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VIDEO: Children’s Development Centre offers neighbourhood learning in Saanich

Saanich School District special education school now seismically safe

Children and youth in need of specialized education are learning at a newly upgraded school in a beautifully treed environment on Cordova Bay Road.

The Saanich School District’s Children’s Development Centre (CDC), with seismic and other upgrades completed, was officially opened last week.

Approximately 16 students from elementary and middle schools in the district attend the school for 20-week intensive periods. The short-term programs are tailored to emphasize emotional learning, numeracy and literacy, while meeting the unique needs of each student.

The CDC also includes a neighbourhood learning centre in which Beacon Community Services and the school district work together to provide counselling and mental health supports for children and families.

“We are delighted to start the school year in a new building that is safe, and that we are able to further enhance programs supporting the social and emotional growth of students and families through a new partnership with Beacon Community Services,” said Saanich board of education chair Tim Dunford.

Strong relationships are being built within the centre, he added, and genuine care is being taken by those involved in the educational and mental health components.

The centre’s programs, primarily funded by the Ministry of Children and Family Development, – include early years, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder support and supports to strengthen and nurture families.

The province contributed $3.7 million to replace the 53-year-old centre, while $500,000 came from the school district.