Program & Curriculum
The primary goal of The Springboard School is to help each child reach his or her best potential, providing a foundation for future success.
Many of our students eventually thrive in mainstream settings and go on to college, graduate school and professional careers. Most importantly, many have succeeded in achieving happy and productive lives.
“Today, her out-of-control behaviors at home have been reduced, she participates in social activities with pleasure, and she speaks regularly in the classroom with peers and teachers. Her transformation has been beautiful, uplifting and inspirational.”
- Alumni Parent
A Therapeutic Program
We address the children’s emotional lives along with other aspects of their development. We help them understand and express their feelings. We also help the parents develop new ways of empathizing and communicating with their children. As the children learn to replace inappropriate or out of control behaviors with appropriate ones, self-confidence is enhanced and learning becomes possible. When parents are helped to use these principles at home, the children’s capacity to develop expands still further.
A Language-Based Classroom
Speech and language therapists and special education teachers collaborate in the classroom at all times. In addition, children receive individual and small group pullout language therapy.
A Comprehensive Curriculum for Teaching Social Skills and Behavioral Regulation
Our curriculum focuses primarily on social skills and emotional and behavioral regulation. Our students are intelligent, however, they have difficulty with communication, socialization, and emotional and behavioral regulation, which prevents them from succeeding in mainstream environments. Our curriculum is unique because it focuses on these core issues, and teaches these critical skills directly.
We use a comprehensive social skills curriculum based on Michelle Dunn’s S.O.S: Social Skills in our Schools (2005). Through puppet and role play, pictures, scripts and stories, the children are taught directly how to play, interact socially, and modulate their emotions and behaviors. Graphic organizers are used to help the children verbally interact with others.
Parents practice these lessons at home with their children, to insure that these new skills and behaviors are internalized and generalized to settings outside the classroom.
A Program for Parents and Children Together
We believe that our students make dramatic long-term gains because the parents are included as collaborating partners in their child’s treatment. Historically, parents or other caretakers have been invited to attend classes, interact with teachers, and participate in weekly parent counseling and peer support groups. Parents use what they learn in the program to help their children at home and in the community.
Since the pandemic, we have shifted to a virtual model of parent counseling, and parents continue to be in constant communication with our teachers and therapists so we are all in alignment on each child's progress throughout the year both in and out of the classroom. Parents have been able to join us again on our frequent trips out of the classroom that relate to each of our units.
An Enhanced Academic Curriculum
We provide a highly stimulating academic curriculum, including lessons in science, social studies, geography, music and yoga. By consistently stimulating the students’ intelligence and curiosity, we not only increase their knowledge of the world, but we also harness their intellectual strengths to overcome the difficulties they may have in focusing, attending, listening, taking turns and making transitions. In this way we prepare them to succeed in a mainstream setting.
An Occupational Therapy Curriculum
Occupational therapists help the children process sensory information which increases their ability to self-regulate. In addition, the therapists work to develop gross and fine motor skills, motor planning and visual motor skills, as well as self-help skills.
An Inclusive Program
Springboard students are often integrated with mainstream programming at Lubavitch on the Palisades Preschool (LPS), where our program is housed. Our program takes place in the afternoons, five days a week, allowing students to participate in mainstream classrooms either at LPS or elsewhere in the mornings. Our staff works closely with the mainstream LPS staff to insure maximum success for our students.