- Respect for diversity
and human differences
- Best practices
- Continuous improvement
- Open and honest communication
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL STUDENTS (GRADES K-5)
(ACCEPT’s Classroom for Essential Skills)
Center for Learning and Growth
4 Tech Circle, Natick, MA 01760 | Map
Start Date: August 29, 2017
Academy ACES is a public day school therapeutic program for students in grades K-5 who require intensive teaching supports in order to make effective academic and behavioral progress. Our students may experience a range of school adjustment difficulties, inappropriate social functioning, poor academic performance, developmental delays and /or immature peer relations.
Comprehensive academic, behavioral and clinical services are provided throughout the school day. A strong home-school relationship, through ongoing communication and collaboration, is a critical and essential part of the student’s success. The ultimate goal of the program is to assist students in becoming engaged learners through the use of innovative and empirically-based instruction, and to overcome behavioral and social challenges by practicing effective behavioral alternatives.
Students benefit from ACCEPT’s technology-rich classroom environments. All classrooms have interactive whiteboards, laptop and /or desktop computers for student use, iPads and other assistive technology devices. Individualized Education Programs (IEP) based on assessment information and ongoing quantitative data collection are developed to maximize student independence and participation within the school and community environment.
ACES offers highly specialized individual and small group instruction. Art, music and physical education are provided to all students. Special educators and speech, occupational, behavioral and other therapists work in collaboration to provide a wide range of direct services and supports. The development of skills related to academics follows the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks and is modified to each student based on ongoing data collection and benchmark assessments.
Students may require specific and direct instruction through the use of Discrete Trial Teaching, a research-based method of instruction in which students are afforded multiple opportunities to practice and commit rote academic skills to long-term memory. This is done through building positive rapport, identifying specific reinforcers that are individualized to each student and utilizing an errorless learning technique. Prompts are faded as students begin to show independence in each skill. Data is collected throughout each session for all objectives, and patterns of learning are easily identified in order for instruction to be adjusted as needed.
In addition to Discrete Trial Teaching, ACES utilizes a highly structured system in which the generalization of skills is targeted. This may include specialized small group instruction, reverse inclusion opportunities and a systematic approach to targeting skills students are required to learn in a larger environment.
ACCEPT’s highly trained, experienced and licensed special education teachers, therapists and other professionals work with students to build on their strengths and help manage their challenges. Classroom teachers use 21st century research-based instruction and technology to maximize student achievement, independence and participation in the school community.
Behavioral and Social Skills Services
All students participate in an individualized positive behavioral support program designed to provide clear expectations and feedback regarding expected behaviors. The underlying functions of student behavior are identified, and students are taught more functional and effective ways to demonstrate emotional regulation. Consistent routines and classroom structures are proactively practiced daily. If an individual demonstrates behavior that is inappropriate and/or disruptive, staff utilize a variety of behavioral intervention strategies to redirect the student. Counseling services are provided in accordance with a student’s Individualized Education Program.
The ACES program also offers direct individual and small group social skills instruction. Social Thinking techniques, video modeling, video feedback, and a variety of tools are employed to target student development in the areas of reciprocal play, independent leisure, joint attention, conversational skills and friendship building.
For more information contact:
Marcia J. Berkowitz
(508) 653-6776 x113
- Innovative individualized and small group instruction
- Focus on academic instruction through discrete trial teaching
- Clear plan for generalization of skills from a small to larger group environment
- Support with a low student-to-teacher ratio
- Positive behavior intervention plans
- Individual and group social skills instruction
- Extended School Year Program option
- Transitional support back to sending school
- Students must be in grades K-5 and be referred by their sending district
- Students with complex language and learning difficulties
- Students must have a history of issues with behavior and/or inadequate coping skills
- Requires moderate to significant modifications to the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks to make effective progress