The strength of CCMC School’s approach to providing quality education for children with special needs rests on the interdisciplinary team model and a low student to staff ratio. Teams are comprised of certified special education teachers, licensed clinical social workers and psychologists, speech and language pathologists, occupational and physical therapists, vocational education teachers, physical education teachers, pediatric/school nurses, assistant teachers, individual tutors and classroom aides. A child/adolescent psychiatrist and a developmental pediatrician are integrally involved for medication evaluation, consultation and management.
Programming for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders is specifically designed to meet the needs of each student at all levels of functioning. For those students with accompanying intellectual impairment, emphasis is placed on the development of communication, self-help, daily living, functional academics and social interaction skills, as well as vocational competencies. Those students at, or near, grade level performance meet with success due to the structure, routine, individualized incentives and planned social interactions occurring under the guidance of very knowledgeable and experienced staff.
Elementary School Classes
The elementary classes foster the overall development of the student in a structured, supportive learning environment. Each student’s program is highly individualized according to the student’s profile of strengths and areas of need. Specialized options include support for learning and language disabilities, as well as functional skills development. Curriculum is modified and instruction is differentiated with alignment to Connecticut Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Wilson and Edmark Reading programs are utilized, as appropriate.
The middle/intermediate classes provide traditional, as well as remedial and functional curricula, through a self-contained classroom model. Students are also exposed to various pre-vocational and vocational experiences from career exploration to community job placement, as appropriate.
Functional Skills Classes
From elementary through high school, functional skills classes exist to provide greater emphasis on practical daily living skills and functional application to academics as aligned to CCSS. Vocational programming is integrated within the middle and high school classes. Age-appropriate social skill development is also emphasized at all levels.
The CCMC School’s vocational education curriculum encompasses a comprehensive instructional process that relies on real work as the focal point for career assessment (both interest and aptitude) and job exploration. We begin with preparation in the form of pre-vocational classes, job-shadowing, guest speakers and in-house cottage industries to assess readiness for more advanced programming. Opportunities are available for students to explore numerous occupations both on-site and in the community, in conjunction with staff support. Our vocational classes are tailored to address the individual student’s cognitive/academic, developmental, motor and language functioning, as well as unique interests and career preferences.
Extended Year Programming
CCMC School summer programming runs for five weeks, extending from early July through the first week of August. An extension of the regular school year, the summer session continues to deliver mandated academic and therapeutic services, according to the student’s Individual Education Program, for those youngsters who would otherwise regress academically and/or emotionally/behaviorally.
S.T.R.I.D.E. (Short-term Therapeutic Review, Intervention and Diagnostic Evaluation) is a 40-day diagnostic process for students ages 5 to 21. STRIDE provides the Local Education Agency with an opportunity to enroll students in a therapeutic environment on a short-term basis, for an intensive and comprehensive assessment of current academic, behavioral and emotional status, as well as related service evaluations as needed. STRIDE also provides a structured four-week transition option for the student who immediately returns to the local school district. In keeping with the CCMC School philosophy, STRIDE emphasizes the importance of ongoing collaboration and communication between staff, parents/guardians and the Local Education Agency.