Riga 5th primary School - development centre was founded on September 1, 1972. The school is one of the first schools in Latvia to start including students with autism and severe functional disorders in the education system (until then, these children did not attend schools in Latvia).
The school implements three special basic education programs (for students with mental health disorders, students with mental disabilities and students with severe mental disabilities or several severe developmental disabilities), as well as the vocational education program “Catering Services” with the qualification “Kitchen Worker”.
As of 2015 school has as status of development centre (there are only 11 development centres in Latvia). Teachers of the school develop various methodological materials and teaching aids, as well as conduct educational seminars for teachers from other Latvian schools on inclusive and special education issues, provide consultations to parents and educational institutions, The main profile area of development centre is students with autistic spectrum disorders and their inclusion in general education schools, students with behavioural difficulties (the need to receive positive support for behaviour).
Currently, the school has 286 students and 98 teachers and other pedagogical staff.
Iluta Vilnīte is the director of Riga 5th Primary School - Development Center. Iluta has been working in the field of special education since 1990 when she started her work in a special pre-school educational institution as an educator. In 1992, started started working at the school as a teacher, teaching students with both mild mental disabilities and severe mental disabilities. Having acquired the education and qualification of a psychologist, she continued to work as a psychologist at the school.
In the period from 2006 to 2013, Iluta worked in the public administration - at the Special Education Division of the State Education Content Center and the State Pedagogical Medical Commission.
As of 2013 Iluta returned to the school as deputy of the director and as of 2015 she is the director of the school. The school gained the status of a development center in 2015.
Iluta is leading lectures and seminars for teachers on inclusive and special education issues, as well as is a lecturer at the University of Latvia for future special education teachers and speech therapists.
Baiba Klava- Vecvanaga joins the Riga 5th primary school – development centre as a teacher just last September. She is also studying to be a special educator/teacher in Rezekne Tehnology Academy.
Although she is young member in the education system her previous experience helps her a lot to succeed in the new opportunities as well as challenges. Baiba has years of experience in manager positions in large international companies not only in Latvia, but also in Lithuania and Georgia. Baiba has been a team development trainer. The main focus in trainings led by Baiba: goal-oriented team, cooperation, effectiveness, communication in team.
Baiba has been a Firewalking instructor and organiser of the events.
Baiba Speaks Latvian, English, Russian and some Georgian and Polish.
Baiba believes that we are never completely ready. There is always room for development and aspiration.
Inese Jansone is working as a behavioural correction methodologist at Riga 5th primary school-development centre for the fifth year. Inese have led the courses regarding autism inside and outside the school environment. She reads a lot of literature on autism and the features of the autistic spectrum, gather the information and share, as well as she attends trainings several times a year. She uses the acquired knowledge in practice every day in her work life.
Inese is constantly educating, improving her working methods to be innovative, maintaining basic skills. If the child does not speak, does not communicate in any other way, she can observe his behaviour, what he does, what makes him happy - to communicate at this level or just to be with without the usual communication. She uses different types of communication, because there are no stereotypical types of communication in communication with autistic children.
Inese regularly provide consultations to the parents. She creates programs so that there are the same methods to work at home and at school environment. Very often parents are desperate and do not understand how to communicate properly with their child - autistic. She cooperates with the members and founders of the Autism Centre in Latvia to discuss various situations.
Inese has been to Poland and Sweden in exchange programmes and got many and different impressions, ideas for new methods, which were implemented in the daily work of our school teachers.
Inese speaks Latvian, Russian and English.