School at Shodair

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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 support that takes into consideration the factors that led to the child’s admission, but also to ensure an individualized education that will build on skills and promote a positive learning experience.

The School at Shodair is accredited by AdvancED 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. More than 500 public schools in Montana have implemented the Montana Behavioral Initiative, which helps the School at Shodair provide a strong continuum from the home classroom and back again.

School in the Residential Units

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In the residential units, the School at Shodair consists of primary, intermediate, and secondary levels. Each level has two special education teachers and one assistant. Coupled with information provided by the child’s 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 children 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. 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 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, 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 multidisciplinary team at Shodair to ensure the most positive transition possible for the child back to their receiving school setting.


Therapeutic Learning at Shodair

(day treatment)

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Day Treatment services are a set of mental health services provided in a specialized classroom setting that is not co-located in a public school, and instead housed on Shodair’s campus. The educational component of the program is provided through full collaboration with a public school district; however the teachers are Shodair employees, and carry special education endorsements.

School and education services; individual, family, and group therapy; social and life skills training; and therapeutic recreation services.

Licensed therapists, teachers with special education endorsements, teacher’s assistants, activity assistants, and behavioral coaches make up the day-treatment team. Shodair employs all day treatment staff members.

The services focus on building skills for adaptive school and community functioning with the goal of reducing symptoms and behaviors that interfere with a youth’s ability to participate in their education at a public school. The program works with the student to minimize the need for more restrictive levels of care and has a goal for each student to return to a public school setting as soon as possible.

TLC can serve up to 18 students, ages kindergarten through fifth grade. All students are required to have an individualized education program (IEP) for admission to TLC. Students in the Helena School District will make up the majority of the individuals in the service. Schools from the surrounding school districts and may also make referrals to the program.

TLC follows the Helena School District Calendar during the school year and will be open three days a week through the summer. The school day will start at 8:30 am Monday through Friday and will end at 1 p.m. on Mondays and 2:15 pm on Tuesday through Friday.

The students will arrive via the public school bus. The bus will drop the students off in the main front parking lot where the behavioral coaches will meet the children and accompany them into the classroom and at Shodair.

All referrals must come from the school administrator. Shodair does not take direct referrals. If you believe a child would benefit from this service please work with the child’s school to get a referral started.