If you know your child will need special programming in the school system, it is important to speak with school staff that may be working directly with your child a year before they enter the school.
In Manitoba, each school division is required to follow the Public Schools Act regulations. The Public Schools Act provides direction for school divisions to develop policies and practices about inclusion and services for children with special needs. Having a conversation with the school staff can help to ensure your child is going to a school where their needs can best be met.
To contact your school division, or to read their policies and practices on services for children with special needs, please visit:
- Manitoba School Divisions and Districts, available on the Government of Manitoba website at: http://www.edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/schools/schooldivmap.html
For more information on inclusive school environments, visit:
- The Appropriate Educational Programming in Manitoba document, available on the Government of Manitoba website at: http://www.edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/specedu/aep/pdf/Standards_for_Student_Services.pdf
In addition to finding out the services provided for children with special needs in your school division, it is important to get to know the layout and structure of your neighbourhood school.
Get a tour of the school ahead of enrolling your child, talk with the principal, teachers, and other parents. Ask questions like:
- How is the atmosphere in the classrooms?
- Where are the washrooms located?
- Is it loud? Cluttered? Organized?
- How many students are in each classroom?
It is important to note that if your catchment school cannot meet the special needs of your child, the individual planning team may work with you and your child to find other options either within the neighbourhood school, or in some cases, an alternate setting.