Calgary Board of Education

Frequently Asked Questions
Can my child attend Emily Follensbee School (EFS)?
Students who attend Emily Follensbee School present with complex severe disabilities.   Learning Services, Education Centre (phone 403-817-7671) screens students for eligibility into the school.  Students aged 2 years 8 months to 13 years old may attend the school.  Adolescents are transitioned to a suitable secondary program.  Any interested parent is welcome to call the school at 403-777-6980 and request a school tour.

What is the student profile?
The students at Emily Follensbee School present with multiple, complex learning needs including those with:

• Cognitive disabilities
• Physical disabilities
• Sensory impairments
• Medical/health needs
• Augmentative/alternate communication needs

All Students must qualify for PUF funding or Severe Disabilities funding from Alberta Education.

Is there a Kindergarten Program?
Emily Follensbee School accepts pre-school and kindergarten children who are eligible for PUF funding and match the student profile. These children are 2 years 8 months to 5 years old. We provide a half-day program for preschool and kindergarten children with an optional full day program in the Kindergarten year.

Is there a waiting list?
There is no waiting list for eligible students. All students who are recommended for placement at Emily Follensbee School will be accommodated.

What are the school hours?
Emily Follensbee School operates within the modified calendar. The school day begins at 8:45 AM and ends at 2:30 PM. The school provides a minimum of 950 hours of instruction as mandated by Alberta Education.

How large are the classes? What are the staffing ratios?
Class size at Follensbee averages 8 students. Each classroom has a certified teacher and education assistants. The adult:student ratio is 1:2.

Are there special fees?
There are three annual school charges that apply:

• Instructional Supplies and Materials Fee (Mandatory) - $30.00
• Music Therapy Fee (Elective) - $70.00
• Total Annual Fees - $100.00

Parents may be charged for transportation/entrance fees for field trips. The school has information and Application for Waiver of Fee forms. There are no additional lunchroom fees for students.

What supplies will I be responsible to provide?
Parents are requested to provide the school with the following:

• Box of tissues
• Diapers (if required)
• Diaper wipes (if required)
• Bibs (if required)
• Bathing suit
• Swim towel
• G-tube supplies as requested by the LPNs
• Medications in their original containers
• Lunch in a “ready to eat” state. Classrooms have fridges and microwaves to support food prep

All supplies should be clearly labelled with your child’s name.

What about transportation?
First Student Canada provides door-to-door transportation to the school. There is a driver and an attendant on each bus. In rare cases there may be an LPN to support medical needs.

Fees are determined yearly by the Transportation Department. Families may request a fee waiver if they qualify. The school has information and Application for Waiver of Fee forms available on request.

How long will the bus ride be?
The Transportation Department strives to ensure that student ride times do not exceed 2 hours daily. The actual length of the bus ride varies depending on location of family residence and the number and order of students on the bus route.

What about therapeutic supports for my child?
Therapeutic supports are provided by the REACH Team including:

• Physical Therapist
• Occupational Therapist
• Education Consultant- Vision
• Education Consultant- Deaf and Hard of Hearing
• Psychologist
• Speech Language Pathologist
• Assistive Technology Specialist

The service delivery is consultative and may include assessment, programming recommendations, monitoring of individual programs, professional development and consultation with school staff and parents.

What about academics?
Student programming is personalized to each student’s ability and need. The school program focus includes: sensory stimulation/awareness, maintenance of physical status, communication, daily living skills, socialization, readiness concepts and emergent literacy.

What is an IPP?
An IPP (Individualized Program Plan) is a written commitment of intent by the IPP team. It guides your child’s focused programming. It prioritizes the learning needs for your child and acknowledges both strengths and areas of need.The IPP is used in combination with the Specialized Classes Report Card to provide a record of student growth and progress. It is reviewed on an ongoing basis as well as formally three times per year. Parents provide input into the IPP through:

• Completing the Parent Planning Worksheet
• Participation in Initial Planning Conferences
• Participation in Parent-Teacher Interviews

What about technology?
Students have access to assistive devices including a variety of switches, environmental controls, a range of software from cause-effect programs to language development and literacy/numeracy programs and communication equipment including voice-output devices.

My child has medical needs. How will they be supported?
The school contracts Calgary Health Region- Home Care to provide support for children with specific medical needs. This service is provided by Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs). Students who receive LPN support at the school must first be assessed by a Home Care Coordinator.

Services may include G-tube feeds, administration of medications, monitoring seizures that require medical intervention, and respiratory support including suctioning and administration of oxygen.

Can I volunteer at the school?
The school welcomes volunteers. There are opportunities to volunteer in the pool and in the classroom. Volunteers must complete a volunteer registration process including a security clearance from Calgary Police Service.

Is there a School Council?
Emily Follensbee School has an active School Council that provides feedback on school programs and initiatives. The council has a Chairperson, Vice-chair, treasurer, secretary and several members at large. Meetings are held on the third Thursday of the month at the school at 6:45 p.m.