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Board Meetings


June 17, 2008

ADHD Project
A partnership between the Hospital for Sick Children and Bluewater District School Board
Funded by Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO)
This study is focussed on a common mental health disorder in children, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).  This disorder has a prevalence rate of 5%-12% in the school aged population.  It has a detrimental effect on literacy and numeracy achievement, social development and secondary school completion. Its diagnosis and treatment is often managed by the healthcare system without the direct involvement of the classroom teacher. The focus of this study has been on students who exhibit mild to moderate attention problems as well as some academic difficulties.  The focus is not limited to students with a diagnosis of ADHD but rather inclusive of students who exhibit symptoms of the disorder but do not have a diagnosis.

The primary objective of the project is to provide preliminary data on the effectiveness of providing elementary teachers (Grades 1-4) with and intensive, facilitated, technology-enhance professional development program about ADHD.  Specific objectives are to determine the effectiveness of the professional development on:

teachers’ knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about ADHD, classroom practices (instructional approaches, behaviour management approaches), feelings of efficacy, and relationships with student with attention difficulties;
Student mental health (particularly symptoms of ADHD) and functioning in multiple domains (academic skills, academic enablers, interpersonal skills, and motivation).

The second objective is to enhance the capacity of School Boards (particularly rural Boards) to support teachers of students with mental health issues, via the use of broadband and information communication technologies.  

In total ten schools were randomly selected to participate in the project.  Four teachers in five of these schools (20 teachers in total) received the professional development training.  The remaining five schools acted as the control group.  From each participating school each teacher identified six students in their class to participate in the project.  Two of these students exhibited attention difficulties, two had average attending skills and two had strong attending skills. Pre and post assessments focussed on the students’ academic performance, their ability to attend and teachers’ beliefs about instructing students with ADHD.

In the 2006-2007 school year four schools participated in the project (two received the professional development, two did not).  The professional development consisted of two half day face to face workshops and one half day video conference workshop.  In the 2007-2008 school year the six schools participated in the project (three received the professional development, three did not).  The professional development consisted of two and one half days of face to face workshops and one half day video conference.

Post testing for the project will be completed in June 2008 and results will be available at that time.

Submitted to
For additonal information, please contact
Bluewater District School Board
Lori Wilder, Superintendent of Student Services or
17 June 2008    
Carolynn Dyer, Vice-principal of Student Services       



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