Guidelines to the Ministry of Education categories

Students should be identified according to the following general guidelines:

  • The current ‘categorical’ system is not intended to specifically identify all medically diagnosed conditions and syndromes that may have an impact on the student鈥檚 needs and educational program.
  • A medical diagnosis by itself does not determine the appropriate special needs category or service required.
  • Identifying and reporting students should involve careful determination of the nature, extent and impact of their disabling condition(s) and the nature and extent of educational interventions required.
  • Students with diagnosed conditions should be identified in the educational category that best reflects the type and intensity of educational interventions documented in the IEP.

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Supplemental funding for Level 1-3 is allocated to the School District to be distributed equitably to schools for specialized supplemental services to enable students with diverse needs to access educational programs. Funding is not attached to specific students.
School Districts may claim a student in only one Ministry Category. Your child鈥檚 support is not dependent on a designation.

Ministry of Education Special Needs Categories

Low Incidence
A relatively low incidence of students compared to the general school population
Level 1 – $44,850 A Physically Dependent
B Deafblind
Level 2 – $22,280 C Moderate to Profound Intellectual Disability
D Physical Disability or Chronic Health
F Deaf or Hard of Hearing
G Autism Spectrum Disorder
Level 3 – $10,750 H Intensive Behaviour Interventions/Serious Mental Illness
High Incidence
A higher prevalence of students in these categories.
No supplemental funding. Basic allocation provided for all students. K Mild Intellectual Disability
P Gifted
Q Learning Disability
R Moderate Behaviour Support/Mental Illness

What supplemental services are the funds used for?

Specialized supplemental services may include one or more of the following (depending on the level of student need and the Ministry designation):

School Staff:

  • Educational Assistants
  • Child & Youth Care Worker
  • Learning Support Teacher
  • Aboriginal Support Worker

District Staff:

  • Deaf and Hard of Hearing Support Teacher
  • Vision Support Teacher
  • Occupational or Physical Therapist
  • Behaviour Intervention & Support District
  • Inclusion Curriculum Facilitators
  • Speech and Language Pathologist

The precise programming offered through these supplemental services varies depending on the educational needs of the student. Some students may receive support within the classroom; others may receive some services outside the classroom in one-on-one or small groups. Sometimes indirect service and resources are provided to the Classroom Teacher with no direct service to the student. The Individual Education Plan (IEP) will outline the supports used in your child鈥檚 educational program.

How are supplemental services assigned to schools?

Twice a year (September and May), the Director of Instruction, Learning Services formally meets with School-Based Teams to discuss the level of student need at both the individual student level and the school level. There are also Spring Staffing meetings that occur to project staffing needs for the next school year. The total support staff allocation is discussed during these times to ensure that students with diverse needs can access an educational program. District Inclusive Education staff provide support based on referrals made to them by the School-Based Team.

During next-school year planning meetings in May, preliminary class cluster placements may also be discussed for the coming school year.

The level of individual student need is always the focus of discussion when allocating supplemental services. For example, while two students may be similar in that they both meet the criteria for Category G (Autism Spectrum Disorder), their needs may be markedly different. One student with Autism may require a higher level of support than another student.

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