Qualifying to Attend

Does my child qualify to attend a Provincial Demonstration school?

approved stamp 300pxAs a parent of a child with a severe and complex learning disability you may have experienced the fear that your child will not be able to attend college or University, be able to hold down a job or be able to get a driver’s license. Current and past parents of children that have attended a provincial demonstration schools, will tell you that the Demonstration school program has changed their Childs life forever.

The primary admission requirements are as follows:

  • The applicant qualifies as a resident pupil of an Ontario school board.

  • The applicant has been identified by his/her school board as having a specific learning disability which can be seen in a significant discrepancy between academic achievement and assessed intellectual ability.

  • The learning difficulties represented in the identification must not primarily be the result of impairment of vision or hearing, physical disability, intellectual disability, or emotional disturbance.

  • An IPRC has recommended to the school board that an application be submitted to the PCLD on behalf of the student.

  • The applicant has been assessed by Resource Services staff from a Provincial Demonstration School.

  • The applicant is not in need of treatment for emotional or behavioural disorders.

(Ministry of Education Binder Application process Revised Sept. 2013)

Characteristics of Demonstration School Students: A Composite Profile

  • Pervasive language difficulties

  • Marked weakness in phonological awareness

  • Very weak academic achievement, particularly in reading skills (mostly grade equivalents of 1 to 3) despite many years and methods of remediation

  • Spelling and writing skills far below grade expectations

  • Somewhat higher achievement in mathematical skills (mostly grade equivalents of 3 to 5)

  • Sometimes difficulties in fine- and gross-motor coordination, visual-motor integration, concentration/attention

  • At least average learning skills when information is visually, rather than language, mediated

  • Emotional reactions secondary to the chronic deprivation of success in their school histories; these could include low motivation, discouragement, embarrassment, poor self esteem

  • Most students between the ages of 11 and 15 at the time of application.

(Ministry of Education Binder Application process Revised Sept. 2013)

Application Procedures

School boards make the referrals upon the recommendation of an IPRC

Consultation Package:
Resource Services Consultant will visit the school for a consultation, assessment and/or programming - due anytime during the school year

Phase 1 Application Package:
Initial information - due May 15th or November 15th

Binder Application:
Binder for Provincial Committee on Learning Disabilities (PCLD) - due November 1st or February 1st

Tour the school and residence

A meeting with the PCLD, school board contact, school resource teacher, parents and student is held after the binders are submitted.

Following the PCLD meeting, a letter is sent to school boards and parents indicating if the student meets criteria.

In late May or June, a letter is sent indicating if a placement is available for the following school year.

If your child has exhausted all school programs / resources and is not advancing academically, then you should consider applying to a demonstration school. The school staff should welcome the opportunity to see a child succeed and work with you in this endeavor.