Children's Development Centre

Some children, because of their disruptive and/or ineffective coping behaviours, are identified within the school system as requiring greater teacher time and attention than is possible in the Neighbourhood School classroom. Classroom behaviour may be indicative of difficulties in other areas of their lives-specifically the home and/or community. The Neighbourhood School classroom teachers often have limited resources and access to these areas of the children's lives, therefore the Saanich School District has developed the Children's Development Centre and Alternate Learning Program. The necessary staffing and other resources required to address the social and emotional needs of these children are provided so they may be successful in the regular school program.

The Children's Development Centre (CDC) and Alternate Learning Program (ALP) offers an intensive, time-limited school experience designed to facilitate and support student growth in the areas of social and emotional development, while offering an individualized academic program focusing on literacy and numeracy. Students attend CDC and ALP for 20 weeks. As an ongoing component of the CDC program, students attend their Neighbourhood School on Wednesday mornings. Students remain enrolled in their Neighbourhood School while attending CDC and ALP. The Centre also requires family involvement through ongoing consultation with the Youth and Family Counsellors. Positive parental involvement is essential to student growth.

Mission Statement

We believe all students occupy a unique role within a dynamic and interrelated system that includes the school, the family and the community. Through offering academic, sensory, emotional and social support, we believe all students have the capacity to develop increased awareness, concepts and skills. Our mission is to help children and families learn to interact with others in peaceful ways through the development of resilience, social conscience and the promotion of life-long learning.


735 Cordova Bay Road
Victoria, BC V8Y 1P7
Phone: (250) 658-5412
Fax: (250) 658-5041


Children's Development Centre (CDC)

Friday (Morning only)

Alternate Learning Program (ALP)

Friday (Morning only)

8:30am—11:38am Both programs end at 2:30 Monday - Thursday and 11:00 on Friday.

Staff meet Friday afternoons to review the progress of the students and plan strategies for the following week.

Academic Program

Teachers(combining to a total 2.2 FTE) and Classroom Support Workers offer an individualized academic program focusing on literacy and numeracy. Each student will have an Individual Education Plan developed based on an academic assessment (if a current academic assessment is not available one will be completed while the student is at CDC and ALP), consultation with the referring classroom teachers and, if available, a psycho-educational assessment.

School Growth Goals

  1. Students will demonstrate growth in socially responsible behaviour.
  2. Students will learn about their sensory needs and devlop skills that will improve their concentration, relaxation and performance in school.
  3. Students will improve in their literacy and numeracy skills based on an increased understaning of their learning needs.

Program Goals

Students will demonstrate growth in socially responsible classroom and school behaviour. The Children's Development Centre and Alternate Learning Program program will:

  1. facilitate and support the social, emotional and behavioural development of the students.
  2. adapt and modify instructional practices to enhance the social-emotional development of the students.
  3. provide a resource through which families may explore issues involving their children.
  4. enhance language and communication skills of the students.
  5. assist in accessing supportive community resources for families.
  6. support inclusion of our students into their Neighbourhood Schools.

Counselling Services

The Youth and Family Counsellors offer supportive and therapeutic counselling to the students and their families. As part of the program, the Youth and Family Counsellors meet regularly with the parents to offer counselling support, share information and develop strategies together to facilitate social-emotional growth. The students regularly receive individual counselling, and participate in weekly groups covering topics such as social skills, emotional awareness, and family dynamics. In addition, the students receive support and guidance in crisis situations, in conflict resolution and in mediation.

The counsellors act as liaisons and referral sources to other community agencies. They may provide transportation and accompany the parents and students to appointments with other professionals. When the students return to their Neighbourhood Schools, the counsellors provide consultative support to classroom teachers and, if necessary, the families.

Referral Process

When the resources of the Neighbourhood School classroom cannot meet the social/emotional needs of the students, teachers are encouraged to meet with the School Based Team. When this team has exhausted the school based resources, a referral is made to the Behaviour Support Team. After involvement and recommendation of the Behaviour Support Team, a placement in the Children's Development Centre may be considered.

For the Alternate Learning Program, the Neighbourhood School classroom teacher meets with School Based Team. The administrator then contacts the District Principal for Alternate Programs. The District Principal can begin the intake process for the Alternate Learning Program.


Referring Teacher(s)
  1. Participate in intake, review and exit meetings.
    If there is a shared teaching arrangement, the expectation is for both teachers to attend the meetings.
  2. Consult regularly with the CDC and ALP Program Teacher and the Youth and Family Counsellor.
  3. Visit CDC and ALP to observe the student (T.O.C. provided by CDC/ALP).
  4. On Wednesday mornings, for CDC students:
    • The neighbourhood school teacher is responsible for the student's educational program.
    • Meet with the support person from CDC.
    • Include the students in the regular class activities.
    • Modify and adapt the curriculum to meet the needs of the students.
    • Promote an inclusive environment for the student.
The level of involvement of the parents correlates strongly with the social/emotional growth of the students.
  1. Meet on a regular basis with the Youth and Family Counsellors.
    This is an important component of the program. Parents meeting regularly with the staff at CDC and ALP is required for students to remain in the program.
  2. Attend the intake meeting to participate in developing goals for the student while attending the Children's Development Centre and Alternate Learning Program.
  3. Become familiar with the practices and procedures used at the Children's Development Centre and Alternate Learning Program.
  4. Meet with the program Teacher to assist in the development of the Individual Education Plan.
    Parental involvement is necessary so that an effective academic program may be developed and implemented for the students.
  1. Mutual Respect: Students will demonstrate respect for themselves and for others.
  2. Cooperation: Students will interact in a cooperative manner and contribute to an effective learning environment for themselves and others.
  3. Responsibility: Students will be accountable for their behavior and will reflect on the choices they have made. Students will consider options, make choices, and develop plans which demonstrate mutual respect and cooperation.

Program Procedures

Developing an increased awareness of themselves and others is important for students. As well, students need to develop cooperative behaviour, and interpersonal and group skills. Students will learn appropriate self-management and conflict resolution skills. Students will learn to set weekly personal goals. During the course of the day the students will be asked to reflect on and evaluate how well they are meeting the school's expectations and their own personal goals. When behaviour is persistently inappropriate, students will be asked to take time to reflect on their behaviour. To resolve the issue, students must (with guidance):

  • describe in detail what behaviour(s) resulted in being asked to leave the group.
  • reflect on, discuss and evaluate the impact their behaviour had on others and themselves.
  • develop an alternative plan and make a commitment to implement this plan. After use, an opportunity may be provided to evaluate this plan.
  • Students may be asked to stay after school in order to resolve an issue. If students are extremely disruptive, the parents may be contacted, and the students may be sent home for the rest of the day.

See the Children's Development Centre Program Guide for more detailed information.


At the end of the fourth month, meetings are scheduled with the School Based Team of the referring school in order to review the academic and socio/emotional progress and strategies developed with the Children's Development Centre, and to begin the process of including the students. Attendance is increased during the fifth month until there is full inclusion in their Neighbourhood school.

Due to time commitments and limited staffing, ongoing in-class support is not available. The teacher, in consultation with the School Based Team, may request school-based support. At the end of the program, the School Based Team, in consultation with the School District Psychologist, is responsible for monitoring the social/emotional development of the students and for referrals to other School District and Community Services.

For one year, after leaving the Children's Development Centre, students will be enrolled in a follow-up program. During this time the Family Services Counsellor will be available to consult with School Based Teams and the families. If the behaviour of students is harmful or extremely disruptive, the schools, with the cooperation of the parents, may request the students spend a short time at the Centre (one or two days) to allow time for the students to reflect upon their behaviour and develop appropriate strategies for returning.

If students continue to be harmful to themselves and/or others, or disruptive in school, the School Based Team is encouraged, in consultation with the School District Psychologists, to refer to other community agencies, family physicians or to the Student Review Committee for support for these students.

Re-referral to the Children's Development Centre may be considered by the School District Screening Committee after the involvement of other community agencies and programs.