In 2007, we opened our second campus in Milford, CT in order to accommodate our increasing enrollment. In the spring of 2010, the program moved into 925 Bridgeport Ave, Milford, CT. In February 2017 we moved to our current location at 339 Boston Post Road, Orange, CT.. We serve students aged between 3 -21 with a wide range of intellectual and social skills at this campus. While chronological age and intellectual ability factor into placement decisions, social skill and level of communication are given a very high priority to enable us to create appropriate peer and social groupings for all of our students. As such, students who are at the higher end of the spectrum or have a diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome and have moderate to high levels of conversational and social skills are the best fit for this campus. Additionally, students at this location are more likely to require higher level and more complex academic programming and are more likely to have an inclusion as a component of their school day.
Our overall staff to student ratio is better than 1:1.
A high staff to student ratio is necessary to allow for the various rates students acquire new skills. Being able to provide 1:1 instruction allows each student’s programming to move at a pace that is appropriate for that student and enables staff to make modifications to ensure that students are making desired gains. Additionally, a high staff to student ratio allows for increased ability to provide individualized instruction across environments, like school, home, and in the community.
While most students spend part of each day involved in group instruction, the focus is often to teach students how to effectively participate in group instruction or to participate within social groups. Therefore, additional support is provided as necessary to ensure that the student is attending to the instruction and actively participating in the lesson, support is systematically faded as the student begins to develop and employ the skills necessary for active engagement in the group.
Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA) work directly with each classroom. They work in conjunction with the Special Education Teacher to develop goals, monitor student progress, create and implement individualized systems of reinforcement, and train instructional assistants.
In addition, we highly encourage our classroom staff to pursue higher education in Behavior Analysis and seek certification as either BCBAs or BCaBAs. We promote and support these efforts by providing tuition reimbursement and mentorship to employees who purse this path. This level of commitment enables us to increase the number of certified professionals within CCCD and in the community at large, while simultaneously, enabling us to better serve our students via the implementation of high quality behavior analytic programming and support on a daily basis.
Each classroom is headed by a Certified Special Education teacher. The teacher works in conjunction with the Behavior Analysts to develop, implement and monitor student programming and progress. The Special education teacher trains and works hand in hand with the instructional assistants in their classroom to provide each student with a highly individualized program of instruction that is tailored to each student’s unique needs.
All of our classroom staff have a Bachelor’s Degree or higher level of education and work under the direction of the special education teacher. They receive on-going training in Autism and Behavior Analysis. They play an integral role in the daily instruction and set up for individual students. They work together with the Behavior Analysts and Special Education teachers, and related services personnel to ensure that each student’s program is implemented effectively.
All staff within each classroom rotate across students. So on any given day, each student will work with several staff members. This helps to ensure generalization of skills and limits the disruption to student’s programming when there are changes in staffing.
Technology is present in all areas of our lives and this is no less true for our students. There are always new developments and programs being developed. While this increase in the availability of technology is exciting and is proving to be beneficial for our students, it can be quite a daunting task to keep track not only what is available but is effective. Our Technology and Media Specialists help to keep us aware of what is available and to weed through the options to find the items and programs that will fit our needs the best. And of course work to keep our hardware working properly.
While we always aim increase appropriate behaviors and prevent unsafe behavior, all of our staff are trained in Physical Management Techniques. These techniques include reading a situation, de-escalation strategies and when necessary physical carries or holds to protect the student and others within the immediate environment. Having PMT specialists on site, helps to ensure that staff remain current on training and provides the opportunity for consultation to specific cases/situations as needed.
We adhere to the Connecticut State Standards within our programming. Those standards allow for each school/district to select their own curriculum materials. Given the wide range of skill sets and deficits our students’ exhibit we come across a wide range of curriculum and instructional materials. We are dedicated to using empirically validated curriculum materials that have been shown to achieve desired outcomes for students as well as a high percentage of teacher created curriculum materials that allow for highly individualized programming.
The specific instructional strategies and delivery methods of curriculum materials are tailored to meet each student’s unique needs. Teachers make modifications to insure that the instruction is appropriately matched to student, sufficient practice opportunities are presented, and to increase student engagement via the incorporation of topics of interest to the student. Progression through skills is based upon rate of acquisition rather than set by a time based schedule. Wherever appropriate and possible, technology is incorporated into programming.
Supported inclusion enables our students to be involved with the general population via participation in school and community events and programs. CCCD staff provide individualized support to ensure the experiences are positive and successful for the students.
Staff from CCCD who know the student and their programming, accompany the student and offer support, monitor reinforcement systems, provide pre/post-teaching, create necessary material modifications, and collect data to ensure that the inclusion opportunity is meeting the needs of the student.
The number of hours per day, week, month, is flexible and based upon the student’s needs and the schedule of the inclusion location. Generally, the initial time spent in supported inclusion is low and it is gradually and systematically increased in accordance with progress in the location Flexible in how often kids go – increase.
Locations are determined based upon the goals of inclusion and the individual student’s needs. It may take place at a school within the student’s home district, a private school, or in community based programs and activities such as, summer camps and clubs.
In order to achieve our goal of generating socially significant outcomes for our students and their families, it is vital that the family play a role in identifying areas of need. For example a student might experience difficulty going to the grocery store, the movies, restaurants, etc. This may limit the family’s ability to participate in and enjoy those events. It is critical that families help us identify these areas of need so that we can target the necessary skills to participate in these activities.
CCCD provides school based, community based and home based parent training sessions that are individualized based on the student and family’s needs. Training consists of CCCD staff modeling program implementation, explaining programming and then having the parent or care giver implement the programming with staff support. Depending on the specifics of the program the training may be done in one day or may be done across a series of training sessions.
School Based Training:
A parent or caregiver comes into the school and receives training from CCCD staff on implementation of specific programs and/or reinforcement systems.
Community Based Training:
CCCD staff, a parent /caregiver and the student go into the community location where the targeted skills will be worked on.
Home Based Training:
CCCD staff go to the student’s home to conduct observations and develop programming or reinforcement systems that are specific to situations that may only be faced in the home environment.
Parents, caregivers and other service providers can schedule times to come into school and observe student programming.
Full program reviews involve meeting with the special education teacher and/or behavior analyst to review student progress on current programs. Program materials and data are reviewed. It is a chance for the team and the family to touch base and have an in depth look at programming.
In order to prepare our students to achieve the greatest level of independence possible, it is important that we develop IEP goals and objectives that not only address academic areas of need, but also address needs that span full gamut of development (e.g., social, daily living, coping skills, etc.). Each students needs are unique and therefore parent involvement in identifying areas of need outside the school is essential in developing appropriate goals and objectives.
9:00 - 3:00 Monday - Friday
220 Days of Instruction; August - August