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Published 11 June 2013

Twelve Specialized Schools

The private sector also includes special education
More than 3,000 students with behavioral difficulties, learning disabilities, intellectual difficulties and other handicaps currently attend private schools in Quebec.Twelve specialized schools, located in Montreal and in Quebec City, offer services to these students.The policy of the Ministère de l’Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport is that students with handicaps or with learning or adaptation difficulties, be integrated into regular classes.

However, the standard integration model is not the optimal solution for all of these students and it is necessary to look at other possibilities to meet the needs of these students – the result: specialized schools.

Most of these specialized schools were founded more than 40 years ago and were the direct result either of a university research project or of the concerns of parents who were unable to find adequate resources within the educational system to meet the needs of their child. Since their foundation, these schools have developed a great expertise within the different fields of special education and have become, over time, indispensable to the public school system, with over 80% of their students being referred by school boards. These schools are subsidized by the MELS and offer, to parents, an education which is comparable in cost to that of the public system.

Dedicated Staff
To understand the students, it is necessary to visit these schools and observe, in person, the exceptional commitment of the 650 staff members who work there; the multi-disciplinary teams created by these passionate staff members who have, at heart, the well-being and success of each of their students.

These schools distinguish themselves not only by their small class size but also by the rich and diverse expertise of the specialized teachers and non-teaching professionals who work, on a daily basis, in the school. Many participate in university research projects and have close ties with the health sector as well as with the labor force for practicums within the working world.