Special Needs Students Frozen Out of Opportunity

March 3, 2016

QUEEN’S PARK – The Government’s review of demonstrative schools, which provide specialized education services to children with special needs such as deafness, blindness and dyslexia among others, is causing schools to not accept any new students or, as it is being called in correspondence to parents, freezing their intake.


“Local students with special needs are being left behind by this government’s mismanagement” MPP McDonell commented. “Several families have come forward expressing dismay that years of diligent work to establish their child’s needs and finally getting them placed on the enrolment list for the educational institution best suited to them may all be for nothing.  Parents are now being told that intake is frozen due to the program being under review. These children were looking forward to learning in an environment that has proven to be the best solution for their special needs. After preparing their child for the anticipated family separation and getting the child to look forward to attending a new school with new hope, the parents now have to step back with no firm answer. This will impact their development and learning, when the Government should instead be focusing on providing the best range of services and support so that every Ontario child can learn, thrive and achieve their full potential.”


In addition to MPP Todd Smith’s (PC, Prince Edward-Hastings) question in the Legislature earlier today demanding a commitment from the Government to keeping Sagonaska and Sir James Whitney schools in Belleville, MPP McDonell also forwarded a letter stressing the importance of this proven, specialized training.


“Families in Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry were looking forward to their children’s enrolment at Sagonaska” MPP McDonell stated. “There is no question that the current system is flawed when parents must spend up to ten years of special medical and educational testing to prove that their children are in need of this crucial intensive training.  It’s not fair that after all this time, energy, and money to finally get approval for this fall intake, that these parents and their children are now left without an answer. This isn’t just a case of the Government missing an opportunity to do things right. The liberals are unashamedly taking opportunities from our children who are most in need”.


MPP McDonell launched a petition to keep demonstrative schools open, it is available at www.jimmcdonellmpp.ca/petitions