Preparing students for next step

New programming designed for special needs students at SIDES

Becky Tiede (education assistant)

SAANICH — Using the philosophy of “it takes a village to raise a child” South Island Distance Education School (SIDES) has recently developed a new program to help prepare students with special needs for adulthood.

The program is called Transition to Adulthood and all students who are on a modified program during high school are welcome to join after graduation.

The program lasts for two additional years at SIDES and students are taught to work further on independence skills with SIDES staff on-site and in the students’ own communities.

While at SIDES, students get to participate in a range of engaging, skill-based activities including growing food in the school garden, preparing hot lunches to sell to staff members using the student kitchen, dance class and boot camp in the school gym, literacy and numeracy classes using state of the art technology and social skills development.

In addition to on-site programming, a big effort is made to have participants become more familiar and comfortable in their own community.

Planned activities are tailored to ensure that each student is keenly aware of opportunities in his or her own area. Students may also participate in work experience, swim classes, public transit training and a host of other activities that further develop independence skills moving toward a rich and meaningful adult life.

The SIDES Transition to Adulthood program is forward thinking and has a strong basis in the fundamentals of an inclusive community.

To learn more about the program or to become involved contact Patty Golumbia at 250-479-7125 (local 201) or

— News staff with files from SIDES



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