As mandated by IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, formerly PL94-142 Education For All Handicapped Children Act, 1975), the Transitional with Access to the Mainstream (TEAM) program will provide each student an appropriate education tailored to meet individual needs. Graduation eligibility can occur by the end of the fourth year or may be extended until the day before the student turns 22. The ultimate goal is to maximize independence by developing the unique potential of each student.
The TEAM program provides the student with a wide range of learning opportunities. Spanning from the natural community environment to the traditional classroom setting, the program meets the unique needs of each student. The TEAM program stresses individualization in the instructional classroom and community methodologies, materials and supportive services to meet the student’s needs. The TEAM curriculum includes the following:
Daily Living Skills
Vocational Training and Opportunities
The TEAM program is divided amongst four classrooms/groups on campus. In addition, there are two off-campus transition (CITE) programs for students over the age of 18-21 years old. TEAM/CITE consists of a wonderful teaching staff and teaching assistants, along with access to services of a speech and language pathologist, occupational therapist, physical therapist, social worker, hearing itinerant and vision itinerant. Services are also offered by a pre-vocational coordinator and transition specialist, an adapted physical education teacher, job coaches and a group worker who provides counseling. These services are determined during the IEP process.
The staff to student ratio varies, depending on individual student needs. Student/Peer aides are an integral part of the program as well. Extracurricular involvement in school activities is encouraged and should be explored on an individual basis.
Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Social Work and Speech and Language Therapy are provided through direct and consultation service and are based on the therapists’ evaluations and the recommendation of the multidisciplinary team. A physician’s referral is required for Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy. Services are administered through the use of an integrated model. Social Work services are available as determined by the IEP. These services may include group counseling and social skills training. Social workers and psychologists are available to all students who require social developmental case study updates and psychological/educational assessments at appropriate times. We will also continue to implement MUSIC THERAPY with an outside agency to provide services once a week.
Positive Behavioral Intervention Supports & Zones
Age appropriate behavior is an integral component in independent living and is therefore given serious attention by the TEAM program. Staff meets routinely to determine behavioral objectives for individual students. Positive behavioral intervention supports, in addition to individualized behavior intervention plans (BIPS) per student, are then established to assist the students in achieving those goals.
The TEAM also uses Zones of Regulation, a systematic, cognitive behavior approach used to teach self-regulation by categorizing all the different ways we feel and states of alertness we experience into four concrete zones. The Zones curriculum provides strategies to teach students to become more aware of, and independent in controlling their emotions and impulses, managing their sensory needs, and improving their ability to problem solve conflicts. By addressing underlying deficits in emotional and sensory regulation, executive functions, and social cognition, Zones is designed to help move students toward independent regulation. The Zones of Regulation incorporates Social Thinking concepts and numerous visuals to teach students to identify their feelings/level of alertness, understand how their behavior impacts those around them, and learn what tools they can use to manage their feelings and states.
The TEAM program facilitates community-based instruction to enhance functional daily living and academic skills. Community-based instruction involves teaching students systematically and directly in community context. The instruction prepares students to generalize skills to the environment beyond the schools, to different peers, and to diverse materials. Community trips incorporate several domain areas:
- Self-Management/Home Living skills in the area of eating and food preparation, grooming and dressing, hygiene, safety, and health.
- Recreation/Leisure skills in the area of school and extracurricular activities to do alone at home in the neighborhood and with family and friends.
- General Community Functioning skills in the area of travel, community safety, shopping, eating out, and using services.
- Vocational skills in the area of classroom/school jobs, community-based work experiences, and community employment.