Program Information

Program Information

The goals of the High Road School are:

  • To provide each student with the academic and social skills he or she needs to be successful in school, in the community, and in the family system
  • To prepare students to return to a less restrictive environment (LRE) as quickly and smoothly as possible
  • To prepare students for Connecticut testing programs
  • To provide students with consistent and structured tutorials in order to prevent regression of skills and produce both academic and behavioral gains
  • To provide students with an array of cultural and recreational experiences

Our interdisciplinary staff, led by our Education Director, consists of certified special education teachers, teaching assistants, school social workers, and school psychologists. Additionally, psychiatric, speech-language, and occupational therapy services are available contractually on an as-needed basis, delivered by qualified specialists. All faculty members work together collaboratively and cooperatively to implement our comprehensive special education program.

The High Road School of New London enrolls students with exceptionalities including but not limited to ED (emotional disability), SLD (specific learning disability), ASD (autism spectrum disorder), ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), TBI (traumatic brain injury), OHI (other health impairment), MD (multiple disabilities), and various communication disorders. These student populations benefit tremendously from our personalized curriculums, our small class sizes (no more than 10 students per teacher and TA), and our host of related services (such as physical therapy, social work, and counseling) that fully attend to individualized needs.

The High Road School of New London’s educational course sequencing is based on that of the respective district and addresses all state standards in order to help students either reintegrate into the public school system or proceed toward graduation. We accept students who have been referred by their local school district for either long-term or short-term placement, including our Interim Alternative Education Placement (IAEP) program, a 40-day transitional program that offers a fully developed academic and behavioral intervention plan for interim placements. For all types of students and for all lengths of placement, High Road assists public school districts with appropriate placement evaluation, review, and recommendations to best meet the needs of each student.

The High Road School of New London operates Monday–Friday from 8:15 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. Core subjects are taught through a rotational academic model, emphasizing tutorial instruction. Elective opportunities include vocational education, computer technology, social skills, Spanish, art, music, health, and physical education. The program has also established partnerships in the community for transition-related activities to address students’ career readiness and job preparation.

Family involvement has long been a staple of the High Road model, and parents/guardians are encouraged to visit our school at any time, to learn more about our program or to become more involved in their child’s academic pursuits.

The High Road School of New London does not discriminate based on race, color, national origin, ethnic background, religion, or gender in the admission of students or the employment of staff.

Social Skills Curriculum

The High Road Schools & Academies of Connecticut are diligent about advancing the social skills development of all our students. It is important for each of them to receive social skills instruction that is appropriate for their age, grade level, and disability. Accordingly, our school social workers have infused our daily curriculum with targeted social skills components that help our students reach their fullest potential.

In addition to Rachel’s Challenge—an initiative implemented at all of our schools that promotes kindness and compassion while it works to eradicate bullying among peers—here are a few of the social skills programs we currently employ:

Second Step
The Second Step program can take students from preschool all the way through middle school. Each grade level features developmentally appropriate ways to teach core social-emotional skills such as empathy, emotion management, and problem solving. For grades K–5, the program concentrates on self-regulation, executive functioning, and skills for early learning, to give young kids that extra boost. The middle school program focuses on more advanced skills, like communication techniques, anger management, coping strategies, and decision making. These skills help students stay engaged in school, make good choices, set goals, and avoid peer pressure to become involved with such negative influences as substance abuse, bullying, and cyber bullying.

Techniques for Tough Times
This program was originally created to provide field-proven curriculum and training for educators striving to teach life skills to at-risk students. Leigh VandenAkker and Gayle Threet, a teacher and counselor respectively, developed the program based on years of experience in the trenches. Techniques for Tough Times offers new techniques in violence prevention, conflict resolution, leadership skills, relationship skill building, and counseling. Twelve years of data from the program show increased school attendance, higher grade point averages, and significant decreases in disciplinary referrals to administration. All of this translates to a more positive school environment, in all education settings with all kinds of challenging student populations.

Odyssey by CompassLearning®

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Anyone who’s taken a look at the SAT exam recently knows that the test doesn’t exactly reflect what’s going on day to day in a typical American school. It seems more an exploration of students’ “test-taking strategies” than their knowledge and skill sets. For example, how many times do words like “anachronistic” and “conflagration” pop up in meaningful class discussions? How many people analyze grammar to the point where they apply the difference between superlative and comparative adjectival usage in their regular scholarship?

Regardless of the schism between the reality of our classrooms and the actuality of the SAT test, the exam continues to be a gateway to most colleges these days; and for this reason, one of our fabulous CT school directors created an SAT prep course that fits into our existing rotational model and that has been custom-designed for all of our high-school-aged students at the High Road Schools & Academies of Connecticut.

The course chunks information into content that can be connected to prior knowledge and allows students to show understanding through a combination of games and exercises that mirror the actual test wording.

High-level vocabulary infrequently used in daily language is pervasive throughout the SAT. So the vocabulary component of our prep course explores these high-level words in connection to very basic word families for which students already have a fund of knowledge (e.g., good versus evil, praise versus shame, the best of times and the worst of times, etc.). Once the connection is made, students use these words in speech, writing, storytelling, and games over the course of two weeks so that they are not simply memorized, but understood. Many of the games are modified versions of Marzano’s vocabulary games or tasks from the popular board game Cranium. In addition, this part of the course presents prefixes and roots that are a part of the students’ vocabulary words, so they can see in action how they play a role in word meaning. Reminders of parts of speech are also infused throughout the course.

The essay and multiple-choice writing questions comprise one-third of the overall SAT score. Since the ability to write a solid, persuasive essay and the knowledge of writing mechanics needed for the multiple-choice questions are intertwined, this section of the course is designed in a looping manner so that students will see the connection.  Students start by studying what a good essay looks like, then they loop between writing, reviewing grammar, and editing their previous work to incorporate newfound knowledge.

The reading comprehension section of the SAT tests students’ understanding of vocabulary, their ability to infer the relationship between words and ideas, and their knowledge of the basic elements of narrative or expository writing (i.e., main idea, tone, conflict, etc.). So this segment of the course is intended to build upon the skills learned in the vocabulary lessons, as well as to summarize and practice all of the reading comprehension strategies students have learned over the years. There is no new skill presented on the SAT for reading; however, it does require students to use some new critical thinking strategies to help them to identify the correct multiple-choice answers.

The math sections of the exam cover a lot of information. Because of that, “strategies used” will be more powerful here than “content known”; as such, this part of the course stresses a strategic approach to chunked content. For example, the first marking period zeros in on numbers and operations—a good foundation to start with that nicely aligns with other course curriculum presented at the beginning of the year. The point here is to try to expose students to as many “question types” as possible in tandem with strategies so that they are armed with a general familiarity with the test prior to test day.

This new offering is a 32-week course that focuses on vocabulary acquisition on Mondays; essay-writing and grammar skills on Tuesdays; critical reading skills on Wednesdays; and math content on Thursdays. Students take a practice SAT exam from the College Board midway through the course, as well as at the end. So look out, SAT … here we come!

High Road School of New London is excited to share with you all the fun and exciting adventures that we have going on in our transition program. We have officially opened our coffee cart and the students and staff have been enjoying some delicious treats.

While this has been a goal for our school for quite some time now we are also excited to be able to create some in-house jobs for our students. This opportunity helps build their skills in customer service, the culinary arts, and teaches them the value of being part of a team.

Our students and staff have also been busy at our weekly job site at Walgreens where we continue to tie in transferable skills that we can use in our future ventures. High Road School will also be opening the extension to our coffee cart which will be our full bistro starting in 2018. The students and staff will have the luxury of dining in house with lots of great choices on the menu.

With so many new and exciting things happening at High Road School of New London, we welcome you to come by and visit!