Ordinary class or specialized class, how to choose?

Ordinary class or specialized class

When their child has learning problems, parents ask themselves several questions about their progress, particularly with regard to whether or not they are integrated into a specialized class. How does the process work and what type of class further promotes its progression?

Understand to collaborate with the school

The choice of placement of a student in a special class or in a so-called “regular” class represents a crucial decision which is not without raising various issues and questions. The Higher Council for Education (CSE, 2017) has moreover just published an opinion on the operationalization of inclusive education, in which it focuses in particular on the conditions to be met in order to make the most of the diversity and to advance each student to their maximum potential.

Regular class first

First of all, it is important to specify that the Ministère de l’Éducation advocates the integration of students with special needs into regular classes. The choice to offer educational services in a special class is normally made when it is not or no longer possible to meet the student’s needs in a regular setting. Before reaching such a decision, various intervention strategies as well as support measures for the teacher and the student must have been put in place to help the student progress and succeed in class. ordinary.

Finally, this choice should be based on an assessment of the students’ needs and on a systematic and rigorous approach linked to the intervention plan . The choice of placement in a specialized class should therefore not be taken lightly and should be preceded by major efforts to reduce the difficulties observed and support the student’s social integration.

Integration into a specialized class

The special class is an educational space that usually has a smaller number of students so that your child receives more support. The teachers who work there have received special education training, that is, they are trained to support the learning and success of students with special needs.

The effectiveness of specialized classes

You may be wondering if the specialized class will have more positive effects than the regular class on your child? Unfortunately, the answer to this question does not seem to have consensus in the scientific community. Some studies question the effectiveness of specialized classes and indicate that they fail to demonstrate their superiority over the regular class. Other studies paint a relatively positive picture of the impact of inclusive education, that is, the education of all students in regular classes, regardless of their characteristics and needs. However, inclusion presupposes the respect of certain conditions of implementation and it cannot be confirmed to date that it always leads to positive effects.

There is therefore no guarantee as to the most profitable type of placement for your child. In fact, many factors will influence its success. For example, the organization of services, the use of resources within the school and the class, the quality of teaching, the quality of the teacher-student relationship or even the support of his parents constitute elements who can make a difference.

The decision on the student’s placement rests with the intervention plan team , in collaboration with the parents. Thus, your participation in the intervention plan is crucial and allows you to ensure that decisions are made in the best interest of your child. In addition, according to the obligation to review the intervention plan, the choice of placement will have to be reassessed and the return to regular class should be considered.

Understand to collaborate with the school

The services offered to students can vary greatly from one school to another and it is not always easy to fully understand all the operating procedures. Know that you have the right to ask questions and that each of them should be answered. Here are some questions that could fuel discussions with the school from a collaborative perspective:

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