Apr 06

Online Workshop – Partnering with Schools for Student Success: Effective Parent Advocacy



Partnering with Schools for Student Success:

Effective Parent Advocacy


The Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario, in partnership with the Integra Program of the Child Development Institute, is presenting an online workshop for parents and those who are helping parents navigate the school system. The course is called Partnering with Schools for Student Success and promotes a collaborative approach to advocacy, based on knowledge and understanding on both sides.


The seven units explore perspectives of parents and schools, promote an understanding of the needs of students and of special education and behaviour management processes in schools, and teach strategies for successful negotiation. Scenarios will be used to help illustrate the ideas presented.


The online course is offered in two options:

  • Professionals and others who are working with parents will do assignments at the end of each unit, and submit a final case study, in order to receive a Certificate of Completion.


  • Parents can choose to take the course for their own information, without submitting assignments or receiving a Certificate of Completion, for a reduced fee.


All participants will have access to the same content and a Comments & Questions section, where they can ask questions and share ideas.


The course will be moderated by Hayley Stinson, with input from Diane Wagner, Public Policy & Education Consultant at LDAO. Hayley is a Child and Family Clinician in

Community Education and Engagement with the Integra Program of the Child Development Institute. She provides training and promotes collaboration between schools, students, parents and other helping professionals around children’s mental health and learning.


The seven units will be made available one week at a time over seven weeks, starting on

Monday, April 16, 2018.


Professional option with assignments & Certificate of Completion: $350 ($300 LDAO member rate)

Parent option without assignments or certificate $250 ($200 LDAO member rate)


For questions contact Diane Wagner: dianew@LDAO.ca


To register go to: www.ldao.ca/ldao-services/workshops-courses/partnering-with-schools-for-student-success-effective-parent-advocacy/


Unit 1: Partnership and Advocacy: Perspectives of Parents and Schools


  • Will look at the meaning of advocacy in the context of effective partnerships with the school
  • Will examine their thoughts, feelings and beliefs regarding education and schools as these may influence their interaction with the school
  • Will consider how to understand the perspective of the school


Unit 2: Strategies and Models for Partnership and Advocacy


  • Will become familiar with 4 models for planning advocacy efforts on behalf of a child
  • Will recognize the role of careful documentation and record-keeping
  • Will learn how to handle meetings and effectively use note-taking


Unit 3: Understanding How the Special Education System Works: The Education Act, IPRCs and IEPs


  • Will learn how current legislation in the Education Act provides for students with special education needs
  • Will explore the legal context and processes of the IPRC and IEP
  • Will understand how to collaborate in the development of an IEP
  • Will learn how to work on a ‘living IEP’ within the classroom environment


Unit 4: Understanding Psychological Assessment Reports


  • Will understand the purpose of psychological assessments and the factors to be considered when recommending psychological testing
  • Will understand how core psychological concepts associated with learning disabilities and other disorders are assessed and interpreted
  • Will become comfortable in reading psychology reports and asking questions about reports

Unit 5: Understanding How Children Communicate Difficulty at School: Behaviour Problems as Communication


  • Will understand that behaviour can act as a form of communication from the child
  • Will learn how to use a “team approach” to problem-solve and brainstorm possible reasons for inappropriate behaviour
  • Will understand how to use Behaviour Plans to prevent behaviour difficulties from escalating into disciple problems


Unit 6: Students with Special Education Needs and School Discipline Policies: Progressive Discipline, Mitigating Factors, Suspension and Expulsion


  • Will understand what the school means by progressive discipline
  • Will become familiar with rules and requirements around suspension
  • Will learn about other ways students can be kept out of school, including Expulsion


Unit 7: Negotiation and Resolving Conflicts: Informal and Formal Processes


  • Will understand some of the reasons that disputes and conflicts arise
  • Will learn methods which will allow them to collaborate with educators to prevent conflicts where possible and to resolve them quickly when they arise
  • Will understand options for using formal dispute resolution processes
  • Will gain an overview of effective ways to work through conflict by using negotiating skills.