Section 68 of the Education Act authorizes the Minister of Education to establish, by order, school authorities for elementary and/or secondary purposes on land held by the Crown or on tax-exempt land. These school authorities are distinct from the seventy-two district school boards but have similar powers, duties, and responsibilities. School authorities that are located within treatment centres for children and youth are commonly known as “hospital boards”.footnote 1 In treatment centres ranging in size from small community–based centres to large urban hospitals, hospital boards provide educational programs for students who have complex medical needs and are unable to attend regular school.

Five of the six hospital boards are affiliated with children's treatment centres that are funded by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services. (More information on the twenty children's treatment centres funded by this ministry can be found on the Children's Rehabilitation Services page of the ministry's website.) One hospital board (Bloorview School Authority) is affiliated with a children's hospital, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, which receives funding from the Ministry of Health and Long–Term Care.

The rehabilitation and treatment services offered at these centres may include nursing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, social work services, psychological services, orthotic/prosthetic services, and dental services. The programming services offered by the school authorities operating in these centres are described below.

Currently, the six hospital boards are:

  • Bloorview School Authority, Toronto
  • Campbell Children's School Authority, Oshawa
  • John McGivney Children's Centre School Authority, Windsor
  • KidsAbility School Authority, Waterloo
  • Niagara Peninsula Children's Centre School Authority, St. Catharines
  • Ottawa Children's Treatment Centre School Authority, Ottawa

Appendix F-1 includes contact information for these hospital boards.


Hospital boards may serve students from Kindergarten through to the end of secondary school, in either residential or day treatment programs. Each hospital board has unique admission criteria for students based on type and severity of special needs, age, sources of referral, and other factors. The hospital board staff cooperate with the treatment centre staff to develop and provide special education programs and services based on educational and therapeutic needs. These programs follow the Ontario curriculum and are modified to provide for each student's individual academic, physical, communication, and social or emotional needs. Programs are designed to help the student make a smooth transition from the treatment centre to the receiving school (the school to which the student is transitioning).

Hospital boards may also serve as a resource to help school boards meet the developmental and/or medical needs of their students who are clients of the treatment centre. Upon request from a district school board or another hospital board, the staff of these centres may:

  • facilitate the transition and integration of children into their receiving school;
  • provide information to assist in the identification and placement of students;
  • provide information to assist in the writing of Individual Education Plans (IEPs) for exceptional students;
  • assist in identifying the need for and providing special accommodations;
  • provide ongoing advice as requested by the teacher, board consultant, and/or principal;
  • provide specialized in–service programs and workshops for school staff who are involved in the development and delivery of educational programs and services for students with particular special education needs.


  • footnote[1] Back to paragraph Six of the ten school authorities are located in treatment centres for children and youth. The other four school authorities manage schools in remote and sparsely populated regions.