Bendigo Special Developmental School principal Kirshy McAinch is excited at the possibilities for her school after a week filled with awards and achievements.
Three staff members were recognised at the Principals' Association of Specialist Schools Victoria Awards last week.
Ms McAinch said the awards were decided by principals from other special schools, making the peer recognition an outstanding accomplishment.
Angela Purdy received most outstanding education support staff member, Teaghan McKenzie received the award for outstanding graduate teacher and most outstanding leading teacher was awarded to Tania Franks.
"Those (at the awards) know the challenges and success of (the work), which gives such weight to the recognition and accomplishments of the staff and school," she said.
"To win three on the night is a wonderful recognition."
"It's so comforting and empowering for families and students to know they are going to a special school not choosing a lesser education."
Bendigo Special Developmental School is also looking toward the future as student numbers grow. Next year they will bring in a portable classroom to help cope with growing numbers.
"We have a growing enrolment which is exciting," Ms McAinch said. "It opens more possibilities and ways we can structure classes.
"We now have 130 students aged between five and 18. We haven't been judged as being at capacity (yet)."
Ms McAinch said the increasing size of the school showed parents were choosing them.
"It's wonderful to know we're a first choice school for many of our families," she said. "The students are entitled to go to any neighbourhood school but parents are choosing here.
"It is a privileged and trusted position to be in and one we embrace.
"We have started having discussions with department (about expansion). It is preliminary at this point but it's something we are always thinking about."
Ms McAinch said in her 16 years as a special education teacher, the curriculum has become more inclusive for all schools.
"It means every child, regardless of how they present or what stage of development they are at, there is a framework to support their learning," she said.
Bendigo Special Developmental School capped off an exciting week with their students performing their school production of Rainbow Fish at Ulumbarra Theatre.
"We had more than 800 people there and it was incredible," Ms McAinch said."The feedback was unbelievable, and the students just excelled.
"They went above and beyond and dispelled a few myths about what kids can do and achieve. It shows when you have high expectations and work hard, what can achieve."
Have you signed up to the Bendigo Advertiser's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in central Victoria.