I'm a former student, graduated in 1998. At that time, there were 40+ students and I attended Dominion for 5 years. The staff were always approachable, even tempered and attended to the needs of people with anxiety to violent tendencies and did so in a caring manner. The door was always open if I needed to talk to anyone, even their accounting administrator would chat if there was something I didn't feel like discussing with my female therapist. I've kept in touch with a few students, some of us have managed large retail stores and some business owners. They are very proactive and caring, even when it would be easy to become cold with all the drama that unfolds daily. Students take away from the program what they put into it, I felt the staff created a very good environment for people to learn how to succeed when many didn't have anyone to look to as an example growing up. The same people are in charge of Dominion School today as when I attended.
My son's severe social anxiety and depression resulted in him struggling to attend a main stream school for years. The number of people, large classrooms, noisy hallways and busses were overwhelming. The environment at The Dominion School allows him to be comfortable in an academic setting for the first time because he is now with his peers. This is accomplished in small, comfortable classrooms where he learns the core subjects at his own (accelerated) pace. In addition, he earns an elective credit for small group social learning classes with a social worker. He can meet with his social worker any time he needs to during the day. PE credits are earned by ice skating, cooking, bowling, soccer, golf, driver's ed etc. He travels to and from school with his peers from TDS allowing him independence and quality teenager time. The levels program/rewards system is beneficial for students and staff.
I worked at The Dominion School several years ago, and have worked with ED students in other programs both before, and since. Never have I had the pleasure of working in an environment that combines the talents of teachers and social workers to provide such a unified approach to helping students succeed, both academically and socially. The psychoeducational approach that TDS employs creates an enriching environment, giving students the gift of a no more than 3:1 ratio of students to staff, individual and family counselling, and the guidance of a team of talented experts in academic development and emotional growth whose goal is always to better themselves and the program to which they are committed. Students can be confident that they will be supported in learning to set appropriate academic and behavioral goals, improve work habits, interact appropriately with peers and adults, and of course to develop a strong academic foundation.