We have come a long way since our early first beginnings. It all started with the birth of Cheré Botha, a little girl with Down’s Syndrome. Cheré’s parents, Mike and Gloria identified a need in the community for infants and toddlers with special educational needs. They initiated a group to provide parents with support and from there the service went from strength to strength.
Later Gloria went to the University of Washington to obtain firsthand knowledge on how to go about starting and implementing such a needed specific service for parents and their children. They started the service and brought together people from different disciplines who could assist parents, train the staff and develop the learners. Cheré Botha initially started off as a private school funded by a Down’s Syndrome Association. In July 1997, the school became part of the Western Cape Education Department. We want to thank the founders of this school for their contribution, commitment, perseverance and the setting of high standards of education.
Today parents and their children with special needs enrol in our early intervention programme and then continue with the school programme to the age of eighteen. From August 2008, the service of the school has been extended to include learners diagnosed with autism.
The Western Cape Education Department has promised to build a brand new school for us in the near future. This is a big, new development that we here at greatly looking forward to.
Looking back over the past thirty years, we realise we have overcome many major challenges. “Together we can cope” is what we have practised over these years – by involving the parents, the community and the relevant role players in education.
I want to thank all of you who have played a role and have supported us over these years. We know we can rely on your support to secure the future of the school and to provide our learners with an education of high standard and quality so that they can develop ultimately to their fullest potential.