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EDUCATIONAL SERVICESLicensed Private Academic School

Serving Students with Autism, Life Skills, and Emotional Support Needs

Our licensed private academic school is approved as a special education school by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Housed within the same campus as The Day School – our approved private school – our licensed private academic school engages students with instruction based on best practices in education, the principals of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), and Trauma-Informed Care. Programs focus on autism support, transition skills, and life skills support.

Our licensed private academic school serves students who need an increased level of support to succeed socially and academically. Blended learning integrates in-person instruction and technology to meet students where they are and encourage engagement. Families and school districts alike have connected with our expert educational team to bring specialized education to nearly 200 students from 60+ school districts across western Pennsylvania each year.

Our Expert Team

Our team of highly qualified professionals offers instruction based on best practices in education, including Applied Behavior Analysis, Safety Care® Behavioral Safety Training, Ukeru® training, and trauma-informed approaches. Our diverse team includes:
  • Certified Special Education Teachers
  • Board-Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs)
  • Educational Coaches and internal PaTTAN Autism Initiative Consultant
  • Adapted Physical Education, Art, Music, and Library Teachers
  • Speech Language Pathologists
  • Occupational and Physical Therapists
  • Transition Coordinator
  • Registered Nurses
  • School Psychologist and Licensed Social Worker
  • Dietitian

Explore Our Licensed Private Academic School Programs

Our Licensed Private Academic School autism support classrooms serve students with autism requiring support as per the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), commonly referred to as high-functioning autism.

Our autism classrooms support the academic, communication, and social-emotional growth of students, including those that require additional behavior support in order to benefit from their educational programs, which provide and focus on the following:
  • 8 students per classroom
  • Classrooms staffed by a Certified Special Education Teacher and highly qualified Behavior and Instruction Technician (paraprofessional)
  • Related services and therapy provided per IEP
  • Strong focus on social skills
  • Skills streaming curriculum
  • Daily social skills instruction provided by the classroom teacher
  • Weekly social skills groups faciliated by school psychologist

We utilize a blended learning model which includes one-on-one instruction with the teacher, peer groups, teacher-led group lessons, or independent study time. Additionally, we have a center-based program to support 45-day placements of students with Level 1 autism focusing on behavior, social-emotional, and academic skills.
JobSpan provides coordinated and comprehensive training and assessment opportunities for students typically within three years of graduation, between the ages of 18-21. Students most appropriate for this program include those with intellectual disabilities, physical disabilities, and autism who demonstrate the following skills:
  • Motivation and ability to work/complete tasks over a sustained period (more than 30 minutes)
  • Basic skills such as following directions, making choices, participating in a group, and self-advocating/expressing wants and needs
  • Ability to walk or use manual/power wheelchair
  • Ability and desire to participate in the community
JobSpan objectives include:
  • Career development and workplace preparation
  • Targeted assessments and job/volunteer placements focusing on student preferences, strengths, and potential
  • Increased employment and/or volunteering exposure
  • Targeted skills tracking across in-school and outside-school job/volunteer sites
  • On-going dialogues and information sessions with actual and potential employers
  • Functional English/language arts and math skills related to identified job/volunteer opportunities
  • Recreation and leisure opportunities
  • Community participation and connections
  • Partnership with the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR)
Our Emotional Support (ES) classrooms serve students who need an increased level of suport to succeed socially and academically. With no more than twelve students per class, instruction is guided by experts in education and behavior:
  • Certified Special Education Teacher
  • Highly Qualified Paraprofessional
  • Behvaioral Health Specialist

Instruction is based on evidence-based teaching strategies and a blended learning model including one-on-one interactions, peer group interactions, teacher-led lessons, as well as independent study time on a rotation model. Related services including therapy services like physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech/language therapy are also available a la carte.

Stand-Out School Amenities

We want the best for our amazing students and our learning environments are reflective of that. Our school amenities include all the best spaces and equipment to foster an enriching environment to learn, grow, and succeed.
  • State-of-the-art sensory and gross motor rooms
  • Three-lane, full-sized, ADA-equipped swimming pool
  • Work Evaluation and Training Center (Work, ETC)
  • Food service with allergy-safe and food texture modification options
  • Student-staffed store
  • Teaching kitchens and apartment
  • Gymnasium
  • Student library
  • Interactive smart board technology
  • Accessible playground, therapeutic garden, and outdoor learning spaces

Programs to Meet Your Needs

Interested in learning more about our Licensed Private Academic School and what makes The Children’s Institute the best choice for your student’s education? Contact us today. Our friendly team is happy to answer all your questions and get you connected to the right resources.
 

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