Plan Entry to School For Your Child

Proper planning is critical when children with special needs enter the school system for the first time. Parents and educators alike should know about the "Planning Entry to School: Resource Guide" published in 2005 by the Ontario Ministry of Education. Although the guide is not policy, it is designed to assist parents and educators with planning entry to school, and is available online under Teacher publications on the Ministry of Education's website. Click here to download sections of the entire document.

Excerpt from pages 4-5 of the guide: "For children with special needs, entry to school is more complex and requires careful planning and coordination. An entry-to-school plan should provide adequate time for children and parents to learn and practice the skills and routines that will facilitate a smooth move from preschool [or therapy] to school. ... The [Planning Entry to School] guide is designed to facilitate the planning process for children entering school in September; however, many of the suggestions could be modified to assist with the entry process at any time during the school year."

Special Education Intake Packages

For children with a diagnosis of autism entering the school system in Durham Region for the first time, completion of special education intake forms is a requirement. They must be submitted to the Special Education Department as early in the calendar year as possible, preferably before the end of March in preparation for the following school year. The Special Education Intake Package notifies the Board, and the child's home school, that a student with special needs is in the catchment area awaiting entry into school. The completed forms enable the Special Education Team in your area to determine the level of support your child will require in the school system.

Parents should know that schools regularly begin the process of submitting requests for Educational Assistants in the spring, about 6 months before the new school year begins. Although the special education intake forms are quite detailed and time-consuming to complete, they help the Board, the school and you to plan ahead for a smooth entry into school for your child. Parents may be able to receive assistance in completing the intake forms from the following agencies.

▪ your Resource Consultant from Resources for Exceptional Children

▪ your Family Support Worker or Social Worker from Grandview Children’s Centre

▪ an Autism Consultant from Kerry's Place Autism Services

To obtain a special education intake package: Durham District School Board Contact your local school or the Special Education Department at 905-666-5500 or 1-800-265-3968 or TTY 905-666-6943 (for the hard of hearing) Durham Catholic District School Board Contact your local school or the Special Education Department at 905-576-6150 or 1-877-482-0722.


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