Students are referred by their school district to attend High Road School and are generally in grades 1–12 (aged 6 to 21). They face disabilities in a variety of areas, including Autism, Emotional Disability, and more.
We are proud to employ certified special education teachers, staff trained in crisis intervention, school social workers, speech language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and a transition coordinator.
In addition to primarily serving students with behavioral problems and serious emotional difficulties, the High Road School provides services for students who also have been diagnosed with specific learning disabilities, communication disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, intellectual limitations, and other health impairments. Students are referred to the High Road School through the local school systems. Students may be eligible for the program regardless of their current living situation (e.g., parents’ home, foster care, or Alternative Living Unit).
A personalized educational program is developed for each student. The educational program focuses on academic instruction in English, math, science, social studies, and career training. The morning is devoted to academic instruction through a variety of tutorials, and the afternoon incorporates academic and recreational activities, including field trips. Additionally, when students are ready, they receive school-to-work training in the community. A strong behavioral management system is also implemented throughout the school, which emphasizes the development of appropriate behaviors necessary for scholastic and social success.
All of the programming that is designed to transition the student from school to work emphasizes preparation for productive employment after graduation. To make this employment as successful and fulfilling as possible, we help the student explore his or her interests and then build upon natural talents in choosing possible career paths. As students mature, we encourage them to gradually become more self-reliant. Our Transition Services staff aids in this process by giving the students just the right amount of independence and interaction with the wider community, while still providing the supports necessary for the students to feel secure and confident.
Our School-to-Work Program offers students the opportunity to participate in true-to-life jobs within the school setting. The end goal of the program is to develop the students’ employment skills and social skills in order to maximize their potential for success in the real world. As such, students seek to obtain jobs by first filling out an application and interviewing for the position they are interested in, as they would in real life. Once the student obtains a suitable position at school, they are held accountable for their attendance and performance, so we work with them on such aspects of employment as punctuality, responsibility, and working independently. Many of the jobs the students procure involve our student-run, on-the-premises retail business. Students participating in the School-to-Work Program are trained to operate many of the state-of the-art machines that make customized products for sale through this retail business.
The High Road Academy of Cecil County affords students the opportunity to take their learning outside of the classroom and transfer it into the community. We work with our students to practice the proficiencies they have mastered in the School-to-Work Program, and then, when a student is ready, a job coach accompanies them to volunteer or paid job sites out in the community. We partner with a wide array of local-area businesses (including restaurants, hospitals, preschools, and retail shops) to expose the students to real-life work experience and social interactions. In this way, students can explore numerous career avenues and gain valuable work experience to list on their résumés.
The High Road School of Cecil County is committed to providing services, programs, and activities that provide opportunities for students to grow both inside and outside of the classroom. As part of that commitment, our school has been participating for several years now in a sports league comprised of other schools in our company’s Maryland North Region. The league gives students a chance to interact with kids from other regional schools and to show school pride in their own.
Throughout the school year, we compete in three sports: (1) flag football in the fall; (2) basketball in winter; and (3) volleyball in spring. Each sport has its own play-off and crown champions for the season. In flag football, the play-offs are conducted in bowl format, similar to the NCAA. Naturally, we have our own form of March Madness to crown our basketball champions.
Participation on these sports teams allows our students not only to cultivate athletic skills, but also to gather experience and learn critical lessons in such areas as teamwork, collaboration, and good sportsmanship. Playing sports in our league is a highly sought after activity on campus, so only green-level and blue-level students who have demonstrated sound judgment and good decision-making skills in school can participate in practices and games.
Each year, all the schools get together for a Sports Banquet at which the students are celebrated for their athletic performance and sportsmanship. All participating students receive a participation award at the banquet.