Entry to School
Welcome to the Toronto District School Board (TDSB)!
Children entering school have a wide range of abilities, strengths and needs, and our priority is to ensure that all children have a positive experience entering school. We warmly welcome all children and work collaboratively with families to ensure a seamless transition into school. To support this endeavour, we've included some frequently asked questions below. If you require further assistance during this time, please contact the principal of your local school.
Frequently Asked Questions:
My child has special education needs and I want my child to remain in our local school in a regular class. Can I do that?
Yes. Following registration, most students will be placed in a regular classroom in their local school. The TDSB supports a range of placements, programs and services to meet the needs of students. If your child is entering a TDSB school and has special education needs, contact your local school as soon as possible to discuss registration and to schedule an appointment with the principal. At this meeting, you will be able to share your child's strengths and needs, and provide any related documentation to support creation of an entry plan, which may include special education support.
Ontario Regulation 181/98 requires school boards to consider placing students with exceptionalities into regular classes with appropriate special education services before considering placement in special education classes. In the TDSB, we continue to be responsive to the understanding that as students learn, they develop skills and so their special education service and program needs change over time. Students being welcomed, included and supported in well-resourced neighbourhood schools in age-appropriate, regular classes are able to learn, contribute and participate in all aspects of school life. This allows for valuable learning opportunities for groups which have been historically excluded and marginalized, such as students with disabilities and intersecting identities.
I heard TDSB has a Special Education Program Recommendation Committee (SEPRC). What is this and how do I access this?
The Toronto District School Board is committed to providing equity of access to learning with a timely admittance to school for students new to the Board and who fall within the TDSB Low Incidence category of developmental disabilities and physical disabilities, including blind/low vision and deaf /hard of hearing. Students new to the TDSB with extremely complex physical and/or medical needs may be considered for immediate placement in an Intensive Support Program (ISP). Usually, these are students who have been receiving intensive, full-time special education class support in other school systems including out of province, or specialized preschool/daycare prior to their arrival in the TDSB. This includes students who have complex medical needs which may include a combination of intellectual communication and/or behavioural needs, including persistent challenges in daily living. This also includes students in need of care, treatment or rehabilitation through Education and Community Partnership Programs (ECPPs).
If you feel that the criteria above apply to your child and that they would benefit from an ISP, please make a request to the principal of your child’s school. The principal will connect with central staff from the Special Education and Inclusion Department to engage you in dialogue to determine whether your child meets the eligibility criteria for a SEPRC, and next steps as needed.
What if I have questions and would like to connect with other parents who have children with special education needs? What is SEAC?
TDSB has a supportive group of parents and community association representatives that make up the Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC). SEAC is an advisory committee legislated by the Ministry of Education and appointed by the Board of Education to provide recommendations and advise to the Board in matters that apply to the delivery of special education services and programs.