Special Education

Learning Services

Kathy Boyd – Superintendent of Education (Learning Services)

519-527-0111 ext. 206
[email protected]
“All students can learn but not always on the same day and not always in the same way.”

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 additional supports beyond those ordinarily received in a classroom setting.

Many students have special education needs. Some are formally identified through the Identification, Placement and Review Process (IPRP) and have an Individual Education Plan (IEP) that guides their programming. Other students have an Individual Education Plan without the formal identification. Classroom teachers focus on universal design for learning and differentiated instruction to meet the needs of all students. Special education programs and services in the Avon Maitland District School Board support classroom teachers in meeting the needs of our diverse group of learners with special education needs.

Resources, programs and services provided to students depend on funding allotted to AMDSB by the Ministry of Education.

Click on the link below to view the AMDSB Special Education Plan 2023-24

Parents' Guides

The PDF documents below will open in a new tab or download to your computer.

Our Learning Services Team:

Applied Behaviour Analysis Team

The Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) team provides support to schools to understand and implement ABA principles to assist students in developing skills to enhance independence, social engagement and purposeful involvement in classroom activities and learning.

Experiential Learning Education Assistant (EL EA)

An Experiential Learning Educational Assistant supports students with complex needs by providing them with work experience opportunities within their community, and to help provide students an opportunity to expand their knowledge and skills within the workplace. The Experiential Learning EA acts as an active support for the student while in the workplace and will advocate for any student needs and safety requirements.

Learning Services Coordinators

Learning Services Coordinators consult with school teams, providing guidance with positive interventions and to help coordinate services for students. Coordinators collaborate with families, community agencies, school staff, Learning Services department central support staff, and program support staff so that students are provided with the supports they need to succeed at school.

Psychological Services Team

Psychological Services completes psychological assessments for referred students by collaborating with the school team and parents/guardians and by increasing understanding of the students’ educational needs, social-emotional wellbeing, and mental health. Based on the assessment information, recommendations are made in support of academic programming, behaviour management, social-emotional interaction, and mental health, as needed.

Speech and Language Pathologists

Speech Language Pathologists (SLPs) provide assessment, consultation and program support for students with communication, language and speech needs which impact their educational and social outcomes. Based on the 3 Tiers of Intervention Model, SLPs develop educational opportunities and partner with school teams to meet the communication and learning needs of their students. SLPs support families to understand and promote the communication development of their children and liaise with community agencies.

START EAs (Short Term Assistance Resource Team)

The START EA team provides short term collaboration with school teams to support, assist and empower them in developing strategies, structure and routines for individual students and in enhancing an inclusive and differentiated classroom environment. Team members collaborate with other Learning Service teams to ensure that students’ individual learning needs are being met.

STRIVE CYWs (Child and Youth Worker)

STRIVE is an individualized, proactive program that guides and supports students from Kindergarten to Grade 12 who are demonstrating lagging in skills in the areas of personal, social and emotional development. The objective of the STRIVE program is to guide students in developing and independently accessing strategies of self-regulation; and supporting their personal, social and emotional development; thereby, creating the conditions for the student to engage in accessing the skills required for academic readiness. By supporting students to build positive relationships with peers and school staff, this leads to skill development, promotes positive self esteem and increases success in the classroom and other environments.

Student Support Team

Through direct engagement with students and educators, the Student Support Team, works collaboratively with school teams to develop an enhanced capacity to support students with challenging behaviour.

Teacher of the Blind and Low Vision

A Teacher of the Blind and Low Vision works with students by providing service and program support to students with moderate, severe, or profound visual impairments. Support is individualized for each student, depending upon their needs. Recommendations are provided for accommodations for students within the classroom and school, as well as consults with other professionals like therapists, orientation and mobility specialists, and professionals at CNIB.

Teachers of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

A Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing supports students with hearing loss and central auditory processing deficits, as well as offering support and consultation to members of their educational team and to parents/guardians in order to develop hearing awareness and to ensure classroom accommodations and/or modifications are in place.

Teacher of Gifted Programming

The Teacher of Gifted Programming supports students identified as intellectually Gifted by collaborating with the school team to provide resources, strategies and support with programming and accommodations.