Glossary of RCSD Terms

Capacity Building:  Understanding and developing the knowledge, skills, strategies and tools that support all members of the learning team (teachers, parents, students, therapists…) in being successful.

Collaboration: a mutually beneficial, well-defined relationship entered into by two or more individuals or organizations to achieve common goals. There is a commitment to working relationships and shared responsibilities.

Complex:  is defined according to the ‘Policy Framework for Children and Youth with Special and Complex Needs’ as children and youth that require “significant extraordinary care due to the severity of their impairment(s) and require services from more than one ministry.”

Those who require such services may include children and youth:

  • with multiple impairments, complex mental health and health issues and/or severe behavioral needs;
  • for whom all currently available resources have been utilized with limited success;
  • who require fiscal and human resources that strain the capacity of any one ministry;
  • for whom there are questions about the safety of the child, youth, family or public.

Continuum of Support: A three tiered model of support that involves school-based and school linked team members working collaboratively to build capacity within the classroom, learning from and with each other.

  • Universal Supports: The base of the Response to Intervention pyramid is made up of all students. Strategies and supports are provided to families and teachers that support all children in their learning. It is the least intensive level of service delivery and is intended to be proactive and preventative.
  • Targeted Supports: Specific prevention strategies and interventions for students at risk of academic failure. Within a Response to Intervention framework, these students will benefit from differentiated instruction but also need more targeted supports and interventions such as leveled learning materials, small group and/or individualized instruction.
  • Individualized Supports: Within a Response to Intervention framework, approximately 3 – 7% of students will continue to face challenges beyond targeted supports and require intensive, individualized supports and intervention that go well beyond differentiated instruction.

Differentiated Instruction: involves designing a learning environment with multiple paths of input, output and practice opportunities that address the needs, interests and abilities of students.

Inclusive Education: values promoting access and belonging, valuing what all student bring to the learning environment in terms of language abilities, physical and cognitive skills.

Regional Linked Services: enhanced support accessed on an as needed basis, using a referral process (e.g., Ed Psych, DHH, VI, AAC, capacity building for complex children/youth, PT).

Resources: supports that can be accessed when needed, these may be physical (e.g., assistive technology, levelled books), human and/or financial.

School Administration: school principal, vice principal, assistant principal.

School-Based Team: personnel involved with student education on site and in the school daily (e.g., school administration, Learning Support Teacher/Coach, classroom teacher, educational assistants, Family School Liaison Counsellors).

School-Linked Team: collaborate with the school-based team to provide support to students on a regular and predictable basis (e.g., SLP, OT)

Tri-region Complex Needs: collaboration of three RCSDs including Calgary and Area, Central East and Bow River to support children and youth with complex needs requiring cross-ministry supports and services.

Supporting children and youth to be successful at school, at home and in their communities.