According to the Ontario Ministry of Education website, there are 5 placement options available to students who are deemed exceptional by an Identification, Placement, and Review Committee.
A regular class with indirect support
This means that the student is placed in a mainstream class for the entirety of the school day, and the classroom teacher has access to a specialized consultant (such as a board SLP, or itinerant ASD teacher). Depending on the needs of the student, the caseload of the consultant, and the experience of the classroom teacher, the specialized consultative services may be used regularly or very rarely.
A regular class with resource assistance
This means the student is placed in a mainstream class for most or all of the day, and is provided with direct instruction by a qualified special education teacher on a regular basis, either individually or in a small group. The size of the caseload and resourcefulness of the special education teacher may have a big impact on how regularly and effectively a student receives resource assistance.
A regular class with withdrawal assistance
The student is placed in a mainstream class and leaves the class for less than 50 per cent of the school day to receive direct instruction from a qualified special education teacher. Again, the amount of direct instruction can vary significantly here, and may be significantly less than expected if the special education resource teacher (commonly referred to as a SERT) is responsible for large groups of students at multiple schools.
A special education class with partial integration
The student is placed in a special education class for at least 50 per cent of the school day, but is integrated with a mainstream class for at least one instructional period per day. A big thing to look at with this placement option is the level of support provided for integration: will they have an EA assigned to them, if needed, to ensure the integrated period is meaningful and successful?
A full-time special education class
This final placement option has the student in a self-contained special education class for the entire school day. Student-teacher ratios in designated special education classroom are laid out in Regulation 298, section 31, and are useful to know.
Maximum class sizes for special education classes
Per the Education Act, Regulation 298, section 31, enrolment in classes for the following specific exceptionalities may at no time exceed:
|Exceptionality||Maximum Class Size|
|severe learning disabilities||8|
|hard of hearing||12|
|mild intellectual disabilities (primary)||12|
|mild intellectual disabilities (junior/intermediate)||16|
|multiple exceptionalities (no one dominant)||6|
|pupils with different exceptionalities||16|
The IPRC may also consider referring the student for admission to one the Provincial Schools, if their needs cannot be best met by the home school board, or if it is felt they would benefit from the intensive programming that is offered by these facilities.