The Ministry of Education has secured an external agency to conduct a consultation, with students, families, staff, education and community partners on Provincial and Demonstration Schools.
The purpose of the consultation is to explore ways to offer a range of quality programs and services that will provide better outcomes for our students who are Deaf or hard of hearing, blind or have low vision, deafblind, or have learning disabilities, and their families. They are also seeking to better understand the knowledge and skills that would best prepare our students for their various pathways in school and life.
The consultation process began with an email to parents of students currently enrolled English-speaking Provincial and Demonstration schools including; Sagonaska, Trillium, Amathyst, Robarts School for the Deaf and Centre Jules-Leger. The survey consisted of four long form questions:
1. What knowledge and skills do English Demonstration School students need to have when they leave school?
2. What are the best ways to prepare English Demonstration School students to enter the workforce, post secondary education or other pathways and become productive and actively engaged citizens?
3. Moving forward, what programs and services would provide a positive experience for English Demonstration School students and their families?
4. Do you have any further comments you would like to add?
These surveys were followed up with:
1. Students met with consultation for discussions
2. Students met with the Minister of Education Liz Sandals
3. Parents presented concerns to Minister of Education Liz Sandals
4. Parents met with consultation firm
The Consultation Report was presented to the Provincial Demonstration School Advocacy Committee and made public in August. It was a very length report with data and analysis proving that Demonstration Schools are a needed resource in the Province on Ontario. It also spoke about the trials and tribulations than many families have trying to navigate the education system in Ontario that is not set up to provide assistance to children with severe learning disabilities.