Service animals are trained to assist children who have physical or developmental disabilities with their daily lives and living activities.
STSWR recognizes that a student may require a service animal to be transported with them on a school purpose vehicle as part of their daily life and activities.
The Human Rights Code and the Ontarians with Disabilities Act cites the use of service animals as a right of the individual.
Specialized transportation requests are approved on an annual basis only and must be reviewed each year.
A service animal is an animal certified by a nationally recognized institute, trained to assist an individual with physical or developmental disability.
The Parent/Guardian shall:
- Provide a letter to the School Principal outlining what they see as the benefits of having the service animal attend school with their child.
- Provide a letter to the School Principal from their doctor recommending the use of a service animal for their child at school.
- Provide a certificate of training from a certified training centre of service animals.
- Assist in the training of the service animal to board and ride the vehicle with their child prior to using the regular transportation service.
The School Principal shall:
- Review the request for the student to use a service animal at school and approve where applicable.
- Inform STSWR using the Special Request Form that a student with special needs will be using a service animal as part of their daily activities.
- Provide STSWR with copies of the documents submitted by the parents in regard to the use of the service animal by the student.
- On an annual basis review and approve the use of the service animal by the student.
The Principal in consultation with the Special Education Department or School Superintendent shall:
- Authorize and sign the Special Request Form.
- Obtain appropriate Board administrative approvals before forwarding the request to STSWR.
- Inform STSWR of any changes to the student’s transportation requirements.
- Consult with the Special Education Department and/or School Superintendent and/or principal on the special needs of the student and service animal.
- Organize transportation for the student and service animal.
- Inform the bus operator that a service animal is being used by one of his/her passengers.
- Coordinate the training of the student, service animal, school, and driver on transporting students with service animals.
- Send Service animal Letter to all parents of students riding the vehicle with the service animal.