Dandenong Valley SDS started life in 1959 as a Care Centre for the Disabled at 56 Potter St.in Dandenong, the land for the centre and attached workshop having been purchased through the efforts of Allan Lind and his wife Lillian. Prior to this a care centre for people with disabilities had been run in a Scout Hall at Hemmings Park, Dandenong. In the early years Mrs Armstrong was the Superintendent of the centre and her husband ran the workshop.
Originally called Wallara Care Centre (all Care Centres had Aboriginal names at the time) the centre later became Wallara Day Training Centre, under the auspices of the Health Department. When the Education Department took over in 1983 it became Dandenong West SDS and after the move to its current address in Victoria Rd, Narre Warren in 1989 it became Dandenong Valley School; reverting back to SDS in 2011.
At the time of its opening the school in Narre Warren had 10 classrooms, an Admin block, a multi-purpose room and an art room and catered for approximately 70 students with a staff of 20. Early Principals included Molly Campbell, Joan Sullivan, Chris Spronso and Helen McCoy. Des Bourke was principal at the time of the move to Narre Warren. Margaret Edmunds became Principal in 1998, followed by Sue Chernishoff in 2010.
10th Anniversary, 21st Birthday and 30th Anniversary Celebrations
The school now has enrolments of over 200 students and facilities include 27 classrooms, an art room, a multi-purpose room, therapy rooms, a Sensory garden, a Hydrotherapy pool, a sensory Studio, a horticulture centre, a recently renovated and extended administration area and a BER building which includes a classroom, hall, conference room and homecrafts area. There are over 100 staff including a therapy team of 11.
Some significant events along the way :
1995-Richard E. McGarvie, A.C., Governor of Victoria opens the Kevin Heinz Sensory Garden
1998-Jeff Kennett officially opens the Hydrotherapy Pool
2005-Writing of the Dandenong Valley Pre-Vels Curriculum
2006- Main playground redevelopment
2008- Development of the Sensory Studio
2010-Construction of the Junior School playground
2010 – Redevelopment of the Horticulture centre
2011-Construction of the BER building
2012-13 – Redevelopment and extension of Administration area