School Boards Ready for Service Dog Policy Requirement

service dog

Neither the local public or Catholic boards have any service dogs in classrooms.

Despite that, both board will need to ensure they have a policy in place by the beginning of next year.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced today that boards have until Jan. 1 to to develop policies on accommodating students with service animals in classrooms.

The directive to boards says they are expected to allow a student to be accompanied by a service animal when it would support the student's learning needs.

Boards' policies will also have to include a protocol for addressing concerns from other students or staff, such as allergies.

Lecce was joined for the announcement by fellow caucus member Amy Fee, who fought for years for her son to be allowed to bring his service dog to school.

Scott Scantlebury with the Greater Essex County District School Board says they've had a policy in place for several years.

Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board spokesperson Steve Fields says they currently have an administrative procedure which could be adopted as policy by the start of 2020.