Study recommends major changes to special education

Alberta is reshaping the province’s special education policy, with an emphasis on assessing the learning needs of 67,000 students.

Alberta is reshaping the province’s special education policy, with an emphasis on assessing the learning needs of 67,000 students.

Parents, teachers and school boards have been complaining for years that the existing special education system is failing children because of an arbitrary classification system and a lack of funding and staff.

So the province set up a $2 million review and formed a study group that has come back with sweeping recommendations that would see the old system phased out over several years and replaced with a more flexible curriculum.

Shauna Gervais has two special needs children and served on the working group for this study. She firmly believes the recommended changes will improve special needs education for most kids.

“They’ll feel welcome and feel that they can develop their individual potential without the focus being on their differences, but rather on their strengths and who they can become,” Gervais said.

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