About us image

Special Needs / Student Services

Student Services are designed to promote the students' continuous progress at school:

  • By helping them overcome any difficulties which they may experience.
  • By ensuring their emotional, spiritual and physical well-being.
  • By contributing to the development of the students' autonomy, sense of responsibility and initiative.

Such services include:

  • Complementary Services
  • Special Education Services
  • Other Services
  • Acses (Advisory Committee on Special Education Services)

Complementary Services

*Services indicated below comprise a non-exhaustive list (in alphabetical order)

1. AGENT PIVOT(Consultant, Healthy Schools)

  • Number of full-time equivalent (FTE) personnel: 1
  • Level: elementary and secondary
  • Services: Works in collaboration with the Health and Social Services Network; supports and implements Healthy Schools in the EMSB; assists in the implementation of the law (Bill 112) prohibiting smoking on school grounds; supports the actions of the different partners implicated in Healthy Schools to participate in training programs; promotes effective prevention and promotion programs, recommending and providing appropriate resources to schools; sets up a communication network which will keep the various partners updated and aware of meetings so as to become active participants in the various committees, providing opportunities for training; sets up and implements a plan of action for the various schools in collaboration with the Health and Social Services Network.


  • Number of full-time equivalent (FTE) personnel: 2
  • Level: elementary and secondary
  • Services: Assessment of needs of students with autism spectrum disorder; classroom observations; identification of strengths and weaknesses of students; provision of guidance and support to school team; facilitation of the integration of students with ASD into regular classes; consultation and support services to teachers, child care workers, and professionals; provision of in-service; liaison with specialized schools and agencies; case conferences; IEP meetings.

  • Number of full-time equivalent (FTE) personnel: 2
  • Level: elementary and secondary
  • Services: Assisting the ASD Consultant in providing support services to teachers and child care workers who work with students with ASD, modeling and guiding in the implementation of appropriate strategies, techniques, and programs; collaboration with the ASD Consultant in providing in-service.


  • Number of FTE personnel: 260
  • Level: elementary and secondary
  • Services: Attendant: Provision of support services to promote improved autonomy on the part of the student; development of student’s self-care skills; promotion of student integration within the regular school setting; provision of assistance to students in the area of instructional and student activity; functions as a member of the school’s multidisciplinary team.
  • Technician: Modification of student behaviour through relationship-building and specific programs aimed at enhancing student self-esteem and self-control; facilitation of the social- emotional and behavioural adjustment of a cluster of students experiencing behavioural difficulties which interfere with learning; functions as a member of the school’s multidisciplinary team.


  • Number of FTE personnel:
  • Level: secondary
  • Services: Provision of support for the effective functioning of the Guidance and Spiritual Community Animation dossiers. Focus on promotion and prevention activities (1.e. Axe1/MSSS- MELS entente). Liaise with Guidance Counsellors and Spiritual Community Animators with regard to such elements as professional development, the promotion/prevention service, collaboration with many external and internal resources, information dissemination, documentation analysis, meetings, individual consultation, etc.


  • Number of FTE personnel: 20.6
  • Level: secondary
  • Services: Counselling, evaluation, consultation, information dissemination, liaison, referral, follow-up, maintenance of student dossiers, case conference presentations, special programs/services (e.g. peer tutoring, guest speakers, etc.).


    Health Services *
  • Personnel: Nurses, Dental Hygienists
  • Level: Elementary and Secondary
  • Services: Consultation, screening, prevention, vaccinations, referral, health/vaccination records, etc.
  • Herzl Teenage Health Unit Program

    Social Services *
  • Personnel: Social Workers
  • Level: Elementary and Secondary
  • Services: Consultation, individual/group counselling, referral, crisis intervention
  • Youth Protection Services:
    English services: Batshaw Youth and Family Centres French services: Les Centres jeunesse de Montréal
  • Multi-sectoral Agreement
  • Collaboration with CSSS’s/Community Partners/Hospitals/Rehabilitation Centres, etc. regarding Axe 1 (Prevention/Promotion), Axe 2 (Behavioral Difficulties), Axe 3 (Special Needs) Services and development of the Plan de Services Individualisé (PSI) and the Plan de Services Individualisé et Intersectoriel (PSII)


  • Number of FTE personnel: 6
  • Level: elementary and secondary
  • Services: provision of one-on-one interpretation support services to hearing-impaired students.


  • Number of FTE personnel: varies according to student needs
  • Level: elementary and secondary
  • Services: Provision of brailed, taped, and large print material, optical devices, and other equipment aides for students; coordination of support services for student and family; provision of guidelines for programming; adaptation of materials; provision of necessary adjustments of classroom facilities.


  • Number of FTE personnel: varies according to student needs
  • Level: elementary and secondary
  • Services: Audiological evaluation and follow-up; consultation services for teachers re: curriculum adaptation, IEP planning, exam modifications, etc.; management of hearing aids and other amplification systems; provision of in-service for in-school personnel; academic support to students; assessments; case management.


  • Number of FTE personnel: 4
  • Level: elementary and secondary
  • Services: Provision of screening, intervention, assessment, and consultation services to students; in-service; collaboration with in-school personnel.

11. PROJECT HARBOUR (Includes Behavior Management Specialists)

  • Number of FTE personnel: 7
  • Level: elementary and secondary
  • Services: Provision of assistance to teachers (short-term service by special request), administrators, and support personnel in coping with students with behaviour problems; provision of in-service.


  • Number of FTE personnel: 12.7
  • Level: elementary and secondary (primarily elementary)
  • Services: Identification, prevention, evaluation, consultation, classroom observations, counselling, liaison, referral and follow-up; case conference presentations; maintenance of student dossiers; IEP planning.


  • Number of FTE personnel: 6.0
  • Level: elementary and secondary
  • Services: Assessment of student needs, case conferences, code verifications, adaptation of curriculum and classroom strategies, staff in-service, ententes, mesures, child care worker (CCW) allocations, consultation, classroom observations, information dissemination, referral and follow-up, IEP planning.


  • Number of FTE personnel: 11.6
  • Level: elementary and secondary (primarily elementary)
  • Services: Screening, evaluation, consultation, home/school programs, classroom observations, therapeutic intervention, referral and follow-up, IEP planning, liaison, summer language camps, special language class services, Centre of Excellence for Speech and Language Development.

15. Spiritual Community Animators: 13

  • Level: Elementary and Secondary students of all faith and cultural traditions
  • Services: Responsibility for the spiritual and communal development of students in a cluster of schools; organizes programs and activities of a community, humanitarian, spiritual and religious nature; organizes assemblies or spiritual services for special occasions in the schools; bereavement services; facilitates students’ involvement in community, and builds links between the students’ spiritual life and community involvement; provides information and guidance to staff, parents, and students re: student’s needs in spiritual life and community involvement.

  • Number of full-time equivalent (FTE) personnel: 1
  • Level: Secondary
  • Services: Responsible for two dossiers – Transition École Vie Active (TEVA) as well as the Axes 2 and 3 of the MELS-MSSS Entente; work closely with the different professionals of the Student Services Department as well as special needs students (students with handicaps, mental health issues or difficulties); work closely with the students and their family in order to facilitate access to services from the Health and Social Services Sector and to facilitate the transition when they leave the Youth Sector; establish and maintain a collaborative relationship with partner organizations in order to facilitate access to services for students in need.


  • Number of full-time equivalent (FTE) personnel: 1
  • Level: elementary and secondary
  • Services: Assist schools in the identification of needs re: concerns/issues regarding violence in the school milieu; provide resources to schools to address the above identified needs; assist schools in the interpretation of survey results relating to school climate/violence; collaborate with external organizations, agencies, MELS, MSSS, etc to support schools in addressing issues of violence within the school; provide in-service, presentations to schools, professionals, etc.


  • Career Exploration Program
    Designed to provide secondary IV and V students with an opportunity to explore a field of interest (e.g. law) in the workplace.
  • Hospital Opportunity Program for Students (HOPS)
    Provides an opportunity for secondary V students to observe and assist medical personnel in a large hospital setting (i.e. Jewish General Hospital) in order to explore a career in medicine.


Other Services

1. Derogations
• Processing of parent requests for students who are considered candidates for early entry to Kindergarten or Grade 1.

2. Form K (Bill 101 Exemptions)
• Processing of parent requests for students who may be exempt from compulsory French language instruction because they have been identified as having specific learning disabilities and/or severe emotional/social problems and/or intellectual/ physical/sensorial handicaps.

3. Traumatic Events Support Team (T.E.S.T.) Services
• Trauma Team: psychologists, guidance counsellors, spiritual animators, etc.
• Services: Provides support to a school in crisis, develops a resource network, does follow-up, develops resource material.

4. Project Harbour
• A school-based intervention team was created to assist and train teachers, administrators, and support personnel in coping with students exhibiting disruptive behaviours.

5. Home Tutoring (Special Education)
• This service is provided for students who are awaiting placement in an EMSB school or other setting.

Special Education Services

The Student Services Department is responsible for the coordination of the Board’s special education programs. This involves the following components:

1. Case Conferences

  • Discussion and Identification of Appropriate Services for Students
  • Development of the Student’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP)

2. Code Verifications

  • Annual Updating of Students’ Difficulty Codes
  • Submission to the MELS for Validation
  • Digitalization of Student Files – Key Information Data System (KIDS)

3. Coordination between Regular Schools and MELS/MSSS Schools

  • Hospitals (e.g. Montreal Children’s Hospital)
  • Reception Centers (e.g. Cité des Prairies)
  • Rehabilitation Centers (e.g. Mackay Centre)

4. Staffing of Special Education Classes and Allocation of Resource Teachers in Collaboration with the Human Resources Department, Deputy Directors General, and Special Education Parity Committee

5. Academic Planning, Adaptation of Curriculum and Development of a Variety of Teaching/Behavioural Strategies for Special Needs Students in Collaboration with Pedagogical Services

  • Consultation/Observation Services
  • Computerization of I.E.P.

6. Organization of Staff Training Workshops

  • Resource Literacy Teachers’ Network (in collaboration with Pedagogical Services)
  • Child Care Workers (CCW) In-Service
  • In-service for Professionals and Administrators

7. Implementation of the Education Act

  • English Montreal School Board Special Education Policy
  • Advisory Committee on Special Education Services (ACSES)

8. Allocation and Coordination of Support Personnel:

  • Child Care Workers
  • ISPJ Personnel
  • Interpreter Technicians

ACSES - Advisory Committee on Special Education Services

What is ACSES?

ACSES is an advisory committee on special education services. It has a legal mandate (Education Act, Section 185) to advise the School Board on issues which affect children who are learning disabled, intellectually handicapped, hearing impaired, visually impaired, physically handicapped or socially maladjusted.

Who are the members of ACSES?

ACSES is comprised of nine parents (Education Act, Section 186) representing children in each of the categories outlined above. They are appointed by the Central Parents' Committee and constitute the majority of the membership, which also includes teachers, a non-teaching professional, a specialized support person, a principal, a representative from an organization that provides services to special needs students and officers of the School Board.

What does ACSES do?

ACSES has a continuous role to advise the School Board on issues arising from the delivery of educational services to special needs students and the allocation of financial resources for those services (Education Act, Section 187).
ACSES networks with similar structures within other school boards across Quebec to share experiences and ideas.
ACSES welcomes correspondence from parents of special needs children regarding their experiences in furthering the education of their children. Such correspondence provides ACSES with valuable information on issues that need to be addressed.

Correspondence can be sent to ACSES, c/o Communications Services, EMSB, 6000 Fielding Avenue, Montreal, QC H3X 1T4