Calgary Board of Education

For Parents


General Information

Dr. Oakley School is a congregated setting within the Calgary Board of Education (CBE) whose program focuses on literacy development for complex learners in grades 3 to 9 through the creation of rich literacy learning experiences. Dr. Oakley school offers a teacher-pupil ratio of nine students to one teacher. The school operates on a modified school year. It is a short term intervention program (2 years) aimed at helping students develop skills and strategies to become independent learners who are then able to return to their community schools. Specifically, Dr. Oakley provides intervention for learners who have difficulties in reading, writing, oral language and organizational skills. Multi-aging, team teaching, flexible instructional groupings, multi-disciplinary consultations and integrated curriculum strategies are all organizational strategies employed to create positive learning experiences.

Students enter Dr. Oakley through a screening process involving the community school, parents, and Student Services Support Specialist.

Our Mission is to engage in learning and teaching practices that are embedded within a literacy learning context

National Definition of Learning Disablities Adopted by the Learning Disabilities Association of Canada, January 30, 2001

"Learning Disabilities" refers to a number of disorders, which may affect the acquisition, organization, retention, understanding, or use of verbal or non-verbal information. These disorders affect learning in individuals who otherwise demonstrate at least average abilities essential for thinking and/or reasoning. As such, learning disabilities are distinct from global intellectual deficiency.

Learning disabilities result from impairments in one or more processes related to perceiving, thinking, remembering or learning. These include, but are not limited to: language processing; phonological processing; visual spatial processing; processing speed; memory and attention; and executive functions (e.g. planning and decision making).

Learning disabilities range in severity and may interfere with the acquisition and use of one or more of the following:
¨ oral language (e.g. listening, speaking, understanding);
¨ reading (e.g. decoding, phonetic knowledge, word recognition, comprehension);
¨ written language (e.g. spelling and written expression); and
¨ mathematics (e.g. computation, problem solving).
Learning disabilities may also involve difficulties with organizational skills, social perception, social interaction and perspective taking.

Learning disabilities are lifelong. The way in which they are expressed may vary over an individual's lifetime, depending on the interaction between the demands of the environment and the individual's strengths and needs. Learning disabilities are suggested by unexpected academic under-achievement or achievement, which is maintained only by unusually high levels of effort and support.

Learning disabilities are due to genetic and/or neurobiological factors or injury that alters brain functioning in a manner, which affects one or more processes, related to learning. These disorders are not due primarily to hearing and/or vision problems, socio-economic factors, cultural or linguistic differences, lack of motivation or ineffective teaching, although these factors may further complicate the challenges faced by individuals with learning disabilities. Learning disabilities may co-exist with various conditions including attentional, behavioural and emotional disorders, sensory impairments or other medical conditions.

For success, individuals with learning disabilities require early identification and timely specialized assessments and interventions involving home, school, community and workplace settings. The interventions need to be appropriate for each individual's learning disability subtype and, at a minimum, include the provision of:

  • specific skill instruction;
  • accommodations;
  • compensatory strategies; and
  • self-advocacy skills.