Authors: George Tam and Sarah Armson
This report provides information on trends in the Toronto District School Board (TDSB)’s special education data from the 2016-17 school year through to preliminary data from the 2022-23 school year. It provides an update to a previous report by Brown, R.S., Parekh, G., & Marmurneau, C. (2016).
Included in this report is data on TDSB’s special education placements and identifications and data on the number of students in congregated classes. The report also contains an analysis of the behavioural exceptionality. First, overall system-level race data was used to examine the behavioural exceptionality by racial background. Next, Grade 9 cohort data from the 2000-2015 Grade 9 cohorts was used to examine the overall number of Grade 9 students with a behavioural exceptionality as well as by outcome measures including Grade 9 EQAO level 3 or 4 in English, math, science and geography, OSSLT pass rate, Grade 9 credit accumulation, Grade 9 academic program of study, graduation rate and the rate of confirmations of post-secondary applications.
Key Findings include:
- The overall number of students with special education needs has declined since 2016-17, representing a decline in most special education identification categories (except giftedness, autism, and IEP-only which have increased)
- The home school program (HSP) has been successfully phased out, declining from 5,000 students in 2016-17 to 0 in 2022-23
- The overall number of Grade 9 students with a behavioural exceptionality has decreased; however, Black students remain overrepresented in this category. Data on secondary achievement outcomes also indicates that students with a behavioural exceptionality experience significantly lower outcomes than the overall student population