Special Education

Connect on:

Independent Living Skills I, II, III

  • may be coming from self-contained programs or an integrated setting
  • will benefit from a smaller student – teacher ratio
  • are working on personal goals as outlined in their Individual Education Plan
  • are functioning well below age level academically
  • often have difficulty socially and have low self-esteem
  • are tactile and experiential learners
  • may require additional support in relation to behaviour, personal, physical or emotional needs
  • Educational Assistants will be available to support student needs, as necessary

Personal Health and Well-Being

The students will participate in a variety of activities that focus on:

  • developing or improving motor skills
  • self care
  • building relationships
  • developing skills of daily living


The students will focus on building:

  • self-awareness
  • self-regulation
  • goal setting

Social / Communication

The students will build skills around:

  • receptive and expressive language
  • non-verbal communication
  • understanding and maintaining healthy relationship
  • teamwork
  • conflict resolution
  • social language and conversations skills
  • leisure and recreational skills

Functional Skills

Students will work on maintaining and building practical academic skills relevant to their personal goals as outlined in their IEP.

Each student will have a set of short and long term goals, established in cooperation with the school, parents / guardians, and any community partners. It will be those individual goals the students will work toward, and on which assessment will be based.
Provincial report cards will be distributed at the same time as all other Secondary students. Parents / Guardians are encouraged to attend the school wide scheduled interviews to set goals for the next reporting period. Positive home involvement is a key element to the success of the students in Specialty Programming at St. Mary’s College.

  • Students will follow all St. Mary’s College routines and schedules
  • They are welcome, and encouraged, to participate fully in all extracurricular activities and clubs
  • They have the same breaks and lunch as all students of St. Mary’s College
  • Students participate fully in all school sanctioned activities
  • Students are expected to adhere to the same code of conduct as all SMC students
  • Students are able to remain in the programs until 21 years of age
  • Students are encouraged to participate fully in graduation activities and ceremonies
  • Opportunities for integration are available based on individual student goals and needs
  • Most students will receive a Certificate of Accomplishment
  • Students are not working toward an OSSD
  • School, home and community partners will work cooperatively as students prepare for any transitions while at St. Mary’s College

Learning Strategies (GLE)

  • Offered from Grade 9 to 12
  • Students can earn credits for up to 6 GLE classes during their time at SMC
  • The focus in on building paractical skills and strategies for learning (i.e. time management, organization, student skills, presentation skills, exam preparation)
  • This is a highly individualist, student-centered learning environment
  • Students accessing GLE programming will meet one-on-one with the lead GLE contact person to select courses (they are hand time tabled to ensure all of their academics and social/emotional needs are met)
  • GLE teachers work cooperatively with school counsellors and classroom teachers to ensure success
  • GLE teachers act as a liaison between home, school and classroom teachers
  • develop a personal relationship with all student in the GLE classes, or on IEP’s
  • constantly monitor student progress
  • maintain the student’s IEP act as a liaison between student and classroom teacher
  • act as a contact person for parents
  • meet with students annually to make course selections and make students aware of programs offered
  • assist with transition planning into, and out of, secondary
  • host annual IPRC &, if necessary, transition planning meetings


  • This is a Care and Treatment program
  • Students intake into this program via AFS – available to HSCDSB and ADSB students
  • Provides clinical staff as well as a classroom teacher
  • Focus is on supporting students struggling with addictions
  • This program is housed off site

Phoenix Program

  • This is a Care and Treatment Program
  • Students intake into this program via AFS – available to HSCDSB and ADSB students
  • Program provides clinical staff as well as a classroom teacher
  • It is geared toward students who are experiencing difficulties with their emotional, social and behavioural development;  often to the extent that they are unable to function within the regular school programs 
  • Programs are adjusted to meet the daily needs of the students
  • Mental health is the priority, however, whenever possible students work toward earning credits
  • Students in Phoenix attend in class at St. Mary’s College

Ollie Viotto


705-945-5540 ext. 22234