:: How the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB) 2007 budget … ::

How the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB) 2007 budget …: Reduction of one teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (D/HH) at Glebe Collegiate Institute concurrent with the addition of one itinerant teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing with American Sign Language (ASL) qualifications at Glebe CI (0.5 full-time equivalent) and 0.5 FTE for the system needs.

Staff members say this will have little impact on students since there are currently only three students in the class with seven vacancies. It is projected there will be five students for Sept. 2007. These students will have their current level of support or educational assistants with ASL qualifications and timbetabled support from an itinerant teacher of the deaf, with American Sign Language qualifications.

– Trustees voted to close four Primary Assessment Centre (PAC) classes for a combined savings of $500,000. One of the classes is at Mutchmor Public School. PAC is a system-based program located in designated schools throughout the board. The program is intended for elementary students with intense needs, such as those who have problems that cannot be addressed in the regular classroom or through a school-based special education program. The classes are equipped with special education materials and the programs are taught by teachers with special education qualifications. Educational assistants and language pathologists provide additional supports.

Trustees voted to track all students affected by changes in specialized classes. Students will be tracked for impacts such as achievement, suspension or expulsion, retention, behavioural intervention and attendance. An independent research consultant will be contracted to report to the bard in March 2008 and again before the end of 2008.

– The board approved the elimination of 46 elementary overlay positions for a combined savings of over $3.7 million. These eliminations will occur in the primary, junior, and intermediate divisions for Sept. 2007.

Staff members noted this will impact staffing currently provided over and above classroom allocations based on enrollment. Staffing will become increasingly “tight,” leaving little flexibility to accommodate individual school situations by assigning extra teachers, staff indicated.

– A recommendation to eliminate 9.5 full-time equivalent English as a Second Language teachers along with three multicultural liaison officers was defeated. A second motion that would have seen the elimination of an additional nine ESL teachers also didn’t pass. Had the first recommendation passed, the cuts would have saved the board $800,000.

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