Up with Down’s school was established in 1998 by parents of children with Down Syndrome. The need for special care and schooling for their children was the main aim. Today the school houses children of various special needs. The school is managed by the parents. The aim of the school is to provide a specialized education that will meet the needs of children with special needs from pre-primary school level up to and including high school level where applicable.
Up with Downs is a non profitable organization and operates within a Trust under the supervision of a Board of Trustees.
The School was founded when a few parents saw no alternative for their children, other than sending them far away to live in a hostel environment. Initially it was a Down Syndrome School, but now welcomes children with other learning disabilities.
The School acknowledges each child’s own potential and works in collaboration with the parents to build each child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP)
Children from 3 years of age and upwards can apply for acceptance into Up with Downs School. The acceptance criterion is based on the age of the child and the manageability of the child within the classroom setting. A two week probationary period for all new children is required for the sole reason that all children must benefit from the program that the school offers, intellectually, emotionally and behaviourally.
Entrance into the Adult program is for adults 18 years of age or older. These adults can be graduating students from Up with Downs or adults from outside the School.
For more information please contact Up with Downs School
The staff’s vision at Up with Downs is to create a safe haven for special needs children from 3 years of age to mature adults, where each person can develop at his/her pace into a valued member of society.
|Brenda Boshoff||School Secretary|
|Mariette Jacobs||Adult Program Facilitator|
|Sheron Njenje||Adult Program Assistant|
|Michelle Pretorius||Adult Program Assistant|
|Bianca Burton||Teacher – Blue Class|
|Kristen Warrand||Assistant – Blue Class|
|Liz Mulligan||Teacher – Red Class|
|Lara Wingrave||Assistant – Red Class|
|Cady Joubert||Teacher – Purple Class|
|Therese Duchenne||Teacher – Yellow Class|
|Lomari Els||Assistant – Yellow/Purple Class|
|Mariette Jacobs||Hostel “Mom”|
|Sheron Njenje||Hostel Assistant|
From humble beginnings in 1998, the Up with Downs school in George has grown into a sought after facility that provides an education tailored to the individual need of each and every one of its special needs students. In a small, loving but structured environment, our staff encourage all learners to reach their full potential and become the very best that they can be.
1998 the need for a parent support group for children with special needs was identified by local professionals. The CHAMP committee was formed and under the guidance of the Down Syndrome Association of the Western Cape, our own support group was founded. The families of 4 young DS girls started a ‘play group’. Nicole Seegmuller, Christi Steyl, Annika Boshoff and Laiken Fyfe.
1999 the group moved to an out building at de Bult High School. 3 more students joined, a teacher was hired.
2000 moved to Swindel Cottage behind the Anglican Church…..16 learners. A principal was appointed
2005 the Up with Downs Trust was formed, and registered as a Non Profit Organisation
2006 parents funded the purchase of the current school building, 25 Pieter Theron St and made the necessary renovations to change the small 3 bedroom house into classrooms
2008 the present hostel property, 23 Pieter Theron went on the market. The property was bought into a C.C. formed by 3 families. Later that year the Van Geel Family Foundation visited Up with Downs and agreed to fund the renovations required to build an additional 6 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms
2009 the Van Geel Family Foundation purchased the hostel property from the C.C. and donated it to The Up with Downs Trust.
2011 our first Adult Centre was opened thanks to funds being raised by the Oubaai Invitational Golf Tournament, to reconstruct the 2 sheds in the back garden of the hostel property. 4 students graduated from the Senior class to the Adult program
2014 the property opposite the school, 26 Pieter Theron was purchased through fundraising efforts, private donors and a generous cash deposit from SEFAC (Southern Equitorial Ferrari Automobili Club). This land is ear marked for a full time adult home
2016 our current Adult Training Centre, 27 Pieter Theron was purchased by Anchor Your Life, an American based ministry. Here, our young adults are busy with life skills; cooking, baking, sewing, woodwork, hair dressing, gardening…..
2018 Celebrating 20 Years!