CHeS Special Needs Support Policy

Staff seeking special needs support for an individual student, or students requiring special needs support must have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). The IEP will be either an Adapted Plan which documents limited changes to the learning plan format, pacing, and resources or a Modified plan with extensive changes that include goals that alter or do not meet the standards to best accommodate the student’s learning needs. Documented and recorded information will be included in their student learning plan and IEP.

IEPs are prepared by the CHeS special education coordinator and approved by the Principal prior to seeking additional special needs services and resources. The program coordinator will be a staff member with special needs training & experience who is working under the general supervision of the school principal and chief administrator.  CHeS will try to assist all children that have needs, but realizes there are limitations to what our program can provide. Parents of students with special needs are free to accept the limitations or look for help beyond the school’s resources.  CHe-S will play a supportive role in the best interests of the student.

Specific programs and student support are provided to students on the basis of identified needs, program limitations, their teachers’ professional judgement and special education administration team considerations and final discretion.


Special Needs –the needs of special children who require specific additional learning or developmental support based on the individual students identified needs. Teachers identify children who are struggling with or are not meeting age/grade appropriate standards due to a learning challenge or disability. This often includes but is not limited to specific communication, behavior, or physical functioning disorders. The child with special needs often has learning difficulties, behavioral disabilities, physical disabilities, and/or other identified needs that make it difficult for them to learn or access education successfully. These students usually require adaptations or modifications to their student learning plan. Adaptations or modification are individually designed to help students experience success in their cognitive, physical, sociological and behavioural development processes within their learning environment. Gifted children may also fall into the special needs category if they have special needs that require adaptations to more fully support an accelerated program.

Adaptations – refer to instructional/assessment adjustments that assist learning without requiring change to the standards. An adaptation is a change that helps a student overcome or work around a disability or learning difficulty. Allowing a student who has trouble writing to give his answers orally is an example of an adaptation. Adaptations often involve allowing a student to address standards below or above age/grade appropriate skills level. 

Modifications – refer to instructional or assessment changes that will better assist learning and always involve modification to the MOE prescribed learning standards to include learning goals that effectively support the student's learning needs within their level of ability so that they may experience success. Modifications are considered specifically for those students whose special needs require modification to the MOE standards. This includes students with limited awareness of their surroundings, students with extensive cognitive learning disabilities, compromised physical health, and/or students with medically diagnosed cognitive learning disabilities, physical disabilities and/or behavioral challenges which prevent a student from meeting the MOE standards.

Example: An adaptation might state that a 10 year old student is working towards meeting grade 3 standards for English. A modification might state that the same 10 year old student has a learning goal to learn how to say the names of his family members. When a student not yet in the graduation program is meeting standards below grade levels, that student is considered as working in an adapted IEP program, unless the parents/student, teacher, and special education team collaboratively deem it in the best interest of the student to create a modified plan. This means that a student is always considered to be working towards meeting the MOE standards unless unable to do so. When a student learning plan is adapted at the grade 10-12 level to meet standards at the K-9 grade level that student is considered as working in a modified IEP program. Parents/students must be informed that an IEP with modification within the graduation program will form part of the student’s permanent record. This student can obtain an Evergreen graduation certificate. To receive Dogwood diploma the student must meet all graduation requirements.  The MOE prefers that students remain on an adapted plan as long as possible and that modifications are only considered for severe cases or when adaptations cannot effectively meet the needs of the student. Students requiring modifications may be recommended for further assessment and diagnosis in consultation with parents if this has not previously been recommended.


When is an IEP with an Adapted Plan applicable? 
An IEP Adapted Plan* should be established for the student by the Special Needs Co-ordinator and approved by the Principal;

  • when the standards established for the student’s educational program have not been modified or;
  • where remedial instruction, support or assistance by a person other than the mentoring teacher is required or;
  • Where extra-curricular behavioral, therapeutic, or other specialized services are required for the student to be successful or;
  • when the student with special needs requires adaptations to educational materials, instructional methods, and/or assessment methods or;
  • when the student is meeting standards below grade level
  • While a student remains within the K-9 program and the special education team members, teachers and specialists involved have reasonable grounds to believe in their professional judgement that the student can meet grade level standards & competencies over time with the available support provided and the parents/students have been consulted in this process.

When must an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) Modified be established? 
An IEP Modified* must be established for all students with substantial and/or identified special needs. The IEP is prepared by the special education team in collaboration with teachers, parents, students and tutors and other specialists involved with the student. IEP plans must be approved by the principal. Students identified with "substantial” special needs;

  • will require extensive adaptations to educational materials, instructional methods, and/or assessment methods
  • where expected learning standards need to be modified in order for the student to experience "success" or;
  • When students require substantial remedial instruction by a person other than their learning mentor.


*Note: CHeS provides a unique program allowing all students the freedom to adapt their learning to meet the needs of the individual; therefore most CHeS students utilize ongoing adaptations throughout the learning process across the grades. When however more adaptations than normal arise and the need for remedial help is evident, teachers will use their professional judgement to recommend their student to the CHeS special education team for additional program support. The process for validating that assistance must be documented by the Special Education Co-ordinator (team) and approved by the Principal.

Who develops the IEP?

IEP - modified - The principal of the school is responsible for the implementation of educational programs (School Act Regulation 5(7)(a). The designated special education coordinator is appointed under general direction and supervision of the principal to co-ordinate develop, document and implement the special education program and individual students IEP. As required, other school personnel and/or staff from regional or community agencies may be involved in the development and implementation. An IEP tab must be inserted into the student planner for documentation purposes.

IEP Adapted - Most adapted plans can be maintained, documented, and cooperatively implemented by the mentoring teacher with support from the special education team members but must be approved by the special education program coordinator working under supervision of the principal.  School personnel or staff from regional or community agencies may be involved under supervision of the program coordinator. Where minor adaptations to resources, instruction, and assessments are taking place, a teacher may document specific details of these changes within the course plan for each individual student after clearly identifying the need and consulting with the school special education team. All students needing more individualized instruction, adaptations or services should always be referred to the attention of the school special education team so that a documented plan may be established.

Note: Parents must always be given the opportunity to be consulted in the planning process, and should have access to the adapted or modified IEP. Where possible, the student should also participate in the process. Both the adapted and modified plan must document instances where special education program component opportunities have been provided but the parent or the student has refused to utilize the recommended program or support.

CHeS special education Protocol for establishing an IEP:

  1. Identifying student needs:
  • Interview consultation with parents, student, teachers & special education team  members
  • Discuss the process and long-term relevance of an IEP extending into the graduation program to inform parents/guardians of their options.
  • Obtaining parental support and signed agreement (Parent/guardian confirmation form) to the ongoing process
  • Collect past history (documentation) and other relevant information leading up to the students’ present needs.
  • Set up student testing with appropriate service providers where applicable. Alert the administration of this need.
  • Students with a specific diagnosed category placement will require testing updates by a qualified psychologist every 4 years and the updated assessment report must be on file and/or uploaded to the student’s IEP prior to associated payment for additional special education program resources or services.
  • Determine where applicable the type of support staff that may be required such as; remedial support personnel, occupational therapist, speech & language therapist, physiotherapist, behavioral therapist, psychologist and/or additional program resources.
  • Document all services and program resources in the plan. Alert the principal and/or administration team to all additional special education students requiring an IEP.
  1. Determine if the IEP will require adaptations or modifications. The IEP will be supervised and managed by the special education program coordinator in either format and include documented adaptions and/or modifications.
  2. Document plan:
  • Adaptions should be documented in the existing plan tab – goals chart (see the course links column for a list of adaptations) an IEP tab should be added if extra support is needed.
  • Creating an IEP requires adding an IEP tab to the learning plan.
  • Use charts to document particular adaptions and/or modification (who, when, where, how, what, etc.)
  • When documenting private information use electronic password secured documents. 
  • Be sure to involve the parent and student in developing the IEP as much as possible.
  • Parent/student acceptance must be documented in the plan
  1. Special Education coordinator reviews/finalizes the plan and seeks Principal approval for all IEPs.
  2. Execute the approved plan and make program adjustments as required in consultation with the parents/students and team members where applicable.  For major adjustments to IEP category or additional needs obtain Principal/administration team approval.
  3. Document ongoing plan developments, track progress reports to analyse procedures within the program plan. Identify and document success and areas that require additional support.

Special Note for resource placement for IEP students: 

1. For all academic resources that are subject specific…the teacher does the approval and inserting into a subject’s resource list.  The teacher will always check with the co-ordinator to make sure the budget will support the purchase or payment. Tutoring is often an academic resource that’s specific to the student’s learning to read or functioning with Math, therefore it can get placed into a subject resource list. Again, our co-ordinator knows about these resources and does her job with the budget, but the teacher must be involved approving and inserting all academic resources (resources that help meet learning standards).

2.  All non-academic resources are approved by our co-ordinator with or without prior teacher discussion and she places them into their IEP student resource list. This could be a therapy, a bus pass for travel to therapy, a piece of equipment for calming...etc…The co-ordinator is responsible for this list and  she will bring things to your attention as needed.  At times, when a resource serves several subjects at the same time, like dragon speak, it is categorized as non-academic though in fact it is academic. The co-ordinator places such resources into the IEP resource list and approves if for budget.

Evergreen Graduation Certificates Policy

A student with special needs (on an IEP) who is enrolled with CHeS and desires to achieve a school completion certificate, must meet the learning standards contained in the IEP and/or successfully complete the educational plan prepared for that student.  The student who completes the program set out in their IEP will be recommended to the Ministry to receive a School Completion Certificate (Evergreen Certificate). For additional information contact your teacher or school administration team 1-877-777-1547 or by email at

Adult Dogwood Certificate Policy

Refer to school graduation policy and ministry of education graduation requirements posted on school website For additional help or information contact your teacher, principal or administrator

Regular Dogwood Certificate Policy

Refer to school graduation policy and ministry of education graduation requirements posted on school website For additional information please contact your teacher or the school principal.