All students require support from teachers, classmates, family, and friends in order to thrive and to gain full benefit from their school experience. Some students have special needs that require supports beyond those ordinarily received in the school setting. In Ontario, students who have behavioural, communicational, intellectual, physical or multiple exceptionalities, may have educational needs that cannot be met through regular instructional and assessment practices. These needs may be met through accommodations, and/or an educational program that is modified above or below the age-appropriate grade level expectations for a particular subject or course. Such students may be formally identified as exceptional pupils. The ministry sets out definitions of exceptionalities that must be used by school boards after
determining that a student is an “exceptional pupil”.
All students formally identified as exceptional by an Identification, Placement, and Review Committee (IPRC) must have access to an education that will enable them to develop the knowledge and skills they need in order to participate in the life of Ontario's communities. The Education Act on Special Education and Regulations made under the Act require school boards to provide exceptional pupils with special education programs and special education services that are appropriate for their needs. Specific procedures for the identification and placement of exceptional pupils are set out in Regulation 181/98. This regulation also provides for the regular review of the identification and placement of a student and for the appeal of identification and/or placement decisions with which parents/guardians disagree. The document, Highlights of Regulation 181/98, is available on this website.
As directed by the Ministry, school boards must develop an Individual Education Plan (IEP) for every identified student. These procedures are outlined in the Bluewater District School Board's Special Education Plan, specifically the section relating to the development of Individual Education Plans (IEP).
For additional information on Special Education in Ontario, please visit the Ministry of Education website relating to this topic.