Child Development Advisor

Welcome! My name is Tammy Nisbet and I am the Child Development Advisor (CDA) at Ralph McCall School. As the CDA I offer a planned and balanced approach to student development. Planned activities focus on developing social and emotional skills in students, with the goal of enhancing both social interactions and academic performances. My role also allows to me to consult with staff, students and parents and when necessary liase with outside agencies to ensure a continuum of services is provided to ensure that the needs of all learners are being met. I work with students individually, within the classroom setting, and in small groups. I am proud to deliver social emotional programming such as Friends, Social Detective and the Incredible Flexible You.


The Child Development Advisor promotes and advocates for the development of the whole child.


The Child Development Advisor is a collaborative resource for children their parents, staff, and community to support and enhance the healthy development of social, emotional, behavioral and mental health competencies. The CDA consults with staff, students, parents and when necessary, with outside agencies. This ensures that the needs of all learners are being met.

  • Anger Management
  • Anxiety and Depression
  • Bully Proofing
  • Conflict resolution
  • Coping with changes in the family
  • Coping with loss, dealing with grief
  • Family support and referrals
  • Friendship Skills (Friends Program)
  • Self Esteem Awareness
  • Preventative programming for kids at risk
  • Relationship Building
  • Resiliency/Character building
  • Social Skill awareness (Social Detective, Incredible Flexible You)

Students can be referred to the CDA in ways:

  • Self referral
  • Parent referral
  • Teacher referral
  • Administrator/CDA referral

Welcome to Holland by Emily Pearl Kingsley

Welcome to Holland was written in 1987 by Emily Pearl Kingsley, a special needs parent who describes her parenting journey as being like getting very excited for a vacation to Italy (parenting expectations) only to find that she has (permanently) landed in the quaint country of Holland (reality of special needs parenting).  This piece is very poignantly written, and defiantly tells the story of how beautiful an adventure special needs parenting, or parenting a child with any disability or diagnosis can be.

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability-to try to help people who have shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this...

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip-to Italy. You buy a bunch of guidebooks and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum, the Michelangelo David, the Gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland".

"Holland?!" you say. "What do you mean, Holland? I signed up for Italy! All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a chinge in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to some horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So now you must go out and buy a new guidebook, and you must learn a whole new language, and you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place, It's slower paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills, Holland has tulips, Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everone you know is busy coming and going from Italy, and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there and for the rest of your life you will say, "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go, that's what I had planned."

The pain of that will never go away, because the loss of that dream is a very significant loss.

But if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things about Holland.

Land Acknowledgment

Rocky View Schools would like to acknowledge the land and recognize all the Indigenous Peoples whose footprints have marked these lands from time immemorial. Together, we can learn and honour the Ways of Knowing of Indigenous Peoples for all future generations.