Special Education in Ontario (Draft Version, 2017)

PART D: The Identification, Placement, and Review Committee (IPRC) Process

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Introduction

Identification, Placement, and Review Committees (IPRCs) are responsible for the identification of exceptional students and their placement in special education programs. This part of the guide describes the roles, processes, and regulatory requirements related to IPRCs, including processes for appeals and reviews, whether through the IPRC or the special education appeal board (SEAB). This part of the guide also provides information about later appeals, under certain circumstances, to the Ontario Special Education Tribunal (OSET).

Where applicable, the relevant sections of Ontario Regulation (O. Reg.) 181/98, “Identification and Placement of Exceptional Pupils”, which sets out most of the requirements for IPRCs, are referenced in the main text, just below the paragraph under discussion. These section references are hyperlinked to the specific section of the regulation.

Additional information on IPRCs can also be found on the Ministry of Education's website.

The Identification and Placement of Exceptional Students

The IPRC

An IPRC is a formal committee that meets and decides if a student should be identified as exceptional and, if so, the placement that will best meet the student's needs. All school boards must establish one or more IPRCs. An IPRC is composed of at least three persons, one of whom must be a principal or supervisory officer of the board. A school board trustee may not be a member of an IPRC.

(See Ontario Regulation 181/98, sections 10 and 11)

The ministry standards for school boards' special education plans outlined in Part B of this guide require that those plans provide details concerning the IPRC process.

The Role of an IPRC

An IPRC must:

  • invite the parent and the student (if the student is 16 years of age or older) to attend the IPRC meeting;
  • review relevant information about the student;
  • describe the student's strengths and needs;
  • decide whether or not the student should be identified as exceptional;
  • identify the area(s) of the student's exceptionality or exceptionalities, according to the categories and definitions of exceptionality provided by the Ministry of Education (see Part A, the Categories of Exceptionalities section, for a list of these categories and definitions);
  • decide on an appropriate placement for the student;
  • provide reasons for the placement if deciding for a placement in a special education class;
  • discuss proposals for special education programs and services if the parent, or the student age 16 or over, requests it;
  • review the identification and placement at least once in each school year, unless the parent gives written notice dispensing with the review.

Requesting an IPRC Meeting

Once a child has been enrolled in school, the parents have the right to request that the principal refer their child to an IPRC.

According to the regulation, the principal of the student's school:

  • must refer the student to an IPRC upon receiving a written request from the parent;
  • may, with written notice to the parent, refer the student to an IPRC.

(See Ontario Regulation 181/98, subsection 14(1))

If a parent makes a written request for an IPRC, the principal must follow the school board procedure in arranging for the IPRC meeting. Neither the board nor the principal can refuse the request.

Within fifteen days of receiving a written request from the parent, or giving the parent notice of a referral, the principal must provide to the parent:

  • an acknowledgement of the parent's request (if the IPRC is being convened at parental request);
  • a copy of the school board's special education guide for parents;
  • a written statement indicating approximately when the IPRC will meet.

(See Ontario Regulation 181/98, subsection 14(6))

Note: Upon request, communication with the parent or student about the IPRC meeting and its results must be provided in Braille, large–print, or audio format.

(See Ontario Regulation 181/98, section 4)

Once the request for an IPRC has been made by either the principal or the parent, or by both of these parties, the principal must follow the school board procedure in arranging for an IPRC meeting.

Considerations Related to Students Who Are Moving from a Demonstration School to a School of a Board
If a decision is made by the parents and a Demonstration School to move a student from the Demonstration School to a school of a board, the superintendent of the Demonstration School must notify the school board as early as possible that the student is to be enrolled in a school of the board. The IPRC should meet as soon as possible after the decision is made to move the student to a school of the board.

Notice of the IPRC Meeting

At least ten days before the meeting of the IPRC, the chair of the committee must send the parents written notification of the meeting.

(See Ontario Regulation 181/98, subsection 5(5))

This letter will provide information about the date, time, and place of the meeting, and should ask the parents to indicate whether they will attend. Parents should be encouraged to attend, and every effort should be made to accommodate their schedule. Parents should also be informed that they have the right to:

  • be present at and participate in all committee discussions about the student;
  • be present when the committee makes its decision about the identification and the placement;
  • have a representative present to speak on their behalf or otherwise support them.

Each school board has its own procedures for inviting parents to attend the IPRC meeting. Many boards find it helpful to contact parents by telephone and follow up with a letter of invitation. If no reply to the notice of the meeting is received by two or three days before the scheduled date, the principal should contact the parents directly. At the same time, the principal may also wish to verify whether the parents have received, read, and understood the parents' guide to special education prepared by the school board (see “The Parents' Guide” below).

The parents (and student who is 16 years of age or older) must receive the same information about the student that the chair of the IPRC has received. This information is to be sent out as soon as possible after the chair has received it.

(See Ontario Regulation 181/98, subsection 15(8))

The Parents' Guide

Each school board is required to prepare a parents' guide to special education.

(See Ontario Regulation 181/98, subsection 13(1))

At a minimum, the parents' guide to special education must contain the information set out in the sample guide that is included in Appendix D-1 in this part of the guide.

Once an IPRC has been requested, parents must be provided with a copy of the guide, which contains information on the IPRC and the decision-making process.

The parents' guide provides information on the following topics:

  • the function of the IPRC and the IPRC review;
  • the procedure for identifying a student as exceptional and for deciding the student's placement;
  • the IPRC's duty to describe the student's strengths and needs;
  • the IPRC's duty to include the student's exceptionality and the category and definition of that exceptionality in its statement of decision;
  • the function of a special education appeal board (SEAB) and the parents' right to appeal the decision of the IPRC to such a board;
  • the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of the Provincial and Demonstration Schools;
  • whether and to what extent the school board purchases special education programs and/or services from another school board;
  • a list of local parents' organizations eligible to be on a Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC);
  • the fact that an IPRC placement decision cannot be implemented unless a parent has consented to the decision or has not filed a notice of appeal within the required time limit.

All parents should be informed by means of an item in the school newsletter, or by other appropriate means, at least once each year, of the availability of the school board's special education guide for parents. At the same time, parents should also be informed of their right to request that their child be referred to an IPRC.

Upon request of the parents or the student, the parents' guide must be made available in Braille, large–print, or audio format. Copies of the parents' guide must be available at every school, head office of the school board, and local district office of the Ministry of Education.

(See Ontario Regulation 181/98, subsection 13(2))

Preparation for the IPRC Meeting

Once an IPRC has been requested, the committee will:

  • obtain an educational assessment of the student (see Part C of this guide for a discussion of educational assessments);
  • obtain, subject to the provisions of the Health Care Consent Act, 1996, health and/or psychological assessments, if it is believed that such information is required to make an accurate identification or placement decision (see Part C of this guide for information on health and psychological assessments);
  • consider interviewing the student, if the committee members feel it would be useful to do so (parental permission is necessary before interviewing a child under 16 years of age);
  • consider any information about the student submitted by the parents, or by the student who is 16 years of age or older; and
  • consider any other information that may be relevant to the IPRC decision.

(See Ontario Regulation 181/98, subsections 15 (1)–(7))

A Delayed IPRC Meeting

No student is to be denied any special education program pending an IPRC meeting or decision. If there is a delay in holding the IPRC meeting or in determining identification and placement, a special education program and/or special education services appropriate to the student's apparent strengths and needs must be provided for the student in the interim.

(See Ontario Regulation 181/98, section 9)

Attending the IPRC Meeting

Parents, and students who are 16 years of age or older, are entitled to be present at and participate in all IPRC discussions about the student and to be present when the committee's identification and placement decisions are made.

(See Ontario Regulation 181/98, subsection 5(1))

In addition to the three people that constitute an IPRC, other people may attend the IPRC meeting. Possible attendees include:

  • the principal of the student's school (if not already a member of the IPRC);
  • resource people such as the student's teacher(s), special education staff, school board support staff, or other professionals who may be needed to provide further information or clarification;
  • a representative of the parents and/or of a student who is 16 years of age or older (i.e., a person who can provide support for or speak on behalf of the parents and/or student);
  • an interpreter (including a sign-language interpreter), if required; and
  • other individuals whose presence is requested by either the parents or the principal of the student's school (subject to the agreement of the IPRC chair).

(See Ontario Regulation 181/98, subsections 5 (3) and (4))

Recording at an IPRC Meeting

There is no requirement in O. Reg. 181/98 for a transcript or any other record of an IPRC meeting to be prepared. However, it is effective practice to document discussions at meetings where important decisions are made. Such records, including reports submitted to and relied on by the IPRC, support accountability for decisions, enable processes to be reviewed and improved, and assist future committees in understanding past decisions. In addition, the school board may want to keep a formal record of the meeting, including documents considered by the committee, for use in the event of an appeal. If anyone wishes to arrange for some form of record to be made of the meeting, this request should be discussed at the earliest opportunity with the IPRC chair and the other people attending the meeting. Regardless of whether a formal record is made, the IPRC chair and members, and the parents and student may make notes during the meeting.

Prior to the IPRC Meeting

Some time prior to an IPRC meeting, it is advisable that the principal and/or a designated school staff member arrange to meet with the parents for a preliminary discussion in order to:

  • make sure that parents understand their rights concerning the IPRC, as explained in the parents' guide;
  • request any additional information from parents that may be relevant to the IPRC decision;
  • review the results of educational and other assessments that were conducted with the student;
  • outline the agenda for the IPRC meeting;
  • explain the recommendations that will be made by the school staff;
  • discuss the possible decisions the IPRC might make; and
  • answer any questions.

The IPRC Meeting

It is the responsibility of the members of the IPRC to set an informal and welcoming tone in the meeting. It is also effective practice for the IPRC chair to:

  • introduce all those attending the meeting and explain the reasons for their presence;
  • explain the purpose of the meeting; and
  • ensure that all participants feel that their contributions are valued.

Parents, and/or students who are 16 years of age or over, must be given the opportunity to have a representative with them if they wish, and to present information and ask questions.

The IPRC meeting will review all available information about the student. The committee will:

  • consider the results of the student's educational assessment;
  • consider the results of any other assessments, such as health and/or psychological assessments, if it is believed that such information is required to make an accurate identification or placement decision;
  • consider the results of an interview with the student, if the committee members feel it would be useful to do so;
  • consider any information about the student submitted by the parents, or by the student who is 16 years of age or older; and
  • consider any other information that may be relevant to the IPRC decision.

At the meeting, teachers may be asked questions about the student's achievement, progress, behaviour, assessment results, and potential response to a change in placement.

The committee may discuss and make recommendations regarding special education programs and services for the student. At the request of the parents, or of a student who is 16 years of age or older, committee members will discuss any such recommendations with the parents and/or the student. Parents and students should be encouraged to ask questions and participate in the discussion.

(See Ontario Regulation 181/98, subsections 16 (1) and (2))

The IPRC Placement Decision

Before the IPRC considers placement of the student in a special education class, the committee, as required by the regulation, must consider place­ment in a regular class with appropriate special education services. If, after considering all of the information presented to it, the IPRC is satisfied that placement in a regular class would meet the student's needs and is consistent with parental preferences, the committee will decide in favour of a placement in a regular class with appropriate special education services.

(See Ontario Regulation 181/98, subsection 17(1))

If the committee decides that the student should be placed in a special education class, it must give reasons for that decision in its written statement.

(See Ontario Regulation 181/98, clause 18(2)(c))

The following chart outlines the range of options the IPRC may consider in making its placement decision.

Placement Description

A regular class with indirect support

The student is placed in a regular class for the entire day, and the teacher receives specialized consultative services.

A regular class with resource assistance

The student is placed in the regular class for most or all of the day and receives specialized instruction, individually or in a small group, within the regular classroom from a qualified special education teacher.

A regular class with withdrawal assistance

The student is placed in the regular class and receives instruction outside of the classroom for less than 50 per cent of the school day, from a qualified special education teacher.

A special education class with partial integration

The student is placed by the IPRC in a special education class where the student-teacher ratio conforms to the standards in O. Reg. 298, section 31, for at least 50 per cent of the school day, but is integrated with a regular class for at least one instructional period daily.

A special education class full time

The student is placed by the IPRC in a special education class, where the student-teacher ratio conforms to the standards in O. Reg. 298, section 31, for the entire school day.

Other options exist to meet the student's needs, and parents and school board staff are encouraged to explore them. For example, they may need to consider applying for admission to:

  • a Provincial School for students who are Deaf, blind, or deafblind, or a Demonstration School for students who have severe learning disabilities; or
  • a facility that provides the necessary care or treatment appropriate to the student's condition.

Applications to Provincial Schools and Demonstration Schools are coordinated and submitted by the school board. Applications to care and treatment facilities are made by the parents directly to the facility, although school board staff may be able to assist the parents in gathering useful information.

The IPRC Statement of Decision

The committee will make its decision about identification and placement after all the information has been presented, considered, and discussed. The committee need not make its determination at the IPRC meeting. It may reserve its decision (e.g., pending the receipt of further information). However, parents (and students 16 years of age or over) are entitled to be present whenever the IPRC makes its decision.

The IPRC written statement of decision will indicate whether the committee has identified the student as exceptional. Where the IPRC has identified the student as exceptional, the statement of decision must include:

  • the categories and definitions of any exceptionalities identified;
  • the IPRC's description of the student's strengths and needs;
  • the IPRC's placement decision;
  • the IPRC's recommendations regarding a special education program and special education services, if any; and
  • reasons for placing the student in a special education class, if that is the IPRC's decision.

(See Ontario Regulation 181/98, subsection 18(2))

Whether or not the IPRC places a student in a special education class, its statement of decision may indicate the rationale for its decisions and provide a record of both the evidence that was submitted to the committee and the evidence that it relied on in reaching its decisions regarding exceptionalities, placement, and strengths and needs.

School boards have found it helpful to develop a form to use when recording the decision of the committee. This form may become the statement of decision, as long as it contains the information listed above. It also usually lists:

  • the names of the committee members present;
  • the names of other persons present;
  • the titles of the documents considered; and
  • the process available to parents if they do not agree with the IPRC's decision.

The chair of the IPRC must send a copy of the statement of decision to:

  • the parents;
  • the student, if 16 years of age or older;
  • the school principal;
  • the director of the school board.

(See Ontario Regulation 181/98, subsection 18(1))

The school board will implement the placement decision either after the parents consent to it or, if the parents do not consent but do not wish to appeal the decision, after the time limit for an appeal has expired. Although the regulation requires that the consent be written, it does not specify the precise form in which written consent will be provided. Many school boards have a policy of asking the parents to sign their names to the statement of decision to indicate agreement with the committee's identification and placement decision. The statement of decision may be signed at the IPRC meeting or taken home and returned. Parents should be encouraged to give serious consideration to their child's identification and placement prior to signing the IPRC form.

If the student's parents did not attend the IPRC meeting, the statement of decision and a consent form should be mailed to the student's home to be signed and then returned to the school principal. If the parents do not sign the consent form and do not appeal the decision within the time limit, the school board will implement the IPRC decision, with written notice to the parents.

(See Ontario Regulation 181/98, section 20)

After the IPRC Decision

A follow-up meeting of the IPRC may be held at the parents' request whether or not they agree with the IPRC decision. The parents have fifteen days after receiving the statement of decision to make a written request to the student's current school principal for a follow-up meeting with the IPRC. The principal will arrange for the meeting to be held as soon as possible. Then, as soon as possible after the follow-up meeting, the IPRC chair will inform the school board and the parents if any changes were made to the IPRC decision and, if so, will provide a revised statement of decision and written reasons for the changes. The parents will be asked to consent to the revised identification and/or placement decision.

(See Ontario Regulation 181/98, section 19)

Agreement with the IPRC Decision

Once the IPRC has identified the student as exceptional and the parents have agreed with the IPRC identification and placement decision, the school board will promptly notify the principal of the school at which the special education program will be provided of the need to develop an Individual Education Plan (IEP) for the student, including a transition plan1 for each exceptional student who is 14 years of age or older, unless the student is identified as exceptional solely on the basis of giftedness.

(See Ontario Regulation 181/98, subsection 7(7))

(For a discussion of IEPs, see Part E of this guide.)

Disagreement with the IPRC Decision

If the parents disagree with the revised decision, they may:

  • within thirty days of receipt of the initial IPRC decision, file a notice of appeal with the secretary of the board (who is usually the director of education);
  • within fifteen days of the receipt of the decision of the second meeting, file a notice of appeal with the secretary of the board.

(See The IPRC Appeal section, for more information.)

If the parents do not supply written consent to the IPRC decision and also do not appeal the decision within the time limit set for appealing, the school board will instruct the principal to implement the IPRC decision.

Summary of the IPRC Timeline

IPRC Meeting Requested Action

Within 15 days of request

Principal sends parent:

  • acknowledgement of request or notice of referral
  • parents' guide to special education
  • approximate date for IPRC meeting

At least 10 days before meeting

IPRC chair sends parent (and student if 16 or over):

  • notification of IPRC meeting
  • details of meeting (date, time, place)

Before the meeting and as soon as possible after receipt of information on student

IPRC chair sends parent (and student if 16 or over) information about student received by IPRC


IPRC Meeting Action

IPRC:

  • documents student's strengths and needs
  • makes decision about identification and placement
  • identifies category and definition of student's exceptionality
  • may recommend program and services

As soon as possible after decision is made, statement of decision is sent to the relevant parties, along with reasons for placing student in special education class, if that is IPRC's placement decision


After IPRC Decision Action

Within 15 days of statement of decision

Parent may:

  • agree with decision and sign consent form
  • make no response
  • request further discussion, or
  • disagree with decision and file appeal with SEAB

If parent agrees or makes no response: Action

Within 30 school days of placement being implemented

School completes IEP
Parent gets copy of IEP


If parent wishes further discussion: Action

Within 15 days of receipt of decision

Parent requests second meeting


If parent disagrees: Action

Within 30 days of receipt of initial IPRC decision

Parent files notice of appeal with secretary of board


Second IPRC Meeting Action

As soon as possible after second IPRC meeting, notice of results sent to relevant parties, along with reasons for changes if there is a revised decision


After Second IPRC Meeting Action

Parent may:

  • sign consent form, or
  • make no response (board then implements placement decision, and develops IEP within
    30 days)

If parent disagrees: Action

Within 15 days of request of decision of second meeting

Parent files notice of appeal with secretary of board


The IPRC Review

Request for a Review / Dispensing with the Annual Review

At any time after a placement has been in effect for three months, a request for an IPRC review may be made by:

  • the school principal with written notice to the parent;
  • the parent in a written request to the principal; or
  • the director of education of the educating board (in purchase-of-service situations).

A request for an IPRC review cannot be made more often than once every three months. An IPRC review meeting must be held once within each school year, unless the principal of the school at which the special education program is being provided receives written notice from the parent dispensing with the annual review.

(See Ontario Regulation 181/98, subsections 21 (1), (2), (3), and (4))

Timelines for the IPRC Review

The IPRC review operates under the same timelines as the original IPRC process. Within fifteen days of a principal's giving written notice to the parent for a review or of the parent's written request to the principal for a review, the school principal must let the parent know, in writing, approximately when the IPRC review will take place.

(See Ontario Regulation 181/98, subsection 21(5))

Attendance at the IPRC Review

The same people who attended the original IPRC meeting may attend the IPRC review. If a special education program and/or special education service has been purchased from another school board, a representative of the purchasing board may be present.

The IPRC Review Decision

The IPRC will review the original placement and identification decisions and decide whether they should be continued or revised. The IPRC review considers the same type of information that was originally considered at the initial IPRC. With the parent's written permission, the IPRC conducting the review will consider the progress that the student has made in relation to the IEP.

(See Ontario Regulation 181/98, subsection 23(2))

After the IPRC Review Decision

As soon as possible after the IPRC review, a written statement confirming or changing the student's identification and/or placement must be sent by the chair of the committee to:

  • the parent;
  • the student, where the student is 16 years of age or older;
  • the school principal;
  • the designated representative of the school board providing the services;
  • the representative of the purchasing board (if appropriate).

(See Ontario Regulation 181/98, subsections 23 (3) and (4))

Following an IPRC review, the IPRC may:

  • confirm its original decision about the identification and placement of the student and provide all relevant parties with a written statement of decision; or
  • change its original decision about the student's identification or placement, or both, and provide all relevant parties with a new statement of decision that specifies:
    • reasons for changing the original IPRC decision;
    • whether the student should continue to be identified as an exceptional student;
    • where the committee considers that the student should continue to be identified as an exceptional student, the committee's placement decision, description of the student's strengths and needs, and the categories and definitions of any exceptionalities of the student; and
    • where the committee considers that the student should be placed in a special education class, the reasons for that decision.

As at the initial IPRC meeting, the committee must consider placement in a regular class with appropriate special education services before it considers placement in a special education class. If the committee decides that the student should be placed in a special education class, it must provide the reason(s) for that placement in its statement of decision.

(See Ontario Regulation 181/98, subsection 23 (6))

After receiving the confirmation or statement of decision resulting from a review, the parent may send a request to the principal for a follow–up meeting. A follow–up meeting of the IPRC review may be held at the parents' request whether or not they agree with the IPRC review decision.

(See Ontario Regulation 181/98, subsection 24(1))

If the parent disagrees with the decision, he or she may:

  • within thirty days of receipt of the IPRC decision, file a notice of appeal with the secretary of the board;
  • within fifteen days of the receipt of decision of the second meeting, file a notice of appeal with the secretary of the board.

(See “The IPRC Appeal” below, for more information.)

If the parent does not supply written consent to the identification and/or placement decision, but also does not appeal, the school board may implement the placement decision. In this case, the school board must notify the parent of the action taken.

(See Ontario Regulation 181/98, section 25)

If the IPRC review results in a change to the original IPRC decision on identification or placement of the student, the principal must review the IEP to determine whether it needs to be updated.

(See Ontario Regulation 181/98, subsection 7(2) and section 25)

The IPRC Appeal

Filing a Notice of Appeal

A parent who disagrees with the decision stemming from the original or the follow-up meeting of the IPRC may file an appeal with a special education appeal board (SEAB). The parent may appeal:

  • the decision that the student is, or is not, exceptional; and/or
  • the placement decision, when a student is identified as exceptional.

The notice of appeal must be sent to the secretary of the board and must:

  • indicate the decision with which the parent disagrees; and
  • include a statement that sets out the nature of the disagreement.

(See Ontario Regulation 181/98, subsections 26 (1) and (4))

If a parent's notice of appeal is incorrectly written or does not accurately describe the area of disagreement, the appeal will not be ignored. In most cases, it is sufficient for parents to indicate their reasons for disagreeing.

(See Ontario Regulation 181/98, subsection 26(5))

Appeal Timeline

The request for an appeal must be filed with the secretary of the board within the following time limits:

  • within thirty days of receiving the IPRC's statement of decision; or
  • within fifteen days of receiving the IPRC's statement of decision arising out of a follow–up meeting with the IPRC.

The same timelines apply to appeals of decisions arising from an IPRC review.

When a parent files a notice of appeal, the IPRC placement being appealed is not implemented, pending the results of the appeal. However, there is nothing to prevent the parents and the school board from agreeing to the terms of a temporary placement pending the results of the appeal.

(See Ontario Regulation 181/98, subsections 26 (2) and (3))

The School Board Response to Receiving a Notice of Appeal

After receiving the request for an appeal, the school board sets the appeal process in motion. It is suggested that the board assign one or more staff who are not involved in the appeal to handle the arrangements for setting up the SEAB.

Selection of Appeal Board Members

Within fifteen days of the school board's receiving the notice of appeal:

  • the school board selects one person to be a member of the SEAB; and
  • the parent selects one person to be a member of the SEAB.

Though parents will often request that a local association recommend one of its members as their selection for the appeal board, they are not limited to this choice. Where the parents are unfamiliar with the local associations operating within the jurisdiction of the school board, the school board should be prepared to provide the parents with a list of Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) members and/or a list of local associations eligible for membership on SEAC.

Within fifteen days of the selections of the parent and school board representatives, these two appeal board members will select a chair. It may be helpful for a school board, in advance of any requests for an SEAB, to compile a list of people who they believe are suitable and willing to act as chair. The list may include people from other boards, retired educators, or SEAC members from other boards. A prepared list, with résumés, may help the two members select the chair.

If the appeal board members cannot agree on a chair, the manager of the district office of the Ministry of Education may be asked to select the chair.

No appeal board member should have had any prior involvement with the matter under appeal, nor should the member be an employee or member of the school board or an employee of the Ministry of Education.

(See Ontario Regulation 181/98, subsections 27 (1), (4), and (5))

Before the Meeting of the Appeal Board

The school board contact person should, as soon as possible after receiving the request for the appeal, contact the parties (i.e., the parents and the school board) to identify when they will be available for the SEAB meeting and whom they have selected as their respective appeal board members.

In addition, the contact person should:

  • inform all parties to the appeal how he or she may be contacted. Questions or concerns about the process should be directed to the contact person rather than to the appeal board members;
  • make preparations for the meeting, including finding a facility in which to hold the meeting. The meeting should be held in a neutral location, preferably reasonably close to the parents' home, such as a school that is not involved in the matter, a government office, or a hotel;
  • inform both the parents and the school board that any information regarding the student's needs and strengths that was brought up at the IPRC meeting(s) may be submitted to the appeal board for consideration. Although the regulation does not indicate when this information should be sent to the appeal board members, it should be submitted sufficiently in advance of the meeting to permit the members of the SEAB and the other party to read it carefully;
  • ensure that the parents and the student (if 16 years of age or older) are aware of their right to have a representative present at the meeting.

The chair of the SEAB:

  • must send a notice to the parents, the student (if 16 years of age or older), the school board, and presenters within a reasonable period of time (at least ten days before the meeting) to inform them of the date, time, and location of the appeal board meeting. These details should have been worked out in consultation with the parents, the school board, and the SEAB members. The chair has an obligation to make sure the meeting takes place at a convenient time and place. Although appeal board meetings tend to be scheduled for a single day, there may be circumstances in which everyone agrees that more time is necessary;
  • should request that the parents and school board each submit a list of the persons they wish to invite to the meeting, with an estimate of how much time these people will likely need to make their presentations to the appeal board. If time permits, both lists should be distributed to all parties in advance of the meeting. If the lists are extensive or if the appeal board members believe that certain persons are missing and should be invited, then the chair may convene a conference call with the parties to attempt to resolve any difficulties. Flexibility in scheduling may be needed to accommodate the schedules of the persons invited to provide information to the appeal board.

(See Ontario Regulation 181/98, subsections 28 (1) and (2))

If the SEAB members intend to request material that has not already been submitted by either the school board or the parents, then a request to this effect should be made in writing by the school board contact person and provided to both parties.

The chair of the IPRC who made the original decision will provide the appeal board with documents from the IPRC proceedings, including the statement of decision and any reports, assessments, or other items considered by the IPRC.

(See Ontario Regulation 181/98, subsection 27(6))

The chair of the SEAB, in consultation with the other parties, will arrange for a meeting to take place at a convenient time and place, but no later than thirty days after he or she has been selected, unless the parents and the school board both provide written consent to a later date.

(See Ontario Regulation 181/98, subsections 28 (1), (2), and (3))

The Appeal Board Meeting

The school board will:

  • provide the appeal board with secretarial and administrative services for activities such as making telephone calls, sending correspondence, photocopying and distributing material, and preparing copies of the appeal board's recommendations;
  • in accordance with board policy with respect to board members, pay the travelling and other expenses of the members of the SEAB while they are engaged in their duties.

(See Ontario Regulation 181/98, subsection 27(7))

In addition to the appeal board members, other people are entitled to be present at the appeal board meeting:

  • The parents and a student who is 16 years of age or older are entitled to be present for, and to participate in, all discussions.
  • The parents and student are permitted to have representatives present to speak on their behalf or otherwise support them. If the parents and/or the school board representative wish to have additional persons with them to assist with note taking, they should raise this matter with the chair of the appeal board either at or in advance of the meeting.
  • Any person who, in the opinion of the appeal board chair, may be able to contribute information with respect to the matters under appeal may be invited to attend.
  • The parents and the school board may, with the agreement of the appeal board, invite other persons to the meeting to speak about various matters relevant to the appeal.
  • If a special education program and/or service has been purchased from another school board, the representative of the board offering the service may attend.

(See Ontario Regulation 181/98, subsection 5(3))

(See Ontario Regulation 181/98, subsections 28 (4) and (5))

The appeal board chair may prepare an agenda for the meeting that provides an overview of the scheduled proceedings. If possible, this agenda should be sent to the parties in advance of the meeting.

Sample Agenda for an SEAB Meeting

  1. A call to order
  2. An introductory statement by the chair of the appeal board, including:
    • introduction of the appeal board members
    • introduction of the participants
    • a statement of the purpose of the meeting
    • a description of the procedures to be followed (e.g., order of presentations)
  3. The presentations, including:
    • an opening statement by the parent
    • an opening statement by the school board
    • presentation of information by persons invited by the parent
    • presentation of information by persons invited by the school board
    • presentation of written information, if any, by parent and school board
    • a summary by the parent
    • a summary by the school board
  4. A closing statement by the appeal board chair. This statement should provide information about:
    • the decision date
    • the powers of the appeal board
    • the role of the school board following the decision

The SEAB meeting must be conducted in an informal manner. The goal of the meeting is to provide the appeal board members with the information they require in order to make their recommendations.

(See Ontario Regulation 181/98, subsection 28(2))

After the Appeal Board Meeting

The SEAB must make its recommendations to the school board within three days of the end of the meeting. The appeal board may:

  • agree with the IPRC and recommend that the IPRC's decisions be implemented; or
  • disagree with the IPRC and make a recommendation to the school board regarding the student's identification or placement or both.

(See Ontario Regulation 181/98, subsection 28(6))

The regulation requires that the appeal board report its recommendations in writing, including the reasons for its recommendations. This written statement must be sent to:

  • the parent;
  • the student, if 16 years of age or older;
  • the chair of the IPRC whose decision is being appealed;
  • the principal of the school;
  • the director of the school board; and
  • the representative of the purchasing board, if appropriate.

(See Ontario Regulation 181/98, section 29)

The appeal board may report its decision in whatever written form it finds appropriate. The following elements might be included:

  • personal information for the purpose of identification (e.g., the student's name and age, the parent's name and address, the name and address of the school);
  • the date, time, and place of the appeal board meeting;
  • the purpose of the meeting and the issue(s) with which it was concerned;
  • the names of the parties, their representatives (if any), and any presenters whom they invited to the SEAB meeting;
  • a summary of the facts of the case;
  • a summary of the positions of the parties;
  • a list of the factors that played a role in the formulation of the recommendations, and, if possible, the weight given to each of these factors;
  • the recommendation of the appeal board on the issue before it.

Although it is not required by the regulation, it is effective practice for the person designated as the school board contact to prepare an official file that includes:

  • the written communications between the appeal board and the parties;
  • the information submitted to the appeal board, including documents, assessments, videos, or other material (unless the parent requests that some of these be returned);
  • the appeal board recommendations;
  • the school board decision (see “After the Appeal Board Decision” below).

This record should be preserved for future reference, and for forwarding to a tribunal if required.

Note: Any records in the custody or under the control of the school board are subject to the privacy and access requirements of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

After the Appeal Board Decision

Within thirty days of receiving the SEAB's written statement, the school board must:

  • consider the appeal board's recommendations;
  • decide what action it will take with respect to the student;
  • send a written statement of decision to everyone who received the written recommendations from the appeal board and include an explanation of the parent's right to appeal to the Special Education Tribunal (SET).

In deciding what action to take, the school board is not limited to the actions recommended by the appeal board.

If the parent is not satisfied with the school board decision, he or she has a further right to appeal to the Special Education Tribunal.

(See Ontario Regulation 181/98, section 30)

The school board decision will be implemented when:

  • the parent consents in writing;
  • there is no appeal to the SET within thirty days of the parent's receiving notice of the decision; or
  • the appeal to the SET has been dismissed or abandoned.

Nothing prevents the school board and the parent from coming to an agreement that differs from the original school board decision. If so, the school board must give notice of the new decision to the same people to whom it sent the original statement of decision.

(See Ontario Regulation 181/98, section 31)

Summary of the IPRC Appeal Timeline

Notice of Appeal Action

within 15 days of notice being received by the
secretary of board

school board and parent each select one member of appeal board

within 15 days of the selections being made

the two members select a chair

within 30 days of selection of chair

appeal board meets (unless parent and board consent in writing to a later date)


Meeting Action

within 3 days following the meeting

appeal board recommendations sent to relevant parties

within 30 days of receipt of recommendations

school board considers recommendations and sends statement of decision to relevant parties


Board's Decision Action

within 30 days of receipt
OR

parent appeals to Special Education Tribunal

after 30 days and without an appeal by parents

board implements its decision


Summary of the Identification, Placement, and Review Process

IPRC Process and Procedures Parents and Students School Principals
Principal refers student to IPRC, either
at the request of parent or
on own initiative
The parent:
  • may request, in writing to principal, that student
    be referred to IPRC
  • may request communication in
    Braille, large-print, or
    audio format
The principal:
  • ensures parental request is honoured
  • provides communication in alternative format, if requested
  • ensures all timelines are met
Within 15 days of making the referral,
principal notifies parent that student
has been referred to IPRC
The parent receives:
  • written notification of referral
  • estimate of when IPRC
    is likely to meet
  • parents' guide to special education in appropriate format
The principal:
  • sends parent required information and parents' guide
Once an IPRC has been requested, the committee:
  • obtains an educational assessment
  • obtains a health and/or psychological assessment, if needed
  • may consider interviewing the student
  • must consider any information about
    the student submitted to it by
    the parent and, if the student is
    16 years of age or older, the student


  • Parent may be requested
    to give permission
    for a health and/or psychological assessment in accordance with the Health Care Consent Act, 1996
  • Parent may be requested to give permission for an interview if the child is under 16 years of age. Parent is entitled to be present for interview
The principal should:
  • ensure completion of educational assessment
  • obtain consent for health and/or psychological assessment, if needed

  • At least 10 days in advance of IPRC meeting, IPRC chair must notify parent and student (if 16 or older), in writing,
    of the date of IPRC
  • As soon as possible after IPRC chair
    receives information about student, the chair must send this information
    to parent and student (if 16 or older)
Parent and student
(if 16 or older) are entitled to receive all information provided
to members of IPRC
The principal:

  • should inform parent and student (if 16 or older) of student's entitlement to participate
The IPRC meets and:
  • may consider assessment reports, e.g., educational, health, speech and language, psychological
  • may consider the results of an interview with the student
  • may discuss and make recommendations (not decisions) for special education program and services
  • may include these recommendations in the decision

  • The parent and student
    (if 16 or older) are entitled to have a representative present who may speak on their behalf
  • Parent or student
    (if 16 or older) may request a discussion about special education programs and services and be present for and participate in discussion
The principal should:
  • understand role of the parent representative and, where appropriate, clarify role for parent, student, and representative
  • explain role of IPRC to parent, student, and their representative(s) prior to IPRC meeting
The IPRC:
  • decides whether to identify a student
    as exceptional or not
  • applies, for exceptional students,
    category and definition of identified exceptionalities in accordance with ministry list of categories and definitions
    of exceptionality
  • describes strengths and needs of student
  • decides placement of student (must decide upon placement in regular class if satisfied that such a placement meets student's needs and is consistent with parental preferences). If the IPRC decides on placement in special education class, IPRC must set out the reasons for this recommendation in its decision
  • sends written notice of decision to parent, student (if 16 or older), principal, director
    of education
The parent and student
(if 16 or older) receive
written statement of decision
from IPRC chair
The principal:
  • receives written statement of decision from IPRC chair
  • understands the elements of the statement of decision
  • appreciates difference between recommendations and decisions made by IPRC
  • may begin work on IEP
  • may review decision with parent and student (if 16 or older)
If parent requests follow-up meeting,
second IPRC meeting to be convened
as soon as possible
The parent may, within
15 days of receiving statement
of decision, request a second meeting with IPRC to discuss
the decision further; or, within
30 days of receiving statement
of decision, file a notice of appeal with board
The principal arranges for follow-up meeting with IPRC as soon as possible, on request
Following the second meeting of IPRC,
IPRC may:
  • uphold its original decision and notify
    all relevant parties of this decision, or
  • change its original decision and notify
    all relevant parties of this decision and reasons for the revised decision
The parent who does not agree with the upheld or revised decisions of follow-up meeting may request to have matter referred to an SEAB within 15 days of receipt of statement
of decision of second meeting
of IPRC
The principal ensures parent and student understand upheld or revised IPRC decision
The school board will implement IPRC decision
as soon as possible and notify school principal
of the decision

  • When parent receives
    IPRC final decision in writing, he/she should provide written consent
    for the placement or file a notice of appeal with the school board
  • If parent neither consents nor appeals, the school board may implement the IPRC decision
The principal ensures parent and student understand process for appealing
The student is placed in accordance
with IPRC decision if:
  • parent consents, or
  • parent has not consented but
    has not begun an appeal before
    end of appeal period
If parent does not consent
to placement and does not
appeal, parent is notified in
writing that student
has been placed
The principal ensures that parent and student understand their rights
Within 30 school days of start of placement,
an IEP must be developed for student and
provided to parent and student (if 16 or older)
The parent and student
(if 16 or older) will be
consulted on content of IEP
The principal ensures that parent and student (if 16 or older) are consulted on development of IEP and that IEP is completed and a copy is given to parent and student (if 16 or older)
For students aged 14 or over, IEP must
include transition plan for postsecondary
activities (except for gifted students)
The parent and student
(if 16 or over) will be consulted
on content of transition plan
The principal ensures that IEP includes transition plan for students with special education needs, where appropriate
At least once every school year, IPRC is reconvened to review student's
identification and/or placement

  • Parent may request a review 3 months after placement has begun. A review cannot be requested more than once every three months
  • Parent may agree in writing to dispense with annual review
The principal:

  • may initiate IPRC review with notice to parent
  • if review is held, it follows procedure similar to that of initial IPRC meeting

Special Education Tribunals

Parents who disagree with the identification and/or placement decision made following a meeting of the Identification, Placement, and Review Committee (IPRC) and a subsequent meeting of the special education appeal board (SEAB) have the right to appeal to the Ontario Special Education Tribunal (OSET) or the Tribunal de l'enfance en difficulté de l'Ontario (TEDO). In order to appeal to the tribunals, the parent must have completed the IPRC and SEAB processes, discussed earlier in this part of the guide. The parent's appeal to a tribunal must be made within 30 days of receiving the SEAB decision. To make an appeal, the parent must write to the tribunal, saying that they want to appeal the SEAB's decision.

When filing an appeal to OSET, there are specific timelines and procedures to be followed. At the pre–hearing conference, the OSET invites the parties to consider mediation, a voluntary process that only takes place if both parties agree to it. The goal of mediation is to help the two parties reach a solution that resolves the issues in the appeal.2

Ontario Special Education Tribunals, created by the Education Amendment Act of 1980 (Bill 82), are mandated to provide final and binding decisions to resolve disputes between a parent and a school board concerning the identification and/or placement of an exceptional student.

The Education Act: Special Education Tribunals

57(3) Right of appeal
Where a parent or guardian of a pupil has exhausted all rights of appeal under the regulations in respect of the identification or placement of the pupil as an exceptional pupil and is dissatisfied with the decision in respect of the identification or placement, the parent or guardian may appeal to a Special Education Tribunal for a hearing in respect of the identification or placement.

(4) Hearing by Special Education Tribunal
The Special Education Tribunal shall hear the appeal and may,
(a) dismiss the appeal; or
(b) grant the appeal and make such order as it considers necessary with respect to the identification or placement.

(5) Decision final
The decision of the Special Education Tribunal is final and binding on the parties to the decision.

(See The Education Act, subsections 57 (3), (4), and (5))

The Ontario Special Education Tribunal hears appeals regarding the disagreement with a board's decision about the identification and/or placement of students who are enrolled in English–language public and Catholic school boards. The Tribunal de l'enfance en difficulté de l'Ontario hears appeals regarding the disagreement with a board's decision about the identification and/or placement of students who are enrolled in French–language public and Catholic school boards.

The tribunals are independent adjudicative agencies of the Government of Ontario. As of March 2011, the tribunals became part of the Social Justice Tribunals Ontario cluster, accountable to the Ministry of the Attorney General for their operational and business functions. (Prior to that date, the tribunals fell under the Ministry of Education. However, the change from the Ministry of Education to the Ministry of the Attorney General has not altered the tribunals' mandate.)

More information about the two Ontario Special Education Tribunals, including information about mediation, can be found on the OSET website.

Appendix D-1: A Sample Parents' Guide to Special Education

District School Board Name




Mission Statement of the Board [optional]




Philosophy of the Board [optional]



Notes:

  1. If you wish to receive this parents' guide in Braille, large-print, or audio format, please contact the board at the address or telephone number shown on the last page of this guide.
  2. When used in this guide, the word “parent(s)” refers to both parent(s) and guardian(s). It may also be taken to include caregivers or close family members who are responsible for raising the child.

The Education Act requires that school boards provide, or purchase from another board, special education programs and services for their exceptional pupils. The purpose of this parents' guide is to provide you with information about the Identification, Placement, and Review Committee (IPRC), and to set out for you the procedures involved in identifying a pupil as “exceptional”, deciding the pupil's placement, or appealing such decisions if you do not agree with the IPRC.

If, after reading this guide, you require more information, please see the board's list of contacts at the end of the document.

What is an IPRC?
Regulation 181/98 requires that all school boards set up IPRCs. An IPRC is composed of at least 3 people, one of whom must be a principal or a supervisory officer of the board.

[School boards may list the members, identifying the member who is a principal or a supervisory officer.]

Parents are invited and encouraged to attend the meeting.

What is the role of the IPRC?
The IPRC will:

  • decide whether or not your child should be identified as exceptional;
  • identify the areas of your child's exceptionality, according to the categories and definitions of exceptionalities provided by the Ministry of Education;
  • decide an appropriate placement for your child [here the board should list the full range of placement options offered by the board]; and
  • review the identification and placement at least once in each school year.

Who is identified as an exceptional pupil?
The Education Act defines an exceptional pupil as “a pupil whose behavioural, communicational, intellectual, physical or multiple exceptionalities are such that he or she is considered to need placement in a special education program....” Students are identified according to the categories and definitions of exceptionalities provided by the Ministry of Education.

What is a special education program?
A special education program is defined in the Education Act as an educational program that:

  • is based on and modified by the results of continuous assessment and evaluation; and
  • includes a plan (called an Individual Education Plan or IEP) containing specific objectives and an outline of special education services that meet the needs of the exceptional pupil.

What are special education services?
Special education services are defined in the Education Act as the facilities and resources, including support personnel and equipment, necessary for developing and implementing a special education program.

What is an IEP?
The IEP must be developed for your child, in consultation with you. It must include:

  • a description of the student's strengths and needs and specific educational expectations;
  • an outline of the special education program and services that will be received;
  • a statement about the methods by which your child's progress will be reviewed; and
  • a transition plan that includes the specific goals, actions required, person(s) responsible for actions, and timelines for each educational transition where the student requires support.

The IEP must be completed within 30 days after your child has been placed in the program, and the principal must ensure that you receive a copy of it.

How is an IPRC meeting requested?
The principal of your child's school:

  • must request an IPRC meeting for your child, upon receiving your written request;
  • may, with written notice to you, refer your child to an IPRC when the principal and the child's teacher or teachers believe that your child may benefit from a special education program.

Within 15 days of receiving your request, or giving you notice, the principal must provide you with a copy of this guide and a written statement of approximately when the IPRC will meet.

May parents attend the IPRC meeting?
Regulation 181/98 entitles parents and pupils 16 years of age or older:

  • to be present at and participate in all committee discussions about your child; and
  • to be present when the committee's identification and placement decision is made.

Who else may attend an IPRC meeting?

  • the principal of your child's school;
  • other resource people such as your child's teacher, special education staff, board support staff, or the representative of an agency, who may provide further information or clarification;
  • your representative – that is, a person who may support you or speak on behalf of you or your child; and
  • an interpreter, if one is required. (You may request the services of an interpreter through the principal of your child's school.) [Boards may wish to list the types of interpreters available, e.g., sign language, oral, specific language.]

Who may request that they attend?
Either you or the principal of your child's school may make a request for the attendance of others at the IPRC meeting.

What information will parents receive about the IPRC meeting?
At least 10 days in advance of the meeting, the chair of the IPRC will provide you with written notification of the meeting and an invitation to attend as an important partner in considering your child's placement. This letter will notify you of the date, time, and place of the meeting, and it will ask you to indicate whether you will attend.

Before the IPRC meeting occurs, you will receive a written copy of any information about your child that the chair of the IPRC has received. This may include the results of assessments or a summary of information.

What if parents are unable to make the scheduled meeting?
If you are unable to make the scheduled meeting, you may:

  • contact the school principal to arrange an alternative date or time; or
  • let the school principal know you will not be attending. As soon as possible after the meeting, the principal will forward to you, for your consideration and signature, the IPRC's written statement of decision noting the decision of identification and placement and any recommendations regarding special education programs and services.

What happens at an IPRC meeting?

  • The chair introduces everyone and explains the purpose of the meeting.
  • The IPRC will review all available information about your child.
    The members will:
    • consider an educational assessment of your child;
    • consider, subject to the provisions of the Health Care Consent Act, 1996, a health or psychological assessment of your child conducted by a qualified practitioner, if they feel that such an assessment is required to make a correct identification or placement decision;
    • interview your child, with your consent if your child is less than 16 years of age, if they feel it would be useful to do so; and
    • consider any information that you submit about your child or that your child submits if he or she is 16 years of age or older.
  • The committee may discuss any proposal that has been made about a special education program or special education services for the child. Committee members will discuss any such proposal at your request or at the request of your child, if the child is 16 years of age or older.
  • You are encouraged to ask questions and join in the discussion.
  • Following the discussion, after all the information has been presented and considered, the committee will make its decision.

What will the IPRC consider in making its placement decision?
Before the IPRC can consider placing your child in a special education class, it must consider whether placement in a regular class with appropriate special education services will:

  • meet your child's needs; and
  • be consistent with your preferences.

If, after considering all of the information presented to it, the IPRC is satisfied that placement in a regular class will meet your child's needs and that such a decision is consistent with your preferences, the committee will decide in favour of placement in a regular class with appropriate special education services.

If the committee decides that your child should be placed in a special education class, it must state the reasons for that decision in its written statement of decision.

What will the IPRC's written statement of decision include?
The IPRC's written statement of decision will state:

  • whether the IPRC has identified your child as exceptional;
  • where the IPRC has identified your child as exceptional,
    • the categories and definitions of any exceptionalities identified, as they are defined by the Ministry of Education;
    • the IPRC's description of your child's strengths and needs;
    • the IPRC's placement decision; and
    • the IPRC's recommendations regarding a special education program and special education services;
  • where the IPRC has decided that your child should be placed in a special education class, the reasons for that decision.

What happens after the IPRC has made its decision?

  • If you agree with the IPRC decision, you will be asked to indicate, by signing your name, that you agree with the identification and placement decisions made by the IPRC.
  • If the IPRC has identified your child as an exceptional pupil and if you agree with the IPRC identification and placement decisions, the board will promptly notify the principal of the school at which the special education program is to be provided of the need to develop an Individual Education Plan (IEP) for your child.

Once a child has been placed in a special education program, can the placement be reviewed?

  • A review IPRC meeting will be held within the school year, unless the principal of the school at which the special education program is being provided receives written notice from you, the parent, dispensing with the annual review.
  • You may request a review IPRC meeting any time after your child has been in a special education program for 3 months.

What does a review IPRC consider and decide?

  • With your written permission, the IPRC conducting the review will consider the progress your child has made in relation to the IEP. It will consider the same type of information that was originally considered by the IPRC, as well as any new information.
  • The IPRC will review the placement and identification decisions and decide whether they should be continued or whether a different decision should now be made.

What can parents do if they disagree with the IPRC decision?

  • If you do not agree with either the identification or the placement decision made by the IPRC, you may:
    • within 15 days of receipt of the decision, request that the IPRC hold a second meeting to discuss your concerns; or
    • within 30 days of receipt of the decision, file a notice of appeal with [boards should fill in the name and address of the secretary of the board].
  • If you do not agree with the decision after the second meeting, you may file a notice of appeal within 15 days of your receipt of the decision.

If you do not consent to the IPRC decision but you do not appeal it, the board will instruct the principal to implement the IPRC decision.

How do I appeal an IPRC decision?
If you disagree with the IPRC's identification of your child as exceptional or with the placement decision of the IPRC, you may, within 30 days of receipt of the original decision or within 15 days of receipt of the decision from the second meeting described above, give written notification of your intention to appeal the decision to [boards should fill in the name and address of the secretary of the board].

The notice of appeal must:

  • indicate the decision with which you disagree; and
  • include a statement that sets out your reasons for disagreeing.

What happens in the appeal process?
The appeal process involves the following steps:

  • The board will establish a special education appeal board to hear your appeal. The appeal board will be composed of three persons who have no prior knowledge of the matter under appeal, one of whom is to be selected by you, the parent.
  • The chair of the appeal board will arrange a meeting to take place at a convenient time and place, but no later than 30 days after he or she has been selected (unless parents and board provide written consent to a later date).
  • The appeal board will receive the material reviewed by the IPRC and may interview any persons who may be able to contribute information about the matter under appeal.
  • You, the parent, and your child, if he or she is 16 years old or over, are entitled to be present at, and to participate in, all discussions.
  • The appeal board must make its recommendation within 3 days of the meeting's ending. It may:
    • agree with the IPRC and recommend that the decision be implemented; or
    • disagree with the IPRC and make a recommendation to the board about your child's identification or placement or both.
  • The appeal board will report its recommendations in writing, to you and to the school board, providing the reasons for its recommendations.
  • Within 30 days of receiving the appeal board's written statement, the school board will decide what action it will take with respect to the recommendations (boards are not required to follow the appeal board recommendation).
  • You may accept the decision of the school board or you may appeal to a Special Education Tribunal. You may request a hearing by writing to the secretary of the Special Education Tribunal. Information about making an application to the tribunal will be included with the appeal board's decision.

What special education programs and services are provided by the board?
[This section should indicate the extent to which the board provides special education programs and services and the extent to which it purchases them from another board or boards.]

What organizations are available to assist parents?
Many parent organizations are available to provide information and support to parents of exceptional children.

[Boards should list here the local associations eligible for membership on their SEAC. Some boards may need to include the provincial office of a major exceptionality group if there is no local association for that group in the community.]

What are the ministry's Provincial and Demonstration Schools?

The ministry operates Provincial and Demonstration Schools throughout Ontario for students who are Deaf or hard of hearing, who are blind or have low vision, who are deafblind, and/or who have severe learning disabilities, as well as those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Residential programs are offered at the schools Monday to Friday, for students who live too far from school to travel daily.

English–language Demonstration Schools for students with severe learning disabilities

Amethyst School
1515 Cheapside Street
London, ON N5V 3N9
Tel: 519–453–4408
https://pdsbnet.ca/en/schools/amethyst/

Sagonaska School
350 Dundas Street West
Belleville, ON K8P 1B2
Tel: 613–967–2830
https://pdsbnet.ca/en/schools/sagonaska/

Trillium School
347 Ontario Street South
Milton, ON L9T 3X9
Tel: 905–878–8428
https://pdsbnet.ca/en/schools/trillium/

Provincial Schools for the Deaf

Ernest C. Drury School
255 Ontario Street South
Milton, ON L9T 2M5
Tel: 905–878–2851
TTY: 905–878–7195
https://pdsbnet.ca/en/schools/ernest-c-drury/

Robarts School
1515 Cheapside Street
London, ON N5V 3N9
Tel: 519–453–4400
TTY: 519–453–4400
https://pdsbnet.ca/en/schools/robarts/

Sir James Whitney School
350 Dundas Street West
Belleville, ON K8P 1B2
Tel: 613–967–2823 or 1–800–501–6240
TTY: 613–967–2823
https://pdsbnet.ca/en/schools/sir-james-whitney/

Provincial School for the blind and deafblind

W. Ross Macdonald School
350 Brant Avenue
Brantford, ON N3T 3J9
Tel: 519–759–0730 or 1–866–618–9092
https://pdsbnet.ca/en/schools/w-ross-macdonald/

French–language Provincial School for the Deaf and Demonstration School for students with severe learning disabilities

Centre Jules–Léger
281 Lanark Avenue
Ottawa, ON K1Z 6R8
Tel: 613–761–9300
TTY: 613–761–9302
https://ccjl.ca/

Where can parents obtain additional information?

Additional information can be obtained from:

  • the school principal [provide name, school address, and school telephone number]; or
  • [provide the name, address, and telephone number of a contact at the district school board].

1. Ministry policy requires transition plans under other circumstances as well. For details, see Part E of this guide.
2. For more information about cooperative dispute resolution processes in special education, see Shared Solutions: A Guide to Preventing and Resolving Conflicts Regarding Programs and Services for Students With Special Education Needs (2007). Parents and school boards may use mediation at any time to help resolve disputes about any issue.

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