Children’s Village School is a unique setting within the Calgary Board of Education. The programming offered is designed to meet the complex learning, social, and emotional needs of elementary school-aged children whose severe emotional and behavioural difficulties in their current school, community and home create significant barriers to their ability to successfully engage in learning. Educational program content includes a strong focus on literacy, numeracy, self-regulation, and social skills. Additional subject areas include science, social studies, health and wellness, fine arts, and physical education.
Class sizes range from 6-8 students, depending on the grade level and complexity of learner profiles. Each classroom is staffed with one Teacher and two Educational Child and Youth Care Counsellors.
The Children's Village School began caring for children in Calgary in 1908. It was an orphanage at the time. It no longer has a long-term residential program. The school has evolved into a school age day treatment centre focusing on the special needs of children and their families.
As the early years of a child’s life are a time of significant brain development, effective prevention and early intervention are essential to positive outcomes for children. Children’s Village School exists to provide targeted early intervention and wraparound supports to young students and families who have experienced significant difficulties.
At Children’s Village School, CBE staff work collaboratively with therapeutic support staff from The Mandt System, and positive behaviour supports.
CVS commits to providing trauma informed care for all of our students with an acute awareness of their individual cognitive, physical, social, emotional, attachment and cultural needs. Academic programming and therapeutic plans and intervention are highly personalized to meet each student’s unique needs. The Child Trauma Academy form the foundation to all programming and therapeutic interventions.
CVS staff are passionately committed to ensuring proactive measures are implemented to support student growth and well-being. Positive behaviour supports form the foundation of our behavioural expectations and teaching. The Mandt System provides a framework and philosophy through which this approach can be framed. All CVS staff are trained and annually recertified in The Mandt System, and engage in monthly capacity building activities aimed at strengthening their skills and approach.
Taken together, these programming components enable us to approach student interventions through a trauma sensitive lens aimed at promoting healthy growth and development for all of our youth regardless of their current circumstances. Creating a safe environment structured around consistency and healthy relationships facilitates students’ processing of grief and loss, developing a sense of belonging and enabling the development of personally meaningful goals and strategies.
CVS staff continuously attends seminars and professional development opportunities that increase our capacity to develop new tools and supports for our culturally diverse student population. We have embarked on a journey with an Elder, who is teaching our students about The Seven Sacred Teachings and is building capacity with our staff to support indigenous ways of knowing and being.
Our wraparound approach is rounded out by a family centered philosophy. With the support of our Home School Liaison and school-based Psychologists, we purposefully and thoughtfully develop and foster an environment that recognizes family strengths and the importance of working together with family members as a team. Monthly family nights offer opportunities for family members to come together as a community, attend sessions aimed at developing and strengthening parenting skills, and engage in family games and crafts with staff support and coaching. Engaging with families in this way enables CVS staff to promote consistent responses and approaches to student behaviour between home and school.
Transitions are critical for our students. CVS Teachers, Educational Child and Youth Care Counsellors, Psychologists, members of the Administrative Team and our Home School Liaison all work together with family members to ensure that students are well supported when they experience changes to their living arrangements, case workers, family dynamics and/or school settings. With student well-being at the center of all decisions, our team ensures that what is known in one place is not lost in another, that students maintain a sense of safety and security in the midst of change, and that appropriate supports and resources are in place when it is time for children to leave the Village.