Behavioral Consulting is a service designed to assess a child’s behavior in many different environments. Our consultants are either BCBA/BCaBA or are working towards qualifications needed to become board certified. Through observation and the application of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) principles our consultants can determine the factors influencing certain behavior, and teach the child positive replacement behaviors.
Our goal at New Story is to teach positive replacement behaviors that can be used in everyday situations in order to improve the child’s behavior over time. Areas of focus include decreasing verbal and physical aggression, self-injury, property destruction, and task refusal; while increasing communication, social skills, attention to task, and participation in academic tasks/demands.
Behavioral Consultants conduct Functional Behavior Assessments and develop each students individualized Positive Behavior Support Plan. New Story develops programming based on each child’s specific needs.
Classroom Support Staff (CSS)
By providing students with behavioral and academic support there is a reduction in disciplinary incidents, increased safety for students and improved academic outcomes.
Classroom Support Staff (CSS) are responsible for providing direct services to the students attending New Story. They assist with implementation of the student’s Individual Education Program (IEP), as well as the ABA principles outlined in each student’s Positive Behavior Support Plan.
The Classroom Support Staff (CSS) also helps teach the student to manage his/her behavior effectively and to become more independent with skill areas.
Counseling services are offered at our Throop school by licensed social workers. The counselors are involved in the evaluation and goal setting process and assists the team in meeting mental health concerns as they pertain to the student’s needs during the school day. The counselors develop therapeutic modalities to use in his/her individual and group counseling sessions in order to best help the student meet his/her goals. Many of our students work with the counselors on developing coping skills, managing their anger, communicating their feelings/needs/wants to staff, and developing a greater self-awareness. The counselors work with the student to develop the skills he/she needs to manage the school day back at his/her school district. The counselors are also proactive in determining when further outside services would be beneficial for the student and when more in-depth counseling is warranted. They then work with the parents to communicate the needs of the student with the outside therapist joining the student’s team.
Crisis intervention is conducted by trained staff known as Crisis Intervention Specialists at New Story. Our Crisis Intervention Specialists are an additional resource to help students manage their behavior and assist staff in de-escalating student behaviors.
Crisis Intervention Specialists provide therapeutic behavioral interventions as outlined in each students individualized Positive Behavior Support Plan. Additionally, these staff members ensure to develop a positive rapport with each student.
Our Crisis Intervention Specialists utilize nonviolent crisis management techniques to ensure the maximum safety for all the students attending New Story. Our staff is trained by certified instructors through the Crisis Prevention Institute.
Curriculum and Assessment
New Story educators and professionals work with parents/guardians and school districts to create a personalized learning plan for each student. We do not have a standard curriculum – and this is intentional. We believe that each child is unique and requires a personalized curriculum designed to meet personal needs.
The curriculum used for each student is aligned with the Pennsylvania State Standards. Materials used are proven to advance performance. Also, we are able to adopt a school district’s curriculum for a student to maintain consistency and structure.
At New Story we believe no two students are alike, especially when it comes to learning. We teach the way a student learns and our curriculum reflects this approach. New Story Harrisburg builds a program around the strengths and needs of the students, offering specially designed instruction, support and services with an individually designed instructional program to meet their unique learning needs. Teachers adapt and modify lessons to fit the way a student learns, which encourages growth and success.
We also incorporate technology into our curriculum and lessons such as SMART boards, ipads and computers. All of the curriculum used at New Story Harrisburg is comprised of outcomes based methodology and is aligned with Pennsylvania State Standards.
Extended School Year (ESY)
Extended School Year (ESY) services are special education and related services provided to students with disabilities that qualify for education beyond the 180-day school year.
ESY curriculum is uniquely designed for the individual student by his/her Individual Education Program (IEP) team. A student’s goals may range from academic areas such as math and reading; to behavioral and /or counseling goals; to daily living skills and personal safety skills.
Students with prescribed time for related services (speech therapy, counseling, etc.) during the school year are also eligible to receive related services during the ESY program.
Students are evaluated by using the following 13 questions from the ESY Checklist to help determine if a student is appropriate for ESY services.
- Did the student receive ESY services in the past?
- Do the present education levels
between the student’s current IEP and previous IEPs indicate progress toward goals?
- Do the goals and objectives between the student’s current IEP and previousIEPs indicate progress toward the goals?
- Did the student master any of his or her goals from the previous or current IEP?
- Does the student’s IEP progress report indicate progress made on current goals and objectives?
- Has the student demonstrated self-sufficiency and independence from caretakers on any of his or her goals, if appropriate?
- If the student received school-related therapy, do reports of the therapist indicate the student made progress?
- Are there any reports by the parent(s) regarding negative changes in adaptive behaviors or in other skill areas?
- Are there any medical or agency reports indicating degenerative-type difficulties which become exacerbated during breaks in educational services?
- Has information from other school staff who work with this student been provided regarding the relevant factors ( i.e., regression/recoupment, mastery, self-sufficiency, or successive interruption) that indicates any concerns in one or more of these areas?
- Is there data indicating that successive interruptions in educational programming (e.g., winter break, summer vacation, etc.) resulted in a consistent pattern of withdrawal from the learning process?
- Do the student’s grades and report card indicate progress?
- Do results of tests such as criterion-referenced tests, curriculum-based assessments, ecological life skills assessments, or other equivalent measures (e.g., portfolio assessment, end of unit tests, etc.) indicate progress?
Glossary of Terms
Regression – whether the student reverts to a lower level of functioning as evidenced by a measurable decrease in skills or behaviors which occurs as a result of an interruption in educational programming.
Recoupment –whether the student has the capacity to recover the skills or behavior patterns in which regression occurred to a level demonstrated prior to the interruption of educational programming.
Target groups – students with severe disabilities, such as autism/pervasive developmental disorder, serious emotional disturbance, severe mental retardation, degenerative impairments with mental retardation involvement and severe multiple disabilities.
Self-sufficiency – the ability to function as independently as possible. The goal of instruction related to basic life skills is to reduce the student’s reliance on caregivers.
*All New Story students are evaluated for ESY services as part of the IEP process, but not all New Story students are eligible to receive ESY services.
Our speech therapists evaluate, assess and develop treatment plans that meet the needs and strengths of each individual child.
Speech Therapists can help children with autism, and others with developmental speech and language delays, optimize their ability to communicate their message through spoken language and/or alternative communication methods.
As part of a multidisciplinary team the speech therapist works to improve the effectiveness of services across all school settings. The speech therapist works to develop the student’s verbal and nonverbal skills by providing individual sessions and reinforces these skills during social interactions with staff and peers during small group and classroom therapy sessions.
Occupational therapy helps students perform school related activities such as writing, eating lunch, using the bathroom, developing leisure/vocational skills, etc. Some interventions include activities to strengthen areas such fine motor, sensory, or sequencing.
Other interventions focus on adapting the environment or task to meet the student’s abilities.
The goal of occupational therapy services is to maximize the student’s ability to participate in the things they need and want to do in order to be successful students.
At age 14, students with an IEP are eligible to receive transition services. New Story students have the opportunity to participate in transition services that are a combination of school-based learning, work-based learning and independent living skills. Our students receive the knowledge base, varied experiences and skill sets needed to be productive and function independently, or with supports, in the workplace, community or post-secondary education institution.
Students receiving transition services have the opportunity to participate in community work experiences in order to help them learn the needed skills for adulthood. Additionally, Individualized Transition Counseling is offered based on IEP determination.
Parent Counseling and Training
The purpose of Parent Counseling and Training is to assist parents in acquiring skills to support the implementation of aspects of their child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) outside of the school day.
This service can include, but is not limited to, assisting parents in understanding the educational needs of their child, providing parents with information about child development, providing support and basic information about a special education need, providing support and more clear instruction in the implementation of a specific intervention and providing parents with contact information about parent support groups, financial assistance resources, and other potential sources of information or support outside of the school system.