Students are referred by their school district to attend High Road School and are generally in grades 8–12+ (aged 13 to 21). They face disabilities in a variety of areas, including Emotional Disturbance, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Mood Disorders, Learning Disabilities, Intellectual Disabilities, Multiple Disabilities, Other Health Impairment, and ADD/ADHD.
We are proud to employ certified special education teachers, an occupational therapist, physical therapist, a social worker, a speech and language pathologist, a consulting BCBA therapist, and a consulting school psychologist.
To best meet the needs of this population, our small, structured learning environment focuses on personalized academic, behavioral, and transitional goals aimed at student growth. Our academic program meets all state guidelines and regulations as we work with students individually to help them either reintegrate into the public school system or proceed toward graduation by modifying the curriculum in accordance with the graduation requirements of each student’s home school district. Supplemented by the expertise of skilled therapists and support personnel, our program concentrates on the success of our students on all fronts—in school, at home, and in the community. To help them achieve this success, we maintain a low staff-to-student ratio that allows ongoing customized instruction, and we strive to maintain a caring and supportive school environment, characterized by an unwavering commitment to academic, social, and emotional development.
Our Speech & Language Therapy Program features a coordinated and individualized approach. In group work as well as in individual sessions, our certified speech therapists work with students to correctly produce the sounds in words, increase speech intelligibility, develop vocabulary knowledge and understanding, and utilize appropriate conversational skills. Emphasis is placed on pragmatics, such as turn taking, topic maintenance, asking appropriate questions, and socialization. Grammar, syntax, and written expression are also addressed.
Our occupational therapists support students with sensory, perceptual, and motor problems in better meeting the daily demands of their environment. OTs use directed play as the primary method of treatment; however, classroom consultation directly with teachers and assistants regarding the student’s abilities is also key to their success. Directed play includes such activities as mazes and target games to develop hand-eye coordination and ball games to increase coordination between two sides of the body. Through the use of movement, touch, and other functional activities, the students more effectively develops the responses needed to function in the classroom, home, and community environments. As the child ages and his or her needs change, the focus is on the acquisition of specific skills used in daily life. These can include learning to measure baking ingredients, personal care, or crossing busy streets, depending on the student’s abilities.
Our social workers guide students through social emotional growth. They focuses on helping the students develop age-appropriate skills and behaviors for the classroom and beyond. Through the use of recreational and other activities, they assist students in building self-esteem, applying social skills, and practicing leadership and team participation. The students are seen individually and in small-group sessions. It is also not unusual to find social workers in the classroom leading social skills activities.
Students participate in our transition program where they complete career interest assessments, research careers, take trips to designated job sites where they observe, interview employees, and assist professionals in various fields of work.
In addition to our High School Program, we also have a 5th year 12+ classroom for students who are interested in and qualify for an additional year of transition and job readiness supports. These students complete functional academics in the morning and are then taken out to various job sites to gain work experience and increase life skills. Students in this program are responsible for managing their own “bank account” of money earned at the job sites and are then provided with Visa cards to practice managing income and expenses. Some of these job sites such as Shop Rite, The Book Store Next Door, Sacred Heart Church, Active Day Senior Center, and Petco. These students also explore future career options and training programs required for desired careers. Our staff work diligently to identify students’ interests and foster partnerships with job sites that meet their specific interests.
Our students are able to participate on Bulkeley High School Sports Teams and annually take part in a region wide Arts Festival where their art work is displayed and a talent show is held.
During the holidays, we adopt a family through the Salvation Army Adopt a Family for The Holidays program and students and staff are able to donate money or requested presents for the family adopted.
Director of Special Education
Sacred Heart Church (Wethersfield, CT)
To Whom It May Concern:
I am writing to express how I feel that the support of High Road School has helped my daughter, Kiana Stephens. She has been in the special needs network since kindergarten with her emotional deficiencies expressing themselves in the Growing Tree program. That program was geared to introduce 3- and 4-year-old children to a school environment. From the start, she had great difficulties with [the] large room setting, interacting with other students. When she became overwhelmed, she had outbursts that caused harm to herself and others. Kiana was transferred to the High Road School of Wallingford when HTLA— Hartford Transitional Learning Academy—was closed. She, and several students, did not have a place in the school system. Jo Robin Gould was able to place her with High Road, after a while. I believe that was fourth or fifth grade. With support from her family, staff from Village for Families and Children, Kiana gradually became more aware of herself, [took] control of her emotions and most importantly, accepted responsibility of her actions in a given situation. She has also become more comfortable expressing herself, her needs, her dreams and aspirations without the usual, assumed fear of rejection. She has also become more relaxed and can build friendships with both teenaged boys and girls. She is now transitioning to a “regular” school environment, Weaver Culinary High School. She is also playing for the basketball team. I see Kiana is growing very well; she still has a few set-backs, however, with support, she’s able to get back on track. I do believe High Road School was a great help to our family, and schools like this one should be readily available to other families. There are many kids who are having emotional, behavioral problems that can be addressed by a therapeutic school environment. I just imagine the displaced children who do not have the support they need, and it is very unsettling. All kids deserve a fair chance in life, and oftentimes, a therapeutic school is just the answer. My daughter has truly benefitted from it, being enrolled since kindergarten at the Burns Elementary School in Hartford. There should more options for these families. Thank you for you time and attention.
~ High Road Parent