Services to public schools

Partner Classrooms:

Partner Classrooms are set up in the Public School but run by the NPA staff members. By operating the program on a public school site, students have more access to resources and opportunities that allow them to associate with and participate in similar extra-curricular activities as their typically developing peers. This includes being able to access the cafeteria for lunch, utilizing the library, visiting the counseling/guidance office, partaking in school-wide events and activities, and participating in after-school sports programs.

The goal of the program is to teach students positive social skills and return them to the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) as quickly as possible. Frequently public school sites use different schedules, or rotating or block scheduling, making partial transitions from one school site to another difficult due to the loss of time during transport. With the proximity of the collaborative program of partner classrooms being located on a public school Bright Futures Academy staff have more frequent and in-person collaboration with the school site staff in facilitating successful transitions back to LRE.

Finally, by operating a program on a school site, students have the ability to remain within their local communities and continue to have access to the resources in them. Logistically, this means students would spend less time having to be transported further distances, which are often vulnerable times for special needs students with significant behavior problems. Moreover, this may allow for Community Based Instruction outings, and Transition/Vocational Education opportunities that are more relevant and perhaps functional for them. For example, students may be involved in structured work opportunities at local establishments where relationships are built with community members, which may open the door for post-secondary options that otherwise would not have been available. Class trips, and community based instruction outings can be focused around resources and locations accessible to them outside of school, such as local libraries, the YMCA, Job Corps, the local train/bus stations, local DMV’s and banks. Additionally, parents/families/guardians have the ability to play more of an active role in their child’s education, including attending meetings and open houses, visiting the school and participating in class trips.

To summarize, the benefits include:

  • Relationship building with public school district staff
  • Students have opportunities for integration with non-disabled or less disabled peers, and mainstreaming/partial transition opportunities
  • District personnel will acquire strategies and skills to work with students with more challenging behaviors
  • Vocational Education/Transition Education networking opportunities when training occurs within local community
  • An increased participation by parents in the education of their child
  • Reduced amount of time spent in vans being transported to/from school