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Toronto special needs schools

Toronto special needs schools

Find the top special needs schools and programs in Toronto and the GTA

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There are plenty of great special need schools in Toronto. These schools offer special education programs for your child, tailored to their unique learning strengths and weaknesses. 

Special needs and special education

Toronto has several different kinds of special needs schools and programs. Some of these schools are focused exclusively on special needs students, and provide full-time support for them. Others offer a full-time, dedicated special education class or program for students with some kinds of special needs (a class that takes place alongside other classes). And others offer certain kinds of in-class or out-of-class accommodations for special needs children.

Each of these schools provides specialized support for children with special needs. Only some of them, though, provide support for all or most special needs children. Most focus on specific kinds of special needs. While this isn’t an exhaustive list, there are schools providing support for one or more of the following kinds of special needs:

Keep in mind, different types of special needs children require different accommodations. For instance, a gifted student may require subject-specific enrichment or acceleration. A student with ADHD, on the other hand, may need to be placed in a smaller class, whether they can work in a calm environment and receive special attention. And a student with dyslexia may need extra time and support for reading and writing assignments.

The benefits of special needs schools

If you’re child has a special need, it’s important to address it. They can’t just be left to deal with it on their own.

A special needs school, whether it offers a full-time dedicated program or part-time support, is a step in the right direction. Your child will likely be assigned a special education teacher. They also will likely receive specialized programming in the form of an independent education plan (IEP). This will help ensure they receive the accommodations they need, and don’t fall through the cracks.

This can also allow your child to avoid some common problems. Children with unaddressed special needs often fall behind in their school work. This can lead to frustration, boredom, and feeling disconnected. It also frequently leads to social and behavioural issues.

By going to a school that addresses their special need(s), your child can avoid these pitfalls. In fact, if you find a school that’s a good fit, one that offers the right kind of program and environment, your child can excel, academically, socially, and emotionally.

Finding a special needs school in Toronto

To aid you in your search for the right special needs school, attend one of our annual private school expos. Meet with Toronto's top ranked private schools and the best boarding schools across Canada at the Halton-Peel expo and the Toronto expo in October. These one-day events are a must for any parent or student considering an alternative education.

Below, we list special needs schools in Toronto and the GTA (including Mississauga and Brampton). Click on a school to learn more about it. 

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List of Toronto special needs schools

    School NameTypePaceCost

    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

    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]
    • Traditional
    Standard-enriched$18,900 to $20,000Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Day9999999999

    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]
    • Traditional
    Student-paced$2,500/program to $23,500Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Day2500

    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$21,500HighSchools Coed Day21500

    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]
    • Traditional
    Student-paced$20,900Elementary MiddleSchools Coed Day20900

    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

    Bright Start Academy (est. 2003)

    • North York, Ontario
    • PS to 12 Coed
    • Day school
    Bright Start Academy, a special needs school in North York, focuses on helping children with autism and learning differences, from PS to grade 12. [View profile]
    • Traditional
    Student-paced$12,500 to $25,000Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Day12500

    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

    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

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