Identification, Placement and Review Committee
WCDSB IPRC Process
The Special Education Transformation Report of May 2006 recognized the need to improve the balance between a focus on teaching, learning and related student outcomes, and the need for appropriate process, documentation and accountability in Special Education. As a result, in two Deputy memoranda to school boards (October 12, 2006 and November 30, 2006), the ministry asked boards to examine their IPRC practices such that when both the board and the parent(s) agree that the student’s placement will be in the regular classroom, an IPRC is not required.
The provision of Special Education services in WCDSB is not dependent upon the Identification Placement and Review Committee process. The A1/SS1, A2/SS2, and A3 process is used to document student needs, and to outline service delivery. This structured process includes the need for further assessment, and interventions in order to bring the provision of services to a student in a timely fashion. Identification, Placement and Review Committees are convened, usually at parent(s) request, but the vast majority of students in our system, go through the A1/SS1, A2/SS2 process which may lead to an IEP without having to wait for an official IPRC identification and placement decisions.
The IEP for each student is reviewed each term in conjunction with the report card. For students who have had an IPRC, an Annual Review of the IPRC must be offered to the parent(s)/guardian on a yearly basis. If desired, the parent(s)/guardian can waive the IPRC Annual Review (this must be done in written form and filed in the OSR).
This provision of service is in line with our philosophy of inclusion, operational in WCDSB since the early 1980s. Other Boards have shifted toward inclusion as well, and where service was once almost exclusively governed by the IPRC process, there are now a variety
Function and Membership
Regulation 181/98 requires that all school boards establish one or more Identification, Placement and Review Committees (IPRC´s).
An IPRC shall:
- Determine whether or not the pupil should be identified as exceptional
- Where the committee has identified the pupil as an exceptional pupil, identify the areas of exceptionalities according to Ministry categories and definitions
- Decide an appropriate placement
- Provide reasons for placement if deciding for placement in a special class
Ministry of Education links:
- The Identification, Placement and Review Committee:
- Special Education Regulations:
- Resolving Identification or Placement Issues:
Categories and Definitions of Exceptionalities
Ministry of Education Regulation 181/98 requires that all school boards establish one or more Identification, Placement and Review Committees (IPRC’s). The IPRC is composed of at least 3 persons, one of whom must be a principal or supervisory officer of the board. The IPRC meets and decides if a student should be identified as an exceptional pupil, and if so must designate a category of exceptionality according to the categories and definition of exceptionalities established under subsection 8 (3) of the Act. The IPRC must also decide upon a placement for the exceptional student.
Emotional Disturbance and/or Social Maladjustment
Definition: A learning disorder characterized by specific behaviour problems over such a period of time, and to such a marked degree, and of such a nature, as to adversely affect educational performance; and that may be accompanied by one or more of the following:
- An inability to build or to maintain interpersonal relationships;
- Excessive fears or anxieties;
- A tendency to compulsive reaction;
- An inability to learn which cannot be traced to intellectual, sensory or other health factors, or any combination thereof
Definition: A severe learning disorder that is characterized by:
- Disturbances in:
- Rate of educational development;
- Ability to relate to the environment;
- Perception, speech, and language;
- Lack of the representational-symbolic behaviour that precedes language
2. Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Definition: An impairment characterized by deficits in language and speech development because of diminished or non-existent auditory response to sound (i.e., hard of hearing, deaf).
3. Language Impairment
Definition: A learning disorder characterized by an impairment in comprehension and/or the use of verbal communication or the written or other symbol system of communication, which may be associated with neurological, psychological, physical, or sensory factors and which may:
- Involve one or more of the form, content, and function of language in communication;
- Include one or more of the following:
- Language delay;
- Voice, and articulation development which may or may not be organically or functionally based
4. Speech Impairment
Definition: A disorder in language formulation that may be associated with neurological, psychological, physical or sensory factors; that involves perceptual motor aspects of transmitting oral messages; and that may be characterized by impairment in articulation, rhythm, and stress.
5. Learning Disability
Definition: A learning disorder evident in both academic and social situations that involves one or more of the processes necessary for the proper use of spoken language or the symbols of communication, and is characterized by a condition that:
- Is not primarily the result of:
- Impairment of vision;
- Impairment of hearing;
- Physical disability;
- Developmental disability;
- Primary emotional disturbance;
- Cultural difference;
- Results in significant discrepancy between academic achievement and assessed intellectual ability, with deficits in one or more of the following:
- Receptive language (listening, reading);
- Language processing (thinking, conceptualizing, integrating);
- Expressive language (talking, spelling, writing);
- Mathematical computations;
- May be associated with one or more conditions diagnosed as:
- A perceptual disability;
- A brain injury;
- Minimal brain dysfunction;
- Developmental aphasia.
Definition: An unusually advanced degree of general intellectual ability that requires differentiated learning experiences of a depth and breadth beyond those normally provided in the regular school program to satisfy the level of educational potential indicated.
2. Mild Intellectual Disability
Definition: A learning disorder characterized by:
- An ability to profit educationally within a regular class with the aid of considerable curriculum modification and supportive services;
- An inability to profit educationally within a regular class because of slow intellectual development;
- A potential for academic learning, independent social adjustment, and economic self-support.
3. Developmental Disability
Definition: A severe learning disorder characterized by:
- An inability to profit from a special education program for students with mild intellectual disabilities because of slow intellectual development;
- An ability to profit from a special education program that is designated to accommodate slow intellectual development;
- A limited potential for academic learning, independent social adjustment, and economic self support.
1. Physical Disability
Definition: A condition of such severe physical limitation or deficiency as to require special assistance in learning situations to provide the opportunity for educational achievement equivalent to that of pupils without exceptionalities who are the same age or development level.
2. Blind and Low Vision
Definition: A condition of partial or total impairment of sight or vision that even with correction affects educational performance adversely (i.e., limited vision, blind).
Definition: A combination of learning or other disorders, impairments, or physical disabilities, that is of such a nature as to require, for educational achievement, the services of one or more teachers holding qualifications in special education and the provision of support services appropriate for such disorders, impairments, or disabilities.
IPRC Annual Reviews
The following is an overview of the IPRC Annual Review Process.
Why Schedule an IPRC Review?
IPRC’s are a formal process as dictated by Regulation 181/98. This regulation mandates that for every student who has been IPRC’d in a school Board, an IPRC Review meeting must be held a minimum of once every school year. The only exception is if the parent informs the school Principal in writing that this meeting does not need to occur. Parents and/or the school Principal have the right to request an IPRC Annual Review once every 3 months.
What is the Purpose of an IPRC Review?
The main purpose of the IPRC Review is to consider the original placement and identification decisions and determine if they should be continued or whether a different decision should be made.
Placement only refers to the following:
A regular class with indirect support. The student is placed in a regular class for the entire day, and the teacher receives specialized consultative services.
A regular class with resource assistance. The student is placed in a regular class for most or all of the day and receives specialized instruction, individually or in a small group, within the regular classroom from a qualified Special Education Teacher.
A regular class with withdrawal assistance. The student is placed in a regular class and receives instruction outside of the classroom for less than 50% of the school day, from a qualified Special Education Teacher.
A Special Education class with partial integration. The student is placed in a Special Education class where the student-teacher ratio conforms to Regulation 298, section 31, for at least 50% of the school day, but is integrated with a regular class for at least one instructional period daily.
A Special Education class full time. The student is placed in a Special Education class, where the student-teacher ratio conforms to Regulation 298, section 31, for the entire school day.
Placement does not refer to any of the following:
- Grade level;
- A student studying a subject or course at a different grade level i.e. a student in grade 4 studying Mathematics at the grade 6 level; a student in grade 8 studying English at the grade 9 level;
- A student participating in alternate programming i.e. Advanced Placement courses, UCEP, enriched Mathematics classes etc.
Therefore, neither of these statements should be noted as a placement option.
Identification refers to the students area of exceptionality. Identification only refers to the following:
- Deaf and Hard of Hearing
- Language Impairment
- Speech Impairment
- Learning Disability
- Mild Intellectual Disability
- Developmental Disability
- Physical Disability
- Blind and Low Vision
Regular class with indirect support
The student is placed in a regular class for the entire day, and the teacher receives specialized consultative services.
Regular class with resource assistance
The student is placed in the regular class for most or all of the day and receives specialized instruction, individually or in a small group, within the regular classroom from a qualified special education teacher.
Regular class with withdrawal assistance
The student is placed in the regular class and receives instruction outside of the classroom for less than 50% of the school day, from a qualified special education teacher.
Special education class with partial integration
The student is placed by the IPRC in a special class where the student-teacher ratio conforms to Regulation 298, section 31, for at least 50% of the school day, but is integrated with a regular class for at least one instructional period daily.
Special education class full time
The student is placed by the IPRC in a special education class, where the student/ teacher ratio conforms to Regulation 298, section 31, for the entire day.
What Happens at the IPRC Review?
The IPRC Review considers the same type of information that was originally considered at the initial IPRC. The main focus should be on the student’s strengths and needs. As noted above, the IPRC will determine if the area of exceptionality is the same or needs to be changed; as well as determining the placement.
The discussion may also include recommendations regarding Special Education programs and services. Parents need to understand that the IPRC has the authority to make recommendations about Special Education programs and services for the student, but it does not have any decision-making power in this respect. Recommendations regarding programs and services cannot be appealed. The parent must provide written permission for the discussion to include the progress the student has made in relation to the IEP.
The school sends the parent(s) and student if they are 16 years of age or older, an invitation to attend the IPRC Annual Review.
Note that the parent may request an IPRC Review once every 3 months, but they must do so in writing. The same timelines exist for the IPRC Review as the original IPRC process. This means that if the parent provides a written request for an IPRC Review, within 15 days the school Principal must let the parent know, in writing, approximately when the IPRC Review will occur. If the parent chooses to waive the right to hold the IPRC Annual Review they must do so in writing. The Principal of the school will chair the meeting and record the results of the IPRC Annual Review. Parents are asked to sign the form.
The Principal of the school will ensure the correct distribution of the forms which includes the Superintendent of School Support Services. Regulation 181/98 states that a designated representative of the Board must receive a copy. It is an expectation that the Special Education Teacher and Classroom Teacher (in elementary) attend the IPRC Review. Student Services personnel may be invited to attend as appropriate.
After the IPRC Annual Review
After receiving the Statement of Decision resulting from an Annual Review, the parent may request a follow-up meeting. This request must be made within 15 days of receiving the Statement of Decision, and the request for a follow-up meeting with the IPRC must be made in writing. The Principal should make every effort to accommodate this follow-up meeting as soon as possible. If at the follow-up meeting different decisions are made, the Principal must revise the Statement of Decision and provide written reasons for the changes. The Principal will ask the parent to consent to the revised identification and/or placement decision.
Parental Disagreement with the IPRC Decision:
If the parent disagrees with the decision at the IPRC Annual Review they may:
- Within 30 days of the IPRC Annual Review decision, file a notice of appeal with the Secretary of the Board;
- Within 15 days of receiving the decision from the second meeting, file a notice of appeal with the Secretary of the Board.
If the parent does not supply written consent to the identification or placement, but also does not appeal, the school Board may implement the placement decision. In this case, the Principal will notify the parent of the action taken.