Teacher beside student with special education needs

Supporting our Students with Special Education Needs

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Special Education

Health and Safety Protocols

  • All safety provisions outlined under Maintaining Safe and Healthy Schools in the Return to School Plan 2021-2022 will be implemented.
  • Students in different cohorts can interact indoors with physical distancing and masking.
  • Active screening of students being seen by regulated health professionals (SLP, Psych, OT, PT) will be completed through parent/guardian contact (phone/email) by the regulated health professional.


  • Programming will reflect differentiated learning needs for all students with special needs to ensure access to effective learning.
  • Specialized education staff, teachers, and support staff (e.g., Educational Assistants) will be permitted to go into classrooms and multiple schools to provide the full breadth of programming for students.

Small Group Instruction

  • Students may be placed into small groups (e.g., for special education support, English language learning, etc.) with students from other cohorts; 2 metres distancing between students, hand hygiene, and masking/PPE must be practiced.
  • Individual Education Plans (IEPs)
  • All students with special education needs will continue to be supported by homeroom and special education resource teachers, as well as support staff, as per their Individual Education Plans (IEPs).
  • Consideration will be given to whether new accommodations are necessary and ensure continued access to assistive technology.
  • Integration plans and schedules will be developed individually based on the student’s placement as per their IEP, the course, and the model of instruction in which the student is enrolled.  Integration can take place in-person for students learning at school, as members of different cohorts can interact indoors with distancing and masking.

Mask wearing for students in grade K-12 Transportation

  • HCDSB staff will work with Halton Student Transportation Services (HSTS), families and health care providers to address accommodations for immunocompromised and medically vulnerable students.


  • We will continue to support students and families through the use of technology and equipment, where necessary.
  • FM systems will be available for students. Staff will be provided with sanitizing instructions for the distribution of the transmitters and microphones.

Medically Fragile Students

  • We will consult with our local public health officials to support the return to school for medically fragile students that includes options for personal protective equipment, staff training, and potential continued remote learning where return is not possible.
  • Parents and guardians are encouraged to consult with their health care providers.

Third-Party Service Providers

  • Extensive measures will be taken to ensure all existing services will continue to be provided to students with special needs wherever possible. All outside agencies will consider what services can be provided virtually prior to requesting access to HCDSB locations.
  • HCDSB protocols for community agency access to school sites are outlined in the Return to School Plan 2021-2022, under Visitor Protocol.  These protocols will continue to be reviewed to ensure there is no interruption of essential student services provided by community agencies, regulated health professionals, regulated social service providers and paraprofessionals.
  • All visitors will schedule visits with the site Administrators.  All third-party providers will wear PPE at all times while at HCDSB sites and adhere to visitor protocol outlined earlier in this document.
  • LHIN and school -based rehabilitation services staff wear PPE issued and approved by their agencies. If essential, students can be taken out of the classroom for services.

Transition Time

  • Transition time and additional planning for students are essential to supporting a smooth return as schools reopen.
  • ​Considerations for transitions including changes in the school environment, unique student identities and/or remote learning needs when reviewing and updating individual education plans (IEPs), including the transition section of the IEP, to ensure continued access to assistive technology and mobility equipment.



Special Education

Adult and Continuing Education

Newcomer Families & ESL Students