Provincial and Demonstration Schools Consultation

Achieving Excellence: Provincial and Demonstration Schools

UPDATE: The ministry is carefully considering the input and feedback received during the provincial and demonstration schools consultations, and has now resumed the admission process for the 2016-17 school year.

Message from Minister Sandals

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In 2014, Ontario released its renewed vision for education – Achieving Excellence. This vision builds on the education system's priorities and reached deeper and broader, raising expectations for the system and the potential of our students.

We are committed to the success and well-being of every child and student, giving them access to the supports they need to succeed in school and in life.

Provincial and demonstration schools provide programs and services for students who are Deaf or hard of hearing, blind or have low vision, deafblind, or have learning disabilities. The ministry consulted with our education and community partners to explore ways to provide a range of quality programs and services that best meet their needs.

By working directly with students, families and education and community partners, these consultations will explore how students currently attending selected provincial and demonstration schools can be best supported to develop the knowledge, skills and characteristics to be personally successful, productive and actively engaged citizens.

Discussion papers were developed to gather input. The public was invited to provide online input by responding to the surveys that are attached to each of the discussion papers. The deadline for written submissions was April 8, 2016.

Students, families and education and community partners were also invited to attend face-to-face meetings so their perspectives could be shared.

Discussion Papers, and videos:

Centre Jules-Léger Provincial and Demonstration School

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Robarts School for the Deaf

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English-Language Provincial Demonstration Schools

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Ontario is committed to the success and well-being of every child and student – including students who are Deaf or hard of hearing, blind or have low vision, deafblind or have learning disabilities, and to giving them access to the supports they need to reach their full potential.

The Ministry of Education consulted with students, families, and its education and community partners to explore ways to provide a range of quality programs and services that best meet the needs of students and families.

What schools are the subject of the consultations?

The scope of the consultation included:

  • Centre Jules-Léger (Ottawa) Provincial and Demonstration school
  • Robarts School for the Deaf (London) and
  • Three English-language demonstration schools for students with severe learning disabilities (Amethyst Demonstration School in London, Trillium Demonstration School in Milton, and Sagonaska Demonstration School in Belleville).

Ernest C. Drury School for the Deaf in Milton, Sir James Whitney School for the Deaf in Belleville, and W. Ross Macdonald School for the Blind in Brantford, were not included in this process.

How is the Ministry of Education conducting these consultations?

Discussion papers are posted on the ministry website. The site included links to an online survey where stakeholders could make online submissions in response to the questions posted in the discussion paper. The surveys are now closed

In addition to being able to respond to the discussion papers, the ministry conducted a number of face-to-face engagement sessions in the spring with students, families, and education and community partners.

Why were Ernest C. Drury School for the Deaf, Sir James Whitney School for the Deaf, and W. Ross Macdonald School for the Blind not included in the consultations?

In some provincial and demonstration schools enrolment levels limit the range, choice and availability of programs and services. While enrolment at Ernest C. Drury, Sir James Whitney, and W. Ross Macdonald, has also experienced some decline, the student population remains at levels which provide more options for programs and services than the schools within the scope of the consultation.

Will there be separate consultations on these three provincial schools?

There are no plans to conduct consultations on Ernest C. Drury, Sir James Whitney, and W. Ross Macdonald at this time.

Why did the Ministry of Education do this consultation now?

Ontario is committed to the success and well-being of every child and student – including students who are Deaf or hard of hearing, blind or have low vision, deafblind or have severe learning disabilities – giving them access to the supports they need to succeed in school and in life.

By working directly with families, students and education and community partners, we will explore how students currently attending provincial and demonstration schools can best be supported to develop the knowledge, skills and characteristics to be personally successful, productive and actively engaged citizens.

The ministry consulted with students, families, and education and community partners to explore ways, in the face of declining enrolment, to provide a range of quality programs and services that best meet the needs of students and families.

In part, the consultation also provided an opportunity to explore recommendations made by the French Language Services Commissioner in his recent report about governance at Centre Jules-Léger (CJL).

What effect will this have on the children at the provincial and demonstration schools?

The needs and well-being of all our students are of paramount importance. The consultation will seek advice from students, parents and other education and community partners about programs and services to best support student achievement and well-being.

As plans for moving forward are developed, we will work closely with students, their families and educators and community partners. There will be no impact on students for the 2015/2016 school year.

What was the methodology that the consultants used?

The consultants will gather information from face-to-face consultation sessions, an online survey and key informant interviews and will provide the ministry with summaries of the consultations.

When will the Ministry of Education announce the results of the consultations?

The ministry is now carefully considering the input received from students and families, staff and education and community partners.