Our School

Clifford Bowey PS

We acknowledge that our learning is taking place on unceded and unsurrendered Algonquin Territory. We thank the Algonquin Nation for hosting us and recognize their enduring presence on this land.

Our School

Clifford Bowey Public School opened in 1970. It is a specialized site that provides a safe and caring learning environment while fostering individual growth and development for students with developmental disabilities. The goal for students at Clifford Bowey is to develop functional academic skills and to further promote independence and quality of life experiences. Clifford Bowey School’s dedicated and knowledgeable staff is committed to providing individualized programming to our students and actively promotes the continued development of communication, social, emotional, physical, and behavioral skills.

Our Students

Currently, 104 students are enrolled at Clifford Bowey School. Students range in age from 3.9 to 21 years. In addition to having a developmental disability, the majority of students require programming support from qualified professionals for their multiple exceptionalities (Autism, blind/low vision, deaf/hard of hearing, communication, and physical challenges).

Our Staff

Clifford Bowey Public School’s staff consists of a principal, a part-time vice principal, 17.73 full-time equivalent teachers and 44 educational assistants, many having specialized training in sign language, CPR, First Aid, and behaviour management. Clifford Bowey’s professional support staff consists of a psychological associate, learning support consultant, speech and language pathologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, nurse, nutritionist, and itinerant teachers for students who are blind/low vision and/or deaf/hard of hearing.

Under the direction of the vice-principal, two educational assistants with National Lifeguard qualifications plan and provide instruction for the learn-to-swim program in our therapeutic, wheelchair-accessible pool. One educational assistant is dedicated to providing students with work place experiences in the community, as well as on site experience. To support and enhance learning opportunities in the community, two buses and drivers transport our students to a variety of locations throughout the city to take part in activities that foster growth in life skills, socialization and community living.

Our office administrator and a part-time office assistant provide assistance and administrative support to our school community. Our chief custodian, along with one full and one part-time evening custodial staff, maintain a safe and healthy school facility. Two feeding skill assistants and three lunch time monitors help to develop students’ eating skills through the feeding program.

Our Community

In 1983, the school board entered into an agreement with the City of Ottawa to build a therapeutic, wheelchair-accessible pool to serve the needs of the community and its students.

School Council members meet on a regular basis to provide leadership to our school community. Members participate in community-based and school-based activities. In cooperation with the Ministry of Education’s Parental Involvement initiative, members consult with the community, plan, and raise funds for the benefit of the school community.

Community businesses and associations, such as the Ottawa Food Bank and the Salvation Army, provide work experience and job training opportunities for some of our students.

Clifford Bowey Public School has been fortunate to have been awarded monetary grants to assist with the purchase of highly specialized equipment through the generosity of associations and business such as TELUS, Metro Green Apple Grant, The Community Foundation, Senators Foundation, Lions Club, City of Ottawa, and “Team Depot” of Home Depot. Organizations such as S’Cool Life Fund, The Ottawa Citizen Literacy Foundation, the Education Foundation, MASC, Ottawa Network for Education, and Breakfast for Learning have donated generously to our school.

Mission Statement

[work in progress]

Facilities and Resources

  • Bright, well-equipped classrooms and adapted washrooms
  • Therapeutic wheelchair-accessible swimming pool
  • Specialized play areas, equipment adapted for wheelchairs, adapted bicycles and tricycles
  • Commercial kitchen, Life Skills Room, Movement and Music Room, greenhouse, and gymnasium
  • Physiotherapy and occupational therapy rooms
  • Fitness area with treadmills and a recumbent bike
  • Accessible on-site fitness trail
  • Library containing adapted books and toys, as well as themed resource materials for classroom use
  • Multi-sensory/therapeutic relaxation “Snoezelen” room
  • Variety of work experience opportunities and venues (recycling, can crushing, life skills room, greenhouse, car wash)
  • Buses and drivers transport students to various community activities and workplace experience locations


Programs and Services

Academic Programs

Every student in attendance at Clifford Bowey has an Individual Education Plan (IEP). This plan is based on the student’s strengths and learning needs which are determined at the annual Identification, Placement and Review Committee (IPRC) meeting.

The Individual Education Plan (IEP) is a document that is continuously being informed by assessment and evaluation of a student’s progress. The student’s program is determined by their strengths and learning needs in the areas of: Communication, Functional Literacy and Numeracy; Motor Skills; Physical Education; Music and Movement; Social and Behavioural Skills; and Life Skills.

Each student works towards achieving appropriate program goals and challenges for learning. Daily programming includes language development, augmentative communication systems, pre-readiness/functional academics, computer skills, mobility, and life skills. Communication, mobility, and life skills programs help students develop independence. Structure, routine, and consistency are important program components for all of our students.

Classroom Organization

Due to the intensive needs of our student population, classrooms are staffed on a ratio of 1:8 teachers to students and complimented with a team of 2.5 educational assistants. Classrooms are organized into primary, junior, intermediate and senior classes.

Volunteers are welcome at our school. In conjunction with school staff, volunteers continue to foster student independence in many facets of school life. Our volunteers provide valuable support to the swim program, during community excursions and with classroom activities. They offer library support, assist students to dress, and in feeding programs.

Special Education and ESL Programs

Clifford Bowey School’s creative and stimulating physical education program utilizes a broad variety of specialized equipment and offers a bicycling program using adapted bicycles and tricycles. Students participate in a Movement and Music program which promotes flexibility, mobility, and rhythmic movement, while incorporating physiotherapy stretches. A variety of assistive technologies, such as SMARTBoards in all classrooms, iPads, Intellikeys, GoTalk devices, Big Mac buttons, and VOCAs, are used to enhance student learning and communication.

Occupational therapy, physiotherapy and nutritional counseling are provided through the services of Champlain Community Care Access Centre (CCAC). OCDSB speech and language pathologists provide consultative and therapeutic services to students. Some of our students participate in work experience opportunities that are provided on-site as well as in local community businesses and associations.

Clubs and Activities

  • Exercise room for physiotherapy, fitness and health programming
  • Therapeutic swimming and cycling
  • Snoezelen room for multi-sensory therapy and relaxation
  • Music and Movement room
  • Life Skills/Family Living room for work experience
  • Community excursions to further promote community awareness and to provide social opportunities
  • Greenhouse for work experience
  • Eco Schools for environmental awareness/leadership and active recycling program involving students
  • Sensory murals

Safe Schools

Initiatives Safety is a high priority at Clifford Bowey School. Our school staff closely supervises students to ensure and maintain their safety, and to support their awareness of potentially unsafe situations. Safety procedures are regularly assessed to reflect best practices.

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