High School Program at Maynard High School

Population Served

The CASE High School Program at the new Maynard High School serves students ages 13-22, who present with a variety of developmental disabilities. The intent is to begin the program for students in grades 8-10, starting in September of 2013, and to grow it from there in subsequent years. The students may be working on one or more of the following skill areas:

 

  • Cognitive skills
  • Functional academic skills
  • Communication skills including social pragmatics
  • Fine and/or gross motor skills
  • Sensory regulation or modulation
  • Social skills/adaptive behavior
  • Self-help and life skills
  • Pre-vocational skills

 

 

Program Description

The CASE High School Program at Maynard High School provides some of its instruction in a 1:1 or 1:2 staff to student ratio. If the students are more independent, the staff to student ratio will decrease. Some instruction could be in a small group, which might be the whole classroom. This is determined based on the needs of the students. The needs of the current student population will drive how many students there will be in the classroom. Therapy services for students are per the IEP, but can be delivered individually or in small groups. Therapy services are generally provided in the classroom to facilitate carryover by and consultation with the instructional staff. In the high school setting, it is important that the therapists integrate into areas that will help the students generalize their skills to the community, home and possibly vocational or work settings.

Speech/language and occupational therapy are most common; physical therapy is provided when needed. Occupational therapy services address a range of areas, including fine-motor, perceptual-motor, and sensory-motor development. Although many of the students in these classrooms may be verbal, there are also students who communicate with the use of augmentative communication (e.g., pictures, sign, symbols, or speech generating devices).

Applied Behavior Analysis and structured teaching are among some methodologies used. Social skills programming is an important component of this program for the older students. A counselor meets with the students in small groups to help them develop social skills such as making friends, expressing feelings constructively, and cooperating with others. Services are also available to students who have more significant behavioral issues. Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) are available to collaborate with teachers and therapists to identify appropriate goals and programs in areas such as adaptive behavior, communication, socialization, daily living skills, and cognitive/academic development. They consult with all classroom staff and parents/guardians.

 

Curriculum

The curriculum for the class is determined by the students' IEPs and follows the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks. As students reach CASE high school programs, staff incorporates life skills throughout the day, taking time to focus on independence, self-reliance, responsibility, and social maturity. These skills help to build a foundation leading to independence in the home, community and workplace. Some of the curriculum is implemented and practiced in the community setting. This may include activities such as grocery shopping, banking and other opportunities to practice social and functional academic skills.

For our students who are not accessing grade level or near grade level content in academics, the curriculum is rich in applied academics that offer the students new contexts for learning and consolidating basic skills. Students expand and generalize their school experience in a variety of areas. Access to a life skills room will be available to students throughout their school day. Examples include, but are not limited to: weekly community-based learning experiences; inclusion opportunities; use of the computer; and life skills; including fitness and adaptive physical education. Throughout the year units on various community resources are integrated into the curriculum, e.g., hospitals, post office, department stores.

The curriculum will address the following areas:

 

  • Functional academics: reading; math
  • Communication: expressive and pragmatic
  • Social skills: emotional regulation; working cooperatively; pragmatic skills
  • Leisure skills: independent and in groups
  • Life skills: cooking; banking; shopping; cleaning; safety awareness and health
  • Motor skills: fine motor for accessing vocational experiences and gross motor in order to navigate one’s environment
  • Vocational skills: task completion; following directions; independence; problem-solving and endurance
  • Transition services

 

 

Inclusion Opportunities

All students are identified with an age-appropriate grade level. They are included in general education classes and activities with their grade level peers, as deemed appropriate by the Team. Students are always supervised and supported by a CASE staff member in any of the inclusionary classes. Inclusion programming most often occurs during activities such as grade level field trips, school assemblies, social activities or in electives such as art, music, physical education. Some students may be included in academic classes, per the students’ IEPs. In many of the schools, there is an opportunity for reverse mainstreaming that promotes high self-esteem, greater self-confidence, and stronger communication skills in students.

 

Home/School Connections

Home/School communication is an important part of the CASE High School Program. Students may carry an agenda book that is age-appropriate, which would serve as a way for staff and parents to communicate regarding students’ progress. It also serves as a tool to help the adults at home and at school to elicit pragmatic language, “news” from the students. Parents can also determine with the teacher if email is a good option for communication. Annual IEP meetings, parent/teacher conferences and progress reports complete the range of options for parent/school communication.

CASE also provides a parent support group throughout the year. At times, speakers will be brought in to focus on particular topics.

 

Extended School Year and After School Program

A five-week summer option is available for students whose IEPs call for an extended year program. The CASE Extended Year Program addresses the students' IEP goals and benchmarks over the summer in much the same manner as the regular school year program. Inclusionary programming is not available during the summer session. An after school program will be available two days a week during the school year to address life skills, social skills and community skills.

 

Staffing and Services

 

  • DESE Licensed Special Education Teachers
  • Teaching Assistants/Job Coaches/ABA Tutors
  • DESE Licensed Speech/Language Therapists
  • State Licensed Occupational Therapists
  • State Licensed Physical Therapists
  • DESE Licensed Teacher of the Visually Impaired and Deaf/Blind
  • Orientation & Mobility
  • Consulting Teacher of the Deaf
  • Nursing
  • Board Certified Behavior Analysts
  • DESE Licensed Adjustment Counselors/Social Workers
  • Autism Specialist
  • CETT (Assistive Technology Team)
  • Transition Services

 

 

Referrals

Placement in all CASE programs follows consensus by the sending school district, parent, and CASE staff. Current, signed IEP and placement pages are required for enrollment in all CASE classes. Referrals to a CASE program are initiated by the school district. Parents may obtain additional information about this or other CASE classes by contacting the special education office in their school district. District personnel may obtain additional information by contacting the CASE Office as noted below.

Deanne Cefalo
Program Administrator
978-318-1535
dcefalo@casecollaborative.org