Disabled children, ages six to eighteen, were originally accommodated by the Langley Association for the Mentally Retarded in 1959 in the basement of the old St. Andrew's Anglican Church, with fifteen children enrolled and increasing to thirty-five. 

In 1962, the Langley School Board assumed administration of Tillicum School and built a three-room structure on the grounds of Langley Central Elementary School. The first teachers at Tillicum School were Head Teacher Mrs. Sally Pugh and Mrs. Inge Chapman. 

The school was the first in the District to provide special education programs, and among the first of its kind in BC. At one point, the school also ran a special needs program for adults. The adult program was relocated in 1974. 

Over the years, emphasis has shifted in special education to stress integration of developmentally delayed children into the regular school stream and community. Children who once would have attended the primary and intermediate divisions at Tillicum School moved to Douglas Park Elementary School, and the senior children attended D. W. Poppy Secondary School. One multi-handicapped class was still based at the Tillicum School. At one point in 1979-80, eight senior students aged fifteen to eighteen attended shop, physical education, food services, ceramics, and woodworking classes at H. D. Stafford Secondary School. 

According to Al Angrignon, who assumed principalship of Tillicum School for eleven years shortly after its inception, the school population reached thirty-five students. 

The building was easily accessible, and its downtown location allowed the staff to introduce the children to a wide variety of stimulating activities in the community. Also, because of its proximity to Langley Central School, Tillicum students participated in school functions there. Interaction between students benefited all children. For the disabled pupils, the older children provided suitable role models with similar skill levels. 

Upon the closing and selling of the building and property in 1995, the juniors from Tillicum School moved to specially-constructed facilities in James Hill Elementary School. 

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