The Aurora Day School curriculum is aligned with Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards and incorporates daily lesson plans for instruction. All instruction is based on grade-specific curriculum and the goals identified in a student’s IEP, utilizing accommodations and modifications as indicated.
Classroom activities are a blend of engagement through project-based learning, group and cooperative activities, one-to-one mentoring with teachers and ed techs, the use of technology, and interactive learning. Specials, such as art, music, and PE, enhance the students’ social and emotional skills. Morning and afternoon recess are important to students to allow for movement and social interaction.
Every student is tested using the iReady adaptive diagnostics upon entering our program. Ongoing assessment procedures include quarterly iReady, formative and summative curriculum-based assessments, and teacher observations, as well as all student participation in the standardized assessments required by the state of Arizona. Individual Education Programs (IEPs), Functional Behavior Assessments (FBAs), and Behavior Intervention Plans (BIPs) are developed in conjunction with the District Special Education Director, service providers, and parents.
Therapeutic Day School
Aurora Day School has a strong academic and comprehensive resiliency-based positive behavior management program. We are an option for student placement outside of their home district campus or an option for parents/guardians who have received an Empowerment Scholarship Account from ADE. The students attending our program are special education students whose more severe needs are best served in a restrictive, structured, customized school that specializes in students with educational or behavioral challenges. Though we must have a restrictive, highly supervised environment, the students soon learn that our school is a safe and caring place for learning and creating change.
We effectively serve the following categories: autistic, ED (emotional disability), MIID (mild intellectual disability), MOID (moderate intellectual disability), MD (multiple disabilities), OI (orthopedic impairment), SLI (speech-language impairment), DD (developmentally delayed), and SLD (specific learning disability).
Aurora Day School incorporates on-site therapists, canine therapy, and equine therapy as a valuable part of student growth. All staff members are involved in ongoing training for the use of age-appropriate strategies to de-escalate behaviors and to improve life skills and executive functioning skills during structured and unstructured activities. The staff’s language, actions, and relationships with students and one another are consistent with the resiliency model and incorporated throughout the day.
Suspension Alternative (SALT) Program
The SALT program is for students who would benefit from intensive in-school behavior intervention as an alternative to out-of-school suspension.
SALT was created to allow students to experience a strict level of behavioral intervention within a therapeutic school setting. The program encourages students to accept accountability for their actions and to successfully change unacceptable and disruptive behavior. The structured program provides for limited student privileges. The students must earn their way back to the home school based on their ability to exhibit appropriate classroom behaviors and the completion of academic assignments. The students’ day consists of completing schoolwork from their home school teachers and sitting quietly at their desks. The emphasis of each student’s time in the program is to demonstrate the following behavioral expectations:
- Comply with staff directives
- Communicate using appropriate and respectful language
- Be accountable for inappropriate behaviors
- Demonstrate appropriate boundaries
- Refrain from verbal or physical aggression
- Work on assignments provided and stay on-task
The daily “SALT Point Sheet” is used to determine the progress of each student. Students earn points each day, and this data sheet serves to track the behaviors of the students while in the program. The home school will establish the exit criteria; typically 85%–90% of possible points, the number of days in the program, and any other goals required for the student’s successful return to the home school.
The daily point sheet, including comments, is then faxed to the home school, and a copy of the point sheet is sent home to the parent to be signed and returned to Aurora Day School.
Placement in the program can take place immediately with a phone call to Aurora Day School. The required documentation can be completed as the student is being placed or prior to placement.