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Goals of Special Education

Schools under the jurisdiction of the Sudbury Catholic District School Board exist primarily to assist parents in developing to the fullest the academic, the intellectual, spiritual, physical, cultural and moral growth of their children.

The aims of education for exceptional pupils are essentially the same as those for all other students.

a) To develop completely their individual talents as members of society and as unique and responsible Christian persons.

b) To provide them with opportunities to grow in Faith and in an understanding of the nature and purpose of life.


a) To provide, within special education funding provided by the Ministry of Education, and other initiatives or opportunities, programs and services for students with special education needs according to the area of exceptionality defined by the Ministry of Education.

b) To cooperate with other school boards and community agencies when necessary in order to provide a full range of programs and services designed to meet the needs of students with diverse abilities.

c) To provide within special education funding provided by the Ministry of Education and other initiatives or opportunities, as many resources as possible and practical at the community school level such that most exceptional pupils can remain with their fellow pupils in the regular classroom.

Our Board Model - Student Centered

The Sudbury Catholic District School Board strives to provide maximum growth and development opportunities for every pupil including the exceptional. Every elementary and secondary school has an “In-School Team” comprised of administrators, special education, teachers, classroom teachers and one representative from the Academic Services Department. This team works at the school level to closely monitor the progress and address the needs of all at-risk and exceptional students. The Special Education Staff of the Academic Services Department at the school board office operates to assist the community school in this challenging task.

Our Team

Superintendent of School Effectiveness
Rossella Bagnato

Special Education Consultant
Christina Raso

Student Support & Inclusion Consultant
Jennifer Connelly

Attendance Counsellor
Kim Taylor-Horeck
Amanda Lanthier

Attendance Support Worker
Brad Pharand

Speech and Language Pathologist
Maxine Bélanger

Communicative Disorders Assistant
Catia Temelini

Special Education Support Teacher
Tammy Lavalle

Outdoor Education
Brad Blackwell

Itinerant Resource Teachers / ELL Support
Martha Facchini
Anthony Rocchio
Anne-Marie Machum

Empower Program Lead
Tammy Rychlo
Shannon Duguay

Mental Health Lead
Melissa Anderson

Social Worker/Psychotherapist
Tasha Breau

Special Needs Social Worker

Sabrina Grossi

Special Needs Support Worker
Anna Heppner

Social Worker
Alina Rukkila

CCAC Nurse
Roland Dutrisac
Stephanie Vehkela
Renee Theriault

Child and Youth Workers
Jennifer Chapman

Itinerant Behaviour Support Worker
Mary-Lynn Black

Assistive Technology
Martina Reynolds

Special Education Data Support
Ashley Baron

Servicing Individual Schools

- Educational Assistants
- Intervenors
- Teacher of the Blind/Low Vision
- Learning Strategies Teachers
- Resource Teachers
- Student Success Teachers
- Special Education Teachers
- Guidance Teachers
- Program Lead Teachers

This team of professionals works in close cooperation with the community school, parents, public health personnel, curriculum consultants, superintendents and all pertinent community agencies to help satisfy the particular needs of exceptional pupils.

Special Programs

Some special teacher assistance (Special Education Resource Teacher) is provided for each school so that most students with special education needs can be helped at the home school level and be accommodated through integration into the regular classroom. The Sudbury Catholic District School Board is committed to the philosophy of inclusion and integration. Professional development has and will continue to be provided for teachers on the philosophy and practical strategies of Universal Design and differentiated instruction so that they can continue to address the specific needs of our students in the best ways possible.

“Linking the broad principles of Universal Design for Learning with the focused features of differentiated instruction provides the teacher with a strong foundation for selecting appropriate approaches. Teachers already use many instructional techniques such as: cooperative learning, project based or problem-based approaches to learning and explicit instruction that can be very compatible with the principles of universal design for learning and differentiated instruction.” (P. 16, Education for All, 2005)

Pupils with more severe challenges who need intense programming may receive instruction for a period of time, a specialized or integrated small enrolment class on a part-time or full-time basis. These specialized classrooms form part of a number of community schools in various locations across the system.

In cooperation with the Health Sciences North, the Board provides special programs and services for pupils with major physical handicaps at the Children’s Treatment Centre. Visually and hearing impaired pupils may have a program provided in a community school or be referred to the provincial school.

Pupils with severe emotional problems are referred to the Ruth MacMillan Centre at Northeastern Mental Health Centre and the Board works in close cooperation with the Child and Family Centre to ensure continuity of mental health and academic growth.

Special Education Resource Teacher

Students receiving Resource support, for the most part, remain in the regular classroom while under the care of both the school’s Special Education Resource Teacher and the Classroom Teacher. The Special Education Resource Teacher assists the Classroom Teacher in the development and implementation of the IEP in collaboration with parents/guardians and the student where applicable. At times, the student may be withdrawn from the classroom by the Special Education Resource Teacher or other professional or paraprofessional staff for individual or small group direct support.

Communication/ASD Classes (Primary, Junior & Intermediate and Secondary Level)

An alternative classroom placement for which students identified Communication: Autism, can learn and practice alternative skills and strategies that will allow them to manage successfully in school. Specialized skills will include development and support in the areas of: communication, behaviour, sensory integration, socialization, anxiety reduction and academics.

English Classroom at Children’s Treatment Centre (Primary Level)

Health Sciences North in partnership with Sudbury Catholic District School Board and Rainbow District School Board helps students with physical, communication and developmental problems. The agency works with children to provide occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech language therapy, augmentative communication services, recreational and family services. The curriculum follows Ministry of Education expectations with a focus on the individual treatment needs of each student.

Section 23 (Primary Level)

The Child and Family Centre in partnership with Sudbury Catholic District School Board, provides students between the age of 5-10 who are unable to attend a regular school program due to their mental health needs including social, emotional and behavioural difficulties, daily counseling and therapy. The goal for children taking part in these special classrooms is to reintegrate them into the traditional school system as quickly as possible.

Life Skills (Primary, Junior & Intermediate and Secondary Level)

The Life Skills program is a specialized class for students identified with a moderate intellectual exceptionality who require alternative programming. The focus is on developing basic literacy, numeracy and independent living skills.

Comprehensive Program (Secondary Level)

The Comprehensive program is a specialized class for students identified with an intellectual exceptionality. The focus is on developing literacy, numeracy, independent living skills and work skills. The program addresses the unique needs of the learner, preparing him/her for post secondary education, employment or independent living.

L.D.A.S. Coaching Program

The L.D.A.S. Coaching Program is a partnership between Laurentian University’s School of Education, Greater Sudbury Public Library, Sudbury Catholic District School Board and Rainbow District School Board. Weekly coaching sessions are held in eight of the local library branches, where a second or third year School of Education University student works directly one on one with their assigned Grade 7-9 students. The coaches meet their assigned pupil weekly in an effort to assist them in developing self awareness regarding their learning disability and to assist the student in discovering which learning strategies can benefit their overall learning.

Peace Program (Secondary Level)

Individuals who take part in the Peace Program come to gain a trust in the world around them. They learn to take measure risks which help participants to build self-confidence, motivation, and capacity for positive change. Students become empowered in their own holistic learning process. Participants, family members, staff and community are woven together to enrich and foster the development of one another, creating strong individuals and a strong community.

School Preservation Program

Child and Family Centre provides clinical intervention to students in the regular classroom at St. David School to serve students with social, emotional or behavioural difficulties.

Care and Development Class

Our class at Pius XII features hydrotherapy, a snoezellen room and maximum care to meet the complex health needs of our students. Educational Assistants work closely with teachers and health professionals to provide optimum service.

After School Homework Program and Tutors in the Classroom

Additional support for students is available by providing tutors to all schools and maintaining homework clubs to closely monitor student progress.

Summer Literacy, Numeracy and First Nation, Metis and Innuit Programs

Programs for students in 2nd year full day kindergarten to graduating grade 5 will be available for three (3) weeks beginning in July. Information will be available in May and June.


The Sudbury Catholic District School Board is committed to provide students with peaceful and safe school environments in which to pray, learn, and grow. The elementary and secondary schools of our board have implemented various programs and approaches to fulfill this commitment. Programs vary according to school demographics and needs.

1. Bullying Prevention Programs such as:

a) Kelso's Choice
b) “The Problem with Bullies” teacher guide
c) “Stand Up and Speak Out” videos and activities
d) “Bully Free Classroom” teacher guide
e) Guest speakers and special presentations (i.e. police)

2. In order to prevent behaviours leading to suspensions many of our schools offer such programs as:

a) The Preservation Program
b) The Outreach Program
c) Guardian Angels / Peer Mediation / Yard Angels
d) Collaborative Student Mediation Project
e) Restorative Practice

3. To promote peaceful Catholic School Culture and Atmosphere:

a) Tribes
b) “Caught You Doing Something Good” Program
c) Community Builders
d) Student of the Month / Terrific Kids Award / Peacemaker Awards
e) Charity support: Terry Fox Run, Cancer Research, Jump Rope for Heart / Holy Childhood Association, Food Drives, St. Joseph’s Villa
f) Special celebrations and masses
g) Big Sister / Little Sister program
h) retreats at the secondary panel (and in grade 7 and 8 in some schools)
i) Equity workshops
j) Anti Bullying Week in November

4 To promote Safety:

a) Risk Watch Program
b) Safekids Program
c) Bus Safety Training (in collaboration with the T. Consortium)
d) Bus Patrollers Program and Training

5. Counseling and Support:

a) Rainbows for All God’s Children
b) Visits from the parish priest / deacon
c) chaplains / guidance personnel / Faith Animator
d) Student Success Initiatives (gr. 7-12) Advocacy for Students

6. Catholic Character Development:

a) The Ontario Catholic Graduate Expectations are all about preparing today’s children
to become responsible caring adults. The Catholic Graduate Expectations more than
reflect the Ministry’s Character Education mandate.
b) The Catholic Gospel values are reflected in everything we do and teach in our schools. They are embedded in the total life of the school and the Catholic school community.
c) The resources and documents that are purchased to support curriculum delivery also reflect the Catholic Character Education that goes on in our schools such as N.O.C.C.C. curriculum documents, ICE support documents, Canadian Catholic Bishops’ religion textbooks and teacher guides, Catholic Premier Agendas, etc.
d) Catholic Education Week in May

“Children (with special needs) need to be in an accepting, safe environment that enables them to take risks and ask for help, in order to acquire the skills, procedures, and strategic knowledge that will allow them to become independent learners.” (p. 114, Education For All, 2005)

Through various programs (i.e. Rainbows, Community Builders, Outreach, Tribes, etc.), the SCDSB is ensuring that its schools are peaceful, Christ centred learning environments, where all students can learn.

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