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Program Hallmarks

Connection Time

 

Connection Time is an integral part of our program. All students in 6th and 7th grades have an individual supportive conference that meets once a week for 30 minutes with a team recommended Connection Teacher/Therapist.

 

Students are carefully paired with their Connection Teachers based on their individual learning needs and the teacher/therapist’s area of expertise. The Connection Teachers/Therapists include a Speech and Language Therapist or a member of our counseling department.

 

Connection Time is an intensely individualized period that focuses on helping students identify areas of strength and challenge. These sessions help students develop a deeper awareness and appreciation of their learning style and build effective strategies to help them move towards greater independence. By doing so, students gain confidence and become more effective self-advocates.

 

Alliance Club

 

The Alliance Club is a unique group learning experience that meets once a week for 30 minutes. Alliance Club offers students an opportunity to come together and work collaboratively on a community service project. Students in each grade are placed into small groups to identify areas of interest and develop their community service projects.

 

Alliance Club provides students with a unique opportunity to use their knowledge of their individual learning style (i.e., what they are exploring during Connection Time and Study Skills Group) and begin to independently apply learned strategies, approaches and personal insights within a supportive group context.

 

This class builds students’ group work skills, develops a sense of team building among peers, fosters a sense of connection and responsibility to one’s community and helps students begin to understand and execute long term projects.

 

Health and Human Development

 

There is an inextricable link between social and emotional intelligence and overall success in school. Research on pre-adolescent and adolescent health and well-being indicates that students need substantive and explicit health education and prevention programming during the Middle School years.

 

Students in 6th and 7th grades are provided with an on-going Health and Human Development (HHD) group for 45 minutes one time a week which offers accurate, supportive, and direct instruction in emotional, social, moral, physical and mental health awareness.

 

HHD is taught by the classroom teacher and is informed by best practices in the field of Health Education and adheres to New York State Educational Standards. Middle School students will cover topics such as self-care, fitness and exercise, sleep, hygiene, feelings and emotions, peer pressure, conflict resolution and stress management. For six weeks during the school year, HHD will be facilitated by the counseling team when topics cover sexual development, puberty and sexual reproduction.

 

The goals of HHD are to help students develop greater self-awareness, confidence, communication skills, self advocacy, problem solving and coping skills as well as a greater understanding of health related material.

 

Taking a Team Approach

 

Aaron’s collaborative educational team consists of a head teacher, assistant teacher, speech therapist, occupational therapist, and a member from the counseling department. In addition Aaron’s enrichment specialists also meet regularly to discuss each student’s progress and review classroom dynamics. Strong communication is a key element to Aaron’s philosophy and ensures a consistent educational plan for each student