The League School’s student-focused admissions process helps ensure that the school is a good fit for the student. “We use a comprehensive process to determine if the League School is a good fit for the student’s needs,” said Larry Sauer, the school’s Chief Operating Officer. Our Admissions office is in daily contact with over 60 school districts that refer students to the League School. They also attend special education and autism-related conferences, where the school will sometimes host a booth to answer questions about the school’s programs.
The school district referral is the first step in a five-step program to be sure the League School and student are well matched:
- Referral from school district: “School districts looking to place students who have deficits in social communication skills frequently look to the League School for their student placements,” said Sauer. “Many of our referrals are from word-of-mouth and school districts that have been happy with previous placements.” Although schools typically refer students in middle school or early high school to the League School, some student referrals are as young as first grade.
- Family facility tour: The second step in the process is to schedule the student’s family for a tour of the school. The parents meet with the school’s proposed special education teacher, pathologist, occupational therapist, and behavioral analyst. Parents fill the team in on the student’s preferred activities and get their questions answered.
- Intake form completed: Next is the one-hour intake with the student and his/her parent(s). The admissions team covers a wide variety of topics to be sure they’ve captured the social communication, emotional regulation, and transactional supports needs — in keeping with the SCERTS® model — of the student on the school’s intake form.
- Onsite intake day: After the first three steps are complete, the student comes in for a full-day intake session at the school. The school matches the student’s interests with planned activities. Going to the gym and playground, and playing board games are also part of the day. This session allows the student to get a feel for the school and whether or not he/she likes it. The staff also has an opportunity to evaluate whether the student’s needs can be met with the school’s resources.
- Admissions committee recommendations: The final step is for the admissions committee to meet. Staff from a variety of disciplines determine if the student will benefit from the SCERTS® model, if there are appropriate social peers, and whether the school can be behaviorally supportive. If the committee approves admission, they recommend to the school district which of the school’s programs would best meet the needs of the student: Foundations, Content Teaching/Life Skills, Pathfinder, or Transitions.