Special Needs

The Western Québec School Board is committed to ensuring that all students achieve success. The Western Québec model of service delivery emphasizes on inclusion.  Students would attend the elementary or secondary school that would best suit their needs. The school’s principal and teacher are the parents’ primary contact.

Each school organizes their special education services according to the needs of the students in their school and the Western Québec Policy C-17. Students with special needs, as well as staff working with them, are supported by the Complementary Services Department.

Students follow an academic pathway:

  • A regular academic pathway (with adaptations) leading to secondary academic qualifications;
  • A modified academic pathway followed by the Work Oriented Training Pathway leading to a recognized Pre-Work Training certificate from the ministère;
  • A Life Skills pathway leading to Ministry recognized certification.

The report card will reflect the academic pathway of the individual student.

Helpful Resources for Parents –  Handbook for Parents of Children with Special Needs from the Québec Federation of Parents’ Committees (QFPC)

Inclusive Education

About Inclusive Education Services – Centres of Excellence are provincial resources offering support and expertise to the English-speaking Education community for the organization of programs and adapted teaching to assist students with particular learning needs in an inclusive setting. There are six centres of excellence (CoE). Continue reading >

At the elementary level and in rural K-11 schools, students with special needs are educated in an inclusive setting.  The students remain in the regular classroom with their peers.  An Individual Education Plan (IEP) is developed and implemented to support the social and academic goals determined for the student.  Additional support, as required, is also focused in the classroom.  At some secondary schools, specialized classes are in place for students in modified academic and life skills pathways as well as for the WOTP and CHALLENGES programs.

Individual Education Plan (IEP)

Students with special needs have an active Individual Education Plan (IEP).  These plans are typically prepared in the spring for the following school year.  We work from a strength-based approach to support student success.  Teachers work to situate the learner in a developmental context and create Strategic, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time bound (SMART) goals.  These goals are evaluated periodically throughout the school year.  Parents are important and valued members of the IEP team. The IEP supports the student’s respective academic program.

Work Orientation Training Path (WOTP)

This educational pathway is unique because it is practical in nature and its main objective is preparation for the job market. It gives students the opportunity to experience success in different contexts through adapted instruction. The aim of the pathway is to help students construct their occupational identity, adopt behaviours and attitudes required in the workplace and foster their gradual integration into the work force, by offering them the opportunity to develop work related competencies in actual work settings. Students must be at least 15 years of age on September 30th. This pathway is available in all of our secondary schools.

This pathway has two different programs, Prework Training and Training for a Semi-skilled Trade.

Pre-work training

This is a three year program designed for students who have not met the requirements of Elementary End-of-Cycle 3 English and Mathematics.

This training helps students to progress at their own pace in a variety of subjects while preparing them to carry out their roles as adults, citizens and workers. During the first year of the program, students receive practical training within the school setting. The following two years involve a combination of school and workplace training. The student can achieve specific competencies related to different semiskilled trades.

Upon successful completion, students receive a Pre-Work Training certificate from the ministère de l’Éducation, de l’Enseignement supérieur (MEES).

Training for a semi-skilled trade

This is a one year program intended for students who have met the requirements of Elementary End-of-Cycle 3 English and Mathematics, but who have not met the requirements of Secondary Cycle 1, English and Mathematics.

Students work towards completing the requirements of Secondary Cycle 1 programs in English, French and Mathematics, at the same time as developing the specific competencies for one semiskilled trade. Students spend approximately half of the school year in school with the other half spent acquiring these work competencies in one specific trade.

Upon successful completion, students receive a Semiskilled Trade Certificate with the specific trade indicated, from the ministère de l’Éducation, de l’Enseignement Supérieur (MEES).

Competency-Based Approach to Social Participation (CASP)

The CASP Education Program aims to customize the learning experience of students aged 6 to 15 who have moderate to severe intellectual disabilities according to their needs and abilities. Specifically, the program helps prepare each student for a smooth integration at school, in society and perhaps eventually in the workplace.  In time, students with moderate to severe intellectual disabilities will be able to play a meaningful and valued role in society, in accordance with their capabilities.


This program is an educational approach aimed at fostering the social integration of students aged 16 to 21 who have moderate to severe intellectual disabilities. The curriculum includes work-related activities and helps to prepare the students for adulthood.  The program culminates with an Attestation of Skills from the MEES.  The CHALLENGES program is available at all WQSB schools in either an inclusive school setting or within Centres at the larger secondary schools.

Alternative Education Program

This program is designed for secondary students who require a great deal of support from both WQSB personnel and from professionals from outside agencies. The program is based on Dr. Gordon Neufeld’s theory of Attachment.  Students participate in individualized academic and counselling programs.  Some students may complete their education in this program while others may return to the regular education setting in either the youth or adult sectors.