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Education Community Partnership Program

Education Community Partnership Program

Learn about the Education Community Partnership Program below.


Education Community Partnership Program of the Student Focused Funding: Legislative Grants provides grant allocations for intensive support amount, Level 4 (ISA-4) for programs in Care, Treatment and Custodial facilities.


Very high-risk students - aged 4 to 21 years - receive an educational program in an intensive care/treatment facility.


Both Residential and Day Treatment Programs in three areas:

  • Care facilities (hospitals, maternity homes).

  • Treatment Facilities (children's mental health centres, residential/group homes, detention centres).

  • Custody Facilities (open, closed custody).

Programs are delivered in hospitals, self-contained classrooms, community schools and agency facilities.


The overriding criteria is that the need for treatment by a child/youth is so severe that a regular day school or special education classroom cannot serve their needs.


Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) elementary or secondary teachers, qualified in Special Education, and in some cases, educational assistants, work in partnership with agency care, treatment and corrections staff.

The primary purpose of these programs is treatment. Academic components emphasize literacy, numeracy, and learning skills.

The majority of secondary students work on credits towards an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD). Individual educational and treatment plans are created to address students' strengths and needs.


Unique partnerships are developed between the TCDSB and community agencies and institutions (located in various sites around the city).

Many programs - medical, psychiatric, residential, custody - are only accessed through hospitals. Other programs - day treatment, maternity/parenting and substance abuse - are accessed through parent/guardians directly by contacting the agency intake department. Clients must meet agency requirements for support and involvement.

Home school staff, Care and Treatment administrators and the Centralized Behavioral Teams can play an important role in facilitating the intake, demission and transition process.

The Ministry of Education provides funding for TCDSB staff: 15 secondary teachers, 8 elementary teachers, 4 educational assistants and one liaison staff.

Section Education Programs in Care, Treatment and Custody 

Under the provisions of the Education Community Partnership Program of the Ministry of Education's General Legislative Grant Regulation (Reg. 287/98), educational programs referred to as Intensive Support (ISA) Level 4 are provided by the TCDSB for school-aged young people, who for various reasons are unable to attend regular schools.

The Ministries of Education, Ministry of Community, Family and Children, Health and Public Safety Security's Correctional Division provide a multidisciplinary approach for children and youth who have social/emotional, mental health and/or medical needs.

The main criteria for entry into a Education Community Partnership Program is that the child's/youth's need for treatment is so severe that a regular day school or special education classroom program cannot serve the needs of the student. 

The agencies are responsible for all the intake procedures. The parent/guardian must initiate the referral. Each agency develops its own admission criteria and has an Admissions Committee that determines intake.

The length of time spent in Education Community Partnership Program reflects a student's particular situation. Where the multidisciplinary staff in the facility agrees, and ongoing assessment indicates the child's/youth's readiness, re-admission to a community school is considered. 

The facility and the school board work cooperatively with community agencies and the receiving school to create a plan for the successful transition of the pupil. Upon enrolment in the school, the pupil may be considered for either regular or special education class placement.

Partnership Programs

Partnership programs include the following organizations:

  • Covenant House: This is the country's largest emergency youth shelter. Young people in crisis, between the ages of 16 and 21, are offered support through counseling, educational and vocational assistance. Academic programs are designed to meet the specific learning styles and skill levels of the students. Teachers provide an individualized secondary school program (Number of teachers - 1).

  • Strides Toronto (formerly Aisling Discoveries Child and Family Services): This agency provides service to children who require treatment to address their behavioral, social and emotional challenges. This program servicing elementary students is located at Holy Name Catholic School (Number of teachers - 2).

  • ​George Hull Centre for Children and Families: This Mental Health Centre provides opportunities for day treatment for adolescents with specialized needs due to behavioral and mental health issues. Psychiatric consultation, individual and family therapy, and psychological testing are available to elementary students at Dixon Grove Public School and secondary students at Western Tech Secondary School (Number of teachers - 3).

  • Rosalie Hall: This agency provides both pre and postnatal residential for single mothers. An individualized secondary level program is provided (Number of teachers - 2).

  • Surrey Place Centre/Toronto Preschool Autism Service (TPAS): TPAS is an intensive early intervention, community-based service. The treatment program is based on the principles of applied behaviour analysis (ABA). Service includes assistance with accessing diagnostic assessments, individual assessment, and academic programming. Children under the ages of six, who live in Toronto and have a diagnosis of Autism or Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified, are eligible for the program located at St. Stephen Catholic School (Number of teachers - 1).

  • Surrey Place Centre for Children and Adolescents: The TRE-ADD school-based classroom at St. Francis de Sales Catholic School and St. Theresa’s Shrine Catholic School provides direct care, treatment and education, striving to enhance the competence and independent functioning of children with autism and developmental disorders. Programs and services are designed to be individualized, dynamic and comprehensive. (Number of teachers - 3).


  • North York General Hospital

  • St. Joseph's Health Centre

  • Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

  • Michael Garron Hospital (formerly Toronto East General)

The teachers provide an individualized academic program and serve as a member of the interdisciplinary team.

Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient treatment includes:

  • Assessment of emergent mental illness.

  • Clarification of diagnosis of mental illness. 

  • Stabilization re: the symptoms of mental illness. 

  • Adjustment of psychiatric medication (if needed). 

  • Education of the child/adolescent and families about mental illness. 

  • Medications and strategies for managing mental illness. 

  • Discharge planning including connection with community resources for ongoing assessment and treatment.

  • Increasing patient's healthy interpersonal, cognitive, emotional, academic and behavioral functioning. 

  • Inpatient hospitalization is used for acutely ill children and adolescents who need a 24-hour protective, therapeutic environment, and close professional assessment and stabilization. 

  • It is expected that the majority of patients will be between the ages of 10 and 16 but the unit will serve ages 0 up to the 19th birthday as appropriate.

Transitional Program

Learn more about the transitional program:

  • Serves as a transition from inpatient setting to community setting.

  • Increases patients' level of functioning cognitively, emotionally, behaviorally, educationally, and interpersonally as preparation for functioning in a community setting.

  • Daily assessment of mental status changes. 

  • Assist patients in formulating or practicing a plan for managing their mental health issues in the community utilizing a multidisciplinary team approach including community supports, stabilization of medication with ongoing medication assessment and further diagnostic clarification. 

  • The patient who has been admitted to an inpatient unit has a working mental health diagnosis that severely restricts ability to function, is aged 12 -18 (younger patients may be accepted if judged appropriate for the program by the staff), and is unable to function in the community.

  • There is a child psychiatrist, psychiatrist, pediatrician, or family doctor following the patient for medication and physical status - this doctor must communicate with the transitional staff.

  • The transitional program assists the patient with transition back to the community (number of teachers - 9).

Contact Us

We are here to help and answer any questions you might have:

Maria Meehan
Superintendent of Special Services
Email: maria.meehan@tcdsb.org

David Comacchio
Email: david.comacchio@tcdsb.org

Angie Fonseca
Administrative Assistant
Email: angie.fonseca@tcdsb.org