ABOUT WANGARATTA DISTRICT SPECIALIST SCHOOL
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.
Over 80 Teaching staff, Educational Support and Allied Health 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 2023 school year began with 155 students enrolled.
Our values are reflected in our motto, `Together We Will: Be Learners, Be Safe, Be Respectful’. 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 our 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 our school has with all stakeholders, and also very much in the high regard with which the school is held in the wider community.
Our vision is to provide positive learning experiences which allow students to achieve their optimum level of academic, social, emotional, and physical independence.
Currently the school is organised with 21 classrooms as a junior, middle and senior school. Students are grouped 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 these are staffed according to the student's individual need within each classroom. All students also 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
Our school provides an approved curriculum framework differentiated to meet student needs, based on the Victorian Curriculum with a focus on levels A-D in the junior school.
The identified focus for our school during the next Strategic Plan period are -
• Whole-school instructional model
• Guaranteed and viable curriculum for Literacy and Numeracy
• Use of student data to inform teaching and learning
• Student voice and agency
WDSS is located in the Rural City of Wangaratta and services the Benalla, Myrtleford, Ovens and King Valleys, Rutherglen, Wahgunyah, and Wangaratta districts.
Six buses transport students from within Wangaratta and the many towns in surrounding districts.