Special Services

Students do not have to be identified as exceptional to receive special education support. Classroom teachers, special education teachers and school administration work with parents as a team to provide special education resources and support to students who may need it. Student strengths and needs are outlined in the Individual Education Plan (IEP).

As teens transition to high school, their elementary school will share information with the new school to ensure supports are in place.

Support in high school

There are various levels of special education support in high school. Students may receive support from their classroom teacher or an educational assistant in the classroom. Depending on the needs outlined in the IEP, students will receive accommodations as part of their courses. High schools also offer a range of locally developed courses designed to meet the learning needs of students. Depending on their needs, students may be part of a specialized program or class.

Like in elementary school, parents are involved in the planning for their teen's learning and support in high school. SEA equipment provided to students in elementary school will be transferred to their high school.

Special education placements in high school

  • Students who are identified as gifted have the option of continuing in the Gifted Program in high school.

  • A student might spend a portion of their day in a Learning Centre, which is a specialized class for small groups of students. In the Learning Centre, students receive intensive literacy and numeracy support from a special education teacher.

  • In some cases, students will be part of the Life Skills class, which provides intensive programming and support in basic literacy and numeracy, technology integration, communication, self help, social skills and vocational training.

  • Some students with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) will be part of the Secondary ASD program, which is offered at certain locations in the county. This program is designed for students with significant needs in the areas of communication, self-regulation, social skills, self-help, community awareness and academics.

Students may work towards an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD), an Ontario Secondary School Certificate (OSSC), or a Certificate of Accomplishment.

You and Your IEP

Families that support a student with an IEP can benefit their son or daughter most by maintaining open communication with their child, his or her teachers, and the Special Education Resource Teacher (SERT) assigned to support the student. In the spring, SERTS will contact incoming grade 8s that have IEPS to welcome them to North and answer any questions the students and/or parents have.

Students, because you will soon be in high school, we encourage you to become a self-advocate. This means that we encourage you to speak up for yourself, let your parents, teachers and your SERT know what we can do to support you. If you need help, you must ask. If you need your teachers to teach you in a specific way, you must say so. We look forward to working with you!

Resource Withdrawal Support

Students with an IEP must select a full timetable (6 core courses plus 2 electives of her or his choice). There are circumstances, however, when a student may find that after several weeks of classes he or she is not able to successfully manage a four-credit semester. In this case, students may take a NON-CREDIT Resource Withdrawal Support period. This class is supported by a SERT. During this period in the student's day, he or she may work on homework for their other classes, prepare for tests, or work on course-specific skill development. This will allow the student to be successful in their other classes. The Special Services department is lucky to have a staff of energetic, compassionate and dedicated Educational Assistants.

Life Skills and ASD

Barrie North has very active and supportive Life Skills and Autism Spectrum Disorder programs. If you believe that your daughter or son should be placed in one of these programs, please contact Scott Laurin, the Special Services Department Leader (726-6541 ext. 41174)

Student Success

The Special Services department works together with the Student Success team to ensure that all students are academically successful. Through open communication, our departments will help students earn their credits in a way that supports their individual learning needs.

Courses you may want to consider

Learning Strategies (GLS1O1, GLE1O1)
This course focuses on learning strategies to help students become better, more independent learners.

Skills learned include: Organization, Time-Management, IEPs, Learning Disabilities and Mild Intellectual Disabilities, Multiple Intelligences, Learning Styles, Advocacy Skills, Study Skills, Memorization Strategies, Test Taking Skills, Listening Skills, Following Directions, Note Taking Skills

A lot of time is spent on how to make proper study notes (for each unit test, students will have to hand in study notes which will be marked).

Please note: GLS1O1 is open to all students. GLE1O1 is open to those students with an IEP.

Learning Strategies for Gifted and Enriched Students (GLE1OE, GLE1OG)
This course focuses on critical thinking, research, creative presentation, and discussion skills, and encourages students to become better, more independent learners. The format of the course is teacher directed, but student driven (through individual and group research, presentation and discussion).

Units may include: Multiple Intelligences, Group Dynamics, Building a personal portfolio and learning about scholarships, Introduction to Philosophy, Participation in UNICEF's J8 Competition (students have to research work issues and submit their projects for a chance to win a trip to the G8 summit), Thinking about the world around us, Independent Research Project, a class project where students created a short documentary film.

Field Trips have included: Georgian College Speaker Series, University of Toronto Libraries, the ROM, the World Press Photo Exhibit, Free the Children Headquarters, YLCC Leadership Camp, Canadian Ecology Centre

Please note: GLE1OE is open to all students who want an enriched and focused challenge beyond what is available in academic classes. GLE1OG is open to those Gifted students who have an IEP.