Programs and Services: An Overview
The Special Education Department at Villanova provides ongoing support as needed for exceptional learners through our Life Skills Program and the Learning Enrichment Program. We also assist in overseeing the Locally Developed/Workplace Program and monitor the progress of exceptional students in the Applied and Academic Programs.
Life Skills Program
The Life Skills Program focuses on developing basic literacy, numeracy, life skills, social skills and vocational skills for students who have developmental disabilities. The goal for these students is to make them as independent and self-sufficient as possible upon their graduation from Secondary school. The life skills student works towards attaining a Certificate of Achievement or the Ontario Secondary School Certificate. Students can take a combination of integrated courses and non-credit Life Skills courses, also known as K courses. Vocational skills are introduced in the in-school World of Work component of the Life Skills Program, followed by a community-based component starting in Grade 11. Educational Assistants provide physical, behavioral, social and academic support in all areas of the Life Skills Program as directed by the Department Head of Special Education and Life Skills Teacher.
Locally Developed/Workplace Program
This program offers courses for students with Individual Education Plans who require modified curriculum. The focus of this program is to improve the students literacy, numeracy, organizational skills and work skills through credited courses. Students are enrolled in a combination of locally developed courses and through their IEP receive modifications in all Open level courses. In Grade 11 &12, students have the opportunity to take Workplace Co-op in order to attain vocational skills to enter the workforce after high school. Academic assistance for these students are provided by our Learning Enrichment Teachers and Educational Assistants in the classroom and/or the Learning Enrichment classroom.
Applied and Academic Program
Students who are taking courses at the Applied or Academic level and have an Individual Education Plan or Accommodation Log may also access the Learning Enrichment Program with our Learning Enrichment Teacher for learning support.
– If you have any questions/concerns of a general nature, please phone the Special Education Department as we are your primary contact.
– If you have any questions/concerns about a particular class/course, please phone the teacher first.
– Please be patient. It takes a few weeks for everyone to get settled into a routine. Our department needs time to understand the needs of your son/daughter and they need to get used to their new environment.
– If there is a change in your son/daughter’s medication, please notify the Special Education Department as soon as possible.
– If there are any new developments in your son/daughter’s life that could affect his/her academic progress, please let us know.
– MOST IMPORTANTLY: studies show that parents who are involved with their child’s academic career find that students tend to do better in school. Be sure to attend all Parent/Teacher Interview nights and call if there are ever any concerns/issues.
The Locally Developed/Workplace Program is designed to meet the needs of the student who requires modified curriculum expectations. These students have achieved at a level 1 or below in their grade 8 year or have had modified expectations in Language Arts and/or Mathematics as outlined on their Report Card and Individual Education Plan.
In order to take the courses in this program, the student:
-must have a formal Individual Education Plan (IEP) or Accommodation Log- unless “transferred” from Grade 8.
-requires modified curriculum expectations.
-exhibits Literacy/language arts level: grade 3-5
-exhibits Math/numeracy level: grade 3-5 (not able to do integers, algebra, fractions without full assistance)
-should be accessing support in the elementary system by the Learning Enrichment Teacher on a regular basis.
-should be exempted from taking French.
What Courses are Offered at the Locally Developed/Workplace level?
Villanova offers a complete program for students at this level. All courses are based on a modified curriculum. Accommodations are provided according to the student’s IEP especially in the Open Level courses. At Villanova, it is assumed that all students at this level will work towards an Ontario Secondary School Diploma. The courses offered in this program count as credits toward the OSSD or OSSC.
Grade 9 Courses:
– English (Locally Developed) and Learning Strategies – ENG 1L0/GLS 100
*full year course: student earns 2 credits Mathematics (Locally Developed) – MAT 1L0
– Science (Locally Developed) – SNC 1L0
– Religion (Open) – HRE 100
– Geography (Modified Applied) – CGC 1PS
– Art: Music (AMU 100), Visual Arts (AVI 100), or Drama (ADA 100)
– Physical Education: PPL 10M (male), PPL 10F (female)
– Business and Technology: TTI 100
*all Locally Developed and Modified Applied class sizes are capped at 16 students each.
**student have access to the Learning Enrichment Centre for all courses.
***students may have additional assistance from an Educational Assistant in these courses.
Please note: GLS 100 replaces French for exemption purposes
Students who are stronger in a particular academic area may take courses at the Applied level in that area while taking the remainder of his/her courses at the Workplace level. This is upon the recommendation of the elementary school in consultation with the parent/guardian.
Upon the recommendation of the grade 9 teacher and the Department Head of Special Education, a student may choose to upgrade to the Applied level. This is done in consultation with parent/guardian.
After Grade 9:
Students at the Locally Developed level continue to take courses at this level in Grade 10. In Grades 11 and 12, students move into the Workplace level courses. They are encouraged to develop functional employability skills through:
*Co-operative Education/Work Experience
*School-to-work transition programs such as the 3 credit or 4 credit Co-op package
An increased focus on technological courses is also recommended in the Construction, Manufacturing, Horticulture, Hospitality, Transportation, Design areas.
After Secondary School:
Students who have attained an OSSD with Workplace level courses have several options available to them, such as:
*Direct entry into the workforce (sometimes as a result of a successful Co-op placement)
*Apprenticeship: Assistant Cook, Construction, Auto Body Repair etc.
*Vocational certificate program at St. Clair College
*General Arts and Science program at St. Clair College
At the parent/guardian’s request, the Department Head of Special Education can meet with the student and parent to provide assistance in transition planning.