Learning Services


Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying “I will try again tomorrow!”


Learning Services at St. Joseph’s High School provides a wide range of support strategies as we strive for the development of the whole child in an inclusive learning community. We are committed to supporting spiritual well-being, academic excellence, and emotional and social development. 

The Learning Services Department offers educational assistance and other support to students whose academic pathway includes an Individual Education Plan (IEP). Currently staffed by four teachers and several Educational Assistants, the department addresses student learning exceptionalities in two distinct ways:

1.The School to Community Pathways Program (SCPP) is an individualized program that provides students with significant special needs the opportunity to participate in an inclusive academic and social environment while preparing for their lives post 21.  It provides access to dynamic courses focused on specialized life skill acquisition where students work at their own pace and at their own level, under the supervision of a Special Education Teacher.  Social skills are directly taught through the specialized PEERS Program (Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills) which teaches socially motivated teens and adolescents new ways of making and keeping friends.  Students develop literacy and numeracy skills, supplement their daily personal living skills, and integrate into credit or non-credit bearing courses under a variety of disciplines.  Specific courses include Drama, Music, Visual Arts, Hospitality and Tourism, Construction Technology, Green Industries, Geography and Physical Education.  Senior students also participate in co-operative education experiences to learn valuable skills for the workplace.  

The School to Community Pathways Program is designed:    

  • For students who are experiencing significant intellectual delays
  • For students who require additional time, intervention and support to successfully enter the world of work
  • For students who may eventually transition to assisted living
  • To maximize student potential and promote independence
  • With a focus on transition to the world of work and/or living within the community

Supports may include:

  • School to Community Pathway Teacher, Subject Teachers, Educational Assistants, Student​ Program Support Teachers, peers, ...
  • reduced pupil teacher ratio
  • specialized equipment
  • EA support for personal care and safety needs

Secondary Courses for Students Integrated into our School Community

​​Open Courses​​

Locally Developed Courses​

K Courses

​​Offer many opportunities for skill development while enhancing the school experience

​Are designed for students who may not be ready to access the Grade 9 curriculum in English, Math and Science

Are non-credit bearing courses

Include many of the Arts, Physical Education, Business, Technology and Religious Education Courses

Have a lower class size allowing for individual attention

Include content of credit courses with a functional, practical focus whenever possible

Are based upon Ministry of Education listings


​K Courses - Samples

Literacy (KEN)

Numeracy and Numbers (KMN)

​​Social Skills Development (KHD)

​Literacy and communication skills


Preparation for daily living and workplace settings

​​​Development of mathematical and problem solving skills


Prepar​​ation for daily living and workplace settings

​​​PEERS Program


Development of the individual in his/her relationship with and response to others


Further develops confidence, positive sense of self and values


 If they can’t learn the way we teach, we teach the way they learn.

Transitions to the Community

As part of our comprehensive School to Work program, we assist families in finding community partners that will provide next steps in the transition to adult living.

Some of our Community Partners include:
        a) Goodwill Industries
        b) Leads Employment Services
        c) Community Living Elgin
        d) Hutton House

The Resource Room offers primarily academic support with the opportunity for students to access more one-to-one instruction as needed. Common accommodations for students with IEPs are extra time, use of assistive technology, alternate assessments, and an environment with fewer distractions. Students, in consultation with their SPST and classroom teachers, may also arrange to write final exams and culminating assignments in the Resource Room.

The development of an Individual Education Plan (IEP) occurs through an Identification, Placement, and Review Committee (IPRC) process. School teams in both elementary and secondary connect with families to discuss and assess student learning needs and to proceed with the identification of learning exceptionalities when appropriate. 

The Learning Services Department works diligently to ensure that all students with learning exceptionalities receive the support and encouragement they need to benefit from a healthy academic and social environment. Students are encouraged in the pursuit of spiritual, personal, and academic excellence and celebrated as they reach their goals.  

The Role of Student Program Support Teachers and Subject Teachers in Inclusive Schools
The table that follows outlines the roles of teachers in inclusive schools. The level of collaboration and co-teaching in inclusive schools will be impacted by a number of variables such as: students’ diverse learning needs, teachers’ training and background, physical space, and available resources.

Administrators will evaluate the needs within the school and determine how best to deploy personnel. Student Program Support Teachers (SPST) are to support students with exceptionalities. In instances where the SPST is working in a classroom with students with exceptionalities, he or she may also support the learning of other students as opportunities arise. 

Although some roles are common to subject teachers and SPST, it is important to acknowledge that both teachers bring areas of expertise from their respective fields which complement each other and enrich the teaching/learning environment.​ 

Student Program Support Teacher​

Subject Teacher

Provide information to the subject teacher regarding exceptionalities and the program planning process.

Provide information to the instructional resource teacher regarding curricula.

Conference with subject teacher regarding student-specific accommodations, strategies, modifications and alternate programming outcomes

Conference with SPST on curriculum outcomes and instructional and assessment strategies pertinent to individual students.

Assist with identification of outcomes requiring modification

Take the lead in the identification of outcomes requiring modification and the delivery of modified prescribed courses

Take the lead in the development of alternate programs, courses and curriculum and collaborate with classroom/subject teacher in the delivery of the outcomes.

Collaborate with the instructional resource teacher regarding classroom delivery of selected outcomes of alternate programs, courses and curriculum


Make joint decisions regarding appropriate instructional environments for outcomes of alternate programs, courses or curriculum.​

As a member of the program planning team, collaborate in the development and implementation of the Behaviour Management Plan (BMP). ​

​Collaborate to identify co-teaching opportunities for the provision of classroom support. Teachers may want to consider things such as: IEP outcomes and accommodations, teachers' familiarity with the curriculum, curriculum goals and modifications, and physical arrangement of the classroom.​

Provide large group, small group and individual instruction to students as required.

Coordinate the implementation of assessment / evaluation procedures such as:

  • Scheduling of tests
  • Test accommodations
  • Progress monitoring
  • Running records


Learning Services Staff:


SPST Teacher



Anne Lisowyk (Department Head)

[email protected]


Diana Silva (SCPP)

[email protected]



Parent Resources

​​​Suggested Websites​

The following links provide specific information on topics of interest. As well, there are links to local community resources that may help support your child's learning.


The Learning Disabilities Association helps to support individuals with learning disabilities and their families. There is information about ongoing workshops and programs that target common areas of difficulty.

Learning Disabilities Association of London Region


Ontario Regulation 464/97 of the Education Act directs that each Board of Education establish a

Special Education Advisory committee, or SEAC.  The Committee may make recommendations to the

Board in respect of any matter affecting the establishment and development of special education programs and services for exceptional pupils of the Board.

Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC)


Anxiety BC provides information, programs and videos that will be a strong starting place for families to begin to help identify and reduce excess anxiety in their children. The purpose of this website is to inform you of the features of the various ways excess anxiety can express itself and also to provide you with effective strategies to begin to address anxiety.

Anxiety BC


A guide that helps to answer questions you may have about IEP's.

The Individual ​Education Plan Resource Guide​


An extraordinary site for parents and educators with information on over 275 organizations. There are links to provincial services.

Children & Youth Mental Health Services and Support Directory


Virtual Tour of St. Joseph's Catholic High School


Find many links and resources from our own London District Catholic School Board Special Education Website. This website offers a wide range of special education supports and services that are available to students and their families. Ministry of Education links are also accessible.

London District Catholic School Board Special Education Website.