The Lifeways School Overview
The purpose of the Lifeways School is to provide educational, behavioral, vocational and community supports to students with Autism Spectrum Disorders, developmental disabilities and challenging behaviors. For the most part, it is the students' challenging behaviors that have precluded them from receiving instruction in a regular educational setting.
An overriding goal of the Lifeways School is the reintegration of the student into his or her home school and neighborhood as soon as possible. In addition to targeting challenging behaviors for elimination, functional and more socially acceptable alternatives are taught. In this manner, students learn how to get what they want and need without resorting to what may be described as undesirable behaviors.
In addition to a general education curriculum based on the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks, the Lifeways School also employs a life skills curriculum designed to teach students skills they will need to live, work and play in a typical school and community. Thus, skills such as money use, cooking, cleaning, personal hygiene and community travel receive great emphasis.
It is hoped that most students will return to their home schools after only one or two years at the Lifeways School. To help make this happen, in-home supports and transitional planning are critical pieces of the program.
The Lifeways School supports elementary, middle and high school students. Also available is a six-week summer program.
The Lifeways School also offers an after school program providing students with a quality after school program Monday- Thursday 3:00 - 5:00 pm. The program is designed to compliment activities and programs the students receive at The Lifeways School with a special emphasis on recreational and leisure time skills.
Lifeways is a public seperate day school serving students between the ages of five and twenty-two. The Lifeways School is dedicated to providing support to students whose behavioral and emotional difficulties prevent them from being able to take advantage of educational programming in their local school districts. The Lifeways School is an option on the continuum of services school districts seek for students requiring more intensive educational support services.
Each student shall be provided with an individual behavioral and academic program. The Lifeways School seeks to assist students in the establishment and renewal of a positive feeling toward school and learning; development of patterns of appropriate behaviors in school, work, and social settings; and a successful return to community schools and programs.
The treatment component of the program is designed to help students learn needed skills relative to their cognitive, emotional, social and behavioral development. By acquiring the needed skills, students will be better prepared to return to their referring districts and successfully participate in the learning environment of the schools in their community.
All of the Lifeways classrooms have small numbers of students and there is a low student to staff ration. This allows school staff the opportunity to give students the support they need prior to the onset of problems or when problems first become apparent. By working with students early on, before the development of serious problems, students are taught how to negotiate and effectively deal with stressors that are inherent in the learning process in school.
All students progress through the program and acquire the skills they need and become less dependent on receiving intensive attention and support from school staff. In this process they also become increasingly self-regulated, socially competent, and able to assume more responsibility to guide their own learning. By becoming higher functioning independent learners, Lifeways students will acquire the life skills they need to gain fuller access to the benefits that our society has to offer.
Students at Lifeways will be given academic work that is adjusted to their current instructional level of academic functioning.
The Lifeways After School Program goals include the following:
- to build upon the existing skills and abilities of the participants
- to compliment the activities provided to participants in their educational programs
- to enhance the participant's quality of life
- to develop confidence, self-esteem and motivation in the participants
- to provide opportunities for increased community integration and full recreational participation
For further information please contact the Program Director, Bernice Pierce, at (978) 685-3000 x122. Our fax number is (978)687- 9348.
Page Last modified: February 09 2012 13:46:20.