PAEC High School
Principal: Cynthia Lorek
Main Office Phone Number: 708-450-1515
The PAEC Therapeutic Day Alternative School environment has been developed to provide students diagnosed with severe social/emotional disabilities with intensive, supportive and individualized mental health services in addition to opportunities for academic success. The Therapeutic Day Alternative School serves students for whom supports beyond those provided in the general education setting are required in order for the students to achieve emotional stability and academic success. The goal of the Therapeutic Day Alternative School is to provide mental health, academic interventions and supportive services to students identified as emotionally disturbed so that they may become successful in the least restrictive environment. The Therapeutic Day Alternative School is a nontraditional school setting and differs from traditional school settings in structure and services. For instance, as a routine part of the students’ experiences at the Therapeutic Day Alternative School, students participate in various forms of therapy including individual, group and/or family support. All students who attend the Therapeutic Day Alternative School receive specialized education services under an Individualized Education Plan with an eligibility diagnosis of emotional disturbance in addition to any other secondary diagnosis. Accommodations and modifications to the classroom environment and curricula as well as small classroom sizes are common to support the needs of students at the Therapeutic Day Alternative School. The Therapeutic Day Alternative School allows for intensive and targeted supports and services, such as intensive therapies (i.e. physical occupational, psychological, and speech), flexible school schedules, small student-to-staff ratios, intensive academic and social/behavioral interventions, and transition resources. Although these differences exist, the Therapeutic Day Alternative School is similar to that of traditional school settings, to create educational environments that support and encourage the academic and social development of students. It is also a goal of the Therapeutic Day Alterative School to provide students with such skills that they are able to successfully transition back to their home schools.
Students at the High School level are considered by the IEP team for transition after achieving an average of 90% of their weekly behavioral points for nine (9) consecutive weeks, while maintaining passing grades of a “C” or higher in all academic classes, and no major behavioral incidents.
The curriculum is designed to incorporate the Common Core Standards to all academic areas. The curriculum is based on core academic areas to facilitate continuity with the PAEC Cooperative School Districts. Individual learning styles, academic levels and skills, processing abilities, cognitive profile, and experiential backgrounds are considered in the development of the student’s program of instruction and support. The approach is to present a program for the student designed to meet his/her individual needs. Academic programs, learning styles, teaching approaches, counseling strategies and therapeutic services parallel the student’s profile. Social workers, speech and language pathologists, occupational therapists, and/or agency counselors/therapist provide supportive services for each student to address their respective needs. The program has a child/adolescent psychiatrist that provides consultation and evaluations as recommended by IEP Teams.
The program must provide a basis for establishing rapport and building relationships with students and must contain the following components:
- Structure and predictability
- Immediate reinforcement and feedback
- Motivation for student growth
- Development of internal monitoring and evaluation strategies
- A measurable record of student progress
- Instruction and coaching designed to increase positive strategies in place of maladaptive behavior patterns
Students are evaluated on established behavioral expectations several times throughout the school day to earn points, which lead to short term and long-term incentives.
PAEC has six (6) certified trainers in CPI, a nonviolent crisis prevention/intervention training program. All of the PAEC staff receives Behavior Management Training and support throughout the school year in an effort to secure and maintain a school climate where all are treated with dignity and respect.
Students are required to be searched and scanned with a metal detector upon arriving at school each day to insure a safe environment for students, staff and visitors.
The physical plant is specifically designed to provide the necessary range of program components to address the students’ needs.