The BEST program uses a team approach to serve students with disabilities whose social, emotional and behavioral needs significantly impede their ability to access curriculum exclusively in the general education environment. Programming can include multi-grade grouping and can range from a full self-contained environment to the use of consultative services only. BEST classes are currently located at Kingsley School for grades K-6 and O’Neill Middle School for grades 7-8.
Essential elements include:
- Safe, positive and predictable environment staffed by program specialists who provide consistent and immediate direct instruction
- Behavioral intervention planning and positive supports to increase school appropriate behaviors
- Explicit instruction in coping/emotional, behavioral, social skills and sensory regulation
- An integrated team approach to proactive systematic response to behavior whose skill set specifically addresses social /emotional needs
- Access to general education environment and peers with support
- Flexible and individualized academic instruction that emphasizes core instruction aligned to state standards
The BEST program is designed to support students who exhibit:
- Limited coping skills or an inability to consistently access coping skills independently
- Anxiety and anger that impedes progress
- A need for direct instruction to acquire social skills (dealing with others, managing emotions)
- A range of learning needs and instructional learning levels
- Mental health needs
- A need for structure and integrated motivators
- External locus of control
- A need for space and relationship building with limited amounts of staff.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT):
- What is CBT?
- CBT is a form of therapy that encourages children to look at their thoughts, feelings and behaviors. It shows them how to replace negative thoughts with more realistic, positive ones.
- Rather than focusing on the past, CBT helps kids focus on the present and the future, and to realize they have control over their behaviors.
- What is CBT?
- Social Emotional Curriculums include:
- Positive Behavior Supports, including token economy, individual and classroom incentives, student goal setting, high levels of positive reinforcement , including programmatic data collection.
- Sensory Tools and Strategies, including access to motor room, trampoline, fidgets, sensory path, circuits, movement breaks, etc.
- Quiet Classroom Corner (i.e. Zen Den, Calm Corner)
- General Education Curriculum (Benchmark, Bridges, StudySync, etc.)