This program provides students aged 3-12 with a small school environment that is sensory-friendly with reduced auditory and visual stimuli.
The Foundations Program services our early and elementary-aged students between the ages of 3-12.
This program focuses on developing communication skills, emotional and behavioral regulation, academic skills, daily living skills, and independence. Students are exposed to a small school environment that is sensory friendly with reduced auditory and visual stimuli.
Classrooms are divided by age and skill level, with instruction individualized according to the learning styles of each student. Each classroom has one head teacher and an assistant teacher. In addition, the Foundations Program is supported by a team that consist of a clinician, an occupational therapist, a speech-language pathologist, a behavior staff person, a part-time physical therapist and a program coordinator that are on site. The classroom team meets weekly before students arrive to discuss their needs and any important issues. Head teachers also meet individually with team members. In order to keep parents and guardians informed, there is daily communication from the classroom teachers either by email or communication booklets. For those students in our League School residences, there is daily email communication between the school, parent, and residential staff to share important information.
The Foundations Program has integrated the SCERTS Model into our teaching. We provide a coordinated transdisciplinary approach to assessment and educational programming that includes educators, speech and language pathologists, occupational therapists and behavior therapists.
Academic content is derived from entry points of the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks and modified to the student’s current level of performance. The program provides a structured, center based classroom environment with direct instruction including errorless teaching and discrete trial training. Instruction is provided in small group with multiple opportunities for naturalistic generalization. Students participate in a daily hygiene routine. Also a part of the student’s school week are courses taught by our specialists, including music, art, and adaptive physical education.
Each of the classrooms is framed around the following concepts:
- Structured, center-based classroom environment
- Direct instruction with errorless teaching and Discrete Trial Training
- Small group instruction with multiple opportunities for naturalistic generalization
- Fostering of skill independence using visual supports
- Positive behavioral supports
- Social communication
- Emotional regulation through environmental set-up and mutual regulation
- Building independence with activities of daily living to include, but not limited to, toilet training, hand washing, tooth brushing, utensil usage, meal time routines and behaviors, and clothing management
- Sensory strategies including breaks, tools, and visuals
- Co-taught language and motor skill group by the SLP and OT
Community trips are part of the learning environment. Teachers make extensive use of the community to teach students to generalize their academic, daily living, safety, communication, and social skills across a variety of settings and to develop more independence and safety awareness. During trips in the community, students participate in shopping experiences to stores, going to a restaurant, and participating in the outdoor activities in order to practice their skills in different settings with a variety of people.