Wangaratta District Specialist School is a multi-mode specialist school catering for students with mild to severe intellectual and associated disabilities from five to eighteen years of age. We strive to provide a purposeful, comprehensive learning environment meeting the social, emotional and educational requirements of every student.
Nearly 50 teaching staff, Educational Support and specialist staff are passionately committed to working with families, carers, specialists, relevant outside agencies and the local community to ensure students achieve their maximum potential and targeted educational outcomes. Enrolment continues to increase with fervour. The 2017 school year began with 150 students enrolled.
WDSS is located in the Rural City of Wangaratta and services the Benalla, Myrtleford, Ovens and King Valleys, Rutherglen, Wahgunyah, and Wangaratta districts. Four buses transport students from within Wangaratta and the many towns in surrounding districts.
The school’s philosophy is reflected in its motto, `Together We Will’. This is based on the belief that children learn best in a co-operative environment that is happy, challenging, supportive and non-threatening. Strong and respectful relationships between all members of the school community are encouraged as is the active involvement and participation of students, staff, parents, caregivers, volunteers and the wider school community. This is reflected in the strong relationship the school has with all its stakeholders and the high regard with which the school is held in the wider community.
Currently the school is organised as a junior, middle and senior school, with 18 classrooms grouping students based on a variety of criteria, with a view towards helping students achieve short term goals as stepping stones towards a long term post school outcome. Class sizes vary from 5 students to 12 students and are staffed according to the student need in each classroom.
All students have an individual learning plan established in consultation with parents and relevant professionals. In the last three years of school the focus is on transition to adult programs and this includes work experience, participation in TAFE programs and increased responsibility around the school and community.