School provides to the community of Warrnambool and surrounding districts, a specialized educational service for school age students, aged five to eighteen, with intellectual and/or multiple disabilities. Students must meet state-wide criteria to be enrolled and early intervention specialists, educational psychologists or medical personnel may refer their placement. Enrolment is subject to acceptance by the Department of Education and Training, in accordance with the School and Region’s enrolment policy.
The school is a purpose-built facility designed to be safe and stimulating for the students. Our school seeks to promote in all its students a positive attitude towards learning. It further seeks to provide a foundation in skills, knowledge, attitudes, and values that will allow students to achieve their optimum level of independence.
In 2022, we expect to commence with an enrolment of 170+ students. The majority of these students will be enrolled full-time; a small percentage will be dual enrolled, and some students will participate in a transition program at a mainstream local primary or secondary school. This will be determined by the individual needs of each student and in what setting these needs are best met. Students will be grouped in small home groups with each class staffed by a teacher and teacher-aide. All students will have an individualized learning plan catering for their specific needs.
Procedure For Enrolment
Parent contacts the school and speaks to the Principal or Assistant Principal to ascertain whether their child meets the criteria for attending Merri River School.
That is: To be enrolled at Merri River School, a child must have an intellectual disability that has been diagnosed by a psychologist and have been accepted onto the ‘Program for Students with Disability – Intellectual Disability Category’. PSD-ID
Questions that may be asked include:-
- Has anybody ever told you that your child has an intellectual disability or a global developmental delay?
- Do you have reports given to you by speech therapists, physiotherapists, O.T or paediatrician?
- Has your child been involved with Early Intervention Programs?
- Have you been told that your child has a Global Developmental Delay?
Once it is ascertained that your child is likely to meet the enrolment criteria, a school visit will be organised so that you and your child can meet the Principal/Assistant Principal and have a tour of the school.
SCHOOL VISIT / MEET WITH PRINCIPAL/ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL
Organise a time to meet with the Principal or Assistant Principal and have a tour of the school and discussion of your child’s needs to see if Merri River School would be the best school learning environment for your child. Please bring along any copies of speech, OT, physio, paediatric, vision, hearing, and educational assessments that you may have.
IF YOUR CHILD IS ALREADY ON THE PSD-ID PROGRAM IN VICTORIAand currently being funded and supported your child may be enrolled and commence at Merri River School immediately. For some children, a transition period before full enrolment may be recommended.
IF YOUR CHILD IS ON A SIMILAR PROGRAM IN ANOTHER STATE OR PRIVATE SCHOOL SYSTEMthe following documents will be required: -
- WISC-IV or WPPSI-III Assessment Report confirming an Intellectual Disability diagnosis.
- A letter from the Principal of your child’s current school, confirming that your child has received additional learning support
- Therapy or medical reports pertaining to your child’s needs. Early Intervention, Speech, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Autism, Audiology, Ophthalmology and/or paediatric reports.
EDUCATIONAL NEEDS QUESTIONNAIRE (ENQ)Once all reports have been compiled, an ENQ is conducted at Merri River School where parents discuss their child’s specific learning and development needs. Goals and strategies are determined and this ENQ document is included with the application for your child to be on the PSD (Program for Students with Disabilities)-Intellectual Disability category.
If accepted onto the PSD program, your child may be enrolled at Merri River School.