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Chamberlain International School

Chamberlain International School is a co-educational, therapeutic boarding school in Middleboro, MA, offering programs from life skills through college prep.

Special needs schools

Find the top special needs schools and programs in Canada

Find a list of schools  

Special needs schools are different from regular schools in that they cater to students with education challenges. They’re designed, staffed, and have the resources to provide support for students who have challenges that interfere with learning.

These schools offer a wide range of approaches and services to support students with special needs. This may include individualized learning, one-on-one support, small classes, resource rooms, and learning aids.

Special education support

There are two main ways schools provide special education support. First, there’s the environment or setting in which the support is delivered. Special needs education can be offered in a dedicated special needs school or class, an integrated class, a withdrawal class, or a regular class with resource support or indirect support.

Second, there’s the form of support that’s offered. Most private special needs schools support students through accommodations, modifications, and remediations. These are normally stipulated in an Independent Education Plan (IEP), which spells out a child’s learning needs, services the school will provide, and how progress will be measured.

  • Accommodations: Removing obstacles to learning (e.g., note-taking assistance)
  • Modifications: Changing what’s taught or altering standards (e.g., answering fewer of different test questions)
  • Remediations: Individualized interventions or treatments to eliminate, reduce, or ameliorate a challenge (e.g., one-on-one work with a psychologist to improve social skills)

Ideally, modifications won’t be needed. Changing what’s taught and lowering expectations can sometimes cause students problems later on, for instance, when they move on to a new school.

Types of special needs supported

Schools vary in what type of special education support they provide. They also vary in terms of which special needs they support. The main types of special needs supported by schools are learning, developmental, behavioural/emotional, and physical disabilities.

Many special education schools provide support for one or more of these types of special needs. Other less common special needs supported by some schools include speech and language disorders and chronic illnesses.

 

Special needs questions (read our in-depth answers)

 

Special education pros and cons

Private schools for special needs are a great option for many kids. They have many benefits. They also, though, raise some concerns. The pros and cons of special education vary based on the type of program, supports offered, approaches used, and more.

Pros

  • Necessary support: Students get the support they need to get the most out of their education. This may include accommodations, modifications, or remediations.
  • Qualified teachers: Teachers normally have focused training in special education.
  • Differentiated instruction: Instruction is tailored to individual students to meet their unique learning needs.
  • Special resources and services: Special resources and services may be available. This may include academic and psychological counselling, tutoring programs, speech-language therapy, physical and occupational therapy, and learning aids.
  • Fitting in: Students learn and interact with peers who also have challenges. 

Cons

  • Lack of integration: Students in a dedicated special needs school will only learn and interact with peers with special needs. They thus won’t be exposed to a wide range of influences.
  • Stigma: The label "special needs" can have a stigma or negative connotation. Being in a special needs program can reinforce this.
  • Social relations: Students in a special needs class may have problems relating to other kids in the class or school. This can impede their social growth.
  • Academics: Special education sometimes involves lowering expectations (for instance, when modifications are made). This can lead to problems at higher levels of education.
  • Transition to a regular school: Some find the transition from a special needs school or program to a regular school challenging. This can be both an academic as well as a social and emotional adjustment.

Special needs school costs

The cost of a private school for children with special needs will depend on many factors. For instance, the types of special needs supported, how they’re supported, and the environment the support is provided in can all affect the price of tuition.

In Canada, private schools with full-time special education programs can cost between $20, 000 and $100, 000 a year. Meanwhile, schools with part-time special needs programs (for instance, schools with integrated classes) tend to be cheaper. These schools have annual tuition that often ranges from $15,000 to $50,000.

In Canada, there are many types of funding and aid available for private schools for children with special needs. The main sources of funding are

  • Financial aid from schools: If you can demonstrate need, some schools will help subsidize your child’s education. Many will offer you a bursary to help defray the costs of tuition.
  • Government funding: Most provinces and territories in Canada provide some kind of financial support for families with kids in a special needs school or program. For instance, Ontario has a special education grant which can cover up to 100% of tuition.
  • Support from community or charitable organizations: There are many community, non-profit, and religious associations that can help finance your child’s education by covering part of their tuition. This includes the Prosser Charitable Foundation’s Parent Choice Bursary  Rotary Club, Canadian Council of Christian Charities (CCCC), United Jewish Appeal (UJA), and Muslim Association of Canada (MAC).
  • Sibling discounts: Some schools offer escalating reductions in tuition based on the number of children you send to them. 
  • Tax relief: Another way to reduce the expense of school is through a tax deduction or credit.

Choosing a special needs school or program

It’s important to find the right school for your child. If your child has special needs, this can be challenging. You should look at several schools and programs and choose one that’s the right fit. Luckily, there are top special needs schools in Canada, including in Toronto, Ottawa, MontrealVancouver, Mississauga, Calgary, and Edmonton.

What’s most important is whether the special needs school is a good fit for your child. You’ll need to consider some crucial questions.

  • Type of special needs supported: What type of special needs does the school support? Does it offer support for your child’s special need(s)?
  • Type of support: How does the school support students with special needs? Does it offer accommodations, modifications, remediations, or additional services? Does it offer the kind of support your child needs?
  • Type of environment: What environment is the special needs support delivered in? Is it the right kind of environment for your child?
  • Teaching and learning approach: Does the school or program offer individualized learning and differentiated instruction? If so, what does this look like? How can this approach support your child’s learning?

Helpful resources

There are many great resources to help you in your search for the right special needs school or program. Below, we discuss some of the main ones.


 

 

Series: Special Needs Schools

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List of Special needs schools

School Expo Exhibitor
FILTERS:
 
  •  
    School NameTypePaceCost

    Oakwood Academy (est. 2007)  

    • Mississauga, Ontario
    • JK to 12 Coed
    • Day school (50 students)
    Oakwood Academy is a special education private school in Mississauga. It offers programs from pre-school to grade 12. [View profile]
    • Traditional
    Student-paced$16,275 to $59,500Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Day16275

    TEAM School (est. 1981)  

    • Mississauga, Ontario
    • 1 to 12 Coed
    • Day school (200 students)
    Team School offers programs from grades 1 to 12 in Mississauga. Its average class size is 8 to 12 students. [View profile]
    School Expo Exhibitor - Toronto, Halton-Peel
    • Traditional
    Student-paced$18,000 to $20,800Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Day18000

    Robert Land Academy (est. 1978)  

    • Wellandport, Ontario
    • 5 to 12 Boys
    • Boarding school (125 students)
    Robert Land Academy is a private military-themed boarding school (Gr 5-12) helping boys to achieve their potential and gain admission to post-secondary programs. [View profile]
    School Expo Exhibitor - Toronto, Halton-Peel
    • Traditional
    Standard-enriched$52,000 to $55,000MiddleSchools HighSchools Boys Boarding52000

    Chamberlain International School (est. 1976)  

    • Middleboro, Massachusetts
    • 6 to 12 Coed
    • Day school (25 students)
    • Boarding school (98 students)
    Co-ed therapeutic boarding school in Massachusetts for students 11-22 years. Student support is offered for learning disabilities, OCD, anxiety, ADHD, NLD, ASD, attachment disorder, bipolar disorder and depression. [View profile]
    • Traditional
    Student-paced$58,227 to $141,214 USDMiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Boarding Day9999999999

    Chisholm Academy   

    • Oakville, Ontario
    • 7 to 12 Coed
    • Day school (150 students)
    Chisholm Academy, a school in Oakville for students with learning difficulties, offers an average class size of 10 students with a starting tuition cost of $17,750. [View profile]
    School Expo Exhibitor - Halton-Peel
    • Traditional
    Standard-enriched$20,936 to $21,996MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Day9999999999

    Shoore Academics (est. 1975)  

    • Toronto, Ontario
    • 5 to 12 Coed
    • Day school (60 students)
    Shoore Centre for Learning is a special-needs private school that offers programs from grades seven to 12 in Toronto. Its average class size is six students. [View profile]
    • Traditional
    Student-paced$32,000MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Day32000

    The Thinnox Academy (est. 2014)  

    • Mississauga, Ontario
    • 7 to 12 Coed/Coed
    • Day school
    • Boarding school
    The Thinnox Academy is a Mississauga private high school with a focus on technology, engineering and design. Graduates stand out from their peers when applying into University or College. [View profile]
    • Progressive
    • Montessori
    Student-paced$10,017 to $12,320MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Boarding Day10017

    Wildwood Academy (est. 2002)  

    • Oakville, Ontario
    • 2 to 8 Coed
    • Day school (60 students)
    Wildwood Academy is a special needs private school in Oakville. It offers programs from grades 2 to 8, with an average class size of four to ten students. [View profile]
    School Expo Exhibitor - Halton-Peel
    • Traditional
    Student-paced$24,000MiddleSchools Coed Day24000

    WillowWood School (est. 1980)  

    • Toronto, Ontario
    • 1 to 12 Coed
    • Day school (250 students)
    We are a new style of independent school for diverse learners where all students learn with dignity; where a warm and nurturing school serves as a foundation for remarkable lives; and where the whole person who matters. [View profile]
    School Expo Exhibitor - Toronto
    • Traditional
    Standard-enriched$18,900 to $20,000Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Day9999999999

    Heritage Academy of Learning Excellence (est. 1989)  

    • Ottawa, Ontario
    • 1 to 12 Coed
    • Day school (120 students)
    Heritage Academy is an Ottawa private school that is designed for students with DYSLEXIA, ADD/ADHD and similar learning exceptionalities. [View profile]
    • Traditional
    Standard-enriched$14,000 to $15,500Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Day14000

    Applewood Academy for Progressive Learning (est. 2001)  

    • Belleville, Ontario
    • 1 to 12 Coed
    • Day school (10 students)
    • Boarding school (20 students)
    We are a licensed therapeutic boarding school for Gr. 1-12 students requiring individualized academic, clinical, and behaviour-management solutions in small class sizes and professional home environments. [View profile]
    • Traditional
    Student-paced$115/day to $68,250Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Boarding Day115

    Calgary Academy & Calgary Collegiate (est. 1981)  

    • Calgary, Alberta
    • 2 to 12 Coed
    • Day school (500 students)
    Calgary Academy is a school for children that may benefit from a different kind of learning environment. We offer a program for students with learning difficulties as well as a traditional academic program. [View profile]
    • Traditional
    Student-paced$12,010 to $18,885MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Day12010

    Merit College (est. 2008)  

    • Markham, Ontario
    • 9 to 12 Coed
    • Day school (100 students)
    For almost a decade, Merit College has been helping young and talented students from all over the world reach their full potential and get accepted into a suitable post-secondary program. [View profile]
    • Liberal Arts
    Standard-enriched$25,000HighSchools Coed Day Homestay25000

    Lakeview Montessori School (est. 1978)  

    • Tecumseh, Ontario
    • NS to 8 Coed
    • Day school (205 students)
    Lakeview Montessori offers small class sizes starting with 1:5 teacher to student ratios. Programs from toddlers (18 months) to grade 8. [View profile]
    • Progressive
    • Montessori
    not providedPreschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Coed Day9999999999

    Heritage (est. 1984)  

    • Provo, Utah
    • 7 to 12 Boys/Girls
    • Boarding school (115 students)
    Heritage offers expert care for at-risk adolescents including those diagnosed with Mood Disorder, depression, anxiety, defiance towards authority figures and those on the Autism Spectrum. Learn more on our website. [View profile]
    • Progressive
    Student-paced$138,000 USDMiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Boys Boarding138000

    The Gow School (est. 1926)  

    • South Wales, New York
    • 6 to 12 Coed
    • Day school (15 students)
    • Boarding school (135 students)
    The Gow School is a special needs private school that offers programs for grades seven through 12 in South Wales, New York. [View profile]
    School Expo Exhibitor - Toronto
    • Traditional
    Standard-enriched$64,000 USDMiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Boarding Day64000

    Kenneth Gordon Maplewood School (est. 1973)  

    • North Vancouver, British Columbia
    • K to 12 Coed
    • Day school (200 students)
    KGMS/Maplewood provides supportive individual and small group instruction for students with learning differences. [View profile]
    • Progressive
    Student-paced$22,950 to $23,950Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Day9999999999

    Fraser Academy (est. 1982)  

    • Vancouver, British Columbia
    • 1 to 12 Coed
    • Day school (250 students)
    Fraser Academy is a leader in the empowerment and education of Grade 1-12 students with dyslexia and other language-based learning differences. Based in Vancouver, we are a fully accredited, independent day school. [View profile]
    • Progressive
    Standard-enriched$26,250 to $31,250Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Day9999999999

    Landmark East School (est. 1979)  

    • Wolfville, Nova Scotia
    • 3 to 12 Coed
    • Day school (45 students)
    • Boarding school (30 students)
    Landmark East School offers exceptional programming for LD students from grade 3 to 12. The average class size is 5 students. [View profile]
    • Traditional
    Student-paced$26,000 to $48,000MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Boarding Day26000

    Philopateer Christian College (est. 1999)  

    • Mississauga, Ontario
    • PS to 12 Coed
    • Day school (350 students)
    Philopateer Christian College offers programs from pre-kindergarten to grade 12 in Mississauga. Its average class size is 12 to 18 students. [View profile]
    • Traditional
    Standard-enriched$7,000 to $100,000Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Day9999999999

    Magnificent Minds (est. 2011)  

    • North York, Ontario
    • PS to 8 Coed
    • Day school
    Magnificent Minds caters to learners whose needs are not being met in traditional school environments, pursuing academic excellence, and individual greatness. [View profile]
    • Traditional
    Student-paced$16,000 to $21,400Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Coed Day16000

    Arrowsmith School (est. 1980)  

    • Toronto, Ontario
    • 1 to 12 Coed
    • Day school (75 students)
    Founded on the science of neuroplasticity, Arrowsmith Program provides students with the skills necessary to overcome their learning disabilities and transform their academic, cognitive, emotional and social lives. [View profile]
    School Expo Exhibitor - Toronto
    • Traditional
    Student-paced$2,500/program to $23,500Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Day2500

    Brighton School (est. 2003)  

    • Toronto, Ontario
    • 1 to 12 Coed
    • Day school (65 students)
    Brighton School is a special needs private school in Toronto, Ontario for students (grade 1 to 12) with learning challenges. [View profile]
    • Traditional
    Student-paced$23,950Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Day23950

    Foothills Academy (est. 1979)  

    • Calgary, Alberta
    • 3 to 12 Coed
    • Day school (288 students)
    Foothills Academy is an independent school for students with diagnosed Learning Disabilities in grades 3 - 12. Small class sizes allow the experienced staff to create a positive learning environment. [View profile]
    • Traditional
    Standard-enriched$15,300MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Day15300

    Hampshire Country School (est. 1948)  

    • Rindge, New Hampshire
    • 3 to 12 Boys
    • Boarding school (22 students)
    A friendly, active boarding school for bright boys who have good intentions but who may be too impulsive, intense, or bothersome for other schools and whose intellectual interests may separate them from their peers. [View profile]
    • Liberal Arts
    Student-paced$58,500 USDMiddleSchools HighSchools Boys Boarding58500

    Venture Academy Troubled Teens Program (BC)   

    • Kelowna, British Columbia
    • 7 to 12 Boys/Girls
    Venture Academy is a therapeutic private school providing educational and clinical support services, individualized instruction and engaging interaction to get students back on track and restore confidence. [View profile]
    • Traditional
    Student-pacednot providedMiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Boys Homestay9999999999

    BrightonLaunch   

    • Toronto, Ontario
    • Adult Coed
    • Day school (25 students)
    Brighton Launch is program for young adults 18+ with challenges, who are preparing to, or have moved from school to post-school activities. [View profile]
    • Progressive
    not providedCoed Day9999999999

    Séminaire Marie-Reine-du-Clergé (est. 1956)  

    • Métabetchouan-Lac-à-la-Croix, Quebec
    • 7 to 11 Coed
    • Day school (275 students)
    • Boarding school
    SMRC is a coed day and boarding high school in French Canada with a warm & relaxed natural campus, modern rooms, enrichment & support, technology enhanced classrooms & labs, 8 cultural & sports programs, 20+ activities [View profile]
    School Expo Exhibitor - Montreal, Halton-Peel
    • Traditional
    Standard-enriched$3,580 to $25,465MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Boarding Day3580

    The Third Academy (est. 1997)  

    • Calgary, Alberta
    • 1 to 12 Coed
    • Day school (150 students)
    Third Academy is Calgary's school for special needs and gifted education. The school teaches what students need, the way they need it and never loses sight of well-rounded learning. Click to learn more. [View profile]
    School Expo Exhibitor - Calgary
    • Progressive
    Student-paced$10,000Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Day10000

    Académie Vaudrin Academy (est. 2005)  

    • Vaudreuil-Dorion, Quebec
    • PS to 6 Coed
    • Day school (110 students)
    This alternative and traditional private school in Vaudreuil-Dorion, Quebec offers grades PS to 6 with a tuition cost of $3,600 to $7,900. [View profile]
    • Liberal Arts
    • Montessori
    Student-paced$9,176Preschool Kindergarten Elementary Coed Day9999999999

    Maple Leaf Collegiate (est. 2014)  

    • Toronto, Ontario
    • 9 to 12 Coed/Coed
    • Day school (117 students)
    Great Teachers & small classes, focused ESL accommodations, fast-track pathways to the best universities featuring UP & AP courses, allow MLC students to reach full potential & become life-long learners & high achievers. [View profile]
    • Traditional
    Standard-enriched$950/course to $42,000HighSchools Coed Day Homestay950

    The Dunblaine School (est. 1969)  

    • Toronto, Ontario
    • 1 to 8 Coed
    • Day school (40 students)
    The Dunblaine School empowers students with learning disabilities to reach their full potential. It offers programs for students from grade one to eight, with an average class size of 5-7 students. [View profile]
    School Expo Exhibitor - Toronto
    • Traditional
    Student-paced$20,900Elementary MiddleSchools Coed Day20900

    The YMCA Academy (est. 2003)  

    • Toronto, Ontario
    • 9 to 12 Coed
    • Day school (70 students)
    The YMCA Academy is an alternative high school serving youth with learning disabilities and learning style differences. [View profile]
    • Progressive
    Student-paced$23,000HighSchools Coed Day23000

    Oxford Tutorial College (est. 1988)  

    • Oxford,
    • 10 to 12 Coed
    • Day school (150 students)
    • Boarding school (150 students)
    Oxford Tutorial College is a leading independent college specialising in A-level and GCSE tuition for students grade 10 to 12, intending to go on to higher education at a good British University. [View profile]
    • Progressive
    • International Baccalaureate
    Standard-enriched$33,255 to $39,447Coed Boarding Day Homestay33255

    I Am Smart S-Cool (est. 2017)  

    • Richmond Hill, Ontario
    • SK to 8 Coed
    • Day school (15 students)
    I AM SMART S-COOL offers programs from SK to Grade 8 in Richmond Hill. Its average class size is 5-7 students. Tuition fee if 14,500 per year. [View profile]
    • Progressive
    Student-paced$14,500Elementary MiddleSchools Coed Day14500

    Kohai Educational Centre (est. 1976)  

    • Toronto, Ontario
    • PS to 12 Coed
    • Day school (35 students)
    Kohai Educational Centre is a school for students with special needs and learning challenges offering programs for students aged 4 years to adulthood. Its average class size is two to six students. [View profile]
    • Traditional
    Student-paced$33,338Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Day33338

    Fork Union Military Academy (est. 1898)  

    • Fork Union, Virginia
    • 7 to 12 Boys
    • Day school (30 students)
    • Boarding school (400 students)
    This military academy in Fork Union, Virginia is the premier college preparatory boarding military schools for boys in grades 7-12. Renowned for its emphasis on Christian values, academics and athletics. [View profile]
    School Expo Exhibitor - Toronto
    • Traditional
    $32,000 to $37,450 USDMiddleSchools HighSchools Boys Boarding Day32000

    Venture Academy Troubled Teens Program (ON)   

    • Barrie Area, Ontario
    • 7 to 12 Boys/Girls
    Venture Academy is a therapeutic treatment and education program for students who may be struggling with ADHD, learning challenges, underachieving, behavioural issues, and a variety of clinical diagnoses. [View profile]
    • Traditional
    Student-pacednot providedMiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Boys Homestay9999999999

    North Broward Preparatory School (est. 1957)  

    • Coconut Creek, Florida
    • PS to 12 Coed
    • Day school (900 students)
    • Boarding school (330 students)
    North Broward Preparatory School is a K-12 co-educational day and boarding school located in S. Florida located minutes from the beach with IB, AP, and LD classes set on 80 acres with year round hockey. [View profile]
    School Expo Exhibitor - Toronto
    • Liberal Arts
    • International Baccalaureate
    Accelerated$24,200 to $58,000 USDPreschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Boarding Day24200

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