Toronto District School Board
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The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) is committed to student achievement and well-being. We recognize that students develop and learn in different ways, have different strengths and needs, and require different levels of support. Some students require special education programs and services to meet their needs.

The Special Education and Inclusion Department, in collaboration with all staff, is committed to providing equitable access to learning opportunities for all students. This includes our ongoing commitment to anti-oppression, human rights, equity, anti-racism including anti-Indigenous and anti-Black racism, and anti-ableism. This commitment aligns with the TDSB Vision for Learning and the TDSB Equity Policy, and underpins all programming across all grade levels. It is through this commitment that systemic barriers to high-quality education for historically underserved students, including students with special education needs, are identified, addressed and eliminated. This helps us create a more equitable school system where the achievement and well-being of every student is fostered in inclusive and accepting environments in which all students feel a sense of belonging, where every voice is heard, and where students’ intersecting identities and lived experiences are honoured.

The work of the Special Education and Inclusion Department is guided by the goals outlined in the Multi-Year Strategic Plan (MYSP), which specifically focus on improving learning experiences for students with special education needs:

  • We will welcome all students to an open and inclusive learning environment that recognizes that most students can be served effectively within their community school, and will also continue to provide intensive support programs for students with more specialized learning needs;
  • We will continue to strengthen collaboration with parents/guardians/caregivers and engage effectively in the decision-making process regarding their child’s program, placement, and well-being; and
  • We will increase employment opportunities and outcomes for all students with Low Incidence Exceptionalities (e.g., Intellectual Disabilities, Physical Disability, Low Vision, Deaf and Hard of Hearing and Health/Medical).


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, such as students with disabilities and intersecting identities. Some students with unique strengths and needs (behaviour, communication, intellectual and physical) may require more specialized or intensive programs and supports and, in collaboration with parents/guardians/caregivers and students as appropriate, we provide the necessary placements.

Parents/Guardians/Caregivers and Students

TDSB staff are committed to working collaboratively with parents/guardians/caregivers and students in a respectful and transparent way, and deeply value this partnership. We encourage parents/guardians/caregivers to approach their child’s teachers and principal to engage in discussions about their child in an ongoing manner. The sharing of information between families and school staff is critical to ensuring the success of each student.

Parent Concern Protocol

Please follow the Parent Concern Protocol, which outlines steps for addressing issues and concerns as they arise, beginning at the school level:

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Step 1 - Classroom Teacher

The first place to go about any classroom-related question or concern is your classroom teacher. They can help you with:

  • Any questions about the classroom
  • Classroom rules and consequences
  • Homework and assignments
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Step 2 - School Principal

If you would like more information or if you have questions that are beyond the classroom, talk to your school principal. They can help with:

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Step 3 - School Superintendents

Superintendents are responsible for a Network of Schools.
They support school staff and can be contacted if you have questions that have not been answered or for help with:

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Step 4 - Trustees

Trustees are your elected community officials. They are available to
help you with the following areas of the TDSB:

  • Concerns about your community
  • Ideas and suggestions for the Board
  • Items on Board Agendas
  • Board policies under review
  • Board budget
  • Collective bargaining

Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC)

The Ontario Education Act Regulation 464/97 defines the role of SEAC, whose responsibilities are to provide important advice on special education to the TDSB and to to make recommendations to the board on anything that impacts the establishment, development and delivery of special education programs and services for exceptional pupils of the board. The TDSB values the recommendations put forward by SEAC, and takes recommendations under advisement to better support students with special education needs. For more information, please visit the TDSB SEAC page .