High Peaks Program
The High Peaks Program at Abilities is an innovative program that we provide to the community. It consists of individual therapies as well as integrated setting (SCIS) preschool classes through CPSE.
What is an integrated setting (SCIS) preschool classroom?
It is is a language based developmental program where 3 and 4 year old children with and without educational special needs learn together in a play oriented setting. It is a program in which two teachers, one with a special education focus, work collaboratively to teach an integrated classroom. This program follows the same Pre-School Curriculum as all other Abilities classes, while also providing additional advantages. The integration of children stimulates the progress of all of the children in many areas of development including language, social emotional, motor and self help skills. The children without identified needs learn quickly in a developmentally appropriate environment and are more likely to develop positive attitudes, empathy, the understanding that others have different experiences and perspectives, and gain an appreciation for diversity. Being an equal member of a classroom community provides many important benefits including increase of self esteem and the formation of friendships.
Who attends the integrated preschool?
At Abilities, we believe that inclusion is a basic value that extends to all children. Everyone belongs and everyone is welcome. Children learn through developmentally appropriate practices including play, hands on tasks and social interactions. Students with mild to moderate identified needs are included with typically developing peers. Students ages 3 & 4 are welcome to register for our various classes.
Who will be working with my child? Each integrated classroom will consist of two lead teachers and two assistants allowing for a teacher to student ratio of 1:4 during curricular instruction. Teachers are highly qualified in the areas of early development and special education. ln many classrooms, Speech and Language Pathologist's and Occupational Therapist's provide individual and small group instruction and participate in centers which benefit the development of early literacy, fine motor development and social communication skills in our children.
How many children will be in my child's class?
Eight of the spaces are for typically developing peers and eight are for students with mild to moderate developmental needs (receiving one or more of the following: Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Speech Therapy). Abilities is approved to provide half day (3 hour) integrated programs with morning and afternoon options.
What are the benefits of an integrated classroom?
One of the many benefits of an integrated classroom is the presence of a wide variety of professionals which leads to a high teacher student ratio. This allows every child in the classroom to receive individual attention and assessment. Parents also benefit from access to highly qualified staff with a rich knowledge of early childhood development.
The Algonquin Class meets Monday- Friday 8:30-11:30 am
The Haystack Class meets Monday- Friday 12-3:00 pm
Abilities is an approved preschool special education provider of the New York State Education Department. Our Preschool Special Education Program works in conjunction with the child's "home" school district to provide appropriate services to children ages 3-5 who exhibit delays in development that affect current academic success. Services received depend upon the extent of your child's needs, as determined by an evaluation. Port of entry for this program is a child's local school district - the Committee for Pre-School Special Education Chairperson (CPSE). They will arrange for an evaluation, based upon the concerns that you have. You may refer to Section 4410 of the State Education Law for eligibility criteria. Once your child is determined eligible for pre-school special education services, an Individual Education Plan (IEP) is developed and goals are determined.