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550 Poirier St, Coquitlam, BC, V3J 6A7| Phone: 604-939-9201| Contact Us
School District No. 43 (Coquitlam)
Learning for a Lifetime
Language Development Program

District Language Development Program

The District Language Development Program, located at Central Community School, is a fulltime, intensive instructional program for students with a diagnosis of significant language-based learning disabilities and for whom the language impairment is the primary condition interfering with the acquisition of academic skills.  Elementary school students from School District #43 may be considered for the program if they meet the entrance criteria.
When accepted into the program, students leave their home-school for 1 year to attend the class at Central.  Each student's placement is reviewed by the committee in the spring to decide about further placement options. Transportation is provided for these students.  Students are provided with instructional support in a small group setting by one teacher and one education assistant.  There are usually up to 10 students in the class.  Although the students are in a small class with a language focus for their basic instruction, they are fully integrated into all other aspects of the school, such as being connected to buddy classes, intramurals, and all other school-wide activities.
The program is structured so that language is the foundation and driving force behind instruction.  Students continue to be taught a full range of curriculum, including language arts, math, science, social studies, art, P.E. etc.  Curricular units provide a framework to teach specific language skills as well as facts and knowledge.  A variety of teaching methods are utilized in order to develop language and age-appropriate skills.

Referral Process

In consultation with the school-based Speech-Language Pathologist and the student services staff member working with the student, the School-Based Team may refer students with significant language-based learning disabilities to the District Screening committee.  This committee consists of the District Coordinator of School Programs (chair), 2-3 Speech-Language Pathologists, a school psychologist and the program teacher(s).  There are two screening meetings per year, one in the fall term and one in the spring with two intake times each year.  Students screened in the spring term are usually eligible for placement beginning the following September. Those screened in the fall typically begin in January.  Those students being considered for placement should first be a priority for school-based support and should have been receiving direct speech/language intervention for at least 6 months before the screening.
The following documentation should be presented at the screening meeting:
  • District Screening Form with current psycho-educational assessment and intervention history.
  • Comprehensive psycho-educational assessment.
  • Language Form summarizing current speech and language assessment data and indicating a priority profile
  • A current IEP to address the academic and speech/language needs of the student.
  • A District Needs Assessment.
  • A current audiological / vision screening or assessment.
  • Current work samples and documentation illustrating the difficulties the student is experiencing in the classroom setting.
Parents must give verbal consent for screening before students are presented.

Entrance Criteria

  • Significant receptive and/or expressive language deficits.
  • Student must have a significant learning disability related to the language deficits.
  • History of unsuccessful speech-language and academic intervention.
  • The language impairment is the primary condition interfering with the acquisition of academic skills.
  • the academic difficulties the student is experiencing cannot be explained by other factors, such as Attention Deficit, ASD, or other behavioural disorders.

This program best services students in Grades 3 through 5.  Students are eligible for screening while in Grade 2 for a September, Grade 3 placement. 


Exit Criteria

A District Review Process involving district and program staff, in consultation with parents, will indicate whether exit is appropriate.  At the end of their participation n the Program, students are articulated to their next school placement by the program teacher and the program SLP as well as in consultation with the Middle/High SLP, if appropriate.  A student will exit the Language Class when she/he meets one or more of the following criteria:
  • Majority of student’s language scores fall within the average on a battery of standardized language measures.
  • Student demonstrates minimal or no improvement in their speech or language skills and minimal academic progress by Spring of the first year of placement.
  • The student has made acceptable gains in core skill areas and literacy, and is approaching achievement expectations for age peers.
  • The student demonstrates evidence of compensatory learning strategies and social skills to support re-entry into the home-school.
  • The student’s academic difficulties are not primarily related to a language-based learning disability and are beyond the scope of supports offered by the Program.
  • The student is in grade 5 and would benefit from reintegration into his or her home-school before moving on to Middle School.


School District No. 43 (Coquitlam)

550 Poirier St, Coquitlam BC
V3J 6A7
604-939-9201 604-939-7828