North Andover provides programs for children with social emotional disabilities at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. The goals of the Social Emotional Programs are to provide a highly- structured academic and therapeutic milieu for students who have difficulty benefiting from the typical general education environment due to mental health and behavioral health disorders. The program helps students with unique social emotional needs to experience a sense of success and belonging in school related activities. A smaller classroom setting, trained special education teachers and staff, and ongoing therapeutic support increases students’ abilities to manage difficulties that arise on a day-to-day basis in the school setting.
The programs serves students who have experienced difficulties and/or are not accessing the general education classrooms. The intent of the programs is to help students develop appropriate personal and social competencies, changing maladaptive behaviors and teaching coping skills so that the student can access the general curriculum. The programs provides both academic and therapeutic components and inclusion opportunities in general education classrooms. The overall goal of the team is to create and maintain a therapeutic environment by promoting self-governance, progressive levels of responsibility, links with family and community and effective interaction among peers, teachers and program staff. The programs works in partnership with students’ families and collaborates with outside providers and community agencies to provide continuity of care.
Students served in these programs may be functioning academically at or below grade level or have significant gaps in their learning. Students are struggling with emotional impairments and may have been diagnosed with mental health or behavioral disorders including ADHD, depressive disorders, anxiety/panic disorders, bipolar disorder, disruptive behavioral disorders and PTSD. Other conditions requiring clinical attention seen in this population include relational problems, problems related to abuse/neglect, issues related to foster care placement and adoption, bereavement/complicated grief.
One example of an SEL programming space at the elementary level.