We support children in Kindergarten through Grade 12 (Dogwood or Evergreen).
2. Can I enroll my child?
We are currently full, with a lengthy wait-list. We do not expect to have room for new students until September 2024.
3. What is the enrollment process?
Our first step is to invite the parents/guardians in for a tour of our facility (some families realize at first glance that this is not the environment they want for their child). The next step is to bring a selection of paperwork (assessments and report cards) so that we can verify if we are able to fully support your child. The next step is to bring your child in for a tour to see if they are interested in joining the Excel Family. If everything goes well, we add your child to our waitlist.
Not all students are the right fit for Penticton Excel, and Penticton Excel is not the right fit for all students: as a start, students must demonstrate the ability to learn and participate in a (small, supported) group setting, demonstrate emotional stability (i.e. have no behavioural or emotional problems that would significantly interfere with the learning or safety of self or others), and demonstrate a commitment to learning. While our program is designed to offer low-ratio support (academic and autism-intervention instruction), we cannot offer 1-on-1 support: students must be able to meet expectations with a 3:1 student-to-educator ratio.
4. My child has been on your waitlist longer than another child who was given a spot. Why?
Due to our set-up, we do not have a "first come first served" enrollment process. Great care goes into the make up of our small student-cohorts . For instance, If a spot opens in a classroom of teenagers, it would not be beneficial to put a five-year old the now-open desk (who may be next in line on the waitlist). Students are placed when and where it is appropriate.
5. How much are your fees?
Fees for the 2023-2024 program year, which runs from September through mid-June, are $6,500.00.
6. Are you a school? Do you give out diplomas?
We are not a school. Our focus is on adaptive skills, communication skills, social/play skills, self-regulation, and executive function skills.
7. What happens if my child comes for a year, and then wants to return to a brick-and-mortar public school? Do they repeat the year?
Students who enroll with NAVIGATE-NIDES remain in the public school system, and can easily transfer back to a brick-and-mortar public school.
8. Does Penticton Excel have a vaccine policy? Does my child need to be vaccinated to enroll in Penticton Excel?
Yes, parents need to provide their children's proof of immunization (or appropriate medical-exemption documentation) to be enrolled in Penticton Excel.
9. What do you mean when you say "sensory safe"? How does that help anything?
We offer a multi-tiered support system and an a la carte "menu" of ways to help our students thrive. As each student experiences the world in their own way, we allow each student to create the environment their system needs on any given day. We are not able to learn if we are constantly in "fight or flight" mode, so we adjust or remove the physical things that can cause undue stress in our students :
For Auditory needs:
we are carpeted (except for the gym and bathrooms);
we added sound-absorbing insulation above the ceiling tiles;
we have sound panels on the walls;
there are sound machines in the Sensory Rooms that the students can use (with different sounds and adjustable volumes);
we have non-ticking clocks;
we have upholstered seating and cushions spread throughout to absorb sound; and
students are allowed/encourage to wear headphones whenever they would like (either to block or add sounds).
For Visual needs:
there are convex mirrors in the corners so that students can see who/what is around the corner (a big help for students with anxiety or trauma).
the walls are three "boring" shades of brown, blue, and green that were selected from a palette of healthcare colours (we do our best to avoid primary colours and shiny things in our main spaces);
we use closed storage, have no bulletin boards, and keep the walls bare to limit visual clutter (although we do have framed art on the walls in coordinating shades);
we have lamps that can be added to work-spaces if students want more light;
commercial lights have "Sky Panels" that are imprinted with a picture of a cloudy blue sky;
all lightbulbs have been removed from the Sensory Rooms, but there are different lighting options that the students can add if they want (various colours, patterns, brightness, etc.);
all fluorescent lightbulbs were replaced with LED's, and we remove some of the lightbulbs if the students still find things too bright;
For Interoception needs:
we teach the students about Interoception using the Kelly Mahler
we have a few water coolers;
we allow snacking whenever students are hungry;
we have multiple bathroom options, including different soaps and hand towels, which the students can access at any time; and
we have heaters, fans, and HEPA filters.
For Proprioceptive and Vestibular needs:
we have a deep-pressure steamroller;
we have deep-pressure swings (Air Walker Swing Chairs);
we have spinning egg chairs;
we have a climbing wall (with number- and letter-holds), scooters, an exercise bike, resistance bands, a mini-trampoline, etc. for heavy work;
we have weighted toys; and
we have a scooter board ramp and giant crash pad.
For Tactile needs:
we have heaters, fans, and HEPA air filters; and
we have a variety of fidgets (we even let parents play with them during meetings in the boardroom).
For Olfactory needs:
we are a scent-sensitive environment, meaning we discourage perfumes and strong body sprays (like Axe, etc.);
students can have their own personal "scent kits" if there is something that helps them stay calm; and
fish is banned from the microwave (!!!).
Penticton Excel Operated by The Penticton Centre for Exceptional Learning Society Unit 120-3547 Skaha Lake Road, Penticton British Columbia V2A 7K2 Phone: 236-422-0207 Email: email@example.com