The School at Shodair
School is a significant part of a child's life. For some children, school is a stressor and for others a place to be engaged in their education and to flourish. Our intention is to provide educational supports that take into consideration the factors that lead to the child's admission, but also to insure an individualized education that will build on skills and promote a positive learning experience.
The School at Shodair is accredited by the Advanced Ed of Montana / Northwest Association of Accredited Schools and operates year round. This allows students an opportunity to work in academic areas as needed or make up missed credits. All teachers are certified and have a Special Education endorsement. The School at Shodair has a certified school administrator who serves as the Education Director.
An essential part of the School at Shodair is the utilization of the Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS) model or as it is known in Montana, the Montana Behavioral Initiative (MBI). This is a research-based educational model that utilizes "best practice" in all aspects of the learning process and relies on clear expectations, positive relationships and active, positive student engagement. Over 500 public schools in Montana have implemented the Montana Behavioral Initiative so that helps the School at Shodair to provide a strong continuum from the home classroom and back again.
School on the Acute Unit
Most children that are admitted to Shodair spend a brief period of time on the Acute Unit. This is a safe and supported environment that allows time for students to stabilize and adjust and for the Shodair multi-disciplinary team to begin the critical evaluation and assessment that will lead to effective treatment. During this period, anywhere from three to seven days, the two classrooms (Primary and Secondary) focus on helping the students to adjust to their new educational environment. Students are introduced to the four expectations that will help them to be successful in their educational experience:
· Be Safe
· Be Respectful
· Be Responsible
· Be a Learner
These expectations are threaded through everything the students' experience in the School at Shodair.
As information from the home school becomes available the two teachers and one assistant begin the evaluation process that will place the student accurately within the curriculum and set a firm foundation for learning. If the student comes to Shodair with an Individual Education Plan (IEP) or a 504 Plan in place, these documents become a part of the student's educational program.
School on the Residential Units
On the Residential Units the School at Shodair consists of Primary, Intermediate and Secondary levels. Each level has two Special Education teachers and one assistant. The assessment process that was initiated upon entry to the Acute Unit is continued in the Residential classrooms. Coupled with information provided by the home school, instruction is provided at the level of successful engagement. Along with academics the Education staff works on social skills, language skills, and behavioral skills that will help them to be more successful in the classroom. Instruction is provided by a variety of means that includes whole group, small group and individual approaches. Close attention is paid to appropriate pacing and a variety of activities that ensure active student engagement. Again, the four "universal expectations" of be safe, be respectful, be responsible and be a learner are an integral part of the student's educational experience and provide the supportive framework for all learning.
Shodair educators are responsible for contacting the child's previous school every two weeks to keep school administration up to date on the student's progress. Home schools and parents / guardians are invited and encouraged to participate in regular educational meetings, including Special Education meetings and treatment team meetings. During the student's time at Shodair the education staff attend regular "rounds" and treatment plan meetings and are active participants in the child's overall treatment plan. When the student is ready to be discharged from treatment the education staff will host an exit review conference with the child's multi-disciplinary team at Shodair to ensure the most positive transition possible for the child back to their receiving school setting.
By utilizing the Positive Behavioral and Instructional Supports (PBIS) model the School at Shodair is keeping pace with educational research and best practice. The educational staff receives ongoing professional development, utilizes a structured team approach and monitors their own performance using a variety of data sources. The School at Shodair works closely with the other professionals within the treatment setting and takes the responsibility of educating each child seriously and does so with confidence.