Our curriculum takes a multifaceted approach and emphasizes the collaboration between disciplines to meet our student's individual needs. We work to increase academic, social, and communication skills in order to provide our students with the ability to reach a higher level of dependence. Thus, the student's educational plans include some or all of the strategies and disciplines listed below:
Individualized Instruction: All classrooms provide individual and group instruction in all areas of the curriculum. Whether students are learning one to one or in a group setting, the curriculum is modified to meet their individual needs. Program decisions are data based to ensure progress toward goals. Each student's Individualized Education Plan addresses goals from various domains to meet overall academic and social needs.
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA): Our ABA program takes a multi-disciplinary approach to learning which includes: programs in individual teaching sessions (discrete trial teaching) and generalization of skills in social settings in the classroom. We emphasize the importance of increasing socialization and communication skills for our students. We work to create an enjoyable and unique learning environment. Our school psychologists and BCBA's are highly trained to create and implement programs that are socially significant to our students. All academic decisions are data based and all programs are monitored closely to ensure maximum progress.
Activities of Daily Living (ADL): Our life skills program focuses on preparing our students to become fully participating members of their communities. The challenge is to think outside of the typical school setting in order to provide real life, hands-on experiences. To meet this challenge we have opened an activities of daily living room on site in our high school. This allows students the opportunity to practice basic housekeeping skills in a real life setting in addition to learning the functional academic, vocational, and social skills needed to transition to adulthood. We are currently working on expanding our activities of daily living room in the elementary school building to include bedroom and living room furniture, an equipped kitchen, and a washer and dryer. This area will also include a dental chair and hair salon chair to help decrease the significant fears many students experience during these life activities.
Social Skills Training Groups: Social Skills Training Groups combine the Jed Baker curriculum and emotional development exercises from the Relationship Development Intervention Program (RDI). The groups are designed and monitored by our school psychologist and implemented by our teaching staff. Each activity within the session focuses on goals which are operationally defined for each student in the group. Age appropriate activities that often involve music and games create a therapeutic environment that is a fun and motivating experience. Our high school students enjoy a mixture of activities that aid in expressing and understanding the complex feelings all teenagers experience. These groups are implemented directly by our psychology staff and often use a tool called the "Emotional Management File System". This system helps our students understand abstract concepts such as anger and disappointmnet; and how to effectivily cope with these emotions. At the preschool level, those students mandated for counseling often learn social skills through modeling in individual and group sessions in the therapy room and/or the classroom. These sessions are implemented directly by our school psychologist and generalized in the classroom by the teaching staff.
Enrichment Programs: Art, Music, and Dance enrich the lives of our students and to help them develop leisure skills and hobbies that they can engage in long after the school years. What makes these programs unique is the level of collaboration across disciplines to target social, physical and educational goals.
Related Services: All related services are provided on site including speech language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy and counseling as mandated on the Individualized Education Program (IEP) for each student.
Inclusion Opportunites: Inclusion is a strong component of our elementary and high school programs. The elementary school is housed on the campus of St. Joseph Hill Academy and the high school is housed on the campus of Moore Catholic High School providing our students with ample opportunities for inclusion with their typically developing peers. These opportunities for inclusion produce remarkable results in the overall development of our students. Moreover, the relationship is mutually beneficial as it allows the students of our host schools to demonstrate understanding and compassion towards individuals with special needs.
Special Programs: Over the years we have had support from volunteers and donators that help us to run special programs. These programs are made possible through collaboration with volunteers, outside agencies and businesses in our community. In 2011-2012, we started the Bridge Program through collaboration with the owners of the Staten Island Hilton Garden Inn and Hampton Inn. Our Bridge Program enables our students to transfer the skills they learned in the classroom to the real world. Through a close working relationship with the Department of Education and Speech at St. John's University and the St. Paul's School of Nursing we offer internships and fieldwork opportunities for students enrolled in special education courses, speech language therapy courses, and nursing courses. This mutually beneficial program provides hands on learning for students while providing the Seton Foundation with qualified volunteers for our programs.
Each of our schools employ some or all of the disciplines listed above.