The Youth Villages-Germaine Lawrence Campus’ school curriculum is based on the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks and the individual needs of our students. With support from the principal, teachers design units and lessons that increase skills and knowledge both through group activities and one to one tutoring sessions. Small class sizes – no more than 10 students per class and often as few as five – allow teachers to gain a profound understanding of each student’s skills and deficits and modify and enhance lessons accordingly. Our core subjects are augmented by elective classes including art, culinary arts and physical education.
Individual, bi-monthly meetings between teachers and students promote progress on students’ Individual Educational Plans’ goals and transition plans.
Additionally, teachers use individual meetings with students to review the quality of each student’s work and grades. When warranted, teachers arrange for one of our tutors to meet with students after school for extra academic support. A classroom dedicated to providing special education services helps students who need extra academic support.
Our campus school also has a teacher dedicated to working with students to prepare for life after high school. She monitors students’ transition plans and implements interventions and goals outlined by the IEP team. Often this includes preparing the students for the SAT; exploring post-secondary learning opportunities on the Internet or by bringing them to a college fair or tour; setting up volunteer and/or employment opportunities in the community; etc. Our teacher works with parents and other members of the treatment team to help ensure a collaborative transition planning process.
A high number of students who come to our campus struggle with executive functioning skills in the following areas:
- Inhibition: the ability to stop one's own behavior at the appropriate time, including stopping actions and thoughts
- Emotional Control: the ability to modulate emotional responses by bringing rational thought to bear on feelings
- Initiation: the ability to begin a task or activity and to independently generate ideas, responses, or problem-solving strategies
Bringing the best learning opportunities to the students is a high priority at the Youth Villages-Germaine Lawrence Campus, so we work hard to maintain relationships with esteemed institutions such as the Museum of Science and Harvard Extension School. The Museum of Science collaborates with our teachers to implement state of the art science curricula both on site and during our visits to the Museum’s wet lab and exhibits.