Roles and Services


  • Roles and Services
  • Ministry Information
  • Organizational Chart

Special Education Roles and Services

When there are additional questions about a student's strengths and needs, schools may consult with the Collaborative Team. This team is comprised of WCDSB Board level staff, and includes a Psychoeducational Consultant, Speech-Language Pathologist, Social Worker, Special Education Resource Teacher, and Child and Youth Care Worker.

A Collaborative Team Consent form indicating parental consent will be obtained prior to discussing the student at the Collaborative Team meeting. There can be numerous outcomes from this consultation which will be discussed with the parents. If specialized assessment is considered, consent from parents will be obtained. Parental consent for specialized assessment will be initiated by the Special Education - Learning Services staff member who will complete the assessment.

In WCDSB schools may seek the services of a variety of additional resource personnel and/or services including:

Clicking on a Role above will take you to our Contact Us page which has the role description as well as the contact information for the individuals included in that role at WCDSB.

Ministry of Education Definitions

Special Education Roles and Services

The Ministry of Education has defined roles and responsibilities in elementary and secondary education in several key areas:

  • legislative and policy framework
  • funding
  • school system management
  • programs and curriculum

It is important that all involved in Special Education understand their roles and responsibilities, which are outlined below.

The Ministry of Education

  • defines, through the Education Act, regulations, and policy/program memoranda, the legal obligations of school boards regarding the provision of Special Education programs and services, and prescribes the categories and definitions of exceptionality;
  • ensures that school boards provide appropriate Special Education programs and services for their exceptional pupils;
  • establishes the funding for Special Education through the structure of the funding model. The model consists of the Foundation Grant, the Special Education Grant, and other special purpose grants;
  • requires school boards to report on their expenditures for Special Education;
  • sets province-wide standards for curriculum and reporting of achievement;
  • requires school boards to establish Special Education Advisory Committees (SEACs);
  • establishes Special Education Tribunals to hear disputes between parents and school boards regarding the identification and placement of exceptional pupils;
  • establishes a provincial Advisory Council on Special Education to advise the Minister of Education on matters related to Special Education programs and services;
  • operates Provincial and Demonstration Schools for students who are deaf, blind, or deaf-blind, or who have severe learning disabilities.

The district school board or school authority

  • establishes school board policy and practices that comply with the Education Act, regulations, and policy/program memoranda;
  • monitors school compliance with the Education Act, regulations, and policy/program memoranda;
  • requires staff to comply with the Education Act, regulations, and policy/program;
  • provides appropriately qualified staff to provide programs and services for the exceptional pupils of the board;
  • obtains the appropriate funding and reports on the expenditures for Special Education;
  • develops and maintains a Board Plan for Improving Student Learning and Achievement that is amended yearly to meet the current needs of all pupils including pupils with special needs within the board;
  • reviews the plan annually and submits amendments to the Minister of Education;
  • provides statistical reports to the ministry as required and as requested;
  • prepares a parent guide to provide parents with information about Special Education programs, services, and procedures;
  • establishes one or more IPRCs to identify exceptional pupils and determine appropriate placements for them
  • establishes a Board IPRC committee
  • provides professional development to staff on Special Education

The Special Education Advisory Committee

  • makes recommendations to the board with respect to any matter affecting the establishment, development, and delivery of Special Education programs and services for exceptional pupils of the board;
  • participates in the board’s annual review of its Special Education plan;
  • participates in the board’s annual budget process as it relates to Special Education;
  • reviews the financial statements of the board as they relate to Special Education;
  • provides information to parents, as requested.

The School Principal

  • carries out duties as outlined in the Education Act, regulations, and policy/program memoranda, and through board policies;
  • communicates Ministry of Education and school board expectations to staff;
  • ensures that appropriately qualified staff are assigned to teach Special Education classes;
  • communicates board policies and procedures about Special Education to staff, students, and parents;
  • ensures that the identification and placement of exceptional pupils, through an IPRC, is done according to the procedures outlined in the Education Act, regulations, and board policies;
  • consults with parents and with school board staff to determine the most appropriate program for exceptional pupils;
  • ensures the development, implementation, and review of a student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP), including a transition plan, according to provincial requirements;
  • ensures that parents are consulted in the development of their child’s IEP and that they are provided with a copy of the IEP;
  • ensures the delivery of the program as set out in the IEP;
  • ensures that appropriate assessments are requested if necessary and that parental consent is obtained.

The Teacher

  • carries out duties as outlined in the Education Act, regulations, and policy/program memoranda;
  • follows board policies and procedures regarding Special Education;
  • maintains up-to-date knowledge of Special Education practice;
  • where appropriate, works with Special Education staff and parents to develop the IEP for an exceptional pupil;
  • provides the program for the exceptional pupil in the regular class, as outlined in the IEP;
  • communicates the student’s progress to parents;
  • works with other school board staff to review and update the student’s IEP.

The Special Education Teacher

in addition to the responsibilities listed above under “the teacher”

  • holds qualifications, in accordance with Regulation 298, to teach Special Education;
  • monitors the student’s progress with reference to the IEP and modifies the program as necessary;
  • assists in providing educational assessments for exceptional pupils.

The Parent/Guardian

  • becomes familiar with and informed about board policies and procedures in areas that affect the child;
  • participates in IPRCs, parent-teacher conferences, and other relevant school activities;
  • participates in the development of the IEP;
  • becomes acquainted with the school staff working with the student;
  • supports the student at home;
  • works with the school principal and teachers to solve problems;
  • is responsible for the student’s attendance at school.

The Student

  • complies with the requirements as outlined in the Education Act, regulations, and policy/program memoranda;
  • complies with board policies and procedures;
  • participates in IPRCs, parent-teacher conferences, and other activities, as appropriate.

Special Education Organizational Chart

WCDSB Special Education Organizational Chart PDF

Collaborative Teams

There are four multi-disciplinary Collaborative Teams comprised of:

  • Special Education Resource Teacher
  • Psychoeducational Consultant
  • Speech Language Pathologist
  • Social Worker
  • School Attendance Counsellor
  • Child and Youth Care Worker

Each Collaborative Team supports schools within a geographic area in Waterloo Catholic District School Board.

The Role of the Collaborative Team:

  • Support students, families and school personnel
  • Collaborate, consult and share information and knowledge to identify strategies to increase the student's learning success and better understand their learning needs
  • Implement Ministry of Education policies and guidelines
  • Provide consultation and assessment services as needed

The Southeast Team supports:
Christ the King, Mother Teresa, Our Lady of Fatima, St. Elizabeth, St. Joseph (C), St. Margaret, St. Michael, St. Peter, Canadian Martyrs, St. Aloysius, St. Daniel, St. Benedict C.S.S.

The Southwest Team supports:
Holy Spirit, St. Ambrose, St. Anne (C), St. Augustine, St. Brigid, St. Francis (C), St. Gregory, St. Vincent de Paul, Blessed Kateri, Blessed Sacrament, Monsignor Haller, Our Lady of Grace, St. Timothy, Monsignor Doyle C.S.S.

The West Team supports:
Holy Family, Holy Rosary, John Sweeney, Monsignor Gleason, Our Lady of Lourdes, St. Agatha, St. Dominic Savio, St. John, St. Mark, St. Nicholas, St. Paul, St. Bernadette, Resurrection C.S.S.

The North Team supports:
Sir Edgar Bauer, St. Agnes, St. Boniface, St. Clement, St. Luke, St. Matthew, St. Teresa (E), St. Teresa (K), Pope John Paul II, St. Anne (K), St. David C.S.S., St. Mary C.S.S.

For additional information regarding the Collaborative Team for your child's school please contact your child's Teacher, Special Education Teacher or Principal.


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