Each student has their own style of learning. When a student requires a special plan to assist with their learning, the staff of the Special Education Department at St, Mary Catholic Secondary School will serve to provide the optimum classroom environment based on the individualized learning styles. Described below are a variety of programs available.
The Special Education Department will provide assistance and program differentiation for students referred by the School Resources Team (S.R.T.), or Identification Placement and Review Committee (I.P.R.C.). The department offers diagnostic assessment, remedial activities, learning strategies and resource services to individual students. Special Education Department is also a resource to teachers assisting in developing programs in the regular class for students with differentiated learning needs. The Individual Education Plan (I.E.P.) will indicate the manner by which the school will fulfill the needs of each exceptional pupil.
Programming for Special Needs
Students with challenging needs are welcomed at St. Mary Catholic Secondary School and are encouraged to participate in a variety of school activities which promote well-being, spiritual, intellectual, social, emotional and physical growth. All students can learn and all students learn best in regular classrooms with their peers. Students with challenging exceptionalities are offered the benefits of life-skills courses as well. Timetables are individualized in order to develop strengths and meet the needs of the students. Life-skills courses may have the following goals: relationship building, decision-making, community awareness, independent-living skills, preparation for the world of work, career access, communication skills, literacy, numeracy and academic skills. Most of these areas are addressed in the regular classroom with program support provided by the Special Education Department. Resource periods, Cooperative Education placements, or community programs may be used to access specialized facilities.
Courses are appropriately modified as to kind, breadth, depth, and pace so that the learning experience will correspond with the student's needs, abilities and interests. Their program may be non-credit bearing. Refer to the student’s I.E.P. for details.
Those students with special needs, whose primary goal is the earning of credits and a high school diploma, are placed in appropriate course levels. Upon successful completion of their program, students may be awarded a St. Mary Catholic Secondary School Certificate of Accomplishment, an Ontario Secondary School Certificate or an Ontario Secondary School Diploma.
Note: refer to the pages which follow for the specific requirements needed in order to obtain a Certificate of Education, an Ontario Secondary School Certificate (OSSC) and the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD).
locally developed program (essential)
Students who come from an elementary school who are working at the maximum of 4 grade levels below grade 9 and who require extra assistance in their classwork have an opportunity to continue with a similar learning environment.
St. Mary offers a Locally Developed Program for students who have not achieved the level of skills required for the Applied Program in English, Mathematics and Science. Students will take courses during their first year of high school, and after completing the program an assessment will determine whether they should continue for a second year with the Locally Developed courses or change to the Applied courses of Grade 9.
Centre for Autism Spectrum Assistance (CASA)
The Centre for Austism Spectrum Assistance (CASA) at St. Mary Catholic Secondary School is an alternate classroom for students identified Communication: Autism. This specialized classroom allows students the opportunity to learn and practice alternate skills and strategies that will help them to manage successfully in their home school setting.
Specialized skills will include development and support in the following areas:
Any student identified as Communication: Autism who is having difficulty making meaningful gains in the specialized skills noted above may be considered for the program.
Students who meet the eligibility criteria are discussed at the school resource team meeting. Parents provide consent for observation and consultation to the CASA Program. Eligibility for the placement is approved by the Superintendent of Special Education Services.
For additional information on our autistim classrooms, please contact the School Board .
learning for living skills (LLS)
Learning for Living Life Skills courses at St. Mary is offered to students who have an I.E.P. consisting of alternative courses. These course codes begin with “K”. These codes are structured somewhat differently: the fourth character indicates the year of attendance in secondary school (A for the first year, B for the second, etc.) and the fifth character, N, indicates a non-credit course.
K Courses offered:
KENAN: Language and Communication Development
KPHAN: Choices for Healthy Living
KPFAN: Personal Health and Fitness
KTTAN: Computer Skills
KMMAN: Numeracy and Numbers
KALAN: Creative Arts for Enjoyment and Expression (Drama / Visual Art)
KGLAN: Personal Life Skills
KHDAN: Social Skills Development
KGWAN: Exploring Our World of Work (Cooperative Education)
KSNAN: Exploring our Environment
KCCAN: Transit Training and Community Exploration
The aim of resource withdrawal is to help students cope with the demands of the secondary school curriculum where their needs are not being met within the classroom. Support is provided by taking work and assignments to the Special Education Department and with the attention of instructors, individualized assistance is provided to the student.
If needed a student may have a Resource Room period time-tabled into their school year. (Note: this period is not worth a credit but will assist the student in achieving their other credits).
remediation for students
Some grade 9 credit courses may require students to improve their skills to support achievement in English, Math and Science. St. Mary offers a program to provide opportunities for students to improve literacy, numeracy and learning skills so that they may participate successfully in grade 9 English, Math and Science. Students who have similar needs and whose requirements can be met through the same remedial program may be grouped together in a specific class and in specialized programs.
The Gifted Program at the secondary panel provides differentiated learning experiences to those students who have been identified as intellectually gifted. Students who are identified as gifted have the opportunity to attend the E=Mc2 Queen’s Enrichment Trip. For more information contact the Special Education Department.