Friday, December 19, 2008

update- Setting the Direction (Special Education Review)

December 2008 Setting the Direction Update
In mid-November, Setting the Direction for Special Education in Alberta began the first phase of community consultations. Representatives from the Steering Committee, Stakeholder Working Group, the project team and an arms-length consultant visited 10 Alberta communities and heard from approximately 1,050 Albertans. If you attended a community consultation, you will be receiving by e-mail a copy of the raw data from the session you attended.

In addition, more than 800 individuals and groups have completed the online questionnaire, representing the views of 1,400 Albertans. Finally, the project team has received over 400 print submissions. In total, approximately 2,850 Albertans have shared their thoughts on vision and principles for the future of special education in this province. Your voice has been heard.

As well, special education is this month’s featured topic in Speak Out, an Alberta Education online initiative to encourage Alberta’s high school students to speak out about their experiences with the education system. At the end of the month, student input will be collected from this site and added to the mix.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to participate during this phase of Setting the Direction, it’s not too late. The online discussion guide will be available until December 31 and print submissions will be collected up to this date as well.

Input gathered during phase one consultation will create a vision and principles and help identify key elements for a new framework for special education in Alberta.

As we begin planning for phase two consultations in late February and March, discussion will turn to a proposed ideal future for an education system that displays the characteristics that participants say are aligned with their vision and principles and will serve Alberta’s students who have special education needs.

More details on this phase of the project will be available in January.
From the Steering Committee Chair
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for your commitment to Setting the Direction and for your contributions to this important discussion. I look forward to meeting with you in February and March and working further with the Steering Committee and Stakeholder Working Group to propose a more effective direction for special education in Alberta.


Naresh Bhardwaj
Steering Committee
MLA, Edmonton-Ellerslie Alberta EducationMain Floor, 44 Capital Boulevard 10044-108 Street Alberta, Canada T5J 5E6

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