Meeting the diverse needs of all students

April 2022 | Issue 5

April 2022 | Issue 5
Meeting the diverse needs of all students
Many students require the help of a variety of educational professionals to meet their individual needs. Comprehensive, school-based health supports/services and rehabilitation services are crucial to student success, personal development, and health and safety in our schools.

Our members include professionals who are educational assistants, student support professionals, deafblind interveners, early childhood educators, speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, behaviour analysts, child and youth workers, instructors, and many, many more. In fact, OSSTF/FEESO represents members in over 230 different job classes working in both English and French languages.
Did You Know? The government is currently reviewing how specialized supports are provided to students in schools and has proposed very concerning changes to the delivery model The delivery of specialized health and rehabilitation services are is directed by Policy Program Memorandum (PPM) 81 PPM 81 – Provision of health support services in school settings
Some health support & school-based rehabilitation services in PPM 81: Administration of oral medication Injection of medication Catheterization, manual expression of bladder/stoma, tube feeding Assistance with mobility, feeding, toileting Physiotherapy and Occupational therapy Speech and Language Pathology Applied Behavioural Analysis
Why you should be concerned about the Ford Government’s proposed changes to PPM 81?

The changes:
are not evidence-based ignore the professional experience and expertise about best practices from   front-line professional student services personnel (PSSP), educational support staff, and early childhood educators will lead to decreased and inconsistent levels of support for students will reduce equitable access to services for equity-seeking groups and students from marginalized communities will permit increased privatization of delivery of supports and services by costly external service providers in schools   will reduce capacity to respond to emergency situations involving students with complex needs will limit capacity for staff consultation and collaboration and reduce the efficiency of service delivery by creating new, additional, unnecessary barriers for students and parents/guardians
OSSTF/FEESO is supporting members directly affected by the PPM 81 review

Completed/Ongoing two town halls meetings to hear directly from members on the proposed changes to PPM 81 ongoing advocacy at various Ministry consultation/discussion tables submitted formal recommendations and positions to the government as part of the consultation process  www.osstf.on.ca/-/media/Provincial/Documents/Resource-Centre/Briefs-and-Submissions/osstf-submission-ppm-81-review.ashx?sc_lang=en-CA In Development  Advocacy resources and strategic support to Districts and Bargaining Units to help them prepare to advocate on behalf of members and students at the Board level when the new PPM 81 is released. You can help! If implemented, the proposed changes to PPM 81 could negatively affect all members of OSSTF/FEESO by impacting student success and professional interactions between education workers, teachers, students, and parents.  
Together, let’s stand up in defence of school-based health supports and rehabilitation services in Ontario schools! Small – Show solidarity with OSSTF/FEESO education workers and PSSP members who work at your school/site by introducing yourself and letting them know you don’t support the government proposed changes outlined in PPM 81. Medium – Learn more about the school-based supports OSSTF/FEESO members provide and the threat PPM 81 poses to the services students need and deserve. Share that information with family, friends, and neighbours. Large – Invite members to a meeting to discuss PPM 81 and develop a plan/event that will show support for OSSTF/FEESO members and students who may be affected by the proposed changes.
Related Resources:
OSSTF/FEESO Submission to the Ministry of Education – PPM 81 Review

ETFO Submission to the Ministry of Education: Review of PPM 81, Provision of Health Support Services in School Settings