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Children with special needs are enrolled in the Little Mustangs Preschool Academy after the development of an Individualized Education Plan and the determination that participation in the program is appropriate to meet the needs of the child.
The Little Mustangs Preschool Academy is an early childhood program for children living in Norwood that will be turning 3 or 4 years old by August 31 of the year participating. Most of our classrooms are “integrated.” These classrooms provide a safe environment that is designed to meet the needs of children with and without disabilities in the same setting. In the classroom, children may participate in small group or one-to-one sessions to develop speech, language, gross motor or fine motor skills. Depending upon each student’s particular needs, these sessions may occur in the classroom, therapy room, on the playground or in a small group setting. All of our classrooms use principles based on Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA). ABA is a method of teaching which uses systematic reinforcement and simple language. It provides multiple opportunities for errorless learning for continual successful skill acquisition throughout the child’s day.
Classroom instruction is differentiated in all of our classrooms. This means we deliver instruction at a variety of levels, based on each child’s needs, in order to ensure that all students have opportunities for enrichment. Our teachers capitalize on the peer partner models by providing opportunities for academic learning and discovery though social interactions. Peer partner programs enable all children involved to learn and discover at their own developmental rate. Children in our integrated classrooms learn to develop empathy and understanding for individual differences in others.
The PACS classroom addresses students with more significant communication, sensory integration, socialization and cognitive concerns. Specialized small group instruction in the areas of Speech and Language, Occupational Therapy, and Physical Therapy are included into each child’s program. Consultations of these services are provided on a regular basis to integrate these specialized services throughout each school day. Opportunities to integrate students into the integrated classrooms are available as much as possible. The classroom operates on the theory of Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA). A Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) supervises the classroom and the programs.
The staffing model in our PACS classroom varies year-to-year, depending on the number and level of need of our students.