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Early Intervention | Preschool | School Age Program | Day Habilitation / Group Homes | M usic Program | Staff Development | Vocational Training

The Hawthorne Country Day School educates children birth to 21 years old with special needs, including autism/PDD, MR, Asperger's Syndrome, Prader-Willi Syndrome, Multiple Disabilities, and Other Health Impairments. We offer a variety vocational, academic, and language building programs, all taught within the framework of applied behavior analysis. Please select one of the programs listed above for more information.

Early Intervention Program The Early Intervention Program at HCDS serves children less than 3 years of age with significant language and developmental delays. The educational program for each student is individualized based on their needs. Long-term objectives are broken down into short-term, goal oriented tasks, which are taught systematically to facilitate a high rate of student success. Students are taught functional and age-appropriate skills using teaching techniques and strategies derived from applied behavior analysis. Educational programs target skills in the following areas: functional communication, verbal behavior/language and associated prerequisites, social skills, play skills, and self-care skills. In addition, socially inappropriate behaviors are addressed early on so as to prevent them from increasing in frequency and severity in the future. Data are collected on student responds to instruction and graphed for each individual program on a daily basis. This allows us to monitor student progress on an ongoing basis. The EI program is home-based and consists of special instruction for students and family training for parents, students, siblings, and other interested family members. Special instruction consists of 1:1 instruction for the student in the home setting. Our instructors typically hold a Bachelors degree in Psychology, Special Education or a related field. They are supervised at least twice a week by a supervisor who holds an MA in Psychology or Special Education and is a Nationally Board Certified Behavior Analyst. A child's progress is maximized when educators and parents work together towards a common goal. In the EI program at HCDS, the supervisor of each child's program provides family training services in the home, usually to the parents, on a weekly basis. Through family training, parents learn basic principles of human behavior and how to apply these principles to teach their child



various skills, including listening and speaking, playing, socializing and daily living skills such as eating and dressing. In addition, parents learn how to collect and analyze data, manage inappropriate behaviors and teach appropriate alternative behaviors. We believe that parents are the most important teachers in their child's life and through the family training component; they will learn effective teaching strategies that will enhance the parent-child relationship. For more information about the HCDS Early Intervention Program, please contact Kelly Hobbins ( [email protected] ) Early Childood Director, or please call (914) 592-8526 ext. 1004 *The Early Intervention Program (EIP) is a public program for children under the age of three who are either suspected of having or at risk for developmental delays or disabilities. Potentially eligible children must be referred to the Westchester County Department of Health at (914) 813-5094 to receive EI services. EIP is funded by New York State and Westchester County government. All EIP services are provided at no cost to parents. Health insurance mayl be accessed for reimbursement of approved services. A child's eligibility for the program can be determined only by state-approved evaluators under contract, and all services must be authorized by WCDOH. A child's eligibility for the program can be determined only by state-approved evaluators under contract with WCDOH, and all services must be identified in collaboration with the parent and approved by WCDOH. WCDOH will arrange for service providers to deliver authorized services. When EI services are delivered in child-care settings or community locations that require a fee, the parent is responsible for paying any costs associated with such settings. Hawthorne Country Day School is an approved provider of EI services and under contract with WCDOH to provide such services.

Pre-School The pre-school continues to flourish under the direction of Kelly Hobbins. We graduated 21 students this past summer and currently have 60 total in our school. This past spring we experienced some wonderful events. We were fortunate enough to be visited by a petting zoo, which educated us and allowed us to pet their friendly animals. We also had our first annual musical chairs extravaganza in which every student took part in a game of musical chairs for the entire pre-school population! It was a blast! We received some tremendous support from our Parent's Association, as well. They sponsored a book drive, which yielded over 1200 books for our brand new pre-school library! Thanks parents! In addition, we just had our inaugural "Friday Fun-Day" on September 8 in which the wonderful students from The Hackley School helped us participate in 10 fun-filled activity stations. We were also proud to be visited by Senator Nicholas Spano during this event, which was a rousing success! The pre-school will be adding a keyboard to each of its 10 classrooms and will receive music class this upcoming year! As you can see, it is an exciting time for The Hawthorne Country Day Pre-School For more information about the Pre School Program, please contact Kelly Hobbins (



[email protected] ), Early Childood Director, or please call (914) 592-8526 ext. 1004.

School Age Program The school age program serves students ages 5-21 years old with disabilities such as autism, mental retardation and multiple disabilities. Students with similar social, educational, and behavioral needs are grouped in classrooms with a student to teacher ratio of 6:1:2, which is 2 students for every staff member. Each student has an educational program designed to meet their needs; established through a combination of criterion referenced assessment and IEP goals. Long-term objectives are taught through a series of task-analyzed short-term objectives called individual student "programs." Programs are taught in both the 1:1 and group setting with individualized instruction provided throughout the day. Continuous measurement is a key component of our model and student progress is graphed daily. Students receive instruction in all academic areas with time allotted weekly for art, music, adaptive physical education, and related services (speech, OT, and PT). Curriculum is derived from research and published curricula shown to be effective in teaching young children with disabilities. Nationally Board Certified Behavior Analysts provide close supervision and ongoing training to our teachers, assistants, and related professionals. Research has demonstrated that more effective time management in the classroom directly relates to student success. Therefore, each teacher schedules their day in ways to minimize "down time" and maximize learning opportunities. Classrooms follow a daily schedule generated by the teacher. Time is allotted for circle time, 1:1 Instruction, (which may be broken down specifically into Verbal Behavior instruction and academic programs), lunch, gym, and group instruction. Related services (speech, OT, PT) are "push-in" when group is recommended and "Pull-out" when 1:1 services are recommended. Curriculum and instruction at HCDS is criterion referenced. Students are assessed using a criterion-referenced assessment upon entering the school. Based on these results and goals recommended on the IEP, a program list is developed to meet the students' needs. Each student has a portfolio in which all of his or her programs and program graphs are kept. Examples of individual programs include pre-requisites skills such as eye contact, gross motor imitation, vocal-verbal imitation, and following directions, academic and pre-academic skills such as sight words, counting, phonics, colors, shapes and answering questions. Social skills focus on greetings, transitioning, sharing and cooperative play. Expanding a students community of reinforcers includes teaching students to enjoy an ever widing range of activities such as toy play, socializing, and looking at books. A major portion of the curriculum at the HCDS is the teaching of Verbal Behavior through research based methods shown to be effective to teach language. Two examples of curricula used are Teaching Operations for Verbal Behavior (Williams and Greer, 1989) and Teaching



Language to Children with Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities (Sundberg and Partington, 1998). One of the best tools we can give our students is the ability to communicate their wants and needs, whether through words, pictures or signs. All of our teachers are trained in verbal behavior teaching methods through both workshops and direct observations (1:1 training) by supervisors. All programs are task analyzed taught in steps to increase the likelihood that students will learn quickly and accurately. The continuous measurement of student progress allows teachers to closely monitor student progress. Student responses to instruction (i.e., "the data") are graphed each day and teachers are trained to make timely decisions and interventions based on the analysis of these graphs. Through various measures we are able to ensure that our decisions are made efficiently (timely) and effectively (based on research and functional for the student). For more information about the School Age Program, please contact Ann Marie Babcock , Director of Admissions, at 914-592-8526, ext. 3165.

Day Habilitation / Group Homes The Hawthorne Foundation Day Habilitation Program serves individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities from Westchester County and the Bronx. The Day Habilitation Program (site-based/with walls) optimizes the personal development of each individual. Programming is provided through community integration and recreational activities along with focusing on the individual's needs, interests, and strengths. In service to each consumer's valued outcomes, staff members provide support to advance individual's academic skills, including reading, writing, and safety skills. Many consumers work to improve their ability to participate in work routines, including office and clerical skills; housekeeping tasks; and customer service responsibilities. Consumers are provided coaching to learn socially appropriate behaviors and are provided opportunities to problem solve. The activities are designed to foster self-confidence, improve social skills, and to strengthen bonds with their communities. Highlights of the program include: Opportunities for participation in leagues (bowling, baseball); Dance/movement room; Fitness room; Computer lab; Music appreciation room; Art room; Hosting for related service sessions (speech). For more information on the Day Habilitation Program, please contact Alexandra Burdett at (91 4) 372-7173 ext. 4010 or [email protected] The Hawthorne Foundation has 3 Adult Group Homes located all over Westchester County. Please contact Anna Chopra, Supervisor of Community Services, for more information. (914)-494-8806 1. Dalewood IRA - 25 Dalewood Dr, Hartsdale, NY 10530



2. Lafayette IRA - 287 Lafayette Ave, Cortlandt Manor, NY 10567 3. Ossining IRA - 53 Somerstown Rd, Ossining, NY 10562 4. Hawthorne Day Habilitation - 525 Executive Blvd. Elmsford, NY 10523

Music Program

Our music program was founded in 2004 and has gone through a tremendous amount of growth and prosperity. Initially, students who demonstrated an interest in pursuing an instrument were given an opportunity to do so by receiving weekly private lessons. We decided to put the lessons to the test at the end of the year and have the students come up with their own original songs. What manifested itself in the spring of 2005 was our first annual music CD with 10 original songs. With this album, the "Eagle Ensemble" was born. Our music does not follow any traditional guidelines or formulas for success. It is merely honest music that speaks from the hearts of our players and allows the listeners to interpret it for themselves. Some of it may be straight ahead rock or border on the avant-garde, but it is this lack of a recipe that makes it unique, and makes it our own. Last year, we increased the amount of students who were exposed to music and really put a jolt into the program. What resulted was an unbelievable 17 song double album that takes musical journeys previously uncharted! This brings us to this year and the future could not be brighter. Due to the generosity of Senator Nicholas Spano, the school received a musical grant that will furnish us with new instruments, recording equipment, and a keyboard in every classroom on both campuses.

I can't wait to find out what this year's album will bring! If you have any questions or comments about our "Eagle Ensemble", please contact Darren Cerrone at 914-592-8526, ext. 2111 or e-mail him at [email protected]

Staff Development The HCDS Staff development program provides initial and on-going training in applied behavior analysis and special education to all instructional staff. The majority of the staff training is



provided by HCDS supervisory staff, many of whom are board certified behavior analysts (BCBAs). Staff training at HCDS consists of 4 components: 1. Initial Staff Training - All new staff participate in a five-day training series which introduces them to basic principles and techniques of aba. Topics covered during the initial training include history of ABA and special education, verbal behavior, understanding human behavior, reinforcement, data collection and graphing, data decision analysis, and classroom management. 2. Staff Conference Days: Four school calendar days per year are reserved for staff conference days. During these conference days, staff receive training in special education and applied behavior analysis from a variety of sources including workshops presented by HCDS supervisory staff, guest speakers, and workshops presented off campus. Previous conference days have included workshops presented by Dr. Bobby Newman, and Dr. Vincent Carbone and associates. 3. Hands-on Training: Throughout the school year, supervisors conduct ongoing training withing the classrooms. Supervisors train classroom staff using various techniques such as modeling, coaching, and data collected on teacher and student behaviors using our Direct Observations Measurement Forms. 4. Mini-inservies - On an average of once every 2 months, mini-inservices are presented to instructional staff either before or after the instructional day. Topics are determined on an as needed basis, and cover specific topics in the field of special education and applied behavioral analysis. Previous topics have covered specific training teaching procedures (teaching mands), gathering baseline data on problem behaviors, and state behavior plan regulations.

Vocational Training The HCDS vocational program prepares students for potential employment opportunities after graduation. Starting at age 11, "Transition Planning" is a part of each student's IEP. Vocational training goals take on increasing importance as student approach graduation age, usually 18-21 years old. Current and planned vocational training opportunities available at HCDS are outlined on the right. Click on the titles for more. On the grounds of the HCDS campus is a cottage that serves as a model home for domestic skills training. HCDS students completed much of the renovation of this cottage. There are 2 working bedrooms, a full working kitchen and bathroom, and a laundry room where student practice cooking, cleaning, home maintenance and repair, and cleaning laundry. Additionally, there is a sewing and craft room and a small classroom for small group instruction. Students gain skill as office assistants by providing support for the Controller, Human Resource Manager, and Executive Director. Skills practiced include data entry, mail sorting and postaging, and operating a copy machine. Students manage the School Store. Skills practiced include data entry, taking inventory, data



analysis, stocking, and report writing. Students manage an on-campus copy center. Skills practiced include copying documents, taking document orders, laminating, sorting, timely delivery, and learning the various functions of a modern copy machine. Our students participate in the "We Deliver" program sponsored by the United States Postal Service. Students pick up mail from various "Post Boxes" placed in common areas of the school buildings, then sort and deliver the mail based on an internal addressing system (e.g. To: John Smith, Teacher, Classroom 1, 1st floor Overcash Building). Students manage a summer car wash. In addition to washing cars, the program functions as a "small business" so students can practice basic advertising, scheduling, and money management. "Profits" are used at the end of the summer for a class trip or party or both, depending on how well the students manage their money. There is a student maintained garden on campus as well as a greenhouse. These facilities provide opportunities to practice horticultural management skills as well as many opportunities for applied Earth Science experiments. The HCDS library is open every school day afternoon and is run and maintained by students. A modified card catalog system is being used. Some students also participate in a program in which they read stories to elementary grade students. In collaboration with the Bee Line Bus Company, this program will be offered students 18 and older. The program focuses on teaching students how to use a public transportation system, how to read maps and schedules, and how to travel safely. In a related endeavor, in winter 2002 some of our students participated in a program offered by Metro-North to tour Grand Central Station where they learned about traveling by train and job opportunities provided by Metro-North. For more information about the vocational program, please contact Daren Cerrone , School Age Program Coordinator at (914) 592-8526 ext 2111




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