Parents' Guide to Special Education
This section provides resources for parents and caregivers seeking information on Special Education, the Identification Placement Review Committee (IPRC) and Individual Education Plans (IEPs).
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Parents' Guide to Special Education - Special Education and the Identification Placement Review Committee (IPRC)
The following section can also be downloaded as a printable, trifold flyer by clicking the flyer image to the right.
Who is 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”.
Who decides that a pupil is exceptional?
The identification is made by a Board-appointed Identification, Placement and Review Committee. For ease of reference this Committee is known as an IPRC. They will:
What is a special education program?
A special education program is a program that:
What placements are offered?
Special education programs are designed for the individual and many will be carried out in the regular classroom setting with special services brought to the child. Where it is impossible to deliver developed programs within the regular classroom, the student may be withdrawn for part of the day. A small percentage of exceptional pupils may require specialized class settings on a full or part-time basis.
How is an IPRC requested?
The principal of your child’s school
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 decisions are made.
Who else may attend an IPRC meeting?
What information will parents receive about the IPRC meeting?
At least 10 days prior to the meeting, the Chair of the IPRC will provide you with written notification of the date, time and place of the meeting and an invitation to attend. You are an important partner in considering your child’s placement. This letter will also ask you to indicate whether or not 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 happens at an IPRC meeting?
The Chair introduces everyone and explains the purpose of the meeting. The Committee will review all available information about your child and may discuss any proposal that has been made about a special education program or special education services for the child.
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 decisions.
What will the IPRC’s written statement of decision include?
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.
If the IPRC has identified your child as an exceptional pupil and you have agreed with the IPRC identification and placement decision, 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.
What about reviewing the IPRC?
A review meeting will be held within one year unless the parent notifies the principal in writing that they wish to dispense with the annual review. The parent may request a review meeting at any time after a placement has been in effect for three months but the request may not be made more often than once in every three month period.
This review will consider the same types of information that were originally considered. With your written permission (request for review), the IPRC conducting the review will consider the progress your child has made in relation to the IEP. The IPRC will review the placement and identification decisions and decide whether they should continue 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 placement decision made by the IPRC, you may:
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 and 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 the Grand Erie District School 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 organizations are available to assist parents?
Where can parents obtain additional information?
Superintendent of Special Education Services (519) 756-6301
Ministry of Education Provincial and Demonstration Schools
The ministry operates provincial and demonstration schools throughout Ontario for deaf, blind, deaf-blind, and severely learning- disabled students, as well as those with attention deficit hyper-activity disorder (ADHD). Residential programs are offered at the schools Monday to Friday, for students who live too far from school to travel daily.
School for the Blind and Deaf-Blind
Schools for the Deaf
Schools for Students with ADHD and Severe Learning Disabilities
Parents' Guide to Special Education -
Individual Education Plans (IEPs)
“Special education cannot be defined in a single statement. It is a process, a journey that takes different routes for different students at different times in their educational careers. An IEP provides the roadmap for the completion of that journey.”
– Special Education in Ontario Schools 4th Edition 2005
What is an Individual Education Plan (IEP)?
A written plan that:
Why does a student have an Individual Education Plan (IEP)?
Every student who is identified as exceptional by an Identification, Placement, and Review Committee (IPRC) must have an IEP. Students who are not formally identified as exceptional but who require a special education program and/or services have an IEP when:
What is my role as a parent?
What can I expect from the school regarding the Individual Education Plan (IEP)?
You can expect:
Many organizations are available to support you in understanding the I.E.P. and/or to provide additional resources. The principal of your school can provide the names of the organizations that serve your area. This information is also available in the Special Education Advisory Committee’s brochure, available at your local school. Further resources for IEPs can be found on the Ministry of Education website at:
Special Education Guiding Principles
It is the policy of the Grand Erie District School Board that special education services within the Board are guided by the following principles:
Note: See Board Policy P1 Special Education Guiding Principles for further information.