Ottawa private school expo
If you're considering a specialized or integrated program for your special needs child, the Ottawa private school expo in November will allow you to meet and speak with the best local schools for kids with special needs. Plus, free information seminars by education experts will help you ensure you're making the best choice when it comes to your child's education.
Benefits of your child attending a special needs school
In a more mainstream classroom, the chances of your son or daughter getting lost in the shuffle is higher because teachers have the challenging task of trying to accommodate every child’s needs and instructing to a larger number of different types of learners.
Ottawa special needs schools have alternative curricula that are more tailored to meet the needs of each student. Teachers are able to determine those individual needs from the start and alter their methods of instruction over time to work on strengths and weaknesses, as well as provide continuous group support with before and after care available in most environments.
These schools, like other private schools, also have the unique resources to provide different extracurricular activities to enhance a child’s education. And they offer your son or daughter the opportunity to participate in ways that stimulate their growth and build on their interests, while also giving them a chance to try something new with additional support.
To learn more, read our guide on the pros and cons of special needs schools.
Types of Ottawa special needs schools
Special needs schools in Ottawa are generally day schools that offer full or half-day kindergarten, private/individual lessons, tutoring, and a range of support for learning disabilities, dyslexia, and other types of special needs. This includes special needs schools in downtown Ottawa, Ottawa-Gatineau, Rockliffe Park, Rockland, Kemptville, Nepean, Kanata, Centrepoint, Centretown, the Glebe, Riverside Park, and Hampton Park. These schools are offered at the elementary, middle, and high school levels.
These schools also tend to offer bilingual language instruction, including ESL and French immersion, and a host of courses and programs in arts, history, public speaking, world religions and philosophy, as well as science, math, and technology.
Academics clubs, such as chess and debate clubs, may be included in the curriculum, and many sports such as baseball, gymnastics, and golf are available. Moral development programs like leadership, self-esteem, social justice, and character education are also options.
Costs of special needs education
You may be able to qualify for a medical tax break on tuition at eligible schools and a number of extended insurance plans will cover initial psychological assessments at special needs schools. It’s also possible to find scholarships or bursaries that can help pay for fees.
Learn more ways to pay for private school, including financial aid, with 18 Tips to Paying for Private School.
Choosing the right special needs school for your child
Beginning your search for the right special needs school in Ottawa starts with understanding your child. What kind of environment would help them flourish? What sort of specific support do they need?
Make a list of what’s most important for your child and your family (is the location, cost or type of programs crucial, for example) and research school websites, request information packages, or visit school fairs like the Our Kids private school expos. Scheduling a tour of the school or going to an open house is a great way to find out everything the school has to offer, get a feel for whether that environment would be right for your child, and narrow down your choices.
Get more information on choosing a school with this step-by-step guide