Administrative Procedure 120: External Collaboration Protocol

Legal References

R.R.O. Reg. 298: Section 11(3)(o) Duties of Principal: Co-operation with Industry/Business/Agencies; R.R.O. Reg. 298: Section 24 Advertisements and Announcements; R.R.O. Reg. 298: Section 25 Canvassing and Fund-Raising; Ministry of Education Policy/Program Memorandum 149 Protocol for Partnerships with External Agencies for Provision of Services by Regulated Health Professionals, Regulated Social Service Professionals, and Paraprofessionals

Related References


The Avon Maitland District School Board supports and encourages community collaboration. System and school administrators will facilitate the development of collaboration between the district, its schools and the larger community, including regulated private and public sector organizations and individuals. Furthermore, the Director and system and school administrators believe that any such collaboration must enhance educational programs, strengthen community relationships and achieve efficiencies in time and resources.

Such collaborations shall recognize the legitimate needs of all parties involved. The Avon Maitland District School Board wishes to ensure that services provided by external providers are aligned with the board’s Strategic Plan. The Director of Education or designate will oversee an approval process prior to entering into agreements with regulated external agencies, professionals, or paraprofessionals who provide services that involve assessment, counseling, intervention, treatment or related mental health, physical heath, emotional health or social services.

This protocol has been created in cooperation with external providers and supports the implementation in our co-terminus board.
 

1. Objective

1.1 To provide schools with a framework for creating and implementing collaborative relationships with regulated external agencies, professionals or paraprofessionals, who provide mental health, physical health, emotional health or social services, which involve assessment, counseling, therapy or treatment.

1.2 To ensure that such collaborations support the development of education programming that meets the needs of students.

2. Definitions

Collaboration:
For the purposes of this protocol, the word collaboration substitutes for the word partnership found in Ministry of Education Policy/Program Memorandum 149. A collaboration agreement as outlined in this protocol is an arrangement between the school board and an external agency to provide services that complement and augment services provided by the board to its students.

External Collaboration - Support Service Provider:
An ongoing, mutually beneficial and supportive arrangement between a school and a regulated external mental health, physical health or social service agency, professional or paraprofessional, to enhance or expand opportunities for student success and who share values, objectives, resources and responsibilities to achieve desired learning outcomes.

External Agency:
An organization, not internal to the school board, that employs regulated health professionals and paraprofessionals for the provision of mental health, physical health or social services.

Professionals and Paraprofessionals:
      • Audiologists, as defined by the Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Act, 1991
      • Speech-language pathologists, as defined by the Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Act, 1991
      • Occupational therapists, as defined by the Occupational Therapy Act, 1991
      • Physiotherapists, as defined by the Physiotherapy Act, 1991
      • Psychologists, as defined by the Psychology Act, 1991
      • Social workers, as defined by the Social Work and Social Service Work Act, 1998
      • Other regulated professionals and/or paraprofessionals who are deemed by the school board to be essential for the delivery of programs and services for students with special needs
        Any future regulated categories will also be covered by the protocol.
Learning Services Professional Staff:
Professional Avon Maitland District School Board staff of Learning Services, which includes Speech-Language Pathology and Psychological Services.

Unionized Staff:
School board-employed staff of Learning Services, which include professional student services personnel (PSSP) and/or paraprofessionals (Educational Assistants) that are represented by a bargaining agent recognized under the Labour Relations Act.

External Collaboration Advisory Committee (Joint Advisory Committee):
An external collaboration advisory committee comprised of representative stakeholders will be appointed to review collaboration applications and review long-term collaboration agreements and administrative procedure annually.

List of current services:
A list of services currently offered by school board staff and external agencies can be found in Appendix D.

3. Responsibility for Implementation

3.1 The Director of Education or designate and school principals are responsible for the implementation of the board administrative procedures for Ministry of Education Policy/Program Memorandum 149.

3.2 A Joint Advisory Committee comprised of representative board and external stakeholders will be appointed to review this administrative procedure annually.

3.3 As required, consultation around conflict will take place between an appointed committee of board and external provider representatives.

3.4 When conflict cannot be resolved, the collaboration will be terminated by the Director of Education of the Avon Maitland District School Board.

4. Types of Service

Services provided through collaboration must supplement existing services and not duplicate programming or services for students that is already provided by Avon Maitland DSB staff. Ministry regulated exceptions to this section are documented in the Avon Maitland DSB Special Education Plan www.yourschools.ca.  Any exceptions to this general requirement shall be approved in consultation with the Director of Education or designate.

4.1 Mental health, physical health, and/or social services may be provided to students in the school through collaborations with external agencies and may involve but are not limited to counseling, therapy and/or treatment and other activities to promote positive health and school environments.
 
4.2 The external agency and school staff shall work together collaboratively. Mutual respect  and openness to different perspectives is essential for success.

5. Process for Developing Collaborations

5.1 Collaboration with external agencies may be developed to address needs identified at the school or district level to provide additional opportunities for student success.

5.2 At the system level, the Director of Education or designate in consultation with the Joint Advisory Committee will:
 
      • assess the specific needs of the system as identified in the Board Improvement Plan
      • identify external agencies for potential collaboration opportunities
      • determine whether partnership(s) with external agencies shall be developed and implemented across the district

5.3 Annually, school principals will be made aware of existing collaboration agreements within the system.

5.4 Collaboration with external agencies for services to be provided at the school or the system level will be reviewed by the Joint Advisory Committee and approved by the Director of Education or designate.

5.5 For individual school collaborations, the school principal, in consultation with the school team will:
 
      • assess the specific needs of the school as identified in the School Improvement Plan or student’s learning profile or as deemed necessary as a result of suspension or at-risk identification
      • identify external agencies for potential collaboration opportunities
      • determine whether collaboration with external agencies shall be developed and implemented in the school
5.6 Where a need is identified, external agencies will be invited to submit an Application for an External Collaboration (Appendix B) to the Director of Education or designate.

5.7 Screening Potential Collaborators

Identified external agencies for collaboration opportunities are required to meet rigorous standards to ensure the safety and well-being of students as outlined in the
Checklist for Application for External Collaboration (Appendix A) and Application for External Collaboration (Appendix B), including, but not limited to:
      • a full description of the program or service to be offered;
      • the organization’s history, ownership, funding base;
      • the nature of the service to be provided;
      • the anticipated outcomes of involvement;
      • evidence of congruence with Avon Maitland District School Board’s mission, vision, values and strategic plan;
      • the names of representatives to provide the service;
      • the qualifications and supervisory relationships of external staff providing service;
      • the provision of informed consent;
      • the provision of and exchange of information (Release/Exchange of Information);
      • the proof of police reference check;
      • the proof of liability insurance;
      • the agreement to abide by all Avon Maitland District School Board policies and procedures;
      • the agreement to participate in a conflict resolution process (as necessary);
      • a statement of fees and/or payment schedule; and
      • a proposed method of evaluation.
5.8 Whether the collaboration is between an external agency and a school or an external agency and the system, the conditions for access shall be reviewed by the Joint Advisory Committee.

5.8.1 Services as per the Application for External Collaboration will meet the criteria under types of services in accordance with Section 4.1.
5.8.2 Services as per the Application for External Collaboration will meet the standards in accordance with Section 5.8.
5.8.3 All forms are properly completed with supporting documentation attached.
5.8.4 Services as per the Application for External Collaboration do not duplicate services already provided by Avon Maitland District Learning Services professional staff or unionized staff.

6. Approval

6.1 External Collaboration Agreement

Upon receiving the External Collaboration Application:

6.1.1 The Joint Advisory Committee will prepare an External Collaboration Agreement (Appendix C), clarifying roles and responsibilities for the external provider including a copy of agreement requirements.

6.1.2 The Joint Advisory Committee will submit a copy of the External Collaboration Agreement to the Director of Education or designate for approval.

6.1.3 The school board will maintain copies of the agreement and related documentation for the life of the agreement.

6.1.4 The Joint Advisory Committee will receive and review the external provider’s evaluation report annually. The Joint Advisory Committee will advise the Director of Education or designate on the cessation, continuation or modification of the External Collaboration Agreement.

6.2 Collaboration Termination

6.2.1 Either the Director of Education or designate, or the external provider has the right to terminate the agreement after appropriate notice has been given as per the terms stated in the agreement.

6.2.2 The Director of Education reserves the right to terminate immediately a collaboration agreement should any of the following occur:
          • The community collaborator becomes ineligible under any of the terms and conditions outlined in the collaboration agreement
          • The collaborator uses the name of the Avon Maitland District School Board outside the parameters of the collaboration agreement; or
          • The collaborator develops a public image incompatible with the board’s mission, values, policies, procedures or curricular goals.

7. Agreement Requirements - Conditions for Access

7.1 Qualifications/Supervisory Relationships for External Staff Providing Service

7.1.2 For external staff that belongs to a regulated professional college in Ontario, evidence of current qualifications appropriate to the services to be provided is required.

7.1.3 For external staff that are unregulated (paraprofessionals), evidence that they are working under the supervision of a staff member from the external
provider who is a regulated member of the relevant college in Ontario. The name of the immediate supervisor, the supervision plan and the supervisor’s
qualifications must be provided.

7.2 Informed Consent Procedures

Documentation of the informed consent process for the parent/legal guardian(s) or student, who is of age, is required as per the agency policies and procedures.

7.3 Documentation

Any documentation (e.g. consent forms, questionnaires, case notes) will be retained and securely maintained as per the requirements of the relevant college and legislation.

7.4 Police Reference Check

As per current Avon Maitland District School Board policy and procedure.

7.5 Liability/Insurance

7.5.1 External providers must carry their own insurance that includes professional malpractice coverage (minimum $2,000,000) to insure against civil litigation alleging incompetence, professional errors, omissions or charges laid by professional colleges or parents/legal guardians.

7.5.2 External providers are required to provide assurance that their staff has liability coverage while working on board property.

7.6 Supervision on Board Property

7.6.1 The school principal will be responsible for the operational activities of the external provider within the school (as per the Education Act).

7.6.2 The school principal will be responsible for outlining emergency response procedures to external agency staff when providing service in the building,
specific student supervision restrictions or immediate health issues will be relayed to external agency staff, professionals and paraprofessionals as required.

7.6.3 The service provider will direct its personnel to seek instruction and support of the school principal on emergency procedures for a given site.

7.6.4 On-site supervision of the external agency paraprofessional must be conducted by the overseeing professional from the external agency in accordance with the guidelines and expectations.

7.7 Expectations for Space and Material Resources

7.7.1 Any requests for designated workspace within Avon Maitland District School Board facilities by external providers must receive approval of the school principal. Requests for computer drops, phone line access may require the written approval of the Superintendent of Education and approval by the Facilities Department.

7.7.2 All materials and equipment required for external staff to conduct their work must be provided by the external provider.

7.7.3 External providers are required to adhere to school-based schedules where space must be shared with Avon Maitland School Board staff.

7.7.4 External providers are to meet with students only on school premises in a specified location unless prior written consent is obtained from the parent/guardian of the student, and the principal is given prior notice.

7.8 Identification

Service providers must sign in at the school office for each visit and wear proper identification (preferably photo ID and/or visitor’s badge) while in the school.

7.9 Student Referrals

7.9.1 Service providers are required to share relevant student information and complete appropriate student referral procedures should a student require
further interventions during service program with the external provider.

7.9.2 Service providers will retain and securely maintain records of services provided and monitor access as per the requirements of the relevant college
and legislation.

7.10 Willingness to participate in a conflict resolution process:

7.10.1 A meeting of school board and external staff will be convened in the event that a disagreement or dispute between the parties must be resolved. As
required, conflict resolution will be addressed through a consultation model by an appointed committee of board representatives and representatives
appointed by the external provider involved.

7.10.2 When conflict cannot be resolved, the collaboration will be terminated by the Avon Maitland District School Board.

7.11 The school principal is responsible for adhering to the terms and conditions of the agreement.

8. Evaluation

8.1 The Joint Advisory Committee, in consultation with the school teams and Learning Services staff, shall evaluate each External Collaboration Agreement annually.

8.2 External providers will cooperate with the board in evaluating the effectiveness of the service provided with case-load evidence and appropriate anecdotal reports.
 
Issued 2006 

Appendix A - Checklist for Application for External Collaboration

Description of program or service to be offered (to be documented in the Description of Program or Service on the application form):
    • With sufficient detail to address issues such as history and funding base of the external agency, professional or paraprofessional (external provider), the nature of the service to be provided and the anticipated outcomes of involvement.
    • Evidence of congruence with the board’s mission, vision and values (please visit www.yourschools.ca for more information).
 
Name of representative of the external provider
 
Qualifications/supervisory relationships for external staff providing service:
    • For staffs who belong to a regulated professional college, evidence of current qualification appropriate to the services to be provided (e.g. current membership in the relevant regulated college of Ontario and a declaration that services will be delivered in accordance with professional standards of practice) is required.
    • For staffs that are unregulated (paraprofessionals) evidence that they are working under the supervision of a relevant regulated member of a college in Ontario. Details of their roles, responsibilities, the name of their immediate supervisor, the supervision plan (including time) and supervisor’s qualification is required.
 
Informed consent will be obtained:
    • Copy of the proposed informed consent process for the parent(s)/legal guardian(s) or student who is of age for services to be provided as per agency policy and procedures.
 
Police reference check will be provided:
    • External providers must obtain and produce a valid police reference check that meets the Avon Maitland DSB criteria for direct contact with students, is in compliance with the standard check used by the board (Full Disclosure) and dated within the past 6 months (with annual review).
 
Proof of insurance:
    • External providers must carry their own insurance which includes professional malpractice coverage ($2,000,000) to insure against civil litigation alleging incompetence, professional errors, or omissions or charges laid by professional colleges or parents/legal guardian.
    • The external provider must assure that their staff is covered while working on board property.
 
Agreement upon Supervision arrangements within the school:
    • The principal will be responsible for the operational activities of the external provider within the school (as per the Education Act).
    • Clinical supervision of the external provider’s staff that is not registered with a college will be provided by the college registered supervisor, under which they work or by an appropriate supervisor from the external agency.
 
Respect for Avon Maitland DSB collective agreements with unionized staff:
    • External providers must demonstrate how services to be provided supplement current service delivery by board staff.
    • External providers agree that the services that they are proposing are not in conflict with provisions of collective agreements with Avon Maitland District School Board (i.e.: OSSTF and ETFO agreements).
 
Needs for space and material resources:
    • Needs for space and material resources by the external provider must be clearly articulated and approved.
    • Note: space for board staff to execute their duties will be ensured prior to offering space to external providers.
 
Willingness to participate in conflict resolution process:
    • A Joint Advisory Committee, composed of board and external provider representatives, will be convened in the event that a disagreement or dispute must be resolved.
 
Adherence to Avon Maitland DSB procedures for confidentiality, equity and inclusion and human rights
 
Statement of any fees or payment required
 
Proposed method of evaluation along with proposed tools

Issued 2006

Please refer to AP 120 for Appendix B - Application for External Collaboration
Please refer to AP 120 for Appendix C - External Collaboration Agreement


Appendix D - Current Services Available in Avon Maitland District School Board

Professional Services:
  • Psychological Services
  • Speech-Language Services

Specialist Teachers:
  • Teachers of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
  • Teachers of the Blind and Low-Vision
  • Behaviour Resource Services
  • Teachers of Gifted Learners

Educational Assistants

Collaborative Agreements:

General Counseling:
  • School-Based Health Nurses (PDHU, HCHU)
  • Youth Justice Prevention Services (HPCCY)
  • Huron Perth Centre for Children and Youth

Addiction Services:
  • Choices for Change (Perth)
  • Huron Addiction Services (Huron) and Treatment Programs
  • Autism Demonstration Sites and Programs

Care and Treatment:
  • Huron-Perth Children’s Aid Society
  • Stratford Children’s Services
  • Huron Perth Centre for Children and Youth
  • Child and Youth Workers (HPCCY and Stratford Children’s Services)
  • CCAC – Community Care Access Centre

Autism:
  • School Support Program- ASD (Thames Valley Children’s Centre)

Psychological Services