Horizon School Division has established a process of resolution for disagreements between the school, Division and parents/caregivers regarding:
- The identification of, or the failure to identify a student with intensive needs;
- Designation of or the failure to designate a student (designation is only used in schools where students are under federal jurisdiction) with intensive needs;
- The program provided to the student.
The following guidelines to dispute resolution shall apply in cases where a dispute arises regarding the identification, designation, or programming of a student with special needs:
1. Placement is subject to review only in those cases where it is directly related to the provision of an appropriate and effective program and not on the basis of preference or convenience.
2. Every effort shall be made to resolve concerns with the parents/caregivers at the school level.
3. The right to a review of a child’s placement is excluded where the dispute is based on an allegation of discrimination pursuant to the Human Rights Code or the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
4. Parents and/or Caregivers who disagree with the administrative decision can appeal to the Board.
5. Costs related to an independent review process shall be borne by Horizon School Division.
Step 1: Supervisor of Student Services
1. A parent/caregiver may submit an appeal to the Supervisor of Student Services if they disagree with:
1. 1 The identification or the failure to identify the child as a student with intensive needs;
1. 2 The designation or the failure to designate the child as a student with intensive needs;
1. 3 The placement of this child, and/or
1. 4 The program planned for this child.
2. This local review process should be completed within seven calendar days from the date the appeal was submitted.
Step 2: Superintendent of Student Services
1. If parents/caregivers are dissatisfied with the decision/recommendations arising from Step 1, they may initiate a formal appeal/review of the decision relative to their child to the Superintendent of Student Services.
2. Within seven calendar days of receiving the request for a review, the Superintendent of Student Services will respond in writing, to the individual requesting the review, outlining the steps in the review process, as well as the anticipated timeline of the review.
Step 3: Director of Education
1. If parents/caregivers are dissatisfied with the decision/recommendations arising from Step 2, they can initiate a formal appeal/review of the decision relative to their child to the Director.
2. Within seven calendar days of receiving the request for a review, the Director will respond in writing, to the individual requesting the review, outlining, the steps in the review process, as well as the anticipated timeline of the review.
Step 4: Board of Education
1. If parents/ caregivers are dissatisfied with the decision/recommendations arising from Step 3, they can initiate a formal appeal/review of the decision relative to their child to the Horizon School Division Board of Education.
Step 5: Independent Review
1. If the student and/or parents/caregivers dispute the decision of the Board, they may submit a written appeal with reasons to the Director of Education.
2. Within 14 calendar days, a third party will be appointed to review the dispute.
3. The Director will put forward a list of persons who may be considered as a potential third party to the parents/ caregivers. The individual conducting the review should have experience and expertise in matters relating to education and related services for students with intensive needs. Such persons may be, but are not limited to: Director of Programs and Instruction, Student Achievement and Supports Branch, Ministry of Education, health district official, physician, legal professional, school division professional or professional in the field of disability under dispute.
4. The third party (comprised of one individual) will be acceptable to both parties and will not have participated in the previous decisions. The third party cannot be the parents and/or advocate, an employee of Horizon School Division.
5. Within 14 calendar days after appointment, the third party will convene a hearing. As part of the deliberations, the contending parties will make their presentations. In addition, the third party may call upon any person who has participated in the educational planning and/or decision-making process to clarify the issues that surround the appeal. Outside persons experienced in placement or program planning for students with intensive needs may also be called.
6. The third party will form its recommendations within four weeks after the hearing and submit these recommendations in writing to the parents/ caregivers and the Director.
Step 6: Final Decision-Making
1. The Board will consider the recommendations of the Independent Third Party and it may modify, confirm, or reject any or all of the recommendations.
2. The parents/ caregivers will be informed, in writing, of the final decision made by the Board.
Reference: Section 85, 87, 141, 142, 145, 146, 148, 156, 178, 175, 185, 231, Education Act
Sections, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, Education Regulations
Policy 13 Appeals and Hearings Regarding Student Matters
Ministry Document “creating Opportunities for Students with Intellectual or Multiple Disabilities”
Date: March 7, 2011
Revised: February 12, 2018