New Heights School & Learning Services Society

Requesting $10000

non profit

Description of Need

Organizations like ours rely on donations and we need your support now more than ever as demand for our services continue to increase. New Heights School & Learning Services needs your donations to help us change the lives of individuals on the autism spectrum. Our school is dedicated to being there for children on the spectrum and ensuring that the students, families and staff stay safe during this unprecedented time.

Your donation will be used towards providing support to our existing programs. These programs include: Transition to Adulthood and our in-house Employment Program. From home and community-based early intervention work to high school graduation, we partner with students and their families every step of the way — empowering them to reach their utmost potential. A strong, healthy and supportive community is crucial to the success of our vision. When you partner with New Heights, you join the staff, students, and families as a member of the team community.


Our Story – Why We Exist

A community dedicated to pioneering a bright future for individuals on the autism spectrum to live independent, confident, and purposeful lives.

“When our son Nicholas was first diagnosed at the age of three, it was a very traumatic time for our family. We went through a number of schools before finding New Heights, a school where the focus was not only on the problems but the possibilities ahead for Nicholas.

New Heights is a nurturing and caring organization that offers a unique educational environment. The time that Nicholas spent at New Heights had a profound impact on his life. He learned many valuable skills and gained the confidence that has enabled him to live more independently.”

-Debbie Lemke, Board Member

Our Impact – What We Do


Preparing our kids for the community and the community for our kids.

Core Values:

• Collaboration

• Commitment

• Growth

• Strong Relationships


In 1999, a group of parents were concerned that their sons and daughters were slipping between the cracks. Each of their children had been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, and the available programs and services were ill-equipped to meet their children’s needs. This small, dedicated community of parents set out to make a difference, and together, they established the early-intervention preschool and kindergarten program that would later become New Heights School & Learning Services Society. We have a total of nearly 100 children, students, and young adults currently enrolled in New Heights programs.

According to a 2018 report commissioned by Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, autism spectrum disorder is the fastest growing, and most commonly diagnosed neurological disorder in Canada, with 1 out of every 66 children being diagnosed. As families manage the physical, emotional, and financial challenges of their individual situations, our society must also find ways to mitigate the potential costs of a rising number of cases. Our current wait list, one of the highest yet, further reiterates the increased demand for our programs and services.

Our Programs – How We Do It

To accomplish our mission we have several programs and initiatives:

1. Home & Community Support Program

New Heights School & Learning Services runs a unique specialized program tailored to preschool and school age children with autism spectrum disorder, or have similar learning differences. New Heights Home & Community Support (HCS) is a play-based program that utilizes the strengths and interests of each child to address developmental goals. The focus of HCS program is on services to children age 2.5 – 7 years.

The HCS program strives to ensure that comprehensive supports and programs are accessible to children and their families year-round. Within the HCS program, we offer workshops for parent support and education, plan community play dates to connect families and foster socialization between children, and also run a summer camp called New Heights Backyard to build friendships between students (age 7-12 who attend New Heights School) outside of the classroom.

2. Early Intervention Preschool & Kindergarten Program

New Heights Early Intervention Preschool & Kindergarten Program is based in play and designed for children with autism spectrum disorder or who have significant delays in language development, social interactions, or communication abilities.

For each student, we develop an Individualized Program Plan (IPP) designed to address their specific educational needs and provide the basis for intervention strategies. Each plan focuses on the individual strengths and interests of the child to foster engagement and address their goals.

The children in this program typically range in age from three to six years old, and programming runs half days, five days per week.

Focus is on:

  • Communication
  • Emotional, Behavioural, & Social skills
  • Cognitive Skills
  • Problem-Solving
  • Self-Regulation & Sensory Integration
  • Self-Help
  • Cooperation
  • Fine & Gross Motor Skills
  • Academic Readiness Skills

3. Grades 1-12 School Program

Our school programs are created for students who have autism spectrum disorder or similar learning differences such as sensory integration difficulties, impairments in social interaction, and difficulties with emotional control and interpersonal skills.

We work with our students and their families to focus on their individual strengths while we implement strategies to overcome emotional challenges, develop positive peer relationships, and achieve academic success. Each student has an Individualized Program Plan (IPP), which is designed to address their specific educational needs.

The school program places a strong emphasis on academic independence, social behavior, communication, and self-regulation for students aged 6 to 20 years of age. Classes are held during regular school day hours, five days a week.

4.Transition to Adulthood Program

The Transition to Adulthood program was developed to address the gap in services and support that often comes following the completion of high school. This program is currently offered to any student who is either attending New Heights in their final year of high school, or has recently graduated from New Heights School. It is a support system that is tailored to the needs and priorities of the adults and their families. While some weekly sessions may emerge (e.g. a 6 week resume writing course, a community kitchen, or a financial planning seminar, etc) the program will be more of a network and community of support. The emerging adults work with coaches to identify priorities and set goals. They then have the opportunity to work on those goals through direct support or consultation and appointments with staff until the age of 25.

The Transition to Adulthood program focuses on five key areas of support:

  • Employment
  • Independent Living
  • Post-Secondary Education
  • Social Environments
  • Self-Advocacy

Our current definition of success is that our emerging adults will step out and be in the Calgary community, contributing to the community through their employment, involvement, and relationships. We know that our students are dedicated, hard-working individuals who have a unique perspective, and we’re confident that workplaces and communities across Calgary will benefit from their participation.

Our Requests – What You Can Do


  1. Program Initiatives Fund – Most government services and support for individuals on the autism spectrum end at the age of 18, which means as students graduate they also age-out of other programs. Without help to move from school into adulthood, most students do not achieve independence from parents and family. Fewer than 5% of individuals with autism complete post-secondary education and a staggering 75% of individuals with autism spectrum disorder struggle to find and maintain  employment. Your donation will provide support focused on employment, independent living, post-secondary education, social environments, and self-advocacy opportunities. This will help empower high school students to continue moving forward after graduation.
  2. Building Fund – Our current building lacks the appropriate space needed to welcome more students. As the diagnosis rate of autism spectrum disorder rises, the need for expansion is more important than ever. In March 2017, we purchased the building adjacent to us, which will enable us to double our enrollment capacity, but it needs to be enhanced before it is completely suitable for our programs. Your donation will furnish the building with specialized learning equipment, life-skills rooms, classrooms, a library, and activity rooms to meet the educational and developmental needs of our students.
  3. Tuition Support Fund – The average cost of education for a student with special needs in Alberta is $40,000 per year. There is funding that covers some of that cost, but families still pay an annual tuition fee of about $12,000. Approximately 30% of New Heights families cannot afford their child’s tuition and require assistance. Your donation will ensure finances are not a barrier to high-quality education. You will help extend financial support to those in need, ensuring our programs and services remain accessible.


Are you a Calgary Foundation Fundholder?

Contact Info

Amberly Wrubleski



More Info

Nonprofit Number: #88894 5722 RR0001

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Financial Statements / Annual Reports

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