Special Education

Programs and Services:
Pathways for Exceptional Students


In Rainbow Schools, special education personnel place the learner at the heart of the process and the centre of all programming.

The special education program is intended to develop skills that will allow for effective communication at the child's level of competency, effective motor skills which will enhance independence and the development of positive attitudes, and effective interpersonal relationships to access leisure activities and enable the child to integrate successfully into the community and the workplace.

In addition to our specialized educational programming, we provide a range of services to support exceptional students, parents/guardians and teachers including consultations, psychoeducational evaluations, system screening activities and direct instructional support. Program accommodations/placement programming and student assessments are ongoing to better serve the diverse learning needs of our students.

In Rainbow Schools, special education programs and services are available to exceptional students and their families through their local school. The individual learning needs of each student determine the specialized support services that may be required. For more information on special education programs and services, please contact your Rainbow School principal.

Placement Philosophy and Programming

Rainbow Schools provide quality special education programs and services based on the philosophy that integration should be the norm wherever possible.

While remaining in the regular classroom, exceptional students are most often provided with accommodations, assistance from the resource teacher or itinerant teacher, and ongoing assessments in order to maximize their potential and fulfill their aspirations. Although some parents/guardians choose the option of a self-contained class for their children, the majority of exceptional learners continue to be part of regular classrooms in community schools.

For some students, an alternative setting may be necessary when their needs are so great that they cannot be met in an integrated setting. In these cases, exceptional learners receive appropriate programs and services in an exclusive special education classroom or program in their local Rainbow School.

Rainbow District School Board offers the following placement options for exceptional students, from least intrusive to most supportive:

Resource Support (may include monitoring or withdrawal)

Students receiving resource support, for the most part, remain in the regular classroom while under the care of both the school’s special education resource teacher and the classroom teacher. The resource teacher assists the classroom teacher in the development and implementation of the IEP in collaboration with parents/guardians and the student where applicable. The IEP contains strategies for differentiated classroom instruction. At times, the student may be withdrawn from the classroom by the special education teacher or other professional or paraprofessional staff for individual or small group direct support.

Self-Contained Class

Here, exceptional learners are provided with educational programming in a self-contained classroom. The special education self-contained teacher is responsible for the development and implementation of the Individual Education Plan and plans integration opportunities in collaboration with the regular classroom teacher or community partners. In most cases an alternative curriculum is offered.

Self-Contained School

In these cases, students attend a self-contained school separate from community schools. The special education teacher is responsible for the development and implementation of the Individual Education Plan and plans integration opportunities in collaboration with community partners where applicable. An alternative curriculum is offered.

Alternatives to the Board's Range of Placements

In extremely unusual circumstances, when a student's needs are so complex or a student's behaviour creates a safety risk, a case conference is held to problem-solve and achieve a solution. Often this involves outside agencies. A principal, a consultant or a case manager may convene the conference. The student may be withdrawn from school until careful planning, outlining roles and responsibilities, is completed. During the period of time when the student is not in school, home instruction may be provided. Home instruction requires the signature of a physician or registered psychologist.

The principal, in collaboration with the special education consultant/coordinator responsible for the student’s home school, takes the lead in planning for the student's return to school. The principal, special education teacher and classroom teacher remain involved throughout the planning process.

More Special Education Programs

Elementary

Comprehensive Class Program

This is a self-contained class program for elementary students ages 8 and older identified with a moderate intellectual exceptionality who require alternative programming. The focus is on developing basic literacy, numeracy and independent living skills. On Manitoulin Island, this program is referred to as a Multi-Exceptionality Program.

ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) Program

This program is for students with autism whose needs have been identified as moderate to severe. The focus is to develop academic and social skills to enable students to meet their overall potential in the class and beyond. We are particularly proud of our Board’s commitment to the use of assistive technology to support exceptional students, services with our community partners, and new programs and initiatives to meet the needs of our students with autism. Transition planning is focused on addressing the unique needs of the learner and to ensure a smooth transition from secondary school to postsecondary education, employment or independent living. On Manitoulin Island, this program is referred to as a Multi-Exceptionality Program.

Early Intervention Program for Students with Behavioural Exceptionalities

This program, which takes place during the regular school day, is intended for primary students up to and including Grade 3. As students develop the appropriate skills, integration at grade level occurs in the host school. The primary focus of this program is social skills training. Secondary attention is placed on academics, with intensive instruction in basic literacy and numeracy.

Social skills training consists of anger management, metacognitive skills to help students understand their behaviour, decision-making skills, behaviour management strategies and social skills.

Section Programs for Elementary Students with Behavioural Exceptionalities

The Section Programs are administered and provided by the Child and Family Centre and accessed by primary students (SK to Grade 3) within Rainbow District School Board.

Programming takes place during the regular school day. As students develop the appropriate skills, integration at grade level occurs in the host school. The primary focus of this program is social skills training. Secondary attention is placed on academics, including intensive instruction in basic numeracy and literacy.
 
Social skills training consists of anger management skills, metacognitive skills to help students understand their behaviour, decision-making skills, behaviour management strategies and social skills.

Elementary Alternative Program (EAP)

The Elementary Alternative Program (EAP) is a system wide behaviour program for students ages 11 to 14. It is the program of choice after all strategies with the home school have been exhausted and students are still not making any positive behavioural and academic progress.

The primary purpose of this non-traditional, structured program is to instruct and support students to make responsible behaviour changes, with the ultimate goal of developing the skills that will allow them to reintegrate into their home school to complete their academic education.

Students work on specific programming in language and mathematics with the remainder of the time dedicated to improving social skills and behaviour management skills.

Secondary

Transition Program

This is a self-contained class program for students identified with an intellectual exceptionality. The focus is on developing literacy, numeracy, independent living skills and work related skills geared towards specialized college programs, trades assistants’ programs and the workplace. Transition planning is focused on addressing the unique needs of the learner and to ensure a smooth transition from secondary school to postsecondary education, employment or independent living.

Lifeskills Program

This is a self-contained class program for secondary students identified with a moderate intellectual exceptionality who require alternative programming. The focus is on developing basic literacy, numeracy and independent living skills. Transition planning is focused on addressing the unique needs of the learner and to ensure a smooth transition from secondary school to postsecondary education, employment or independent living.

ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) Program

This program is for students with autism whose needs have been identified as moderate to severe. The focus is to develop academic and social skills to enable students to meet their overall potential in the class and beyond. We are particularly proud of our Board’s commitment to the use of assistive technology to support exceptional students, services with our community partners, and new programs and initiatives to meet the needs of our students with autism. Transition planning is focused on addressing the unique needs of the learner and to ensure a smooth transition from secondary school to postsecondary education, employment or independent living. On Manitoulin Island, this program is referred to as a Multi-Exceptionality Program.

Section Programs for Secondary Students with Behavioural Exceptionalities

The Section Programs are administered and provided by the Child and Family Centre and accessed by students within Rainbow District School Board.

Programming takes place during the regular school day. As students develop the appropriate skills, integration at grade level occurs in the host school. The primary focus of this program is social skills training. Secondary attention is placed on academics, including intensive instruction in basic numeracy and literacy.
 
Social skills training consists of anger management skills, metacognitive skills to help students understand their behaviour, decision-making skills, behaviour management strategies and social skills.

Essential Workplace Skills Program (EWSP) - Lively District Secondary School

The Essential Workplace Skills Program is part of the Integrated Technology Program at Lively District Secondary School. The student participates in the full program in Grades 9 and 10 in the Essentials Pathway. In Grades 11 and 12, the student continues to work towards an Ontario Secondary School Graduation Diploma. This may take more than four years to complete.

Learning Disabilities Project - Lasalle Secondary School

The Learning Disabilities Project is a joint effort between Rainbow District School Board, Cambrian College and the Learning Disabilities Association of Sudbury. Students with a language-based learning disability are selected to participate in one of the two Grade 9 programs offered at Lasalle Secondary School. Throughout the program, a learning strategist assists the teacher and students with training on assistive technology, including resources such as Kurzweil, Text Help, Dragon Naturally Speaking and Smart Ideas.