Special Education


  • Ms. M. Bassi – SERT
  • Mrs. C. O’Brien – SERT
  • Mrs. L. Paton – SERT
  • Mr. P. Solimine – SERT
  • Mrs. S. Horvat – SERT

Educational Assistants

  • Cynthia Piche
  • Chis Moore
  • Lisa Lewis
  • Lidia Kryla
  • Debbie Paterson-Seeley
  • Mira Crnogorac
  • Sue Nyholt
  • Anne Mair
  • Karen Andre
  • Karen Maingot
  • Wasim Farooqi
  • Nina Nikolic
  • Donna Gisondi
  • Sylvia Rodriguez
  • Nathalie Guillerez


Gifted and Enrichment Opportunities

Simona Horvat – Department Head of Special Education/Gifted Contact

horvatsi@hcdsb.org or call at (905) 847-0595 ext. 1026

In addition to a student’s involvement in the life of the school, participating in enrichment opportunities is a way to support our Gifted and high-achieving students academically. These opportunities allow our students to gather experiences to include in their resumes and portfolios for applications to post-secondary and future jobs.

There are curricular and extra-curricular enrichment opportunities available to students over the course of the school year at St. Ignatius of Loyola Catholic Secondary School. Some of the many opportunities students regularly access include:

  1. Math Contests – Cayley, Euclid, Pascal
  2. Duke of Edinburgh Award
  3. SOMA (Model UN)
  4. Schulich Award nominees for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) – Loyola was the only Oakville School nominated
  5. Loran Scholarship
  6. Prefects – Student Leaders
  7. Mentors – Student Leaders
  8. SHSM (Specialist High Skills Major) – Health and Wellness
  9. Discovery Days – Western and McMaster Health Science, Waterloo Engineering
  10.   Mock Trial
  11.  Student Newspaper
  12.  School Reach Team
  13.  Book Club
  14.  Chess Club
  15.   Debate Team
  16.  Best Buddies
  17.  Social Justice League
  18.  Ontario Junior Citizen Awards

Events are often announced during morning exercises, and are posted on the T.V.’s located at the front of the school, in the cafeteria and on our school website. Students are welcome to contact Mrs. Horvat, Department Head of Special Education, or their guidance counselor for more information as well.

There are even more out-of-class enrichment opportunities for secondary school students. These include project-based learning, independent studies, mentorships, and career exploration. Students are encouraged to review these opportunities to see where their particular interests match. Many of these opportunities are specifically designed for gifted and/or high achieving students, and they offer students a means of enriching levels of learning, leadership potential, and personal confidence. Anyone can apply to participate in these activities. Please note that all activities listed are voluntary, and are predominantly student-initiated.

These enrichment opportunities are listed below. To get more, simply click onto the blue underlined name.

 McMaster University:

CLAY (Creating Leadership Amongst Youth) This is a 3 day/2 night leadership conference which allows students to develop and share their knowledge of leadership. Online registration is now available.

L.E.A.P. (Learning Enrichment Advancement Program) – Leap is a summer enrichment program offered at McMaster University. Students can choose to stay in one of McMaster’s student residences for the duration of their 2 or 4 week program.  LEAP offers students a chance to explore new ideas in one of 4 areas:  Introduction to Engineering, Engineering Design,Engineering Technology, and Bioengineering. Programs are available to students from grades 9 to 12 in selected areas.

SYNERGY (DeGroote School of Business) – Synergy is a week long business camp designed to explore business in a creative and challenging way. The camp is designed for high school students, programs run from June – August.

 University of Waterloo:

Waterloo Unlimited  High School Enrichment at the University of Waterloo: Waterloo Unlimited is a unique enrichment opportunity for high school students in grades 10 through 12. Offered during the school year, Unlimited brings together curious, motivated, well-rounded teens from across the country.

CATALYST – The program empowers high school youth to be the agents of change in our community and our world by creating opportunities for them to increase awareness, confidence and leadership abilities in engineering, science and technology.  Programs include a Grade 11 Girls Conference in April – applications are due in December/January.

Engineering Science Quest Program (ESQ) A year round program which offers Classroom Workshops, Summer Day Camp, and Weekend Workshops. Helps develop an appreciation for science and engineering in elementary school children, and to encourage them to pursue these areas in high school and possibly beyond.

Western University:

W.I.S.E. program Students can take a university course while still in high school. WISE will allow you to take one university course, tuition free, concurrently with your high school studies. Student can try out a first-year course in Anthropology, Business Administration, Dimensions of Leadership, English, Family Studies, Foods & Nutrition, French, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Religious Studies, Sociology or Women’s Studies at Brescia. If students pass the university course, they can apply this course to their university career at Brescia.

Western Engineering Summer Academy –  For grades 9 – 12.  The Western Engineering Summer Academy is designed specifically for enriched Grades 9 to 12 high school students looking for a challenge this summer.  The Academy offers students the opportunity to explore these areas of engineering with labs, lectures and hands on projects. The courses are taught by our very own professors and graduate students.  Registration occurs in January.   The four courses that will be offered are:  Mechanical Engineering, Civil EngineeringMechatronics Engineering and Biomedical Engineering.

University of Toronto:

D.E.E.P. – University of Toronto’s daVinci Engineering Enrichment Program is is part of the University of Toronto’s Engineering Outreach Programs .  DEEP is for gifted and highly motivated high school students who wish to advance their study in a variety of areas of engineering. DEEP is a week long program (there is a choice of weeks) and it is held at the St. George campus (downtown Toronto). There is also a residence option available.

Youth Summer Programs at University of Toronto These programs are offered during July and August for high school students who are interested in a career in either medical sciences or the legal field. The Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Law will provide academic programs for students with their faculty at the university facilities. The program runs a variety of modules from July to August.

  Queen’s University:

ESU – Enrichment Studies Unit Queen’s University offers a week long program Enrichment Mini Courses (EMC) to gifted and highly motivated students. It can include staying in Queen’s University residence and students can select course programs from business, creative arts, cultural studies, law, medicine, natural and physical sciences, physical education, psychology and sociology, and pure and applied science. This program runs in May, but registration is due in February.

 Other Programs:

Heritage Canada’s Encounters with Canada – A unique opportunity for Canadian teens to meet other young people from across the country. Spend an adventure-filled week in your nation’s capital. Opportunities to check out future career options, discover your country, share your hopes and dreams. For 35 years, EWC has delivered a rich and varied, bilingual program. To date, more than 108,000 youth have lived the EWC experience.

SHAD  Shad is a 4 week summer enrichment program for students who are high academic achievers, leaders, and innovators. SHAD programs are focused on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts & math).  Students may apply for one of several Canadian university sites for their studies. Students in grades 10, 11, or 12 are invited to apply. The application deadline is late November.  Why SHAD? – find out here.

The International Summer School for Young Physicists The Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, Waterloo, Ontario. This program is for students who have completed their senior level high school courses specifically in mathematics and physics and plan to study physics at university. Students must be 17 – 18 years of age. This program is free to those selected to attend. The program runs July but applications are due in December.

Boyd Archaeological Field School at TRCA  Earn a credit (IDC4U1) while doing real archaeological field work.  This 17 day course will run during July.  This program is open to students who have completed their grade 10 year.  Applications are due May 1.

re:action 4 inclusion – This is a 3 day leadership conference in March at YMCA Geneva Park Conference Centre, Orillia.  The focus of this conference is to promote inclusion and building a sense of community to ensure that those who have an intellectual disability don’t get left behind.  To register or for details got to www.communitylivingontario.ca  or contact Linda White at 1-800-278-8025 ext 239

House of Commons Page Program Students who plan to attend university in the National Capital Region may apply to this program. Pages are a key element in the communications network on Parliament Hill and students who participate will have a unique opportunity to meet and work with our federal politicians. Students in this program will work a minimum of 15 hours per week (coordinated with their academic schedule). Students applying for this program must be Canadian citizens, beginning a university program, have an overall academic average of at least 80%, and have a superior knowledge of both official languages. The application is available in October and is due by early December for positions in the following year.

Explore Without Limits  French Language Bursary Program: Discover another region of Canada and use this opportunity to improve your knowledge of French. Explore offers you five weeks full of opportunities to make discoveries, meet new people, and exchange ideas in a stimulating setting for learning your second language. Participants in Explore receive a $2,000 bursary covering tuition fees for the course, instructional materials, meals, and accommodation. Choose either a spring session (May – June ) or a summer session (June – August).

Katimavik – The Katimavik program has been re-started in a limited format.  The Eco-Internship is currently running for 3 months in Quebec.  New opportunities may emerge, please continue to check this website for information.

Boyd Archaeological Field School at TRCA  The 38th season of Boyd Archaeological Field School takes place from August August 7th – 23rd, 2015 at the Claremont Field Centre in Pickering, Ontario, Canada.  Students complete a Grade 12 Interdisciplinary Studies Credit (IDC4U) while participating in all aspects of an actual excavation.  Students MUST have completed grade 10 by the time the course starts.

Vancouver Film School – Summer IntensivesVSF has one week programs in a variety of areas including Acting, Animation, Art and Design, Film Production, Game Design, Make-up, Sound, and Writing.

Cornell University Summer College Program Cornell University is an IVY League school offering summer programs for talented high school students.  Students can select either a 3 week or a 6 week program.  Application deadlines begin in March (depending on the program of choice) and applications are extensive, so make sure to start your application early.

Oxford Study Courses for IB and pre-IB Diploma Programme Students University of St. Andrews – Creative Writing and Scottish Studies Summer Program –  This is a 4 week residential program offered to students who have completed their grade 10 (or higher) studies. Students will have opportunities to go on excursions and visit important sites, have a full recreation and social program provided, and learn from professors, graduate students and guest speakers.

Yale Young Global Scholars ProgramIn 2018, the Yale Young Global Scholars Program (YYGS) will offer seven unique interdisciplinary sessions over the course of the summer. Bringing together extraordinary students from around the world, each session is designed to hone students’ abilities to understand and think critically about contemporary global issues. Students will have the opportunity to learn from distinguished Yale faculty members, participate in seminars designed and led by current Yale students, and engage with practitioners who are renowned leaders in their field — all while experiencing the world-class facilities and resources that Yale University has to offer. Admission to the program is very selective. We offer need-based financial aid and encourage students from all countries to apply. The deadline for applications is Feb 6, 2018.

Deep River Science Academy (DRSA) – A six-week summer program for talented high school students. Science and engineering research experience in labs of industrial Research Partners

DiscoverTeenergy.com – Featured topic: “Activities Database” has over 500 listings of events especially for gifted students. Database includes: conferences, leadership training, student travel, international exchanges and learning opportunities, unusual places to visit, something for many interests and hobbies.

Science School

    • Are you a grade 11 student looking for a challenge?  Become a part of the Science Centre for a semester of Grade 12!  Earn SCIENCE and MATH credits.  Explore new science and technology.  Be inspired for life.  Spend an enriching semester at the Ontario Science Centre Science School and earn Grade 12 University Preparation science and mathematics credits!

Study Abroad Programs:

Blyth Education

MEI International Academy

Neuchatel Junior College