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1007 Special Needs - 27 July 2010

Report to the BOT re Care and Education of Special Needs Children at Kaikohe East Primary School

Prepared By: Kaz Chamberlain Date: July 2010

At Kaikohe East Primary School we currently have 9 ORRS funded children and 2 High Health Needs child. Another application for High Health Needs Funding has also been submitted as of last Friday. In addition to this, we also have two other children with a mild learning disability that do not meet the criteria for ORRS. All children are mainstreamed with Room 7 set up as a room to provide a place for additional learning programmes to support each child’s individual learning goals. GSE in Kaikohe provide support with IEP’s, applications and development of learning programmes. We have a good relationship with them and I have regular contact with Clare Lilley who is our main contact at GSE.

The children have a range of diagnosis from hearing impaired, sight impaired, Down syndrome, Noonan’s syndrome, cerebral palsy, Autism, ADHD, Dwarfism and Epilepsy.

The children requiring medication have to have a signed letter from the families stating the medication and the dosage and in Room 7 we have a medical register that records the time and dosage of the medication which is then signed by the person administering and then co-signed by a witness. The medication is kept in a locked cupboard.

Some of our children require nappies changed and assistance with toileting. Room 7 has a toilet block near the room that is purpose built with a hoist and changing table to help with this process.

The ORRS funding contributes towards covering the cost of a teacher aide for the children that have ORRS or High Health Needs funding. The number of hours they are covered for is dependent on the needs of the child and the funding that has been allocated. Each child also comes with a small amount for resources and consumables. This covers tissues, wipes and some resources. This is all monitored by myself who overseas the hours and funding allocations. In addition we have some children who also have TA help that is funded through RTLB and is a short term avenue for children to get a ‘boost’ towards their learning but whom don’t qualify for ORRS. This is happening in Rooms 1, 5 and 6.

There are 8 ORRS funded teacher aides. They are all timetabled to allow for breaks and various activities that happen throughout the school week for our special needs children.

At present, 6 children travel to BOI RDA in Waipapa every Thursday. Mid North Shuttles provides the use of a van for a small fee. Fees for RDA are a $100 per term and this is providing a challenge to fund. At present, I am looking into some funding options but we may also have to ask families to contribute towards their child’s fees if it is to continue.

On Wednesday, I also run a ‘mat time’ from 11.30 – 1pm where all the children with special needs and their teacher aides come together. This has proven a valuable and exciting time for both the teacher aides and the children with opportunities for learning that is able to meet their needs in different way to what is offered in a regular classroom environment.

Some children are also enrolled for correspondence school which is designed to compliment and support the learning programme in the classroom. The toy library is also accessed once a month.

All ORRS funded children have regular IEP’s throughout the year. These are organised by myself and usually include the parents, SENCO, GSE, teacher and teacher aide. They are prepared using the NZ curriculum Key competencies as a guide and specific learning goals are discussed and recorded.

This term we have also been fortunate enough to be able to set up regular release for teachers with special needs children in their class. This is an opportunity for teachers and teacher aides to meet and unpack the IEP to help define the learning that will be happening in the class for each child. This is also a great time for teachers and teacher aides to be able to discuss the children and go over the routines and expectations.

More recently, an application to Southern Trust to develop our Multi-sensory room was successful. We have been given $15.500.00 and an order has been processed for a multi-sensory package to be sent from Australia. Very exciting!!

Our Support Staff have also just attended a support staff conference which was an excellent opportunity for them to meet with other support staff and attend workshops relevant to their interests and roles in the school they are in. This included many workshops that supported special education and the feedback received has been extremely positive and motivating from all that have attended. Kaikohe East School had the largest group attending and all our Support staff were able to attend.

We endeavour to allow our support staff to attend at least one professional development opportunity each year and many of our special needs teacher aids have become very knowledgeable and skilled at the job they do. In the school, every second Thursday we also have Sign language classes form 9 – 10.30 which allow the teachers and teacher aides who work with our children who rely on sign language the opportunity to have regular up skilling.

This year, we have also had several schools with Special Needs Children visit. This has been very positive and we now have a young girl with Down Syndrome who comes every Wednesday to participate in our Room 7 mat time and more recently, Rawene Primary has had a new enrolment of a little girl with Down Syndrome and they are hoping to start bringing her to our mat times too. This is great opportunity for the children to meet and get to know other people in their community and for the TA’s to share knowledge and ideas.

Our staff at Kaikohe East are very accommodating and supportive of children with Special Needs. We have a positive approach and all children at Kaikohe East are very accepting of others with differences and just include them in everything we do with no problem. Our children with Special Needs are a valued part of our school.

Our budget as set at the end of last year is subject to changes as we have new staff and hours that come form RTLB funding, IRF and new GSE funding throughout the year. Our spending will be higher than budgeted but will balance out with the funding received for increases in hours and funding received for identified children.

As of June 30th 2010:









Junior ORRS staff development






Junior ORRS resources






Teacher Aide






Not included in there is the $15,000.00 from Southern Trust for our multi sensory room.