Our Philosophy

In 1995, the Board submitted this policy statement as part of its Annual Report on the Provision of Special Education Programs and Services to the Minister of Education and Training.  The annual review committee developed this statement of philosophy on integration from the Board’s Mainstreaming Policy document.

children holding a sign that reads "Philosophical Statement"

Philosophical Statement

In a very real sense the patterns and rhythms of learning are special and unique in every student.  It is imperative that the philosophy and procedures of all those involved in facilitating the learning of all students be complementary and consistent.  The Board, therefore, endorses the mainstreaming of learners with a focus on providing the most enabling learning environment.

The most enabling learning environment is one in which the students’ academic, physical, spiritual, social and emotional needs are met, with appropriate support, in a classroom of age appropriate peers within the home school.

It is recognized that the implementation of mainstreaming is an evolutionary process that does not exclude the need for a continuum of responses.  Principles for the systematic implementation of the process must be identified and articulated.

Statement of Beliefs and Principles About Special Education (from special education annual plan, 1995)

The Board endorses the integration of learners with a focus on providing the most enabling learning environment.

It is recognized that the implementation of integration practices includes the need for a continuum of responses.

Ministry Statement, June 1994

The Ministry of Education and Training remains committed to the principle that the integration of exceptional students should be normal practice in Ontario, when such a placement meets the student’s needs and is in accordance with parental wishes.   A range of options including placement in a special class or provincial or demonstration school will continue to be available for students whose needs cannot be met within the regular classroom.

The York Catholic District School Board’s philosophy and service-delivery model, for the provision of special education programs and services has been designed in accordance with:

  • Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
  • Ontario Human Rights Code
  • Education Act
  • Regulations made under the act
  • Freedom of Information Personal Privacy Act


the education of exceptional students in regular classrooms with appropriate special education programs and services.
Home School
the school that a student would attend if he/she were not exceptional.
Continuum of Responses:
may include support in:

  • regular class
  • resource/withdrawal
  • special class, part time
  • special class, full time