Supportive Teams

Hanover School Division has qualified professionals to provide instruction, consultation, collaboration, and assessment to support student learning and educational programming. These professionals include classroom teachers, learning support teachers, school counsellors, principals, clinicians, learning/curriculum specialists and consultants. Collaborations among all partners, including parents/caregivers, assist in the development of appropriate educational programming and Student Specific Plans (SSP).

Schools can further access consultants from Manitoba Education to support students with exceptional needs, such as students who are deaf or hearing impaired and students who are blind or visually impaired.

Community service providers, including public health and mental health workers, child welfare and protection workers, children’s disability workers, and community living support workers, may also be part of a student’s educational team.


Classroom-Based Support Team

The Core Team is made up of the student, the teacher and the parent. Central to all educational programming is the student.

All programming begins in the classroom with the grade appropriate curricula. The classroom teacher determines, through formative and summative assessment, the strengths and challenges of each student to meet the curricular outcomes. The teacher uses differentiated instruction strategies, positive behaviour interventions, good classroom management skills, adaptations, accommodations and universal design strategies to establish a supportive learning environment for all students. The classroom teacher is always an integral part of the educational planning for a student and in identifying a student’s current academic and behavioural performance. It is the teacher’s responsibility to become familiar with the learning needs of all his or her students.

Appropriate educational programming considers a student’s current level of performance. Determining current performance may involve reviewing work samples, classroom observations, curriculum based assessments, test scores, reviewing pupil files, and communication with other teachers about effective classroom supports, routines, and strategies employed in the previous school year.

Effective classroom behavior management and continuous communication with parents/guardians are also vital to student success. When the classroom teacher determines that the best teaching and learning practices are insufficient in helping a student achieve curricular outcomes, additional supports are available through referral to and assessment by other educational professionals.

School-Based Support Team

When learning challenges persist, despite the use of the best classroom instructional and behavior management strategies, it is necessary for the classroom teacher to request support from the school based support team. The school based support team is made up of school based personnel, such as the principal, the learning support teacher, literacy and numeracy support, and school counsellor. Following conversations with the parent or guardian, the classroom teacher enlists the support of the school based team.

The school-based team may review the pupil file, student history, or previous assessments to determine the need for further involvement of professional supports in the educational programming of the student. This additional support may include consultation with other educational professionals, further assessment by learning support teachers, co-teaching or direct intervention by school-based staff. It may be determined by the school team that student specific outcomes, outside of the Manitoba Curriculum, should be developed in a Student Specific Plan

Learning support teachers and schools counsellors may also administer informal or formal assessments, or provide individual or small group interventions, such as remediation, pre-teaching or re-teaching sessions for specific skill development. The school based team meets regularly to evaluate effectiveness of additional school based interventions and monitor learning progress.

The principal may designate a case manager and request the development of an SSP. The case manager, who is often the classroom teacher, is responsible for identifying the team, arranging regular student progress meetings, maintaining contact with and reports to parents or guardians, collects data and information regarding achievement of student outcomes, coordinates services from other divisional supports or external agencies.

Divisional Support Team

In the event that a student’s learning needs cannot be met by the school based support team or learning deficits need further specialized assessment, it may be necessary to enlist clinical support from Student Services. Hanover School Division employs a number of clinicians and specialists available to support student appropriate educational
programming. Referrals for specialized assessments and interventions may be made to speech language pathologists, occupational therapists, school psychologists, social workers, and behaviour support teachers. The school-based support team prioritizes needs among all the students and determines the type of specialized assessment and intervention needed. In consultation with the parent, a referral is made to Student Services.

With informed written consent of the parent or guardian, a clinician provides assessment, consultation, and programming recommendations to assist in determining the learning strengths, challenges and next steps of a student’s educational program. After a specialized assessment, an SSP may be developed to meet the specific learning needs of the student, defining specific student outcomes and the strategies to achieve these outcomes. The SSP is reviewed during the regular report card cycle within the school year. The SSP is reviewed to monitor student progress or amend the student specific outcomes to meet the changing learning needs of the student.

The clinical services available through Hanover School Division are:

  • Speech Language Pathologists provide a continuum of assessment and intervention services in the area of communication, language development and articulation.
  • Social Workers provide guidance and support to the student, school and family in the areas of social and emotional functioning, including parent support and student mental health and resiliency.
  • School Psychologists provide consultation, assessment and programming recommendations in the area of cognitive functioning and child and adolescent development in social, emotional and behavioural functioning.
  • Occupational Therapists help students maintain, develop, improve and restore functions impaired or lost due to disability. Occupational Therapists assist students with self regulation of behaviour and mental health interventions. They also assist with classroom design to accommodate the sensory, mobility, or independence needs of students.
  • Physiotherapists help students with physical disabilities that impair mobility or movement in the school classroom and school environment. They provide strategies for increasing independence through adaptive equipment and student specific interventions.
  • Behaviour Support Teachers help schools with the development of a comprehensive continuum of behavioural interventions to improve student functioning in the inclusive classroom environment, such as positive behaviour intervention strategies for students with complex needs, students with disabilities and behavioural challenges.

Manitoba Education Supports

A divisional support team may further expand by enlisting the supports and personnel available to schools through Manitoba Education, Inclusion Support Branch. Manitoba Education has professionals available to support schools in the development of appropriate educational programming for students with specialized needs. Consultants for Autism, Blind/Visually Impaired, and Deaf/Hard of Hearing are available through formal referral to the Inclusion Support Branch. School support and divisional support teams are encouraged to access the wide range of support documents available through Manitoba Education.

Preventative and Response Programs

At each stage of the Continuum of Services, it is possible to access existing programs, assessment, or training to assist students and their overall wellness. There are a broad range of services and programs available to students initiated by individual schools. These programs may:

  • Address specific learning needs of an individual or small group of students;
  • Provide professional training for school staff;
  • Provide resources and materials to achieve student specific outcomes on the SSP;
  • Expand learning beyond the classroom; or,
  • Promote positive school wide climate and enhance inclusive school cultures.

Examples of these school based preventative and responsive programs are: Second Step®, Kids in the Know®, DARE, SWAT, Roots of Empathy, Strong Beginnings, and alternative and Flex programs. Examples of preventative and responsive training programs provided to school staff are: Adverse Childhood Experiences, Critical Incident and Trauma Response, Non Violent Crisis Intervention (NVCI), URIS healthcare training, Working Effectively with Violent and Aggressive Stages (WEVAS), Low Arousal Training, Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST), and SafeTALK.

Community Support Team

Some students and their families may require additional supports outside of the school system and from the larger service community. The divisional support team may determine that supports from external community agencies are needed to assist the family. In some situations, those community supports have already been accessed prior to a student entering school, e.g. Children’s disAbility Services.

Community supports include a broad range of social services, health care services, and youth justice services. The school social workers may assist students and their families in accessing and facilitating the referral process to these community agencies. Community or government based organizations support students and their families, specific to their mandate and service provision principles. These agencies often collaborate with the school in areas of mutual interest to assist the student. In cases of complex educational, health or social needs, multi-system programming or hi fidelity wraparound services approach (WRAP) is implemented to promote the overall safety and well-being of children and adolescents. These community supports include child welfare and protection agencies, public and mental health services, employment and income assistance, community living disability services, and youth criminal justice and probation services.