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 2022-23

Parents' Guides

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

Student Identity-Based Survey and Results

At Avon Maitland District School Board we are committed to creating positive inclusive learning environments, and maximizing outcomes for our students. In order to continue with this work, we need to better understand the needs of our students and their families. To help us with this, we launched our first board-wide student identification survey during the 2018-2019 school year.


Our Learning Services Team:

Click on the title to learn more detail about each role.

Applied Behaviour Analysis Team

An Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) support person may be a Specialist, Demonstrator EA, or Student Support /ABA Team Teacher and provides support to school teams in implementing effective strategies for students who are able to benefit from the use of ABA principles.

English as a Second Language (ESL) Team

An English as a Second Language (ESL)/ English Literacy Development (ELD) Educational Assistant (EA) supports the learning of English Language Learners (ELLs), individually or in small groups, at their school site(s). EAs help students to learn academic English language and skills over a ten week period of daily tutoring in order to accelerate their English language acquisition.

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 provide liaison 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)

A Strive Child and Youth Worker (CYW) builds positive therapeutic relationships with a caseload of students and works collaboratively with school staff to support students’ complex needs by teaching and promoting strategies for student social and emotional growth, allowing those students to be better able to focus on learning.

Student Support Team

Student Support Team members respond to referrals and requests from school teams to support students or classes that present with challenging behaviour(s).

Teacher of the Blind and Low Vision

A Teacher of the Blind and Low Vision is an itinerant teacher who 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 his or her needs. Additionally, the teacher of the blind and low vision provides recommendations 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/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/modifications are in place.

Teachers of Gifted Programming

Teachers of Gifted Programming support students identified as intellectually gifted or identified as intellectually gifted with an additional identification as well as their Special Education Resource Teachers educators, and parents/guardians. We provide a once a week withdrawal program for students in grades 4 – 6 in Stratford and Seaforth. We also plan between 8 – 10 experiential learning modules for students in grades 7-10 which focus on developing global competencies and providing deep and complex learning. Our goal is to provide differentiated learning as well as social/emotional strategies and supports for all learners in the program.