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Admissions

In order for a student to attend W. Ross Macdonald School, the student must:

  • Qualify as a resident pupil of a school board (Education Act: Section 32 and must be registered in his/her home school, in the board in Ontario for which they qualify
  • as an Ontario resident pupil.
  • Be under the age of 21 years on the first day of the school year.
  • application is made.
  • Be assessed visually impaired/blind, educationally deafblind as their primary exceptionality. This identification is the result of:
    • A medical assessment which includes visual acuity and hearing loss, and
    • An educational assessment based on findings from:
      • A W. Ross Macdonald School (WRMS) Resource Services assessment, or
      • A visit to our school.
  • Students who are legally blind have a best-corrected acuity of 20/200 or less, or visual field reduced to 20 degrees or less in the better seeing eye. Students who are visually impaired have an acuity of 20/70 or less after the best correction.
  • Demonstrate the ability to benefit from the methods and techniques provided by WRMS, as determined by the staff with input from the parent(s).
  • Require an alternate medium to conventional print (e.g., Braille, tape, large print, or intervention if deafblind).
  • An Identification, Placement, and Review Committee (IPRC) meeting shall be held by the board, and the IPRC must recommend that the student be placed at the W. Ross Macdonald School for the Visually Impaired and Deafblind.
  • The board shall provide to the WRMS Admissions Committee a copy of the IPRC statement, indicating recommended placement at the W. Ross Macdonald School for the Visually Impaired and Deafblind.
  • Students will be given the opportunity to participate in class and residence activities prior to a scheduled WRMS Admissions Meeting. (Alternative arrangements may be made for deafblind students.)
  • Admission may be deferred, depending upon available space in the classroom program and/or residence. These are factors to consider when determining the student's start date.
  • Students will be reviewed each year. Placement at the WRMS may cease to be appropriate at that time and alternate placement may be required.

If you would like more information about our programs or about the admissions process, please contact:

  • Secondary Blind Program: Dan Maggiacomo, ext. 214
  • Elementary Blind Program: Laurie Moore, ext. 245
  • Deafblind Program: Lynne Osasuyi, ext. 240

Residence Admissions

  • Students may be admitted to residence if they live beyond reasonable commuting distance from the school. Reasonable commuting distance is no longer than 70 minutes travelling time from pick-up to school.
  • Students who demonstrate social/emotional/maturity/behavioural difficulties which cannot adequately be accommodated within the residential program will not be admissible to the program.

Appeals From decisions regarding Admission

The Superintendent, the parent of an applicant or an applicant who is eighteen (18) years of age or over may request in writing that the Minister of Education appoint a committee to hear and decide any question concerning the eligibility for admission of the applicant. Upon receipt of a request, the party will be sent a letter setting out the process for the hearing of an appeal.

Visit Us!

If you are interested in learning more about our school, we encourage you to call us to come for a visit. Typically families, with their child, and often school staff, will come in for a meeting with the principal or vice principal and we will share information about the school. We then take a tour, visiting all areas of the school so that you can see what the classroom areas, specialty areas (such as the music rooms, gym, woodworking room, art room, etc.), lunchroom, and residences look like. On the tour you will meet many different staff and students who are always happy to answer any questions you might have. There is absolutely no pressure at this visit. If you are interested, we will share the admissions process with you and send you with an admissions package.

Admissions Package & Trial

Once you have had a tour, and decide you are interested in your child attending, you will need to complete the admissions package and return as soon as possible. Once the admissions package is in, students who would be in our blind elementary or secondary programs who may be interested in coming to our school are welcome to coordinate with us for the students to come for a week trial. During the trial, the student will be assigned to a class for the week and, in elementary, will follow the class schedule, and in secondary, will typically be paired up with another student and attend his/her classes for the week. If your child is a residence student (living farther than 70 minutes bus ride away), he/she can stay in residence for the week. We will arrange for your child to be transported to and from the school for the week!

Assessments

While your child is at W. Ross Macdonald School for the trial week, we will do several assessments which we will share with you including assessments in Life Skills, Orientation and Mobility, reading comprehension, braille (if applicable), residence, etc. We do this so that we have a really good idea of some of the goals we will need to set if you and your child decide that this is where he/she wants to be!

Admissions Committee

Once you have send in your admissions package, we will send it through the admissions committee, who will determine whether the appropriate criteria to attend the school are met, whether we have the appropriate program and space for your child and whether our school is a good fit for your child.

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