Special Education

ISC HCSEP National Program Guidelines

Special Education Newsletters


Spring 2020


Fall 2019


Spring 2019



Winter 2019


Summer 2018


Winter 2018


Fall 2017


Special Education Webinars

Psychoeducational Assessment Presentation - (Wednesday May 9, 2018) Karen Cox-Gurdon and Samantha Stouffer

The Roles and Responsibilities of Educational Assistants - (February 25, 2020) Gwen Marsonet,  Confederation College

Weird and WONDERFUL: Using diversity to solve behaviour and self-regulated learning problems - (Wednesday, April 1, 2020)  Laurie Faith, OISE University of Toronto

Self- care for educators: creating awareness for individual and organizational wellbeing - ( Wednesday April 22, 2020) Patrik Lowen B.Ed MACP Chiefs of Ontario (password to access webinar - 2e?09w26 ) 


Special Education Sharing Forums

October 2019-  Connecting Educational Practices to Student Growth

April 2019 - Striving Forward Supporting Student Success

Jan 2019 - Building Capacity

Oct 2018 - Trauma, Mental Health and Drug Related Issues   

Jan 2018 - Behaviour and Exceptionalities 

Dec 2017 - Policy and Adminstration

Oct 2017 - Supporting Children Affected by Mental Health and Drug Related Issues

Jan 2017


Special Education Documents

HCSEP Toolkit 2018

Special Education Position Paper 2017

HCSEP Needs-Based Application Process 2019-20

ISC HCSEP National Program Guidelines

Full Guidebook- Education Services (Tuition) Agreement

Charting our Own Path Forward: Preliminary Analysis of the HCSEP - 2015

Ontario First Nations use an intervention-based approach to high cost Special Education, whereby funding is determined by formula. A benefit of this approach is that formal assessments are not required before intervention strategies are introduced. The federal High Cost Special Education Program (HCSEP) covers services for students whose moderate to profound needs cannot be met through the low cost allocation included in the Band Operated Funding Formula (BOFF).

Funding for the HCSEP is a targeted allocation, meaning that funding is a full and final allocation that can only be spent on First Nation students who ordinarily reside on reserve and are assessed by an appropriate professional as having moderate to profound special needs not met within existing education programming and services.

The Ontario First Nation Special Education Working Group (OFNSEWG) is a joint technical and advisory body of the Chiefs of Ontario and Indian Affairs established in 2005. The OFNSEWG is mandated by the First Nations Education Coordination Unit (FNECU) to provide recommendations on issues and specific strategies for political review and/or approval for action. OFNSEWG membership includes representation from:

  • Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians  (AIAI)
  • Grand Council Treaty #3  (GCT3)
  • Independent First  Nations(IFN)
  • Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN)
  • Union of Ontario Indians (UOI)
  • Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada Ontario Region

The OFNSEWG has been mandated through various COO Resolutions to continue to gather data for the development of recommendations on program improvements and reform. Based on these mandates the OFNSEWG continues to collect and analyze pertinent data, and work with First Nation recipients to develop ways to enhance the current funding mechanism (program, formula and funding levels).

Federal Budget 2016 implementation provides a significant increase in HCSEP funding levels from 2016-17 through 2020-21. Resolution 20/16 from June 2016 mandates the OFNSEWG to administer a needs-based process to ensure HCSEP recipients receive adequate levels of funding to deliver the required special education services for First Nation students.