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District School Board of Niagara
Policy School Operations

G-41 (Draft) Service Animals

Date Aug 2019
Review Sep 2019

The District School Board of Niagara (DSBN) is committed to an inclusive environment for its students through our staff and volunteers providing services that respect the independence and dignity of people with disabilities and incorporate measures that include, but are not limited to, the use of service animals.

The DSBN encourages the use of services and resources that are needed within a school by a student with special education needs. The DSBN is committed to making every effort to provide services to students that are free of barriers and biases. The DSBN permits students to be accompanied by service animals in school when doing so would be an appropriate accommodation to support students’ learning needs and would meet the DSBN’s duty to accommodate students with disabilities Ontario Human Rights Code.

It must be realized that the rights of all need to be regarded and valued within each school setting. Decisions regarding the use of service dogs by students in the school environment are made on a case-by-case basis. All circumstances of a request, including the individual needs of the student being assisted by the service dog and the needs of other students and staff, will be considered. Where necessary in the decision-making process, rights and needs of one person may have to be balanced against the rights and needs of another. The DSBN will make every effort to ensure all student and staff needs are considered when making a decision.

The Superintendent, school administrator, school staff, parent and student all play an important role in the application and implementation of a service dog within the school setting.