Special Edition Newsletter - November/December 2021

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A newsletter to support those in York Region who work with students with exceptional learning strengths & needs.

Monthly Highlights

  • Financial Literacy Month

Spotlighting Excellence, Achievement & Community

  • Student Success on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Important Dates

  • Offerings from the Learning Disabilities Association of York Region


Monthly Highlights 

Financial Literacy Month

Did you know that November was Financial Literacy Month? The Mathematics Curriculum has financial literacy expectations from Grades 1 to 9, and in Grade 11.  

Lara Moore-Domingues' class at Middlefield Collegiate Institute has set up a grocery store in her classroom along with interactive slides and a fake debit machine so students can learn and practice financial literacy at school. 

 student and teacher working on interactive whiteboard on grocery shopping. In class grocery store showing pantry items like beans.

Talking with your child(ren) about grocery shopping is a great way to include financial literacy learning at home! Check out these strategies:

  • Using a budget (i.e., 30 dollars), look through a flyer and plan your meals. Round up to the next dollar to make sure your child has enough money to pay for taxes. For example, if a can of beans costs $1.50, tell your child to round up to $2.00.
  • Show your child a five dollar bill and go through a flyer to explore what you could buy with five dollars. 
  • If you take your child grocery shopping with you, you can:
    • Have a conversation with them about what bill or coin they might need to purchase a particular item. For example, "what bill would I need to buy that can of beans? Would I need a $5.00 or a $10.00 bill?"
    • Discuss with your child that there are different ways to pay for groceries, (e.g., with bills and coins, debit or credit).

For more information, the September 2021 Mathematics Newsletter has a lot of fun activities that families can do together to support learning about financial literacy.


Spotlighting Excellence, Achievement & Community

Student Success

The International Day of Persons with Disabilities is recognized by YRDSB on December 3rd. This day was proclaimed as an annual observance by the United Nations General Assembly in 1992  to focus on the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities and to raise awareness.

The YRDSB recognizes the International Day of Persons with Disabilities by shining a spotlight on students who demonstrate leadership, participation and achievement while living with a disability. Insiyah Gandhi is a student at Wismer PS in YRDSB. She gives us tips on how to attend school while living with vision impairment, a disability that is not immediately visible to others.

Student IG standing in a barbie box at barbie expo


Interviewer: Why is self-advocacy important?

IG: I feel it's important because sometimes you need help and if you don't advocate for yourself, then you won't have any help when you need it. 

Interviewer: Why is self-advocacy important specifically with vision impairment? 

IG: It's important so your teacher knows when you can see something and when you cannot. Sometimes you can't see your friends, but you can ask a teacher for help on finding your friends and then get going. 

Interviewer: How do you demonstrate self-advocacy?

IG: I tell my teacher that the print is too small for me to read, or if it's too dark. Or sometimes a video, it can blend into the background, and I wouldn't be able to see it. 

Interviewer: How would you encourage someone with a vision impairment to self-advocate?

IG: I would tell them that it's important to self-advocate so that people can help you and it would give you more support everywhere like school, community and home. The first day of school,  I was nervous, but then I caught on, and I started to self-advocate confidently; like I didn't have a problem at all. I feel good that I did it on the first day so that my teacher knows what to do. I would tell them to not be nervous to self-advocate, all they need is confidence, and everyone has confidence deep in them. 


Important Dates

LDAYR - Learning disabilities association of York region. The right to learn the power to achieve

Learning Disabilities Association of York Region

Tutoring Program

  • Pairs tutors with students who have an identified Learning Disability (LD) and/or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Pricing: $200 for 8 weeks for members, and $240 for non-members
  • Tutoring can help:
    • relieve academic stress
    • support important language and math skills
    • improve student confidence and self-esteem
  • For more information, and to register check out the LDAYR tutoring program webpage.

Parent Support Group

  • Every second Tuesday of the month from 9:30 a.m. - 12:00 noon
  • Online via Zoom
  • For parent(s)/guardian(s) who are accepting and managing their child's learning disability and/or ADHD
  • The support Group shares common experiences, and strategizes for strengths and challenges in a positive way
  • For more information and/or to register, visit the LDAYR Parent Support Group webpage.

Girls Connect Program

  • For girls ages 7-18 with a primary diagnosis of Learning Disabilities and/or ADHD
  • 6-week in-person program
  • Pricing: $300 for members, and $350 for non-members
  • Skills that will be focused on include:
    • social-emotional learning
    • managing emotions
    • coping with stress
  • For more information or to register please visit the LDAYR Girls Connect webpage.

Social Skills Program

  • The program is designed for children diagnosed with a Learning Disability and/or ADHD who may:
    • avoid social contact
    • be shy or timid in groups
    • enjoy meeting other children with LD/ADHD
    • display a lack of self-esteem and self-confidence
  • 6-week program
  • Pricing: $300 for members, and $350 for non-members
  • For more information and to register, visit the LDAYR Social Skills Program webpage

SOAR Transitions

  • For participants in secondary school who have been identified with a Learning Disability and/or ADHD
  • Customized 4-week sessions based on individual strengths and needs
  • 45 minutes per session
  • Pricing: $35 for members, and $50 for non-members
  • Sessions will focus on:
    • increasing self-esteem, self-advocacy and time management skills
    • building study skills and exam preparation
    • transitioning into workplace, college or university
    • job skills preparation
  • For more information or to register visit the LADYR SOAR Transitions webpage.

SOAR Transitions 

  • Grade 7 and 8 students who have been identified with a Learning Disability and/or ADHD
  • 4 customized sessions based on individual strengths and needs
  • 45-minute sessions
  • Pricing: $35 for members, and $50 for non-members
  • The sessions focus on:
    • understanding what LDs are and effective coping strategies
    • identify their own strengths and needs
    • how to self-advocate
  • For more information and/or to register visit the LDAYR SOAR Transitions webpage.


Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) Meetings

The SEAC meets on the first Thursday of every month. All are welcome to attend and observe. For more information about SEAC and our SEAC members, please visit the SEAC webpage.

Upcoming SEAC Meetings

Shine a Light

Date: December 9, 2021

Time: 7:00 p.m.

Location: TBD (EC Aurora/online)

Speech-Language Pathology:

Evidence-Based Reading Intervention Program

Date: January 6, 2022

Time: 7:00 p.m.

Location: TBD (EC Aurora/online)

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