Alberta moves forward on inclusive education system for all

Partnerships key to successful implementation of Setting the Direction Framework

To improve outcomes for students with special education needs, the Alberta government will begin to implement its response to 12 recommendations contained in the Setting the Direction Framework. This includes providing improved learning and teaching resources, more professional development for teachers and educational assistants, and developing a regional service delivery model to support all students.

“The work ahead marks an incredible shift in the way we educate all of our children,” said Dave Hancock, Minister of Education. “An educational culture that values the unique gifts of each and every child, and a new approach to service delivery will enable us to better integrate and tailor supports to the needs of our children and youth, so that every student can achieve success.”

The framework identifies three key strategic priority areas – curriculum, capacity and collaboration – and recommends a vision of an inclusive education system that re-positions special education within the broader education system. An inclusive education system provides a values-based approach to accepting collective responsibility and achieving accountability for all students, including those with special and diverse needs.
“We are committed to supporting healthy kids and healthy families in our goal of building a healthier province,” said Gene Zwozdesky, Minister of Health and Wellness. “The Setting the Direction framework will mean greater collaboration among health, educators and social service professionals in determining what children need at every stage of their development.”
The framework, guided by the Setting the Direction Steering Committee, was developed through input gathered from more than 7,000 Albertans during three phases of public consultation. Over the course of consultations, stakeholders and the public expressed high expectations for significant change in how supports and services are provided to children and youth with special and/or complex needs. Education, in partnership with Health and Wellness and Children and Youth Services, will work to reduce duplication across multiple mandates and increase the effectiveness of supporting students and their families.
“It is important that the ministries supporting children with disabilities and their families work together to help them achieve success and reach their full potential,” said Yvonne Fritz, Minister of Children and Youth Services. “This framework will improve coordination of services, which benefits our children, youth and families.”
“Throughout the Setting the Direction process, there was a phenomenal breadth and depth of citizen engagement,” said Hancock. “I am so grateful to the thousands of Albertans who dedicated so much of their time and passion to this work and I look forward to their continued participation.”
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