Ministry of Education
Provincial and Demonstration Schools Branch

W. Ross Macdonald

The Impossible is Only the Untried

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Short Term Programs

Short Term Programs at W Ross Macdonald School are provided for students throughout Ontario who are blind and visually impaired. These weekend programs are FREE of charge for students, with no cost to parents or school boards. Students arrive Friday evening at the school and stay in the new residence until Sunday after lunch. Meals and snacks are provided!

Short Term Program weekends span far beyond the traditional academic curriculum and can help to support a student`s beginning steps towards independence. We provide students with a safe and supportive place to explore independence, practice life skills, and to develop self-awareness and self advocacy skills. These weekends are also a great opportunity for students to socialize with peers who are visually impaired and make lasting friendships. Each weekend has a different theme geared towards the unique needs of students with visual impairments. Students leave each weekend feeling proud of themselves for succeeding on their own, and it is not uncommon for students to say they want to stay longer!

Short Term Program staff are trained to work with students who are blind or visually impaired and have experience in the areas of independent living skills, orientation and mobility, education etc. Staff are on duty 24/7 (including overnight) with the appropriate student to staff ratio at all times.

Attached are the dates and themes for Short Term Programs for the 2017/2018 school year.  If interested, please fill out an application form and return to:

Candace Bayliss
Manager – Short Term Programs
W Ross Macdonald School
519-759-0739 ext. 369


Bill Edwards
Resource Consultant
W Ross Macdonald School
519-759-0730 ext. 202

Short Term Programs at W. Ross Macdonald School

October 27, 2017 – October 29, 2017

“Let’s Get Together” – Parents And Student Of All Ages

Parents will have an opportunity to be involved with discussions about the content of a viable Individual Educational Program (IEP) that reflects their child’s vision needs. Samples of IEP’s will be available for parents and the opportunity to participate in a short question answers period with W. Ross Principal, Dan Maggiacomo. Parents will also have an opportunity participate in classroom/instructional simulations to facilitate potential issues that may arise for a student who is blind.

An opportunity for parents to participate in a number of fun physical activities will be provided. This includes a Tandem bike outing down our local river trails, goalball and an interactive swim session in the pool.

Students will take part in various activities led by teen leaders that focus on independence, sensory development and social skills.

November 24, 2017 – November 26, 2017

“Exploring the Arts” – Ages: 8 yrs. +

Students will explore their creative side through visual art, music and drama and dance. Each student will have an opportunity to engage, discuss and participate in a safe-accepting realm that best reflects, ‘who they are’.

February 1, 2018 – February 4, 2018

“Let’s Cook!” – Ages: 8 yrs. +

Yes!!! It is our first extended 3 day STP! Students will be introduced to budgeting, grocery shopping and meal preparations while preparing for a feast to enjoy among friends.

April 26, 2018 – April 29, 2018

“Radio Broadcasting and Recording Studio” – Ages: 14 yrs. +

Yes this is a second extended 3 day STP weekend!! This weekend will be dedicated to giving exposure to different kinds of experiences in the field of producing radio and recorded media. Experts from the field of TV production, Radio and Podcast productions will be available to give their expertise and help students produce a brief experience in the recording studio!!!

May 25, 2018 – May 27, 2018

“Wide World of Sports” – Ages: 8 yrs. +

Students will have an opportunity to be engaged in physically active adaptive sports and many other team building events. The main focus for the weekend will be to give the students an opportunity to experience indoor rock climbing at a local rock climbing facility in Hamilton.

June 8, 2018 – June 10, 2018

“Outdoor Education” – Ages: 14 yrs. +

An outdoor learning experience with low/high rope and team building activities at the Dundas conservation Authority.

Note: Two weekends this year, February 1-4 and April 26-29 have been designated as three day STP’s. The students will arrive on Thursday evening and be picked up at the usual time on the Sunday. W. Ross has the opportunity to provide the extra day which will give more opportunity for an in depth investigation of the skills.

For 2017-2018 Short Term Program application/registration form CLICK HERE.