The Education Act requires that school boards provide, or purchase from another board, special education programs and services for their exceptional pupils. In order for your child to receive special education programs and services they must have a psycho-educational assessment and be identified exceptional by an IPRC (Identification, Placement, and Review Committee). Once your child has an identification, an IEP (Individual Education Plan) will be developed by the school team.
What is an IPRC?
Regulation 181/98 regulation requires that all school boards set up an Identification, Placement and Review Committee (IPRC). An IPRC is composed of at least three persons, one of whom must be a principal or supervisory officer of the board.
Link to Regulation 181/98
What is the role of the IPRC?
The IPRC will:
- decide whether or not the student should be identified as exceptional;
- identify the areas of the student’s exceptionality, according to the categories and definitions of
exceptionalities provided by the Ministry of Education;
- decide an appropriate placement for the student; and
- review the identification and placement at least once in each school year.
Who is identified as an exceptional pupil?
The Education Act defines an exceptional pupil as “a pupil whose behavioural, communicational, intellectual, physical or multiple exceptionalities are such that he or she is considered to need placement in a special education program….” Students are identified according to the categories and definitions of exceptionalities provided by the Ministry of Education.
What is a special education program?
A special education program is defined in the Education Act as an educational program that:
is based on and modified by the results of continuous assessment and evaluation; and
- includes a plan (called an Individual Education Plan or IEP) containing specific objectives and an outline of special education services that meet the needs of the exceptional pupil.
What is an IEP?
The IEP must be developed for a student, in consultation with the parent. It must include:
- specific educational expectations;
- an outline of the special education program and services that will be received;
- a statement about the methods by which the student’s progress will be reviewed; and
- for students of all ages a transition plan (for both exceptional and unexceptional students with an IEP) for transition to appropriate postsecondary school activities, such as work, further education, and community living.
An excerpt from the Ontario Ministry of Education’s website on Special Education – http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/general/elemsec/speced/ontario.html
For further information see http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/general/elemsec/speced/guide/resource/iepresguid.html
Helping your child while waiting for an idendification
How to get special education help for your child
The Education Act in Ontario guarantees your child’s right to an appropriate education, regardless of any difficulties or special needs. As a parent, you have an important role as an advocate in ensuring that your child receives an appropriate education.
If you believe that your child would benefit from special education and he/she has already had a psycho-educational assessment, write to your child’s school principal requesting that your child be referred to an Identification, Placement, Review, Committee (I.P.R.C.). If your child has not already been assessed and you recognize that your child needs additional support, contact your child’s teacher and request a meeting to discuss a referral for an assessment. You may be requested to sign a form giving permission for a psychological assessment. Only after the assessment is completed and you have been given the results will an I.P.R.C. be arranged.
When you are invited to attend the I.P.R.C., please plan to attend. To prepare for the meeting:
- read your school board’s Parent’s Guide to Special Education (available from your child’s school),
- let the school know that you can attend or arrange an alternate date and time,
- contact the Learning Disability Association of Sudbury for information, advice, or support. We can also attend the
I.P.R.C. with you. (705 522 0100),
- write down any questions you may have.
The I.P.R.C. will decide whether your child is “exceptional,” and the category and definition of the identified exceptionality. It will also decide the strengths and needs of the student, and what placement will best meet his/her needs. There may also be discussion and recommendations for special education programs and services.
It is advisable not to sign the form at the I.P.R.C. meeting so that you can be quite sure that you really know what the school board is offering to your child and that you agree.
If you are not sure that you support the I.P.R.C. decision you may have a further meeting with the Committee to discuss their recommendations.
If you don’t agree with the I.P.R.C. decision, you have the right to appeal. Your notice of appeal must be sent to the Director of Education within 15 days of receiving the I.P.R.C. decision. You can appeal identification and placement, but not program.
Once your child is in a special education placement, you can request a review after three months. An annual review is mandated by law. It is important to attend the review even if you are quite happy with what is happening.
Each exceptional child must have a written Individual Educational Plan. Be sure that you know what is in your child’s plan.
The process is complex but it works. Remember, the Learning Disabilities Association is here to help every step of the way. You are not alone!
You are welcome to contact us for information and support. (705 522 0100)
Other Organizations in the Sudbury Area that may be helpful:
Autism Association of Ontario, Sudbury Chapter – 705 222 5000 ext. 2685
Attention Deficit Disorder with/without Hyperactivity Parent Support Group – 705 523 4747
Child Care Resources – 705 525 0055 – facilitate the provision of whatever a child needs to have an inclusive quality of life
Council for Exceptional Children – 705 523 1199
Integrated Service For Northern Children (ISNC) – 705 474 3540– special education services to children and their families who reside in the rural and remote communities of Northern Ontario.
Ministry of Community, Family and Children’s Services – 705 564 8153 ext. 371
– assist parents with extra costs that a child may have because they have serious special needs.
N’Swakamok Native Friendship Centre – 705 674 2128
Sudbury Family Services – 705 524 9629 – improvement of the quality of life and the resolution of psychosocial problems of individuals and families
Post Secondary Education:
Cambrian College Special Needs Resource Centre – 705 566 8101 ext. 7420
Collège Boréal Special Needs Office – 705 560 6673 ext. 2130
Laurentian University Special Needs Office – 705 675 1151 ext. 3324
Provincial Demonstration Schools
The Ministry of Education provides the services of four provincial Demonstration Schools for Ontario children with severe learning disabilities.
These schools are the following:
Amethyst School, 1090 Highbury Avenue, London, Ontario, N5Y 4V9 — Tel.: 519 4534408 / Fax: 519 453 2160
Centre Jules-Léger, 281 rue Lanark, Ottawa, Ontario, K1Z 6R8 — Tel.: (613) 761-9300 / Fax: 613 761 9301 / TTY: 613 761 9302 and 613 761 9304
Sagonaska School, 350 Dundas Street West, Belleville, Ontario, K8P 1B2 — Tel.: 613 967 2830 / Fax: 613 967 2482
Trillium School, 347 Ontario Street South, Milton, Ontario, L9T 3X9 — Tel.: 905 878 8428 / Fax: 905 878 7540
Individual Education Plan Resource Guide 2004