Ministry of Education
Provincial and Demonstration Schools Branch

W. Ross Macdonald

The Impossible is Only the Untried

W. Ross Macdonald banner

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, practise 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 toward 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.

Below are the dates and themes for Short Term Programs for the 2016/2017 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
fax: 519-759-4741


Bill Edwards
Resource Consultant
W Ross Macdonald School
519-759-0730 ext. 202
fax: 519-759-4741

Short Term Programs at W. Ross Macdonald School

Sept. 30, 2016 – Oct. 2, 2016

“Keep calm and bike on” Outdoor Education – Ages: 14yrs +

Students will be given the opportunity to develop cycling skills while riding on specifically designed tandem bicycle’s. Students will be instructed on bicycle safety and skills while riding cooperatively with our trained bicycle pilots. We will spend the majority of Saturday riding on well-established bicycle pathways through the beautiful Grand River Valley and then set up camp, stay overnight at Brant Park Conservation area, and return to the school on Sunday morning.

Oct. 28, 2016 – Oct. 30, 2016

“Walk a Mile in my Shoes” Parents and Students (all ages)

Parents will undergo simulation while performing various living skills and activities led by the independent living skills specialist and orientation and mobility instructors at the school. Parents will debrief and have a Q&A session on how to prepare children for independence in the future.

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

Nov. 18, 2016 – Nov. 20, 2016

“What’s Next?” Parents and Teens (14yrs +)

Parents and students will be given the opportunity to resource with professionals as they provide their expertise on preparing for transition from high school to post-secondary placements. Students and parents will have the opportunity to engage with various professionals including, university/college accessibility mentors, guidance counsellors, life skills instructors, social workers and former students who have a rich knowledge of post-secondary expectations.

Dec. 9, 2016 – Dec. 11, 2016

“Let’s Cook!” Ages: 9yrs +

Students will be introduced to budgeting, grocery shopping and meal preparations while preparing for a holiday feast to enjoy among friends.

Jan. 20, 2017 – Jan. 22, 2017

“Wide World of Sports” Ages: 12yrs +

Students will have an opportunity to be engaged in physically active adaptive sports such as, goalball, snowshoeing (weather permitted), broom ball, soccer, self-defence and many other sports related team building events. After an active weekend, students will participate in ‘spa’ night to build skills in the areas of personal hygiene and self-care.

Feb. 24, 2017 – Feb. 26, 2017

“Exploring the Arts” Ages: 9yrs+

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

May 12, 2017 – May 14, 2017

“Go Green!” Ages: 9yrs+

Students will learn how they can become ambassadors of our planet by adapting simple life style changes that can reduce our carbon footprint on the world. Students will engage in projects and activities that involve creative thinking, problem solving and collaboration for green-living. Students will also have an opportunity on Saturday afternoon to visit a fully-functioning sustainable living program at the Luna project in St George Ontario. Dave Master is the education staff at the facility that will talk to the students about eco-friendly living.

June 2, 2017 – June 4, 2017

“Gone camping…” Outdoor Education – Ages: 14yrs+

An outdoor learning experience for students while hiking and camping for the weekend.

For 2016-2017 Short Term Program application/registration form CLICK HERE.