Since local control of local education commenced in 1988, each of the band operated schools in the Sioux Lookout region has been responsible for administering and operating their local special education program and services. Many of the schools have been working in isolation without adequate support and training and limited access to specialists for the special needs students.
The Kwayaciiwin Exploratory Consultation Process final report (2014), identified a need to develop and provide 2nd level Special Education Services on an aggregated level to support and assist the locally designed and delivered programs and services in the communities.
In November 4, 2014, the district Education Directors passed motion #02/11/2014 to recommend the creation of a 2nd level Special Education coordination unit at KERC to support the communities that are prepared to move forward as identified in the work- plan. The District Chiefs at KERC’s 2014 AGM debated resolution #07/11-2014 on 2nd level Special Education Services proposal but there was no decision.
Subsequently, the majority of the Education Directors wanted to establish a 2nd level Special Education Services and directed Kwayaciiwin management to pursue the idea with the goal of securing 10 communities for implementation from April 2015- March 2016.
By May 8, 2015, Kwayaciiwin had received the 10 community commitment letters necessary to start work on developing the 2nd level Special Education Services. 10 communities contributed a portion of their high-cost special education funding for this service. The focus for the first year was on the coordination of Special Education Services. The priority area was on speech & language services and assessment.
As of April 2016, there are 12 community partners that are part of KERC’s 2nd level Special Education Services initiative:
Kingfisher, Wunnumin Lake, Wapekeka, Bearskin Lake, Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inniniwug, Kasabonika, Mishgeegogamang, North Caribou Lake, Slate Falls, Saugeen Nation, Sachigo Lake and Cat Lake.