In June 2012, the Richmond School District commissioned Perkins and Will to examine various sites in Richmond for the construction of a new facility to meet the needs of our most special learners. Errington was selected as the location.
After this decision was made, a team of experts including architects, engineers, educators, and health care professionals met several times to conceptualize the facility and provide suggestions for its construction. Special attention was given to lighting and acoustics to make for a quiet, calming space in which to learn.
In the spring of 2013, renovations on the existing school and construction of the Errington Learning Centre (ELC) began. Start to finish the construction was completed in five months. Interviews and hiring the staff of the ELC took place in July 2013.
In September 2013, we welcomed eight (8) students from across the District into the program. The maximum for our program is eight (8) to ten (10) students. Since this time, a couple small renovations and modification have taken place, due in large part to increased enrollment and the need to expand the physical space for the Centre.
The Errington Learning Centre was created to accommodate the needs of our students who have complex mental health and development conditions - students who's needs could not be met within a typical classroom environment. Students are selected from across Richmond for placement (for more information on student placement, please see our Admission page). Each of our students has an Individual Education Plan that outlines the goals and objectives for their learning.
The Errington Learning Centre is not intended to be an "end place" for students - it is part of a greater continnum of learning services provided by the District. For our students, the "traditional" classroom setting does not met their needs and as a result, they struggle to thrive and learn in this environment. The first step for our students is to assist them in learning to regulate and manage their behaviour. Layered on this is a focus on communication - the ability for students to be able to communicte their needs / wants with others. As our students become more successful and their behaviour more regulated, we begin "touches" into classrooms in the main school. Depending on student success, we extend the amount of time that they spend in the main school, while having the ELC as a safe place to return to. Once our students have made this transition successfully, we then begin the process of returning our students to their local, neighbourhood schools. During their time with us, our students are supported full time by one of our educational assistants.