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Affective Needs Center Program

program overview

In Affective Needs (AN) programs, we focus on building relationships in a safe and consistent environment within an academic setting. Students who come to AN programs have frequently had behavior challenges in their previous setting, and require more structure and time to build school-ready behaviors.

Students will rebuild trust that school is a safe place. Within this program we support students with behavioral needs, no matter their identification, including students who have qualified for Special Education under the disability categories Serious Emotional Disability, Developmental Delay, Other Health Impairment, or Autism.

program focus

AN programs are focused on modeling, teaching and reinforcing school-ready skills through integration into the general education classroom. These skills include:

  • Remaining safe with support: Students are taught to safely express their needs with fading adult support

  • Accepting responsibility: Students learn to apologize and express empathy for others so that they can solve problems

  • Self-Regulation: Students practice appropriate responses to frustrating situations

  • Following classroom routines/instructions: Students learn to respond to classroom expectations appropriately and complete school work

Grade-Level Standards of Instruction

Students are provided with grade-level standards-driven instruction either in the general education classroom or the center program. Specialized academic instruction identified through an IEP is provided primarily within the center program. Additionally, research-based social/emotional intervention utilizing Zones of Regulation, SuperFlex and/or Skill Streaming is embedded into daily instruction.

Positive Behavior Focus

Programming in AN Centers focuses on reinforcing positive behavior through encouragement, rewards, and privileges. Students are provided with frequent, quantifiable feedback on behaviors which is reviewed daily and calculated as points. The daily points are applied to a leveled reinforcement system. This leveled system is a way of increasing privileges as the behavior becomes more consistent and school-appropriate.

General Education Classroom Time

Time in the general education classroom is not treated as privilege. Rather, like any student on an IEP, it is individualized based on student needs. AN teams work closely with the general education teachers to maximize opportunities for integration and time with typical peer models.

THE BIG 5 OF THE AFFECTIVE NEEDS PROGRAM

instruction

We focus on teaching students social/emotional skills while keeping on pace with academic standards. In addition, staff members at schools with AN programs have access to professional learning on trauma informed practices and de-escalation strategies.

BEHAVIORAL SYSTEMS

Students participate in a token economy that is tied to leveled reinforcements to shape behaviors positively. Every student has an individualized Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) that is based on a current Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA). Functionally equivalent behaviors are taught and reinforced through the program.

Family/Community Engagement

Families are connected with the school team and community resources as needed. The school team communicates with the family daily. Families feel welcomed, valued, and connected to the school community.

AN: Behavior Systems
  • A system is in place that provides a framework and allows for flexibility in reinforcing behaviors for individual students.
  • Every student has a current BIP that identifies teaching, and monitoring, strategies for functionally equivalent replacement behaviors.
  • A variety of options are available to respond to negative behaviors prior to, or instead of, suspension.
AN: SOCIAL/EMOTIONAL SUPPORTS
  • A system is in place that provides a framework and allows for flexibility in reinforcing behaviors for individual students.
  • Every student has a current BIP that identifies teaching, and monitoring, strategies for functionally equivalent replacement behaviors.
  • A variety of options are available to respond to negative behaviors prior to, or instead of, suspension.

Jeffco Public Schools AN Programs utilize Colorado Department of Education’s SED Quality Indicators

resources

Adult Support

Each program is staffed with:

  • 1 Full-Time Learning Specialist (Special Education Teacher)
  • 1 Half-Time (.5) Mental Health Provider (MHP) (Psychologist or Social Worker)
  • 1 Full-Time (1) and 1 Half-Time (.5) or 3 Half-Time (.5) Para-educators

Most schools have 2 programs that are divided into a primary (K-2) and intermediate (3-5) program with 2 teachers, a full-time Mental Health Provider and 3 paras. Inquire with the school about staffing as each school has different staffing needs.

Partnerships with general education teachers are vital to the success of each student. General education teachers provide grade-level content and build relationships with each student to support their transition into the classroom.

Exit Criteria

Several criteria are considered to determine when a student is ready to exit the AN program including:

  • Achieving the highest goal level
  • Maintaining independent integration in the general education setting (with appropriate supports as identified on the IEP)
  • Consistent demonstration of coping skills, self-regulation skills and safe behaviors

When these criteria are met, the team will start the conversation about transitioning out of the program with the understanding that there are many variables to consider. An IEP meeting, with consideration of re-evaluation, is required for a change of placement.

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