St Dominic’s responds to community need

From 2018, St Dominic’s Centre, Mayfield (formerly St Dominic’s Centre for Hearing Impaired Children), will begin to offer a schooling option for students diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. This decision is a direct response to local community need.

Beginning with Kindergarten offerings only, the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle’s only special needs school, boasting specialist staff and facilities, will cater to the needs of even more students and families searching for an option for their children. The new class will have a full-time teacher and learning support teacher to begin, and then as the school grows, it is hoped additional resources will be made available to cater for the expansion.

Principal, Mrs Veronica McLoughlin, is excited at the prospect of seeing the school evolve with and cater to the needs of the community.

“By introducing Autism into our enrolment criteria for Kindergarten, as a system we are responding to a significant need in our community. St Dominic's is closely linked with the Dominican community and one of its greatest strengths is responding to emerging needs,” says Mrs McLoughlin.

“To ensure St Dominic’s continues to offer a model that is sustainable, the new class will only be a small cohort at first, but we are excited at the prospect of expanding the service we offer. Our diocese remains strongly committed to a continuum of service delivery for students with additional needs.”

Through this time of change, the current student cohort (students with moderate cognitive disabilities and who are deaf or hard of hearing) will continue to be a key focus for the school.

“Students at St Dominic's have a unique opportunity to work in a small and specialist environment, allowing our students to thrive academically, socially, spiritually and emotionally, and this will remain the case for current and future students,” says Mrs McLoughlin.

“The staff are inspired and excited to follow in the Dominican tradition of responding to the needs of the time and work tirelessly to offer an exceptional standard of education for our students.”

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Alyssa Faith

Alyssa Faith is the Communications Manager for the Catholic Schools Office and regular contributor to Aurora and mnnews.today.

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