Our family spent three wonderful years at Kenneth Gordon Maplewood School. If your child learns differently, you might like to check this learning environment out HERE.
For an opportunity to think through a Learning Differently kid's transition into high school or from a specialized learning environment to mainstream school, or if you are or were a KG parent, please join us at the event below.
Transitioning from KGMS to a Mainstream School
Thursday, March 6
Refreshments on hand.
Is your child ready to leave KGMS? How do you know? It's not as simple as registering him or her in your neighbourhood school. What can you do to help your child make the transition successfully? The panelists listed below will do their best to answer these questions and any others you want answered.
Rosita Tam - Rosita's served students with learning differences in various capacities for 30 years, including 7 years as the Director of Instruction at KGMS. Rosita's the point person for assisting you in your search for a suitable school. In her presentation on the topic in February, she gave parents some ideas on how to build our children's resilience to the stresses they will more than likely face transitioning from KGMS to a mainstream school. Handouts from that presentation will be available.
Marianne McKee - Marianne has taught for 18 years and is currently teaching students with learning disabilities at Burnaby North Secondary. As a child she was diagnosed with a learning disability and was told she would not be successful at university. Marianne writes that while "having a disability can make school a challenge, it does not need to be a constant battle." Having said that, Marianne's become "increasingly negative and discouraged" with the public system. "If I had a choice to keep my child in a school like KGMS or transition them into the public system there would be no doubt in my mind - don't move them." Copies of the recommendations she worked on with the Learning Disabilities Association of British Columbia regarding the ruling of the Supreme Court in Moore vs British Columbia will be on hand.
Susan McKenzie - Susan's been on "the frontline, interfacing with educators, a range of Go To experts and that crucial resource, other parents." Willingly, with a sense of humour, and without a lot of sleep, Susan's "bounced along the road" with her daughter, Tien, through the public school system, homeschooling and at KGMS. Now that her daughter has returned to a public secondary school, Susan will pass on her thoughts and Tien's advice.
Barb Desjardins - Barb's son is graduating this year and heading off to university. After attending KGMS for Grades 4 and 5, her son returned to KGMS in Grade 7. The transition from KGMS to secondary school was much smoother. There, she "found more support and understanding." However, she continues to advocate for her son and teach him the skills to advocate for himself. An Educational Assistant, Barb works with special needs students in the public education system.
Janice Beecroft - Alerted to the possibility of a learning disability by her son's Grade 2 teacher, Janice fought unsuccessfully "year after year for testing." In Grade 6, she submitted the bill for private testing to the school board and successfully fought for reimbursement. Having done her research, Janice believes she's found the public secondary school that will meet the needs of her gifted, dyslexic and diabetic son.
Jacqueline Thornley-Hall - Jacqueline thought her son, James, was ready to leave KGMS after completing Grade 7 to attend a local public secondary school. After a few months, James returned to KGMS and is much happier and doing well. Jacqueline is happy to share her insights into his experience.
Lisa Chao - Each of Lisa's four children has unique learning differences. After attending KGMS for three years, the change in Bram "was staggering, both emotionally and academically." Indeed, Lisa "sees a confidence in Bram that has been missing since he was 4." In addition to advocating for her own children "for 13 years in 6 schools over 3 districts," she's done so for others via her involvement in the Parent Advisory Council at the local, district and provincial levels. Recently, she and the BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils organized a symposium on special needs.