Special education

Thornton Creek has a continuum of special education services, ranging from a resource room and an access program to self-contained classrooms. In addition to special education teachers, occupational and physical therapists and speech and language pathologists assist students who qualify for services. At the heart of our program is the desire to celebrate the strengths of our students and support their individual needs.

All students, regardless of the program they are assigned to, have access to general education peers and curriculum, as appropriate. We truly value all children and the diversity that inclusion brings to our community.

Self-contained classes

This extremely well established program has been a part of the Thornton Creek community since 1998. Currently, there are 3 self-contained classes (K-1, 2-3 and 4-5) with a staff-to-student ratio of 1 teacher + 2 instructional assistants to 7 students. Students in these classes have a variety of challenges—academic, social skills, motor skills, self-help, and communication—and benefit from the high staff-to student ratio and small class size. Many students participate in the general education classroom for portions of the day. 


Access is a new program this year (2015-16), serving students with mild-to-moderate academic, social, and motor-skill challenges. The program has a ratio of 1 teacher + 3 instructional assistants to 10 students. Students are in the general education classroom for the majority of the day, both with and without support from the special education staff.

Resource room

The resource room is for general education students with mild-to-moderate learning and social challenges. They receive specially designed instruction and modifications to help them keep up with grade-level expectations and individual IEP goals. Most specially designed instruction is provided in the special education setting but also in the general education classroom, according to IEP requirements.

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