Special Education Programs

We have several different types of specialized programming to meet the needs of our students. Learn more about these programs below:

Behaviour

Behavior support/assistance is available to both elementary and secondary schools to support students with behavioural challenges.

Specialized teachers may assist school teams with programming for students with behavioural and mental health challenges. These teachers may be accessed through a referral process through the local school principal.

Students with behavioural challenges may receive support in the following settings:

  1. In a regular class on an IEP, Safety Plan or Individual Behaviour Plan (IBP).

Supports may include:

  • In-classroom assistance.
  • In-school resource withdrawal.
  1. In a self-contained Transition program class.

Placement in a self-contained class must be recommended through the IPRC process. The purpose of this class is to:

  • Support the strengths and needs of students with a specific mental health diagnosis and deficits in self-regulation and/or social skills who have been unable to function in regular classroom placement.
  • Provide differentiated instruction and extensive support for student self-regulation and social skill development, enabling students to experience academic and social/emotional growth.
  • Identify protective factors necessary for success in the regular classroom setting and develop resiliency, student self-advocacy and independent skills.
  • Support graduated integration into the regular classroom setting.
  1. In a regular class with withdrawal assistance program at secondary level.

Placement in a Transitions Program at the secondary school level must be recommended through the IPRC process.

  • Maximum integration is the goal for students enrolled in the program by providing support in their regular classes through a learning resource model.
  • Program focus includes skill development and building advocacy skills and independence within the secondary school.

Criteria for placement in a Transition Program class:

  • A student who has been identified as an exceptional student through the IPRC progress under the category of Behaviour;
  • A student who has received a specific mental health diagnosis and has been involved in residential and/or ongoing intensive treatment with a mental health professional;
  • A student who requires extensive social skills and self-regulation development;
  • A student who has had ongoing interventions in a regular classroom placement which have not been successful; and
  • A student who is capable of accessing curriculum with accommodations and/or modifications to expectations and the learning environment.

Transition Classroom Programs are supported by a Psychologist and a Social Worker. The Transition Classroom Programs are not treatment programs.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Students must have a diagnosis of ASD (as outlined in the DSM V-Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders - 5th Edition). Students identified in this area may receive support in the following settings:

  1. In a regular class on an IEP.

Supports may include:

  • In-classroom assistance.
  • In-school resource withdrawal.
  • Support from the Itinerant ASD Resource Team and/or Speech and Language Services.

The Itinerant ASD Resource Team, using a multi-disciplinary approach, acts as a resource to the school-based PDT. The team is accessed through the Learning Coordinator-Special Education, and is available for any student in need who has been diagnosed as having ASD. The ASD Resource team also provides occasional and/or ongoing school-based in-service.

  1. In a self-contained ASD class.

Placement in a self-contained class must be recommended through the IPRC process. This is a two-year placement with the goal to generalize learning skills and transfer back to the regular classroom.

The purpose of this class is to:

  • Support the strengths and needs of students diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and deficits in information and/or sensory processing to such a high degree that the student is unable to function in a regular class.
  • Modify the environment and provide methods of instruction that are Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) based and compatible with the student's learning profile.
  • Enable the student to experience academic, social and communication growth and increase both self-advocacy and independence skills and generalize those skills to their home school setting.
  • Offer a two-year placement to support the development of learning skills, coping strategies, self-advocacy and independence skills which can be generalized to a regular class placement in their home school.
  1. In a regular classroom with withdrawal assistance at the secondary level.

Placement in an ASD Resource program at the secondary level must be recommended through the IPRC process.

  • Students must be capable of working towards successfully completing secondary school credits;
  • Maximum integration is the goal for students enrolled in the program by providing support in their regular classes through a learning resource model;
  • Program focus includes developing organization skills, compensatory strategies, utilizing technological support, teaching advocacy within the regular classroom environment, fostering social skills and independence within the secondary school.

Criteria for placement in an ASD class:

  • Student has been identified as an exceptional student through the IPRC process under the category of Communication: Autism;
  • Student requires a higher level of structured monitoring, individual attention and planning around their particular learning style and modification to the environment;
  • Student has had ongoing documented interventions in a regular classroom placement with ongoing support from the ASD Resource Team; and
  • Student is capable of accessing the Ontario curriculum with accommodations and/or modifications to expectations and the learning environment.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Students identified with hearing loss receive support in the following settings:

  1. In a regular class on an IEP.

Supports may include:

  • Support from an Itinerant Hearing Resource Teacher.
  • Access to Audiological services.
  • The Hearing Resource Teacher and/or Audiologist may provide consultative services such as staff in-service, classroom visitation and demonstration, assistance with program modifications and accommodations, and equipment needs.
  1. In a self-contained class program delivered by a qualified teacher at the elementary level.

Placement in a self-contained class must be recommended through the IPRC process.

The purpose of this class is to:

  • Provide support from a specialist teacher to students with hearing loss;
  • Help students develop speech and language skills;
  • Foster self-esteem and independence;
  • Provide development of auditory-verbal skills;
  • Develop skills in use and management of amplification equipment; and
  • Provide strategies for students to return to a regular classroom.
  1. In a regular classroom with withdrawal assistance at the secondary level.

Placement in a Hearing Resource Program at the secondary school level must be recommended through the IPRC process.

  • Students must be capable of working towards successfully completing secondary school credits;
  • Maximum integration is the goal for students enrolled in the program by providing support in their regular classes through a learning resource model;
  • Program focus includes developing organization skills, compensatory strategies, utilizing technological support, teaching advocacy within the regular classroom environment, fostering social skills and independence within the secondary school.
  1. In a Provincial School for the Deaf.

Criteria for placement in a Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program:

  • Student has been identified as an exceptional student through the IPRC process under the category of Communication: Deaf and Hard of Hearing;
  • Audiological report confirming permanent sensorineural hearing loss;
  • Assessed speech/language delay of greater than one year compared to chronological age or cognitive ability as documented by an SLP;
  • Student uses personal amplification as recommended by an audiologist;
  • Student requires a specialized program to address specific needs related to hearing loss; and is recommended to the program through the IPRC process.

Learning Disability

Students with a Learning Disability (LD) may receive support in the following settings:

  1. In a regular class on an IEP.

Supports may include:

  • In-classroom assistance.
  • In-school resource withdrawal.
  • Support from the LD Resource Team.
  • Use of Assistive Technology to support the student in accessing the curriculum.

The LD Resource Team, using a multi-disciplinary approach, acts as a resource to the school-based PDT. The team is accessed through the Learning Coordinator-Special Education, and is available for any student in need who has been diagnosed as having a learning disability. The LD team also provides occasional and/or ongoing school-based in-service.

  1. In a self-contained Accelerate Class

Placement in a self-contained class may be recommended at the late Primary/Junior (Grade 4, 5 or 6) level through the IPRC process.

The purpose of the Accelerate Class (Grades 4, 5 or 6) is to:

  • Provide a one year placement to support students who are experiencing severe academic difficulties, primarily in the areas of reading;
  • Provide intensive remedial instruction to compensate for severe reading deficits;
  • Support students in developing strategies to use in all subject areas and learning environments for reading success;
  • Support students in developing self-advocacy and understanding of their personal learning profiles;
  • Support students in learning how to integrate assistive technology skills to support their learning needs, and
  • Develop coping strategies for the successful return to a regular classroom program.

Criteria for placement in an Accelerate Class (Grades 4, 5 or 6):

  • Student is identified as an exceptional student through the IPRC process under the category of Communication: Learning Disability;
  • Student exhibits increasing gaps between expected levels of academic achievement and current levels of achievement;
  • Student has received interventions (which have been documented) in a regular classroom placement which have not been successful;
  • Student has demonstrated strengths in learning skills which can be used to compensate for learning difficulties; and
  • Student will respond to intensive levels of support.
Gifted

Students identified as Gifted may receive support in the following settings:

  1. In a regular class on an IEP.

Supports may include:

  • In-classroom curriculum-related enrichment opportunities.
  • Consultation with an Itinerant Gifted Resource Teacher.
  • Participation in the Itinerant Gifted Program at the elementary level.

The Itinerant Gifted Resource Teacher may provide school-based in-service to assist with an appropriate classroom curriculum that includes enrichment and extension to enable staff to improve their understanding of the differentiated programming. Itinerant Gifted Resource Teachers, as part of the elementary Itinerant Gifted Program, also provide withdrawal enrichment in a congregated setting on a regularly scheduled basis throughout the school year. They coordinate activities such as conferences, symposia, and family of schools activities appropriate to the needs of identified Gifted students.

  1. In a self-contained Gifted class.

Placement in a self-contained Gifted class may be recommended at the Grade 5, 6, 7, 8 level through the IPRC process.

The purpose of this class is to:

  • Provide differentiated learning experiences of depth and breadth beyond the regular curriculum;
  • Provide the necessary social support and stimulation of peers of similar intellectual abilities;
  • Provide an environment in which there is ongoing curriculum-based assessment as required; and
  • Provide the necessary transition planning and skills for successful entry into secondary school.
  1. Through Gifted lines at the secondary level.

Secondary schools with Gifted students are given extra staffing allocations in order to address the needs of identified Gifted students.

Criteria for placement in a Gifted class:

  • Student is identified as an exceptional student through the IPRC process under the category of Intellectual: Gifted;
  • Student possesses documented evidence that ongoing interventions in a regular class have been insufficient to meet the student's needs;
  • Student demonstrates signs of low self-esteem, poor motivation, and/or emotional fragility which make it unlikely that the student will thrive in the regular classroom; and
  • Student may exhibit exceptionally high performance beyond the grade level expectations in numerous subjects which makes intervention in the regular class difficult.
Developmental Disability

Students must have a diagnosis of Developmental Disability (as outlined in the DSM-V - Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders - 5th Edition). Students identified in this area may receive support in the following settings:

  1. In a regular class on an IEP.

Supports may include:

  • In-classroom assistance.
  • In-school resource withdrawal.
  • Support from the Developmental Education (DE) TOSA Team and/or Speech-Language Pathology Services.

The DE team, using a multi-disciplinary approach, acts as a resource to the school-based PDT. The team is accessed through the Learning Coordinator-Special Education, and is available for any student in need who has been diagnosed as having a Developmental Disability. The DE team also provides occasional and/or ongoing school-based in-service.

  1. In a self-contained Developmental Education (DE) class.

Placement in a self-contained class must be recommended through the IPRC process.

The purpose of this class is to:

  • Address the needs of students diagnosed with Developmental Disability and the student is unable to function in a regular class;
  • Modify the environment and provide methods of instruction that are compatible with the student's learning style thereby enabling the student to experience academic, social and communication growth; and
  • Provide integration opportunities for students based on IEP goals within the wider school community.
  • Provide a bridge between school and community with a strong focus on work skills, life skills, leisure and recreational skills;

A student's program may be a blend of alternative curriculum and work-place training, individualized to match strengths, interests and needs. Members of the staff include teachers who coordinate the program, EAs and other system support staff as required.

Criteria for placement in a DE self-contained class:

  • Student has been identified as exceptional through the IRPC process under the category of Intellectual: Developmental Disability;
  • Student requires a higher level of structured monitoring, individual attention and planning around their particular learning style and modification to the environment;
  • Student has had ongoing interventions in a regular classroom placement which have not been successful; and
  • Student is not capable of accessing curriculum with accommodations and/or modifications to expectations and the learning environment.

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