The Government of Yukon is extending the review of inclusive and special education into the 2020–21 school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The extension will provide more time and opportunities to safely connect and gather perspectives on these programs and services.
Engagement opportunities with families, educators, school communities, partners and Yukon First Nations originally planned for April and May 2020 are being rescheduled for this fall. The extended engagement opportunities include:
- An online tool to gather perspectives and experiences from students, families, partners, school communities, staff and the public.
- Focus groups led by the review consultant with:
- Educators, including Learning Assistance Teachers, School Counsellors, Educational Assistants, etc.;
- Yukon First Nations;
- School Councils; and
- The Advisory Committee for Yukon Education and other professionals who work with children and youth with diverse needs.
An interim update on the review is now available, with the information gathered to date by the consultant about Yukon’s current service model for these programs, along with questions and resources to consider as the review moves forward.
The consultant’s final report for this review and a summary of what was heard through the engagement activities will be shared by the end of March 2021.
Along with the recommendations from the 2019 audit report, this report will be used to frame collaboration with Yukon First Nations and education partners to respond to the feedback and findings from this review and together develop next steps and actions to improve and modernize these programs to more effectively support student learning needs and outcomes.
The Government of Yukon remains committed to working with families and communities to ensure all students have the learning supports they need. We look forward to hearing the perspectives and experiences of students, families, partners, school communities, Yukon First Nations and staff so that we can improve inclusive and special education in our territory.
Minister of Education, Tracy-Anne McPhee
I appreciate how open people have been in sharing their thoughts about inclusive and special education. Even at these early stages, I can see that there are some incredible strengths here in the Yukon that can serve as a springboard to address the challenges that have been identified. It’s unfortunate the work had to be put on hold due to the pandemic, but it has provided a good opportunity to reflect on the process and on the discussions that have happened so far. I hope this interim update can inspire people to start thinking about their own stories with inclusive and special education, and the kinds of changes they’d like to see. I look forward to connecting with people to hear those stories and ideas once the review starts back up again.
Nikki Yee, independent review consultant
This review responds to Recommendation 70 in the Auditor General of Canada’s 2019 report, Kindergarten Through Grade 12 Education in Yukon.
The purpose of this review is to identify barriers and opportunities in the current service model and questions and resources to consider, by hearing from families, educators, and communities about their experiences with current programming and by learning about what other jurisdictions are doing.
The review began in February 2020, starting with the Department of Education’s current practices, procedures and legislated responsibilities, and initial meetings with central staff and school administrators.
The interim update from the consultant includes information and research gathered so far. This update will be referenced in the online tool and focus groups sessions that are being rescheduled.