Guiding Principles
The fourteen principles outlined in this section serve as a frame of reference in organizing special education programs and services, and can serve as a guide for the evaluation of special education programming.
1.   Good classroom instruction is of paramount importance.
2.   Classroom teachers are the educators who have primary responsibility for all students.
3.   Classroom teachers are expected to provide additional assistance to students who experience difficulties.
4.   Educators are expected to remain current in effective teaching practices and learning theory such as multi-level and/or differentiated instruction, learning styles theory and practice, and multiple intelligences theory and practice.
5.   Educators are expected to evaluate the curriculum, delivery methods, and other classroom issues as the possible causes for poor student performance before concluding it is the result of students’ deficits or inabilities.
6.   Apropriate education can be designed and delivered for all students with diverse needs within the inclusive policies of the Core Curriculum and Adaptive Dimension.
7.   Effective special education programs and services result when constructive planning occurs collaboratively with the student, the family, the school and the school division.
8.   Collaboration involving students, families, teachers, administrators and specialists from related support services is essential in designing and carrying out an appropriate program for students.
9.Parent/guardian and family involvement is central and critical to planning appropriate educational programs for students.
10.   Students with diverse needs should experience education in inclusive settings that allow them to achieve their individual goals.  Other arrangements may be considered when compelling reasons necessitate such alternatives.
11.  Well-trained personnel who have a commitment to the education of students with diverse needs are a key component of successful education programs and support services.
12.  Assistive technology, when used appropriately, may improve the acquisition of educational programming for a student with diverse needs.
13.  Transition planning is crucial to program planning for children and youth with exceptional needs.
14.   Evaluation is an integral part of a school division’s special education programs and services.

Basic Philosophy
The basic philosophy of student services programming is to provide a quality of life experience for students with diverse needs that is typically provided for all students in our school division.  This is achieved through access to the environments and opportunities that are generally available to all students. 
The Horizon School Division believes that a professional team effort needs to be made to support students in receiving an education within the regular classroom with his/her chronological aged peer group.  This inclusive belief involves supports and programming for students with exceptional learning strengths, learning difficulties, and for students who exhibit difficult behaviors.  Other instructional settings and approaches should only be explored after consultation with parents/guardians and only when it has been shown that this is in the individual student’s best interest.  Planning for instruction outside the regular classroom and in an alternate placement, must include a targeted end date along with a transition plan, enabling a return to a supportive classroom environment.