One of key targets of the “No Child Left Behind” Policy Initiative launched in April of 2018, was the establishment of School Based Assessment Teams (SBAT) and to equip the members with the training and assessment tools necessary to meet the needs of Students with disabilities throughout the Turks & Caicos Islands.
According to Section 9.2 of TCI Special Education Policy:
9.2 The School-Based Assessment Team (SBAT)
▪ The school –based assessment team is an on-going team of school-based personnel which formally operate as a problem-solving unit. It is to assist classroom teachers with the development and implementation of instructional and/or management strategies and coordinates support resources for students with special needs within the school. On a case-by-case basis as needed to plan for individual students, the team should also include the student's referring teacher, and involve the parent, the student, and, as appropriate, representatives from community services, or from other ministries. Each Zone will have at least one established School-based Assessment Team in place.
Additionally, through the establishment of the Special Education Assessment & Intervention Team (SEAIT) National Steering Committee; the SBAT will receive supervision, resources, and training to be equipped to address the Special Needs students within their respective zones. To this end, on the 17-18 of May 2018, a two-day workshop was organized by Mr. Jasmin S. Walkin - Education Officer for Special Needs; which allowed Education Officers, Principals, Special Education Teachers and Guidance Counsellors to be trained in various assessment and intervention protocols.
The workshop was facilitated by the multi-departmental SEAIT National Steering Committee led by the Chairperson Ms. Tiffany Ivey (LBHS, Special Education Teacher) and her team. Training sessions were facilitated by Dr. Anya Malcolm-Gibbs (Clinical Psychologist), Ms. Sriya Smalling (Educational Psychologist), and Mrs. Sheryl Patterson (Special Education Teacher, SNAP Centre).
Mr. Walkin was very pleased with the outcome of the workshop as the resources shared and the discussions of the assessment and screening kits have better positioned the members of the School Based Assessment Teams to provide the support to schools in meeting the educational needs of students with disabilities.
Mr. Walkin further stated; “I am proud of the work of the SEAIT Steering Committee and the services of which each member has volunteered to give in assisting Special Needs Students in the TCI. Additionally, the workshop was a reminder of the critical role our principals, teachers, and guidance counsellors play in the lives of our students. It is this type of commitment that will continue to drive the change driven by data in this New Era in Special Education in TCI”.