Administrative Procedure 148: Use of Guide Dogs, Service Dogs and Service Animals

Legal References

Ontario Human Rights Code, RSO 1990, c.H19; Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, SO 2005, c.11); Blind Persons’ Rights Act, RSO 1990, c.B7; Ontario’s Health and Promotion Act, RSO 1990, c.H7); Dog Owners’ Liability Act, RSO 1990, c.D16; Education Act, RSO 1990, c.E2, s. 170(1); O. Reg. 298, s.11; Safe and Supportive Classrooms Act, 2019; Ministry of Education: The Individual Education Plan (IEP) – A Resource Guide; Ministry of Education: Equity and Inclusive Education in Ontario Schools; Ministry of Education: Special Education in Ontario Schools, Kindergarten to Grade 12 Policy and Resource Guide; Ministry of Education Policy/Program Memorandum (PPM) 161 Supporting Children and Students with Prevalent Medical Conditions; PPM163 School Board Policies on Service Animals; The Ontario Human Rights Commission’s Policy on Accessible Education for Students with Disabilities (2018)

Related References


1.0 Purpose

This procedure meets the policy requirements set out in Ministry of Education Policy/Program Memorandum 163: School Board Policies on Service Animals and will be
reviewed according to the cyclical administrative procedure review schedule set out by the Learning Services Department.

This procedure provides direction and outlines the process for school principals regarding the admittance, implementation and review of guide dogs, service dogs or service animals into the school environment.

This procedure is posted on Avon Maitland DSB’s website and will be made available in accessible formats and/or in a different language upon request. The principal will provide this procedure to the parent(s)/guardian(s)/adult student upon application.

2.0 Context

2.1 The Avon Maitland DSB is committed to the learning of all students. It is the policy of the Avon Maitland DSB, in accordance with its obligations pursuant to the Ontario Human Rights Code, to provide individualized accommodation to students with disability to enable them to have meaningful access to education services. People with disabilities who use service animals to assist them with disability-related needs are protected under the grounds of ‘disability’ in the Ontario Human Rights Code. Under the Human Rights Code, school boards have a duty to accommodate the needs of students with disabilities up to the point of undue hardship.


2.2 The term “Service Animal” is also used in the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service made under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), to describe an animal that assists an individual with a disability to be able to access goods and services available to the public. Pursuant to the Education Act and regulations, a school building is not a place to which the public is customarily admitted. The AODA does not apply to a student’s use of a Service  Dog/Service Animal when accessing education services in school buildings.

2.3 The use of specially trained guide dogs, service dogs or service animals is one strategy used to provide individual accommodations to students. Service animals
have traditionally been highly trained dogs that assist individuals with various tasks of daily living (Guide Dog, Hearing and Signal Dogs, Mobility Assistance Dogs,
Seizure Response Dogs).

2.4 The Avon Maitland DSB does not provide Guide Dogs, Service Dogs, or Service Animals to students.

2.5 Any determination of whether a Guide Dog, Service Dog or Service Animal is an appropriate accommodation for a student while receiving education services is a
decision of the Avon Maitland District School Board. A regulated health professional cannot unilaterally prescribe that a Guide Dog, Service Dog or Service Animal be a specific accommodation while the student is receiving education services at school.

2.6 Only in exceptional circumstances subject to the standards of undue hardship pursuant to the Human Rights Code, will the Avon Maitland DSB consider Service
Animals, other than dogs, as an accommodation for a student and only if other reasonable methods of accommodation in the school setting have been unsuccessful in meeting the demonstrated disability-related learning needs of the student.

2.7 The Blind Persons’ Rights Act, amended (2008), Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (2005), and the Ontario Human Rights Code provide authority for
guide dogs to accompany their handlers in all public spaces (except where excluded by law), including schools and buses. In most circumstances, a Guide Dog will be a highly trained dog provided to support the orientation and mobility needs of a student Handler who has a diagnosis of blindness/low vision, and the Guide Dog will provide the student Handler with greater independence, dignity and opportunity for integration.

2.8 Due to risks to safety, and risks of disruption and distraction in the learning environment, the school board does not permit training of potential guide dogs and
service dogs/service animals in the school setting or during school activities.

3.0 Definitions

3.1 A “Service Dog” is a dog which has been certified after successfully completing a training program provided by an Accredited Training Organization.
 
A “Service Dog” is defined as a dog for a person with a disability, if:
        • it is readily apparent that the accredited dog is a service animal for a person with a disability; or,
        • the person provides a letter from a qualified regulated health professional confirming that the person requires the dog for reasons relating to the disability.

3.2 A “Guide Dog” is defined as a dog trained as a guide for a blind person and having the qualifications prescribed by the Blind Persons’ Rights Act.

3.3 A “Service Animal” for the purpose of this Administrative Procedure includes a therapy dog, companion animal, comfort animal and emotional support animal and
includes a dog or other domesticated animal that may legally reside in an urban, residential home, that is not highly trained to perform particular tasks to assist with a
student’s disability-related needs, but provides emotional support (and/or companionship, calming influence) for a student with a disability-related mental health and/or psychological need and/or comfort during a difficult period.

3.4 “Accommodations” refers to specialized supports that enable a student to learn and to demonstrate learning. These supports are defined as ‘special teaching and
assessment strategies including human supports, and/or individualized equipment required’ (Special Education in Ontario, Kindergarten to Grade 12 Policy and
Resource Guide, 2017, Part E17). For the purposes of this administrative procedure, a ‘guide dog/service dog/ service animal’ may be considered to be an
accommodation that is required to allow a student to attend and/or access education.

3.5 Disability means:
 
      • any degree of physical disability, infirmity, malformation or disfigurement that is caused by bodily injury, birth defect or illness and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, includes diabetes mellitus, epilepsy, a brain injury, any degree of paralysis, amputation, lack of physical coordination, blindness or visual impediment, deafness or hearing impediment, muteness or speech impediment, or physical reliance on a guide dog or other animal or on a wheelchair or other remedial appliance or device;
      • a condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability;
      • a learning disability, or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language;
      • a mental disorder; or,
      • an injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997.

3.6 “Handler” refers to the individual trained by an Accredited Training Organization who is managing the Guide Dog/Service Dog and in most cases will be the student for whom the Guide Dog/Service Dog is provided. For the purposes of this procedure, handler may also refer to the primary person responsible for the daily care of the Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal travelling to and from school and during the school day.

3.7 “Accredited Training Organization” is a guide dog or service dog trainer that is accredited by:

      • International Guide Dog Federation (“IGDF”): which develops and ensures compliance with the standards by which Guide Dogs for the blind/low vision are trained by its member organizations;
      • Assistance Dogs International (“ADI”): which develops and ensures compliance with the standards by which Guide, Hearing and Service Dogs are trained by its member organizations; or,
      • a Guide Dog or Service Dog trainer that attests to compliance with the Meghan Search and Rescue Standard in Support of Accessibility: Persons with a disability Teamed with Service Dogs standard for training (MSAR).

3.8 “Direct Contact” involves staff, volunteers and others who are direct supervisors of a student who is supported by a Guide Dog, Service Dog or Service Animal.

3.9 “MSAR” refers to the Meghan Search and Rescue Standard in Support of Accessibility: Persons with a Disability Teamed with Service Dogs.

3.10 “Regulated Health Professional”, for the purposes of this procedure, refers to a registered pediatrician, psychologist, psychiatrist, optometrist or audiologist with
expertise regarding the student’s disability-related learning need and/or act of daily living necessary at school in the case of a Guide Dog or Service dog or a registered pediatrician, psychologist, psychiatrist in the case of a Service animal.

3.11 “Adult Student” shall be defined to mean a student who is 18 years of age or older or 16 or 17 years of age and has removed themselves from the care and control of their custodial parent.

4.0 Roles and Responsibilities

4.1 Principals
 
4.1.1 School principals are responsible for the management of the school premises, the staff providing educational programs and the safety of all students.
      1. A principal has authority to exclude any animal, including Guide Dogs/Service Dogs and Service Animals, from entry onto school premises and school building(s), as an accommodation for a student, provided that the student is offered alternative accommodation to meet the student’s demonstrated disability related learning needs (e.g., an Educational Assistant is assigned to help with orientation of a student with a visual impairment).
      2. School principals, before admitting a Guide Dog/Service Dog into the school or on school-related activities will require a parent/guardian/adult student to submit a completed application, included in Appendix B: Application for Guide Dog/Service Dog.
      3. Before admitting a Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal, the principal will require the parent/guardian/adult student to submit a completed application, included in Appendix C: Application for Service Animal.
      4. The principal will consider the rights of others and the needs of the school community.
4.1.2 On receipt of an application for a Guide Dog/Service Dog or Service Animal, the principal will review the application for completeness and may request any additional information or clarification necessary to assess the request for accommodation.

4.1.3 The principal is responsible for communication with the parent(s)/guardian(s)/adult student with respect to the accommodation process, the decision, and where approved, the implementation, training and management of the accommodation. Appendix A: Information for Parent(s)/Guardian(s)/Adult Students Requesting a Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal in the School can be provided as a brief summary of the process if a request for the full Administrative Procedure is not yet needed.

4.1.4 The principal is responsible for record keeping and data collection as outlined in Section 6.2 of this procedure.

4.1.5 The principal is responsible for continuous assessment of the accommodation as outlined in Section 5.6 of this procedure.

4.1.6 Where a student supported by a Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal, whose parent/guardian is the Handler, seeks only to attend a school excursion with the Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal, which is at a location where the public is customarily admitted, the principal shall ensure that efforts are made to facilitate the student’s participation with the Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal and parent/guardian as the Handler.
        • Inquiries may need to be made regarding competing rights and transportation arrangements for this excursion.
4.1.7 Principals may refer to Appendix K: Administrative Checklist for Implementation of Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal in a School Environment.
4.2 Parent(s)/Guardian(s)/Adult Students
 
4.2.1 Parent(s)/guardian(s)/adult students are required to provide all specified documentation as stated in this procedure (e.g. municipal license, certificates of training, veterinary letter, insurance statement, etc.) and engage in the consultation process for the purpose of considering and implementing, if appropriate, the request that a Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal accompany the student at school and/or on school related activities. The parent(s)/guardian(s)/adult student will be responsible for:
        • submission of Appendix B: Application for Guide Dog/Service Dog or Appendix C: Application for Service Animal including all specified documentation (e.g. certificate of training, diagnosis, description of service, municipal license, veterinary certificate, liability insurance etc.);
        • obtaining training, and maintaining the Guide Dog/Service Dog training to provide the accommodations in a safe manner that does not disrupt student learning;
        • transport of the animal to and from school if required;
        • providing the required equipment, animal care items and daily care at school;
        • the financial responsibility for all related costs for the animal;
        • providing the principal with the required annual documentation in a timely manner (See Appendix L: Guide Dog/Service Dog Annual Updates and Appendix M: Service Animals Annual Updates);
        • informing the principal of all relevant information that may affect their child, the other students, and/or staff; and
        • participating in an orientation session for the school council and interested parent(s)/guardian(s)/adult students.
4.3 Student with the Accommodation
 
4.3.1 In most cases, students will be expected to act as the Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal’s primary Handler. The student Handler must:
        • ensure the Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal does not disrupt the learning of others with unnecessary movement, vocalization or other behaviour, including aggressive or threatening behaviour;
        • ensure that the Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal’s biological needs are addressed;
        • transition and maintain at all times the Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal on a leash, harness, mat and/or crate/cage; and
        • comply with the transition and management plan.
For Guide Dogs/Service Dogs, the student, in most cases, will also be expected to:
        • demonstrate the ability to control the Guide Dog/Service Dog in accordance with the training received; and
        • ensure that the Guide Dog/Service Dog is always wearing necessary equipment such as a vest, leash or harness when not in its crate.
4.4 School Staff
 
4.4.1 School staff are expected to:
        • participate in orientation and training opportunities with the student and Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal;
        • follow the guidelines for interacting with the Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal as obtained through training and orientation opportunities;
        • develop and implement the accommodations of the Individual Education Plan (IEP) for the student supported by a Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal;
        • revise and/or review the IEP, including the animal accommodation according to the boards’ IEP review schedule;
        • make allowances for the handler to look after the biological needs of the animal as articulated in the Management Plan (Appendix D: Management Plan for the Care of Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal);
        • enable students to fully participate in school and related activities to their full potential with the Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal;
        • consider the inclusion of the animal when planning classroom and school events;
        • consider the inclusion of the animal when planning excursions to ensure that the location is one where the public is customarily admitted. Inquiries may need to be made regarding competing rights and transportation arrangements;
        • communicate with the principal/designate if there are any concerns with the use of the animal;
        • be familiar with school emergency plans particular to the Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal;
        • participate in the application review and/or the annual review of the accommodation if requested;
        • maintain confidentiality as set out by board procedures; and,
        • advise occasional staff that they will have direct or indirect contact with a Service Animal through the SmartFind system.

5.0 Procedure

The Avon Maitland DSB encourages any family considering the purchase of a Guide Dog, Service Dog or Service Animal to meet with the school principal or superintendent before making a commitment.

5.1 Initiating the Application
 
To initiate the process of having a Service Dog/Service Animal assist a student in school, the principal will inform parent(s)/guardian(s)/adult student that the Avon Maitland DSB has a procedure to follow before a decision to accept the animal is made. The principal will provide this Administrative Procedure and its related forms (appendices) to the parent(s)/guardian(s)/adult student, name themselves or a designate as the primary point of contact, and advise the parent(s)/guardian(s)/adult student to make the request in writing using the following forms:
        • Appendix B: Application for Guide Dog/Service Dog; or,
        • Appendix C: Application for Service Animal
The preceding forms set out the responsibilities (financial and otherwise) of the parent(s)/guardian(s)/adult student relating to the animal with respect to its care, transportation and use by the student while at school.

5.1.1 For Guide/Service Dogs the parent(s)/guardian(s)/adult student will provide the principal with the following documentation listed in Appendix B: Application for Guide Dog/Service Dog:
      1. a copy of an assessment report from a registered pediatrician, psychologist, psychiatrist, optometrist or audiologist that documents:
        • the student’s diagnosis;
        • the disability-related learning needs or acts of daily living to be accommodated; and,
        • how the guide dog/service dog will provide accommodation in a school setting.
      2. a copy of the Municipal License, not more than 12 months old (confirmation will be required annually);
      3. a certificate from a veterinarian qualified to practice veterinary medicine in the Province of Ontario (confirmation to be updated annually) that clearly states:
        • the breed of dog, age of dog and that the dog is an adult;
        • that the dog does not have a disease or illness that might pose a risk to humans;
        • that the dog has received all required vaccinations; and,
        • that the dog is in good health to assist the student.
      4. a copy of the Certificate of Training, not more than 6 months old, confirming the Guide Dog/Service Dog’s training by one of the following:
        • a training organization accredited by the International Guide Dog Federation;
        • Assistance Dogs International; or,
        • an attestation of compliance with the MSAR standard for training.
      5. a copy of the certificate, not more than 6 months old, confirming the student Handler’s training by one of the following:*
        • a training organization accredited by the International Guide Dog Federation;
        • Assistance Dogs International; or;
        • an attestation of compliance with the MSAR standard for training.
      6. a letter confirming that the trainer/designate will attend a School Council meeting to provide a presentation and respond to questions from the school community.
      7. evidence of general liability insurance with coverage of at least $2,000,000 in the event of injury or death to any person or damages to any building, property or contents as a result of the Guide Dog/Service Dog's attendance on school property or on a school related event.
* Only in exceptional circumstances subject to the standards of undue hardship pursuant to the Ontario Human Rights Code, will the school board consider an application for a student who will not be acting as the primary trained Handler of the Guide Dog/Service Dog.
 
5.1.2 For Service Animals the parent(s)/guardian(s)/adult student will provide the principal with the following documentation listed in Appendix C: Application for Service Animal:
      1. a copy of an assessment report from a registered pediatrician, psychologist, psychiatrist, that documents:
        • the student’s diagnosis;
        • the disability-related learning needs or acts of daily living to be accommodated; and
        • how the service animal will provide accommodation in a school setting.
      2. a certificate from a veterinarian qualified to practice veterinary medicine in the Province of Ontario (confirmation to be updated annually) that clearly states:
        • the species of animal, age and confirmation that the animal is an adult;
        • that animal does not have a disease or illness that might pose a risk to humans or dogs;
        • that the animal has received all required vaccinations; and
        • that the animal is in good health to assist the student.
      3. information regarding the animal such as:
        • tasks or services performed by the animal;
        • oral commands or visual signs to which the animal responds;
        • if the animal will be on a leash, harness or in a crate/cage;
        • the biological needs of the animal;
        • if the animal makes vocal noises; and
        • if the animal exhibits aggression.
      4. information regarding the student such as*:
        • where, when and how the student currently utilizes the animal’s services in public spaces for accommodation purposes; and
        • what responsibilities the student can and cannot perform independently to manage the animal.
      5. a certificate of general liability insurance providing coverage in the event that the animal causes damage to the school or its contents, or causes injury or death to any person accessing the school building or the school grounds. A minimum of $2,000,000 of coverage will be required.
*Only in exceptional circumstances subject to the standards of undue hardship pursuant to the Ontario Human Rights Code, will the school board consider an application for a student who will not be acting as the primary trained Handler of the Guide Dog/Service Dog.

5.2 Assessment and Determination of the Accommodation Request 
 
The Avon Maitland DSB will strive for the decision to be completed in a timely manner once all documents have been received.

5.2.1 The principal/designate will inform the Superintendent of Education (Learning Services) and the General Manager of Huron Perth Student Transportation Services, if needed, that an application for a Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal has been received.

5.2.2 A principal may convene a case conference to gather additional information that is not evident in the application package. The case conference will include the parent(s)/guardian(s)/adult student and may include the classroom teacher(s), the designated early childhood educator if applicable, the resource teacher (SERT), Learning Services Coordinator, Learning Services Administrator, and an educational assistant(s), if assigned. Other external personnel may be invited as applicable (e.g. health care practitioner, trainer of guide dog and handler, etc.).

5.2.3 A principal will inform school staff and school permit holders in writing that a request has been made and receive their concerns (Appendix G: Sample Notification Letter to School Staff and School Permit Holders).

5.2.4 Where the student is not the primary Handler, such requests will be individually considered, in accordance with the duty to accommodate to the point of undue hardship, including consideration of the resources required, alternative accommodations that might meet the student’s demonstrated disability-related learning needs.

5.2.5 The principal will consider seeking consultation and/or assessment with the Health & Safety Officer.

5.2.6 Following the collection of the documentation and the consult period, a review meeting will take place by the board team supporting the school and student. The board team may consist of the principal/designate, resource teacher (SERT), Learning Services Coordinator, Learning Services Administrator, and other team members that may contribute to the accommodation process as determined by the principal.

5.2.7 Each request for a Guide Dog, Service Dog or Service Animal will be addressed on an individual basis giving consideration to, but not limited to, the following factors:
        • the required documentation as described in this procedure;
        • the individual disability and learning strengths and needs of the student, the student’s IEP goals and other accommodations;
        • the student safety plan, student support plan, and/or a student’s individual management medical plan of care (as applicable);
        • supporting documents such as psychological assessments, occupational or physical therapy assessments, functional behaviour assessments etc.;
        • evidence of how the Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal’s attendance at school might provide accommodation for a demonstrated disability-related learning need and/or act of daily living necessary while at school;
        • assessment information provided by a regulated health professional, as specified in the application form, with expertise regarding the student’s disability-related needs supporting the request for a Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal;
        • the training and certification of the Guide Dog/Service Dog;
        • the training and certification of the student as Handler of the Guide Dog/Service Dog; only in exceptional circumstances subject to the standards of undue hardship pursuant to the Human Rights Code, will the Avon Maitland DSB consider an application for a student who will not be acting as the primary trained Handler of the Guide Dog/Service Dog;
        • the capacity of the student to be handler of the Service Animal;
        • the impact of the accommodation on the student’s dignity, integration and independence;
        • whether one or more alternative accommodations can meet the needs of the student;
        • whether the student’s attendance with a Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal might require an increase in the level of staff support provided to the student;
        • whether the service animal (e.g., breed, etc.) is prohibited by law;
        • the impact of the accommodation on the learning environment for the student, other students and school permit holders, including, health, safety, disruption and distraction;
        • any special considerations that may arise if the animal is a species other than a dog, such as ability to be trained, necessary biological functions, the capacity for the animal to respond to commands, whether the animal may be kept on a leash/harness/crate/cage and how such restrictions might impact accommodation; and,
        • consultation and/or assessment by the Health and Safety Advisor may be required.
5.2.8 The board team will consult with the Superintendent of Education (Learning Services) in regards to their proposed decision, which may include the request for an interim trial period prior to final decision to determine success or lack of success for this form of accommodation. In this case, the success criteria will be established prior to the initiation to the trial.
 
5.3 Communication of Decision
 
5.3.1 The decision with respect to the application for a Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal will be communicated to the parent(s)/guardian(s)/adult student in writing in accordance with Appendix E: Sample Decision Letter – Approval or Appendix F: Sample Decision Letter – Denial. In the event of a denial, the rationale for the decision, alternative accommodations and next steps will be communicated to the applicant within this letter.

5.3.2 The principal will notify the school community including all permit holders, childcare organizations and before and after school programs representatives that the Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal will be entering the school community using Appendix H: Sample Notification Letter to School Community. In addition, families of students sharing bus transportation with the animal, if applicable, will be notified using Appendix I: Sample Notification Letter to Parent(s)/Guardian(s) of Students on School Bus and/or parent(s)/guardian(s) of students in classes where the service animal will be attending, using Appendix J: Sample Notification Letter to Parent(s)/Guardian(s) of Students in Classes.

5.3.3 An information session for the School Council and interested parent(s)/guardian(s)/adult student will be held to inform them, and to receive relevant information. Information may include: accommodation guidelines for staff and students, appropriate interactions with the animal, and safety and health concerns. The principal will invite the parent(s)/guardian(s)/adult student of the student needing the animal to participate in the information session.

5.3.4 The principal will ensure signs are placed on the entrance doors of the school, other appropriate places, e.g. gymnasium, library and the bus window if transportation is required, to inform visitors of the presence of the Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal.

5.3.5 The principal will ensure notification to the school community via the school’s website that a Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal is present in the school.

5.3.6 The principal will ensure communication to potential occasional staff accepting a position where the Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal may be providing service to the student. This message can be included with the job posting on SmartFind.
 
5.4 Implementing the Accommodation
 
5.4.1 Once approval is granted, the principal will meet with the appropriate staff and/or parent(s)/guardian(s)/adult student and student (if appropriate) to
develop and/or revise the following:
        • Appendix D: Management Plan for the Care of the Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal;
        • a transition plan identifying a timeline for strategies for the animal to become familiar with the building, school grounds, cafeteria, introduction to assemblies/concerts, and recess;
        • a plan for orientation and training of the staff about interacting with the animal;
        • student and animal timetable indicating the animal’s participation during instructional time and non-instructional periods;
        • the IEP in relation to the disability-related learning needs and accommodation;
        • school emergency plans e.g. fire, lock-down; and,
        • specialized transportation request with the accompanying support plan, if required.

5.4.2 An orientation session, such as a school assembly, will be organized to provide introduction of the animal to the student community.

5.4.3 A training and orientation session will be provided to school staff and bus operators/company having direct contact with the Guide Dog/Service Dog/
Service Animal within the school by a mutually agreed upon trainer. Any costs associated with trainer reimbursement are the responsibility of the family. For school staff, the principal will arrange training during the instructional day or during a staff meeting.

5.4.4 Guide Dogs/Service Dogs/Service Animals are allowed in areas where food is served, sold and offered for sale. Steps should be taken to ensure that Guide Dogs/Service Dogs/Service Animals, in areas where students are consuming food, are not disruptive and do not eat student food. No animals are allowed in areas where food is prepared, processed or handled. Assessment by the Health and Safety Advisor may be required.
 
5.5 Transportation
 
5.5.1 The principal/designate will submit a request for specialized transportation with accompanying support plan if the student currently uses transportation to travel daily to and from school. The bus company will include information regarding the presence of a service animal on the bus as part of their routine information so that new or substitute bus operators are aware of the animal’s presence.

5.5.2 Specialized transportation will not be provided solely for the purpose of enabling the Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal to travel to and from
school with the student.

5.5.3 The principal will notify the families of students using bus transportation, if applicable; using the sample notification letters found in Appendix I.

5.5.4 Where a student supported by a Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal, whose parent/guardian is the Handler, seeks only to attend a school 
excursion with the Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal, which is at a location where the public is customarily admitted, efforts will be made to facilitate the student’s participation with the Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal and parent/guardian as the Handler via the transportation arranged.
        • Inquiries may need to be made regarding competing rights and transportation arrangements for the purposes of this excursion.
 
5.6 Continuous Assessment
 
5.6.1 At a minimum, the accommodation of a Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal will be reviewed according to the IEP review schedule set out by the board, in the event of a Violent Incident Report, or as otherwise deemed necessary by the principal/designate.

5.6.2 Annually, the principal will review the implementation and documentation as required by the application process to ensure that all applicable registrations, vaccinations, licenses, certificates as well as the Management Plan for the Care of the Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal are current (see Appendix L and Appendix M).

5.6.3 Approval may be revoked at any time by the principal if:
        • there are any concerns for the health and safety of students, staff or the Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal;
        • there is behaviour that is distracting, disruptive or aggressive, including making noise, failing to follow commands, growling or nipping. In the event that this behaviour occurs, the Handler will be required to immediately remove the Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal from the classroom and the student’s parent/guardian will be called to pick up the Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal from the school. Alternative options for accommodation will be discussed;
        • there has been a change to the student’s circumstances or disability related needs, which had supported the original approval;
        • there has been a change to the needs of students/staff such that there is a new competing right; and,
        • the board in its discretion determines that the accommodation is not effective for the student’s demonstrated disability-related learning needs or acts of daily living.
 
5.7 Transitions of Guide Dogs/Service Dogs/Service Animals within AMDSB
 
5.7.1 Principals of students transitioning to another AMDSB school will inform the receiving principal of the details of the approval decision, the
implementation and management plan, and how the IEP accommodation is meeting the disability-related learning needs of the student.

5.7.2 The principal will share all relevant documentation with the consent of the parent(s)/guardian(s)/adult student.

5.7.3 Once the student and animal have transferred from the school building, signage will be removed and any school emergency plans will be revised
to reflect the change.

5.7.4 Receiving principals within AMDSB schools will begin the procedure of approval for a Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal by reviewing the
records shared including: the application package, supporting documentation, the letter of decision and the most recent annual update information.

5.7.5 Receiving principals within AMDSB schools will follow this procedure as printed, with the exception of requiring parent(s)/guardian(s)/adult students to submit a new application. The introduction of a Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal into the new school community requires the same consultation, communication and implementation measures as would have been completed in the original request. The Learning Services Coordinator can assist the school team with this process if requested.

6.0 Records and Data Collection

6.1 The Avon Maitland DSB, pursuant to Ministry of Education Policy/Program Memorandum 163: School Board Policies on Service Animals is required to collect information regarding the implementation of this procedure including:
    1. The total number of requests for students to be accompanied by a Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animals.
      • whether requests are for elementary or secondary school students;
      • the student’s grade; and,
      • whether the student is the handler.
    2. The number of requests approved or denied.
      • if denied the rationale for the decision, including a description of other supports and/or services provided to the student to support their access to educational services;
      • species of Service Animals requested and approved; and,
      • types of needs being supported: emotional, social, psychological physical.
6.2 The principal or designate will ensure Appendix B: Application for Guide Dog/Service Dog or Appendix C: Application for Service Animal, including all
required supporting documentation, letters and administrative checklist, are retained in the documentation file of the Ontario Student Record (OSR). In addition, a copy of the request (Appendix B or C) and the letter of decision (Appendix E or F) are sent to the Superintendent of Education (Learning Services) for the purposes of the tracking required by PPM 163.

7.0 Privacy and Confidentiality

The Avon Maitland District School Board will be required to collect, use and disclose the personal information of the student in order to fulfill the accommodation process according to board procedures as detailed:

7.1 The AMDSB staff are required to follow Administrative Procedure 195 Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy and Administrative Procedure 103 Management of Personal Information – Student, as it pertains to maintaining privacy and confidentiality.

7.2 Parent(s)/guardian(s) consent is required before sharing student information with school staff, students, or others, as deemed appropriate (e.g., food service providers, transportation staff, volunteers, occasional staff who will be in direct or indirect contact with the student).

7.3 Parent(s)/guardian(s) and school staff should be informed of the measures to protect the confidentiality of students’ medical records and information (e.g., OSR guidelines, Individual Medical Management Plan of Care and Transportation Individual Medical Management Plan permissions, access to clevr and Maplewood, etc.).

7.4 It is expected that student's personal health information is secure and protected at all times therefore records of personal health information must be retained, transferred and disposed of in a secure manner. Staff must ensure that any personal health information stored on any mobile devices or laptops or attached to an email be encrypted. The Administrative Guideline 12 Encrypting Data Files (found on the Core) outlines the steps for encrypting files.

7.5 If staff suspect a privacy breach has occurred, personal information is stolen, lost or accessed by unauthorized persons, whether through an inappropriate disclosure or technical error, they must notify their Supervisor immediately to ensure Administrative Procedure 194 Privacy Breach Protocol is followed.

7.6 Board owned laptops with Personal Health Information and highly sensitive data must be secured with a BIOS password controlled and encryption software. Employees should contact their Information Technology Team Member for assistance with encryption installations and updates.

7.7 Email messages, whenever possible, should not contain sensitive personal information about an identifiable individual unless absolutely necessary. Where it is necessary to include such information in an email, consider using the individual's initials, symbols or a code rather than a full name to help maintain anonymity of the individual.

8.0 Appendices

Appendix A: Information for Parent(s)/Guardian(s) Requesting a Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal in Schools
Appendix B: Application for Guide Dog/Service Dog
Appendix C: Application for Service Animal
Appendix D: Management Plan for the care of Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal
Appendix E: Sample Decision Letter - Approval
Appendix F: Sample Decision Letter - Denial
Appendix G: Sample Notification Letter to School Staff and School Permit Holders
Appendix H: Sample Notification Letter to School Community
Appendix I: Sample Notification Letter to Parent(s)/Guardian(s) of Students on School Bus
Appendix J: Sample Notification Letter to Parent(s)/Guardian(s) of Students in Classes
Appendix K: Administrative Checklist for Implementation of Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal in a School Environment
Appendix L: Guide Dog/Service Dog Annual Updates
Appendix M: Service Animals Annual Updates

Amendment December 2019
 

Appendix A - Information for Parent(s)/Guardian(s)/Adult Students Requesting a Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal in the School

1. The Avon Maitland District School Board has a procedure to follow to consider a request for a Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal in a school. The success of the implementation of a Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal into a school setting depends on clear communication, a well-informed school community and careful planning.

2. You will be asked to participate in the gathering of information before a decision is made. The information you provide will assist the principal/designate to make the best possible decisions for your child and other students as well as for the staff, volunteers and visitors in the school in consultation with a Board Review Team including the Superintendent of Education (Learning Services). It is important that you provide all the information required in order for the board to consider all factors in their determination. The information will be filed in your child’s Ontario Student Record (OSR) as well as at a central location at the board office.

3. The use of a Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal is one strategy used to provide individual accommodation to students with a disability to enable them to have meaningful access to education services. The principal may invite you to discuss your child’s needs, the accommodations that are already in place for your child, as well as the additional assistance a Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal may provide. Other members of the school team may also participate in this discussion including your child’s teacher, the Resource Teacher and the Learning Services Coordinator for your school. If your child already has an Individual Education Plan, it will be reviewed or one may be developed in consultation with you, if appropriate.

4. The principal includes the School Council on matters pertaining to the school community. If approved, an information session for the council and other interested parent(s)/guardian(s) will be organized. Important information shared in this way facilitates understanding and acceptance of new practices at the school. You will be invited to participate in the information session.

5. The well-being of the animal is also very important. Once necessary approvals have been given, a plan that will address the daily care, handling and training needs of the animal will be created with you. Strategies for the animal to become familiar with the building, school grounds, cafeteria, introduction to assemblies/concerts, recess, and informing the staff about interacting with the animal will need to be included in the transition planning to make the entry of the animal into the school community as successful as possible.

6. Please contact the school principal if you have any questions about this information.


Appendix B - Application for Guide Dog/Service Dog

This form is to be completed by the parent(s)/guardian(s)/adult student and submitted to the school principal, with the requested paperwork, detailed below, attached.
Name of Student:
DOB:
Grade of Student:
Address:
Name(s) of Parent(s)/Guardian(s):
Telephone Number(s):
 
Request application is for (check one)
  • Guide Dog or
  • Service Dog
 
Disability Related Needs to be Accommodated by Guide Dog/Service Dog
 
  • Please attach a copy of an assessment report from a registered pediatrician, psychologist, psychiatrist, optometrist or audiologist that documents:
    • the student’s diagnosis;
    • the disability-related learning needs or acts of daily living to be accommodated; and,
    • how the guide dog/ service dog will provide accommodation to meaningful access to education
 
Municipal Dog License
 
  • Please attach a copy of the municipal dog license, not more than 12 months old (confirmation will be updated annually)
    Veterinary Certificate
  • Please attach a certificate, not more than 3 months old, from a veterinarian qualified to practice veterinary medicine in the Province of Ontario (confirmation to be updated annually) that clearly states:
  • the breed of dog, age of dog and that the dog is an adult;
  • the dog does not have a disease or illness that might pose a risk to humans;
  • the dog has received all required vaccinations; and,
  • the dog is in good health to assist the student Certificate of Training
  • Please attach a copy of the certificate, not more than 6 months old, confirming the Guide Dog/Service Dog’s training by one of the following:
  • a training organization accredited by the International Guide Dog Federation;
  • Assistance Dogs International;
  • an attestation of compliance with the MSAR standard for training; or
  • a letter confirming that the trainer/designate will attend a School Council Meeting to provide a presentation and respond to questions from the school community
  • Please attach a copy of the certificate, not more than 6 months old, confirming the student Handler’s training by one of the following:
  • a training organization accredited by the International Guide Dog Federation;
  • Assistance Dogs International; or
  • an attestation of compliance with the MSAR standard for training

    Where the student is not the Handler, please describe below what, if any, responsibilities the student is capable of performing independently and the responsibilities you wish to have assumed by a school staff member.
    (text box or lines to fill in)
 

Insurance
 
Pursuant to the Dog Owners’ Liability Act, RSO 1990, c.D16, the owner of a dog is responsible for any injury or death caused by the dog. The owner will also be held accountable for damages to any buildings, property or contents as a result of the Guide Dog/Service Dog’s attendance on school property or on a school-related event.
 
  • Please attach a current certificate of home or contents insurance of at least $2,000,000. Where the dog is owned by a registered charity, please provide a letter from the registered charity confirming their ownership of the dog. (confirmation to be updated annually) I/We as parent(s)/guardian(s)/adult student understand that if this request is approved, it is our responsibility to:
    • ensure transportation of the dog to and from school if required;
    • obtain training and maintain the guide dog/service dog training to provide the accommodation in a safe manner that does not disrupt the student learning;
    • provide the required equipment, dog care items and daily care at school;
    • assume financial responsibility for the training of the dog, veterinary care, and all other related costs;
    • provide the principal with required documentation annually in a timely fashion; and,
    • inform the principal of all relevant information that may affect you or your child, the other students, and/or staff.

I/We give permission for this information to be shared with the school community.

Signature of Parent/Guardian/Adult Student:
Date:
 
For Office Use Only:
Request Approved (yes or no):
Signature of Principal:
Date:
Distribution: Original to OSR; copy to Education Centre – Learning Services; copy to parent(s)/guardian(s)/adult student

Personal information is collected under the authority of the Education Act and will be used for planning and programming. The personal information and any personal health information provided on this form is collected, used and disclosed by the Avon Maitland District School Board under the authority of the Education Act and Regulations (R.S.O. 1990 c.E.2) as amended from time to time, the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (RSO 1990, c. M-56), as amended from time to time, and the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (SO 2004, c. 3, Sched. A), as amended from time to time. Questions about this collection can be directed to the Principal of the School. The information may be shared with Avon Maitland District School Board employees to carry out their job duties. In addition, the information may be used for matters of health and safety and is required to be disclosed in compelling circumstances or in accordance with any other Act.


Appendix C - Application for Service Animal

This form is to be completed by the parent(s)/guardian(s)/adult student and submitted to the school principal, with the requested paperwork (as outlined below) attached.
 
Name of Student:
DOB:
Grade of Student:
Address:
Name(s) of Parent(s)/Guardian(s):
Telephone Number(s):
Please identify the type of service animal that is being requested:
 
Disability Related Needs to be Accommodated by Service Animal
 
  • Please attach a copy of an assessment report from a registered pediatrician, psychologist, psychiatrist, that documents:
    • the student’s diagnosis;
    • the disability-related learning needs or acts of daily living to be accommodated; and,
      how the service animal will provide accommodation to meaningful access to education Veterinary Certificate
 
    • Please attach a certificate, not more than three months old, from a veterinarian qualified to practice veterinary medicine in the Province of Ontario (confirmation to be updated annually) that clearly states:
      • the species of animal, age and confirmation that the animal is an adult;
      • the animal does not have a disease or illness that might pose a risk to humans or dogs;
      • the animal has received all required vaccinations; and,
      • the animal is in good health to assist the student Information Regarding the Animal
 
 Please attach a separate page if necessary information does not fit on this form
 
Describe in detail the tasks or services performed by the animal.


Identify the oral commands or visual signs to which the animal responds.

Identify if the animal will be on a leash/harness or in a crate/cage.

 
 
AMDSB Administrative Procedure Page 19 of 32
No. 148 Use of Guide Dogs/Service Dogs
Amendment December 2019
 
Describe the biological needs of the animal.

 
 
Circle true or false to the following statements, where false, please provide details.
 
  • The animal does not make vocal noises: true false
 
 
  • The animal does not engage in distracting behaviour: true false
 
 
  • The animal does not exhibit aggression: true false
 
 
 
Information Regarding the Student:
 
Describe in detail where, when and how the student currently utilizes the animal’s services in public spaces for accommodation purposes.

Please describe below what, if any, responsibilities the student can perform independently to manage the animal.

Please describe below what, if any, responsibilities the student cannot perform independently to manage the animal.

Insurance
 
Parent(s)/guardian(s)/adult students must provide a general liability insurance certificate providing coverage in the event that the animal causes damage to the school or its contents, or causes injury or death to any person accessing the school building or the school grounds. A minimum of $2,000,000 of coverage will be required (confirmation to be updated annually).
 
I/We as parent(s)/guardian(s)/adult student understand that if this request is approved, it is our responsibility to:
 
  • ensure transportation of the animal to and from school if required;
  • provide the required equipment, animal care items and daily care at school;
  • assume financial responsibility for veterinary care and all related costs for the animal;
  • provide the principal with required documentation annually in a timely fashion; and,
  • inform the principal of all relevant information that may affect you or your child, the other students, and/or staff.

I/We give permission for this information to be shared with the school community.
 
Signature of Parent/Guardian/Adult Student:
Date:

For Office Use Only:

Request Approved (yes or no):
Signature of Principal:
Date:
Distribution: Original to OSR; copy to Education Centre – Learning Services; copy to parent(s)/guardian(s)/adult student

Personal information is collected under the authority of the Education Act and will be used for planning and programming. The personal information and any personal health information provided on this form is collected, used and disclosed by the Avon Maitland District School Board under the authority of the Education Act and Regulations (R.S.O. 1990 c.E.2) as amended from time to time, the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (RSO 1990, c. M-56), as amended from time to time, and the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (SO 2004, c. 3, Sched. A), as amended from time to time. Questions about this collection can be directed to the Principal of the School. The information may be shared with Avon Maitland District School Board employees to carry out their job duties. In addition, the information may be used for matters of health and safety and is required to be disclosed in compelling circumstances or in accordance with any other Act.


Appendix D - Management Plan for the Care of the Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal

(to be updated annually)
 
Name of Student: 
DOB:
O.E.N: 
School:
School Year: 
Name of Animal:
Trained Handler or Designate:
 
Note: These responsibilities should be handled by the student, trained handler or designate in the same manner as at home.
Water Needs: (e.g., provision of water bowl, procedures for use, cleaning, etc.)
Bladder/Bowel Needs of Animal: (e.g., frequency, location, disposal, etc.)

Other Considerations:
1. Rest Periods away from Work:
2. Hot Weather:
3. Winter Weather:
4. Other:
 
Signature of Parent/Guardian/Adult Student: 
Date:
Signature of Principal: 
Date:
Distribution: Original to OSR


Appendix E - Sample Decision Letter: Approval (on School Letterhead)

[Date]
Dear [Parent(s)/Guardian(s)/Adult Student],

I am writing to communicate the decision regarding your request that [your child/you] attend school with a [Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal] to provide accommodation for disability-related learning needs/acts of daily living. I wish to confirm the approval of your application request for a [Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal] to provide the accommodation that will enable [your child/you] to have meaningful access to education within our school.

As we have discussed, the effectiveness of this accommodation will be monitored and reviewed on a regular basis. The accommodation will be documented on an Individual Education Plan and will be reviewed at a minimum at each reporting period.

An important focus of this review will be to evaluate the ongoing effectiveness of the animal in meeting [your child’s/your] accommodation needs.

You will be responsible to ensure that the animal is healthy and groomed, has a vest or harness and crate/cage if necessary, as well as providing any daily care equipment (e.g. water bowl). All costs associated with the animal will be your responsibility.

If concerns arise regarding the integration of the [Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal] into the school community and [your child’s/your] classes, a meeting will be scheduled to review how the issues might be resolved.

In the event that the [Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal] engages in behaviour that is distracting, disruptive or aggressive, including making noise, failing to follow commands, growling or nipping, [your child/you or the Handler] will be required to immediately remove the animal from the classroom and you will be required to arrange for the animal to be removed from the school. In such a case, alternative options for accommodation will be discussed.

Sincerely,
Principal
cc Education Centre – Learning Services


Appendix F - Sample Decision Letter: Denial (on School Letterhead)

[Date]
Dear [Parent(s)/Guardian(s)/Adult Student],

I am writing to communicate the decision regarding your request that [your child/you] attend school with a [Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal] to provide accommodation for disability-related learning needs/acts of daily living.

I wish to communicate that your request is being denied.

As we have discussed, [insert reason for decision here]

Alternative accommodations that respect [your child’s/your] dignity, encourage independence and facilitate integration are available to support [your child’s/your] learning needs and access to meaningful educational services. These include [insert alternative supports/accommodations that will be provided here]

This decision is not subject to appeal; however, if you wish to discuss the alternative accommodation measures available to support [your child/you] while at school, please contact me to arrange for a meeting.

Sincerely,
Principal
cc Education Centre – Learning Services


Appendix G - Sample Notification Letter to the School Staff, School Permit Holders

(on School Letterhead)
[Date]
Dear [School Staff/Permit Holders],

This letter is to advise that the school is in the process of planning for a [Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal] to attend [school] with a student in order to accommodate the student’s needs pursuant to the Ontario Human Rights Code.

[Choose one of the following statements to include:]
The Guide Dog/Service Dog is trained to provide service in a manner that does not disrupt the learning environment for others and is identifiable by its vest or harness.
OR
A process is in place to confirm that the Service Animal is able to provide the necessary service in a manner that does not disrupt the learning environment for others and will be clearly identified in an appropriate manner.

We respect the needs of all staff and our community partners in providing a safe and inclusive workplace and environment. Please let us know if you have any specific concerns regarding the presence of a [Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal] in our school.

Thank you for your ongoing cooperation and support.

Sincerely,
Principal


Appendix H - Sample Notification Letter to School Community

(on School Letterhead)
[Date]

Dear [Parent(s)/Guardian(s)/Adult Student or school permit holders or daycare providers - lease compete for all applicable community groups],

This letter is to advise that a [Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal] will be attending [school] with a student in order to accommodate the student’s needs pursuant to the Ontario Human Rights Code.

An information session has been scheduled to take place as part of the school council meeting on [date].

[Choose one of the following statements to include:]
A trainer from [insert] will be present to answer any questions that you might have about the training of [Guide Dogs/Service Dogs/Service Animals].
OR
The parent(s)/guardian(s)/adult student will be present to share information about the [Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal].

An orientation session will also be provided for all students, to explain the role of [Guide Dogs/Service Dogs/Service Animals] as working animals, not pets, and to identify how the animal will be integrated into our school community.

We respect the needs of all students in providing a safe and inclusive learning environment.

Please let us know if you have any specific concerns regarding the presence of a [Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal] in our school.

Thank you for your on-going support.

Sincerely,
Principal


Appendix I - Sample Notification Letter to the Parent(s)/Guardian(s) of Students on School Bus

(on School Letterhead)
[Date]

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

On [date] the school forwarded a letter home to all parent(s)/guardian(s) advising that a [Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal] would be introduced to our school community.

This letter is to advise that a [Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal] will be riding a bus with a student to and from school to accommodate the student’s needs pursuant to the Ontario Human Rights Code beginning [date].

As a rider on this bus, your child will be participating in an orientation session to explain the role of [Guide Dogs/Service Dogs/Service Animals] as working animals, not pets, and to identify how the animal will be integrated into both our school community and on our buses.

We respect the needs of all students in providing safe and inclusive services for education.

Please let us know if you have any specific concerns regarding the presence of a [Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal] on your child’s bus.

Thank you for your on-going support.

Sincerely,
Principal


Appendix J - Sample Notification Letter to the Parent(s)/Guardian(s) of Students in Classes

(on School Letterhead)
[Date]

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

On [date] the school forwarded a letter home to all parent(s)/guardian(s) advising that a [Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal] would be introduced to our school community.

This letter is to advise that a [Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal] will be attending [school] with a student in your child’s class [insert course] in order to accommodate the student’s needs pursuant to the Human Rights Code, beginning [date].

Your child [has participated in/will be participating in] an orientation session to explain the role of [Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal] as working animals, not pets, and to identify how the animal will be integrated into our school/classroom community.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher or me.

Thank you for your on-going support.

Sincerely,
Principal

Please refer to AP 148 for Appendix K - Administrative Checklist for Implementation of Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal in a School Environment 
 

Appendix L - Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal Annual Updates

After the initial year of implementation, administrators should request the following documents from parent(s)/guardian(s)/adult student annually:
 
Municipal License
 
  • A copy of the municipal license, not more than 12 months old Veterinary Certificate
  • A certificate from a veterinarian qualified to practice veterinary medicine in the Province of Ontario that clearly states:
    • The breed of dog, age of dog and that the dog is an adult;
    • The dog does not have a disease or illness that might pose a risk to humans;
    • The dog has received all required vaccinations; and
    • The dog is in good health to assist the student Insurance
  • Pursuant to the Dog Owners’ Liability Act, RSO 1990, c.D16, the owner of a dog is responsible for any injury or death caused by the dog. The owner will also be held
    accountable for damages to any buildings, property or contents as a result of the Guide Dog/Service Dog/Service Animal’s attendance on school property or on a school-related event. Please attach a certificate of home or contents insurance showing general liability insurance coverage of at least $2,000,000. Where the dog is owned by a registered charity, please provide a letter from the registered charity confirming their ownership of the dog.

Appendix M - Service Animal Annual Updates

After the initial year of implementation, administrators should request the following documents from parent(s)/guardian(s)/adult student annually:
 
Veterinary Certificate
 
  • A certificate from a veterinarian qualified to practice veterinary medicine in the Province of Ontario (confirmation to be updated annually) that clearly states:
  • The species of animal, age and confirmation that the animal is an adult;
  • The animal does not have a disease or illness that might pose a risk to humans or dogs;
  • The animal has received all required vaccinations;
  • The animal is in good health to assist the student Insurance
  • A certificate of general liability insurance providing coverage in the event that the animal causes damage to the school or its contents, or causes injury or death to
    any person accessing the school building or the school grounds. A minimum of $2,000,000 of coverage will be required.