Learning Support Services

The Burnaby School District’s Learning Support Services team works collaboratively with schools and parents to create supportive, inclusive, and caring communities where all children, specifically those children who have exceptional learning needs, can reach their full potential.

Learning Support Services is a complex and diverse department focussed on teacher and student learning. Working collaboratively with school staffs, parents, and the broader community Learning Support Services staff provide support and service to schools with programs from kindergarten to grade 12. This support includes both direct and indirect support to staff and students, professional development, and resources.

We believe in:

  • valuing the uniqueness of each child: their strengths and contributions;
  • creating partnerships with the home and community to support the education of each child;
  • supporting diversity as a natural and inherent condition of the school environment;
  • striving to create an effective, inclusive learning environment for each child;
  • providing access to appropriate educational environments that meet the individual needs of each child and;
  • having high expectations and monitoring results for each child.

For further information about the Learning Support Team, click on the bars below:

Advanced Learner District Resource Teachers
A district resource teacher for advanced learners provides the following services to elementary schools throughout the district:

  • consultation regarding an individual or groups of students,
  • participation at team meetings to discuss appropriate placement, programs, and educational plans (individual or group),
  • consultation with parents, after working with the school based team,
  • suggestions regarding available, appropriate resources,
  • exploration of a variety of options for providing math enrichment,
  • information on websites that provide enrichment/extension academic opportunities and insights related to advanced learners,
  • workshops at the school and district level, regarding identification of and programming for advanced learners,
  • consultation with resource teachers to develop programs for advanced learners,
  • facilitation of a network of teachers interested in or involved with the education of advanced learners,
  • consultation with classroom teachers to support cluster groups of advanced learners within a class and,
  • conversation in response to general questions, concerns or ideas related to gifted education.
District Teachers of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
District Teachers of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing provide the following services to deaf and hard of hearing students throughout the district:

  • determination of hard of hearing and deaf students who are eligible for support service and supplemental funding;
  • direct support to deaf and hard of hearing students on a regular basis for the teaching of auditory skills, speech development, speech reading skills, language development, cognitive development, social skills development, and academic skills;
  • interpretation of audiological/hearing reports and their educational implications;
  • auditory management and monitoring of personal hearing aids, assistive listening devices (e.g. the Easy Listener FM System, Free Field Sound System) and the acoustic environment;
  • consultation with class teachers, resource teachers, and other support personnel regarding hearing loss and the educational, acoustic, and social needs of deaf and hard of hearing students;
  • liaison with the family, audiologists, ear specialists and other community agencies regarding the hearing loss diagnosis and recommendations;
  • in-service on hearing and deafness through workshops to teachers and students;
  • regular written reports to the family and teachers;
  • district record keeping;
  • participation as a member of the student’s educational team, in the development of Individual Education Plans (I.E.P.s) for students with hearing loss;
  • high school transition and post-secondary transition and;
  • vocational and career guidance
District Counsellors (K-12)
District Counsellors are members of the Learning Support Services team who each support two zones of schools, K-12. The district counsellors facilitate processes and services that assist schools in meeting the needs of students who require assistance beyond school-based programs. The district counsellors work collaboratively with government ministries and community organizations to identify, coordinate, and develop effective prevention and intervention programs to support at-risk students. The district counsellors also assist the learning support services team in ongoing evaluation of programs and services designed to support the district’s most vulnerable children and youth.

The District Counsellor:

  • facilitates the resolution of serious problems related to student needs;
  • facilitates effective communication and liaison among school counsellors;
  • participates in planning, implementation and delivery of related staff development;
  • assists in the transition of students with special needs from elementary to secondary programs;
  • assists the district committees through data collection, assessments, and student placements;
  • assists in the development of integrated education programs and integrated case management processes;
  • supports the development and operational needs of the district’s K-12 alternate programs and;
  • assists the school district in developing community partnerships.
Learning Support Programs District Resource Teachers
The District Learning Support Team provides service to elementary school students with special needs (low incidence, high incidence, behaviour) as well as students with learning difficulties or differences who are not identified under the ministry guidelines.

Service includes:

  • consultation and collaboration with teachers and supporting personnel, and community agencies;
  • collection and review of students’ histories;
  • assistance with curriculum and instructional planning, including adapting and modifying;
  • assistance with the development of Individual Education Plans, Functional Behaviour Assessments, and Integrated Case Management Plans;
  • consultation and assistance in designating students who require positive behavioural interventions;
  • participation in team meetings;
  • implementation and facilitation of staff development and;
  • observations, interviews, and intake meetings for Kindergarten students, and students new to the Burnaby School District who have special needs.
School Psychologists
School Psychologists offer educational and mental health services designed to support students, school and district personnel, and parents in enhancing academic, adaptive, and social skills for students. Support is provided at both the elementary and secondary levels.

The School Psychologist:

  • observes individual students in a variety of settings as appropriate;
  • recommends adaptation to present programming to meet student needs;
  • interprets psychological assessment reports, observations and recommendations to the Principal, school-based team, parents and other extended team members;
  • recommends further diagnostic study or consultation by specialists in other areas, such as medicine, social work, psychiatry, psychology, speech and hearing;
  • selects, administers and interprets appropriate assessment materials for individuals based on referring information, observation and professional expertise;
  • writes psychological reports detailing reason, methods, findings, conclusions and specific recommendations;
  • discusses assessment findings and recommendations with the Principal, school-based team, learning support personnel, parents, students and other extended team members;
  • acts as a psychologist/educational consultant to schools, parents and community;
  • provides professional development as requested by schools and/or district;
  • provides Ministry of Education applicable designations and;
  • confers with parents, principals, teachers and School Based Team members about the academic, intellectual and behavioural needs of individual students.
Speech and Language Pathologists
Speech-Language Pathologists provide the following services to students whose education is adversely affected by communication difficulties.

Speech and Language Pathologists:

  • evaluate students suspected of having speech and/or language and communication difficulties;
  • plan, develop and provide services to best meet the needs of individual students;
  • consult and collaborate with School Based Teams, classroom teachers, support staff and parents;
  • provide instruction and materials to educational assistants;
  • participate in IEP planning and program development;
  • provide professional development and workshops for District Staff and parents and;
  • liaise with community agencies.

Speech and Language services may be delivered in a variety of ways, including direct therapy on an individual or group basis, consultation/collaboration with school personnel, and development of home programs.

Out of School Support Program
The Out of School Support Program is available for Kindergarten to grade 12 students enrolled in the Burnaby School District who, due to medical reasons, cannot physically attend school. Students are expected to be absent from school for 10 or more consecutive school days. The reasons for this prolonged absence include illness or medical reasons, such as injury, surgery, or medical treatments.

The Out of School Support teacher collects activities, assignments, and assessments from each of the student’s teachers. The Out of School Support teacher provides services one to two times per week for approximately 45 minutes per session. The student is referred to the Out of School Support Program by the school principal or counsellor.

District Teachers of the Vision Impaired
The District Learning Support Teacher of the Visually Impaired is responsible for providing and/or arranging for the following services to students who are blind or visually impaired throughout the district:

  • helping the student to work as independently as possible by providing materials such as audiotapes, E-Text, large print, or braille,
  • transcribing materials prepared by the teacher and student into braille or large print,
  • teaching braille and related skills to students who are blind,
  • teaching students who are visually impaired to use their remaining vision as efficiently as possible,
  • instructing students in the use of technological aids and appliances and use of optical aids, and
  • teaching students orientation and mobility skills which will enable them to travel safely, efficiently, and with dignity throughout the school and community.

The District Learning Support Teacher of the Visually Impaired is also available to:

  • participate in team meetings,
  • liaise between home and school and with community agencies and support groups,
  • assess,
  • consult,
  • participate in IEP meetings,
  • provide staff development,
  • assist with transitions, and
  • support school staff