supports which are available to meet the special needs of students in the school and school district. Ask the principal and/or school district staff about options available for your child.
- As school staff plan your child's program, participate in the development of the Individual Education Plan (IEP) for him/her. Parents have the right to be consulted on both placements and IEPs, however, schools are responsible for these decisions. Maintain strong collaborative relationships with the school and/or school district staff carrying out this work.
Who Does What?
School Staff: Principals, teachers, counselors and teaching or student assistants
Depending on the needs of your child, there could be several school staff who plan together and support him/her. This group is often called the School Based Team. Ideally one person, sometimes called a case manager, will be chosen to coordinate this work and will be the best person for you to talk with about your child's needs.
The services of a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) may be provided to assess the communication needs of your child and assist the school-based staff in setting up a language development program.
Ministry of Children and Family Development social workers link families with community-based services and supports.
A school psychologist may provide some direct assessment of cognitive functioning, behaviour, social skills and academic achievement. They may be helpful in assisting school personnel in writing appropriate goals and objectives and in developing appropriate intervention programs.
Ministry of Education
The Ministry of Education provides supplemental special education funding to school boards and independent schools to assist them in providing programs for students with special needs.