Date of Issue: September 25, 2009
Effective: Until revoked or modified
Subject: PROTOCOL FOR PARTNERSHIPS WITH EXTERNAL AGENCIES FOR PROVISION OF SERVICES BY REGULATED HEALTH PROFESSIONALS, REGULATED SOCIAL SERVICE PROFESSIONALS, AND PARAPROFESSIONALS
Application: Directors of Education
Secretary-Treasurers and Supervisory Officers of School Authorities
Superintendents of Schools
Principals of Elementary Schools
Principals of Secondary Schools
The ministry is committed to promoting effective community-based partnerships with external agencies that foster continuous improvement in the delivery of programs and services for all students, including students with special needs. Closing achievement gaps for all students continues to be a major priority.
The purpose of this memorandum is to provide direction to school boards1 concerning the review and/or development of a local protocol for partnerships with external agencies for the provision of services in Ontario schools by regulated health professionals, regulated social service professionals, and paraprofessionals. It outlines the requirements for reviewing and/or developing a local protocol, and specifies the requirements for implementing the protocol and for reporting on the protocol to stakeholders.
Requirements for Review and/or Development of a Board Protocol
School boards with an existing protocol will review their protocol to ensure that it is aligned with the requirements outlined in this memorandum. School boards without an existing protocol will develop a protocol that is aligned with those requirements. The protocol will be designed to support the school board's capacity to provide programs and services to all students, including students with special needs. The protocol will reflect local circumstances, including the language of the board.
The protocol will outline the following:
A distinction must be made in the protocol between long-term and short-term (time-limited) partnerships to ensure that long-term duplication of services already provided by school board PSSP and paraprofessionals does not occur.
The protocol must be aligned with the collective agreements of unionized school board staff and enhance the delivery of services. The protocol must provide for supplementing, but not duplicating, the services of school board PSSP and paraprofessionals. A protocol will be developed by each school board even if there are currently no unionized regulated health professionals, regulated social service professionals, and paraprofessionals on staff.
Where applicable, co-terminus and contiguous school boards must, at a minimum, explore the development of partnerships and protocols to facilitate the delivery of programs and services.
Boards must seek the advice of PSSP and paraprofessionals when reviewing and/or developing their protocol. Boards will also design a procedure for reviewing their protocol and projected services in consultation with external agencies and unionized school board staff at least once a year.
Boards will also ensure that their protocol is consistent with standard school board provisions related to:
Eligible Categories of Professionals and Paraprofessionals
A board's protocol will cover the following categories of PSSP and paraprofessionals:
Any future regulated categories will also be covered by the protocol.
Additional Requirements for the Board Protocol
In order to assist school boards and external agencies in the development, review, and maintenance of local protocols, a memorandum from the Deputy Minister of Education accompanies this policy/ program memorandum and outlines the elements that each protocol must contain. Any changes to the elements required in the local protocols will be communicated in the future to boards through a similar memorandum.
Implementation and Reporting
School boards will implement their newly developed or reviewed protocol and post it on their website by January 1, 2010. Reviews of and revisions to established protocols will be completed and posted on school board websites by January 1 of each subsequent year.
1. In this memorandum, school board(s) and board(s) refer to district school boards and school authorities, with the exception of section 68 school authorities.