Ontario Providing More Support for Students with Learning Disabilities
Innovative Pilot Programs Underway in Schools Across the Province
Ontario is launching eight pilot projects to provide more reading support for students with learning disabilities, with participating schools in Cambridge, London, Sudbury and Windsor.
Education Minister Mitzie Hunter, joined by MPP Kathryn McGarry, was at St. Joseph Catholic Elementary School in Cambridge today to make the announcement.
These projects are intended to help students with learning disabilities get the support they need closer to home, and improve their reading skills. The ministry launched the three-year pilots in response to feedback received from the 2016 Provincial and Demonstration School consultations.
Through the consultations, students, parents, and education and community partners identified opportunities to help students with learning disabilities in reading, including:
- Early recognition of learning disabilities
- More effective reading programs
- Better programming and effective use of technology
- Improved support for students' social and emotional development.
The pilots are supported by a research team and are intended to strengthen school boards' capacity to provide more support for students without having to leave their community. This team will provide input and guidance on how best to share the knowledge gained from the pilots with other school boards across Ontario.
Improving reading skills for all students is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy, and help people in their everyday lives.
- Ontario invested an additional $1.6 million to provide intensive reading pilot projects in 2016-17.
- Three-year English-language pilots have been launched in eight school boards in Cambridge, London, Sudbury, and Windsor.
- Research to support French-language pilots is underway with the launch targeted for 2017-18.
- A Learning Disabilities Reference Group was established in November 2016 to support the pilots through members’ knowledge and the experience of students with learning disabilities.
- An independent research and evaluation team from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education will conduct an assessment of the effectiveness of the pilot projects.
“Ontario is finding new and innovative ways to support all students, including students who have learning disabilities. This will give them the necessary tools to succeed now and in the future. These pilots are a strong step toward ensuring our most vulnerable students are in a position to reach their full potential.”