The Youth Villages-Germaine Lawrence Campus offers the only Massachusetts DESE-approved special education day school exclusively for girls. Our program is clinically intensive and designed for adolescent girls in grades 7 through 12 who require a highly structured program with special therapeutic and academic supports.
Our program best serves girls ages 12-18 with the following characteristics:
- Serious behavioral and emotional problems
- Truancy and school refusal
- Trauma history and symptoms
- Depression, suicidal and/or self-injurious behavior
- Eating disorders
- Substance abuse
- Peer conflict or poor social skills
- Step-down from hospital or residential school
- History of bullying
- Victims of bullying
The Germaine Lawrence day school curriculum is based on the content and skill requirements outlined in the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks. Core subjects are supplemented by art and physical education classes.
Executive Functioning: Executive functioning skills are embedded into the curriculum to teach strategies that help students set goals, improve cognitive functioning, monitor behavior and adapt to changing situations.
Social pragmatics and daily living skills: Students receive instruction in social pragmatics and daily living skills including nutrition, time management and self-advocacy. In addition, yoga and other mind/body techniques are incorporated throughout the day.
45-Day Assessment Program
We provide 45-day assessments for girls in acute crisis that are designed to stabilize behavior, assess educational and clinical needs and design future programming.
Cognitive/behavioral programming, including DBT, helps our students build social and emotional coping skills. A master’s-level clinician provides therapy services, case management and collaboration with outside providers. In addition, crisis management staff are available to support students as needed.
Individual therapy: Staff use role-plays, skill coaching and a directed nurturing approach to teach girls concrete grounding techniques, emotion regulation strategies and effective interpersonal skills in individual therapy.
Group therapy: In group therapy, clinical staff base discussion topics and therapy on the specific needs of the girls in their groups. Topics may include teaching DBT skills along with treatment issues identified in IEPs such as school truancy, running or other high-risk behaviors. Staff also focus on teaching social skills, substance abuse prevention and helping girls develop a stronger sense of self, self-worth and sense of empowerment.
Family Therapy and Support: Clinical staff provide ongoing support, communication, feedback and skill development to families of every day student.
Parents receive regular updates on their daughters’ academic achievement and progress toward meeting IEP goals. Homework assignments and other classroom information are posted on a password-protected website.
Our day students also may participate in our enriching after-school programs and activities offered Monday through Thursday afternoons, including:
- Academic tutoring including homework support and, when appropriate, college counseling and test prep
- Social skills training, life skills coaching and other therapeutic groups
- Art, music, drama, yoga and other activities
- Intramural and interscholastic sports teams