CANADA - SCHOOL SYSTEM


There is already a good article here about the school system in BC. 

I would just like to add that the school system here is close to the comprehensive school system in Germany, but goes a step further by including the disabled children. 

In the countryside, the population density is so low that there could not be separate school systems. All children attend the same school. In the few big cities one has the possibility to attend Montessori schools or Waldorf schools etc., but it is extremely expensive. 

Some schools have a resource room where the "special needs" children are often taught, because there are computers or other aids available. But in principle the disabled children run with their classes as much as possible. 

If you are lucky enough to have a small school, the classes are often mixed classes, e.g. year 1 and 2 together in one room. This means that teachers have to teach very individually and class sizes are also often small. Ideal conditions for children with special needs! 

In addition, there are "Aides", assistant teachers who are responsible for the individual special children. Depending on the disability, the children get 1-1 supervision all day or only part of the day for the areas where it is necessary. These aides are trained differently, but sometimes you are very lucky and get very experienced people. 

An IEP (individual education plan) is prepared approximately twice a year for the special children. Based on this plan, a curriculum is created for this child. If necessary, this plan can be worked on again and changes can be made. Everyone who works with the child, therapists (here a part of the school system and not the health system), aides, teachers, parents, psychologists, etc. should be involved in the plan. 

Funds are often scarce and therapists even scarcer. The therapists often come to the school only twice a year, assess the child, and write a plan for the teachers and the aides on how to work with the child. Sometimes other aides from the therapists come regularly and work with the children. But the trained professionals are rarely seen. 

On the whole, despite some shortcomings, the system brings greater learning progress than the German system or systems. We tried both in NRW at the time, integration as well as the special school. There is clearly more academic progress here. 

The clear disadvantage of this structure is that the children with special needs have too few other children with disabilities to really make deeper friendships. In the very large schools in the big cities it is different, but in the countryside there are small schools and few children with disabilities. The non-disabled kids are often great and very accepting, but it just doesn't have the same depth as a peer friendship.