Students are referred by their school district to attend Springall Academy and are generally in grades 1–12 (aged 6 to 21). They face disabilities in a variety of areas, including Autism, Intellectual Disability, Emotional Disability, Other Health Impairments, Specific Learning Disability, and more.
We are proud to employ certified special education teachers and provide Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy, Counseling, Job Coaching, PRO Act Training (Crisis Intervention).
Springall Academy has been around since 1972. We have great relationships with the districts and a great success rate of transitioning them back to the district. Our rotation model, behavior/level system works well with our population. We provide an intensive, structured, individualized special education program aimed at strengthening each student’s academic and organizational skills, social and emotional abilities, sense of responsibility, and self-esteem. Our goal is get our students to the point where they can successfully reenter “mainstream” schools and the community. All students are encouraged, nurtured, respected, and supported in achieving their full potential in an enriching, positive environment.
We teach Social Skills, Life skills, transition, school to life, and small group instruction (model). Collaboration with Speech, OT and Counseling.
Springall Academy offers therapeutic supports on many different levels. Students are supported in and out of the classroom with a full range of therapeutic interventions that address social/emotional needs. We provide a safe space for all students to learn academically, behaviorally and social-emotionally.
Our school counselor focuses on helping students develop age-appropriate social and emotional skills, especially those that pertain to improving classroom functioning. Further, our counselor concentrates on the personal development of each student to increase self-esteem, improve interpersonal interaction, and enhance school and community performance. Our focus on the acquisition of appropriate social skills utilizes activity-based lessons to teach students how to cooperate with others, make positive choices, accept responsibility, and peacefully resolve conflicts. As part of our program we offer Individual Counseling, Group Counseling, Social Skills/Team Work Group, and a School Wide Behavior Modification Program.
Our Counselor meets with individuals on a weekly or bi-weekly basis per their Individualized Education Plan. Individual Counseling focuses on a variety of topics such as coping strategies, social emotional development, problem solving and effective communication skills. This supportive, confidential environment provides a safe place for students to feel heard. In addition students can make appointments to see the counselor. Students have the option to discuss at anytime their IEP, 4 year High School Plan, credits, job placement, dual enrollment or just to problem solve.
Group Counseling may be conducted in the classroom environment or in the counseling office. Our Focus groups include students whom are placed together to work in similar areas of need. Some of our focus group topics include: social skills, character counts, anger management, teamwork, goal setting and self-advocacy. Groups may be conducted in collaboration with our Speech and Language Pathologist and our Occupational Therapist.
Social Skills/Team Work:
Students attend a social skills/team work group on a weekly basis. Our specialists incorporate games and physical activities to help students in these groups develop pro social skills and cooperative play behaviors with an emphasis on teamwork.
School Wide Behavior Modification Program:
A school-wide behavioral program forms the basis for promoting positive school behaviors and the development of appropriate social skills. Springall staff members are trained in crisis intervention and behavioral modification, with the goal of maximizing students’ feelings of personal efficacy and self-management abilities. Through our behavioral program, students learn to exhibit positive behaviors, which allow them to be available for academic instruction.
To enable Springall Academy students to make the most of learning opportunities, our school incorporates various support services to supplement our core programs. These services, combined with our highly specialized, state-approved academic curriculum, provide a comprehensive educational experience that is individualized to optimally meet the specific needs of each student.
Occupational therapy helps students with sensory, perceptual, and motor skills so they can better meet the daily demands of their environment. The specific areas the Occupational Therapist addresses are self-care skills, sensory processing skills, fine and gross motor skills, handwriting skills, visual perceptual/visual motor skills, keyboarding skills, and self-regulation. The majority of students who receive OT services are seen on an individual basis. However, group therapy treatments do occur. Our occupational therapist is also responsible for educating, training and collaborating with teachers and staff so that everyone understands the students’ individual OT needs.
Springall Academy has a school wide sensory motor program. This program is a very important asset to Springall, as it has allowed children the freedom and ability to take sensory motor breaks throughout their school day, assisting them to function better in the classroom. Students are encouraged to take sensory breaks and to use the sensory tools or other sensory strategies. This program has helped the children who require a sensory diet the freedom to use sensory strategies as a part of their daily schedule.
Students who have communication goals will participate in Springall’s Communication Program. They will have scheduled sessions with the Speech and Language Pathologist, and they might be seen individually or within a small, peer group setting. Most communication students have a session one or two times each week. Some of them will also have a communication session in their classroom (push-in), where the objective is to work in collaboration with the staff while implementing effective learning strategies and tools that coincide with the curriculum. The Speech and Language Pathologist strives to work closely with other paraprofessionals to help achieve students’ social and academic success.
We work on a lot of different skills in the program. Each student’s goals determine which skills will receive concentration. Skill areas in our Communication Program include but are not limited to: vocabulary and categories; grammar; creating stories; learning to describe and explain things students know; sequencing (learning how to put things in order, like relating a story or experience in linear/chronological order); problem-solving; conversation; teamwork and social thinking skills; speech sounds; stuttering reduction; organized thinking; and improved memory (especially via visualization, or learning make “memory pictures” in one’s mind).
What Students Can Expect
When students meet program goals, they are granted bonus sessions called “earned activity days,” when they get to pick the activity for the session themselves—this can be a game, a puzzle, or just talking with each other, going for a walk in the community, even shooting hoops or playing at the local park.
Students can expect the Speech and Language Pathologist to have a sense of humor and be willing to listen (when there is enough time, or even later if need be). Students can also expect her to be fun, yet strict, and to work with them to meet their full social and academic potential. The Speech and Language Pathologist will do her best to make the instruction worthwhile and personally meaningful for each of the students—letting them know that their efforts are appreciated, whether or not they get everything exactly correct. And, as described above, there will be incentives for students who try to meet program expectations. The Speech and Language Pathologist will help out if students are having a hard time communicating something; she will always try to see the student’s point of view.
Extracurricular activities are what make Springall extra-special! Available opportunities change based on the interests and needs of the students, but here are a few examples from the recent school years.
Meet & Greet
One day at the beginning of the school year, Springall holds our annual Meet & Greet Day. This is an opportunity for caregivers, families, and friends of students to tour the campus and see the classrooms. Springall staff is available to answer questions, and we usually host a short presentation to introduce the program as well.
In December, right before winter break, we hold our Holiday Store. This store is run by our high school students in our Work Experience program. Students collect gently used or new items, complete an inventory, and put the items up for sale. Other students are invited to do their holiday shopping and purchase items for someone special. All proceeds go towards school field trips and special activities.
As an end-of-year celebration, students in grades 9 through 12 are invited to attend our annual prom (usually scheduled for the night before the graduation ceremony). Because the prom is held off-site, students must buy tickets to attend, and all the proceeds are applied toward costs for location rental, food, and music.
Senior Week consists of four days of special activities just for our student graduates. Students vote on which activities to have each day. Past graduating classes have decided to have a Senior Picnic on the beach, Movie Day, and a trip to Disneyland! These activities can get expensive, so the senior class held a car wash and snack sales throughout the year. They successfully raised all the money needed for these special events.
On Graduation Day, students completing their high school program participate in graduation ceremonies. Families and friends are invited to celebrate this special occasion. Caps, gowns, and tassels are provided by Springall Academy. Participating in the ceremony is very special to all of us.
CAPSES Sports League
Springall is one of the founding schools that participate in the CAPSES (California Association of Private Special Education Schools) Sports League. We are proud to have a flag football team, a basketball team, and a softball team that compete against the other teams in our league. Many of our students are outstanding athletes, so joining a team is a wonderful way to showcase their talents.
Girls’ Group is about the fun, friendship, and empowerment that result when girls band together. This group is so enjoyable for our girls that they don’t realize it’s also a learning experience. Group pursuits include: participation in the Big Sister/Little Sister program, peer tutoring, cheering on our teams at sporting events, and bi-monthly meetings. This is an incredible platform that allows girls to connect to female staff and form lifelong relationships with other girls in the school.
Springall is the home of the San Carlos Community Garden. This partnership allows us the opportunity for an outdoor classroom, rare-fruit tree orchard, herb garden, quiet work area, composting bins, pumpkin patch, and everything else you can imagine a garden has to offer. Each classroom has their own garden bed to grow vegetables and spices. The crops are used in cooking lessons in our student kitchen. Even if you don’t have a green thumb, you might enjoy working in our community garden!