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General information

Philou School

The alternative educational program of the Philou School is designed for polyimpaired young adults between the ages of 21 and 29.

The program is offered in partnership with the Centre de ressources éducatives et pédagogiques (CREP) and the Centre de services scolaire de Montréal (CSSDM).

The Approach

The distinctive element of the École Philou is based on a thoughtful 1:1 pairing of a student with an educational assistant who follows the student throughout the year.

The School’s goal is to offer personalized learning activities to polyimpaired young adults who receive all the developmental services they need in an integrated and continuous manner. The “academic” learning, motor and cognitive development services, are provided in-house and a proper interdisciplinary plan is established for each student. This plan is put into practice on a daily basis according to an individualized schedule, and the objectives of each student are worked on during various functional activities of daily life.

Specific, measurable objectives that can be applied to daily life activities take precedence, with the aim of improving the quality of life of both the young adults and their loved ones.For example, students participate in sewing, carpentry and gardening activities. The program also includes music, yoga, computer, and art classes, as well as sensory activities in the white and black sensory rooms.

This program enables young adults to pursue their learning beyond the public school program and parents to return to the workforce and have a more balanced home life.

Philou School is:

  • A partnership with the Centre de ressources éducatives et pédagogiques (CREP) and the Centre de services scolaire de Montréal (CSSDM);
  • Overall evaluation and regular follow-up of the student by the team of professionals and the teaching staff;
  • Full-time on-site professionals: physiotherapist, occupational therapist, psychoeducator;
  • An intervention plan with an interdisciplinary approach;
  • The consolidation of acquired knowledge and skills and development of new knowledge;
  • An approach based on the well-being of the young people, kindness, socialisation and active participation;
  • Personalized activities with our specialists (music teacher, Special Yoga™ teacher);
  • A 1:1 ratio with an educational assistant, which ensures that the student’s pace is followed, that their confidence is co-built and that a relationship is
    developed with the family;
  • Outings in the city and activities in the neighbourhood;
  • The possibility of occasional overnight Respite stays;
  • Functional activities of daily life;
  • The opportunity to sign up for a summer session of educational discovery and leisure activities.

Learn more (video in French only):

Admission and fees


A school year at Philou School lasts 12 months, full-time or part-time, from September to August.

Eligibility criteria

Any young adult aged 21 to 29, resident of Quebec, polyimpaired and whose care can be delegated. Centre Philou accepts young people with gastrostomy, tracheotomy, epilepsy as well as those requiring special care.

The care provided to students during their day at Centre Philou must be delegable and not require medical assistance. The time devoted to care during the day must not interfere with learning. 

The student must be able to maintain an alert state and be receptive to activities for the majority of the time spent at Centre Philou. 

The student must not have any behavioral problems that could interfere with the day’s activities. 

Admission procedure

1. Apply for admission to Centre Philou:
• Make an appointment with Sophie Ouellette, Director of Family Experience, to visit Centre Philou with your child;
• Once the visit is over, an admission file must be completed on site.

2. Contact Nellie Raby, Director of Philou School, and follow the steps to apply for admission to Philou School.

This program is free. A $350 fee is charged for adapted school materials.


Nellie Raby is the Director of the Philou School and Daycare Her days are punctuated by the management of Centre Philou’s development programs and the management of the educational teams.

Parents can contact her for all matters concerning the educational program and internal management of the Philou School.

Phone: (514) 739-4861 Ext. 231
Email: [email protected]

Zohal Bisoodi is the Philou School and Daycare Coordinator.

Karine St-Pierre is the physiotherapist for Centre Philou programs, working interdisciplinarily with the rest of the team. She assesses the youngsters’ motor skills in order to propose an appropriate treatment plan as well as to establish short-, medium- and long-term objectives, and follows up with each individual student on a weekly basis. The team refers to her for information on students’ motor development. Karine shares and teaches the exercise programs to the team, ensuring interdisciplinary work within the team and continuity of services between the public and private sectors.

The teachers



The specialists

Christine, yoga instructor

The teachers assess students’ abilities and develop intervention plans. They then make suggestions and recommendations to the educational assistants and work on the various objectives of the intervention plan with the student during group activities and individual follow-ups.

The specialists are added to the team, offering more specialized activities such as yoga and music, adapted to the needs and abilities of each student.

The educational assistants are responsible for their students throughout the school year, and are present with them at all times in a 1:1 ratio. The educational assistant is responsible for both physical and academic care. The educational assistant is the family’s resource person.

In pictures


The Philou School has two classrooms (with one teacher per class). 

Stimulation rooms

Students can take advantage of Centre Philou’s many stimulation rooms. These include a black room and a Snoezelen room.

The black room is a place where everything is black. Black lights illuminate what is fluorescent. This allows us to stimulate one sense at a time, without distractions. It’s an ideal place to encourage young people to focus their gaze on the gesture, object or task at hand, thus fostering attention and concentration. It features a light table, light objects, switch-activated games and much more. 

The Snoezelen room is a place of relaxation and exploration, where emotional well-being and pleasure are fostered. The Snoezelen approach encourages the awakening of polyimpaired people by offering a range of sensory, auditory and olfactory activities. Features include a bubble column, an interactive projector, fiber optics and a temperature-adjustable water mattress. 


In action

Family guidance

Our support extends to the whole family, from the polyimpaired child to the parents, siblings and grandparents. All the members of a family surrounding a polyimpaired child have a different vision of their reality and of the child. They also have different, but equally important, needs. We want to accompany families in their lives, sharing with them the good days, the victories, the uncertainties, the incomprehension, as well as the anger, so as to help them improve their daily lives.

A psychoeducator is always available to listen to all family members, guide them and answer their questions. This service is entirely free of charge for families of children who use the Centre’s services.

Sophie Ouellette is the Director of Family Experience for all families using Centre Philou services.

Trained as a psychoeducator, she offers support in various areas related to the challenges of polyimpairment:

  • Finding the right resources to deal with daily or specific challenges;
  • Planning for emergency Respite;
  • Leveraging Philou’s experience to find solutions to different issues families may encounter with their children;
  • Facilitating contacts between families;
  • Organizing special activities such as parent-child yoga;
  • Welcoming new families;
  • Establishing relationships with partners of Centre Philou.

Email: [email protected]


Au nom des familles et de leurs enfants, au nom de de toute l’équipe qui travaille avec amour et ardeur au Centre Philou, nous vous remercions du fond du coeur de croire en nous, de nous donner le courage et l’énergie de continuer à grandir.


On behalf of the families and their children, on behalf of all the team members who work with love and ardor at Centre Philou, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for believing in us, for giving us the courage and energy to continue to grow.