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 From the Principal

 

Our special school is described as ‘one school consisting of two campuses’ servicing students and their families living within the Devonport, Latrobe, Penguin and Burnie localities.  The campuses are approximately 50 kilometres apart.  Other students who live in isolated rural communities within a 100 km. radius of the Burnie campus are also enrolled on particular days to access specialist programs.

Current enrolments are limited to students between 5 to 18 years with moderate to severe disabilities who are eligible for centralised funding support through a Severe Disabilities register. 

Families whose students are identified with syndromes, severe autism, severe intellectual functioning and multiple impairments involving physical, vision and hearing are offered enrolment.

In spite of the distance between both campuses, shared partnerships between the two campuses and their local neighbourhood schools are rigorously promoted to ensure that students’ educational pathways are maximised with dual enrolments and whole day programs offered at each campus. 

Currently, there are over 75 full enrolments along with many dual and whole day enrolled students accessing both campuses.

The Principal, classroom teachers, ICT support consultant, social trainer, AAC teacher aides, Vision Impairment Teacher, Music and Physical Education teachers, Speech & Language Pathologist and Allied Health therapists work collaboratively across both special school campuses.

Our school has promoted an extensive network of sustained professional support which promotes the successful implementation and assessment of student’s learning goals.  The network also initiates practically based ongoing professional learning that builds capacity to meet the needs of all individual support staff members who are either employed at the special school or neighbourhood schools. 

The school has been proactive in applying for grants to successfully source extra funding to develop and implement dynamic programs for all enrolled students.  These include PODD communication strategies, eyegaze technology, sustainability systems, holiday and Artist in Residence programs.

The ‘one school – two campuses’ is promoted by the Department of Education as an educational facility that clearly embodies and actively addresses a shared set of beliefs based on social justice and inclusive values.

Currently, a State Government capital works project is underway at the Acton Hub located in Thorne St, Burnie.  This project involves a complete refurbishment of the old Acton Primary School. The SOSE Burnie campus will relocate to this new learning environment in Term 1 2017.  This initiative will provide large classrooms with breakaway individualised learning areas, therapy spaces, music and sensory rooms, large gym, spa and kitchen.  Revamped playground areas will also be completed to enhance the learning and recreation opportunities for students with disabilities.

 

Grace Brown