Pennsylvania school district selects Devereux Center for Effective Schools to run emotional support classrooms
An urban school district in Pennsylvania recently selected Devereux Center for Effective Schools (CES) to run six of its emotional support (ES) classrooms to help students with emotional and behavioral challenges learn, grow and thrive.
Utilizing a positive behavior support approach that emphasizes instructional class-wide management to promote the reduction of challenging behaviors through the encouragement of positive behaviors, the CES is providing academic instruction and emotional support to students in four ES classrooms at the middle school level and two at the high school level. In addition, CES is assisting students with emotional support needs who may be fully included in the district’s general education classrooms.
The district selected CES as a result of its extensive experience helping schools to better serve and support children and adolescents with, and at risk for developing, emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD) through training, consultation and applied research.
“We have worked closely with this school district over the past few years, training and consulting with its ES workforce, primarily at the elementary school level,” said Devereux Center for Effective Schools Director Barry McCurdy, Ph.D., NCSP, BCBA-D. “We are excited to have the opportunity to run the district’s ES classrooms at the secondary level, working with students to identify their strengths, and helping them develop the academic, social and behavioral skills needed for success.”
Promoting student success
Over the summer, CES hired 14 highly skilled employees to staff the ES classrooms, including: six special educators, six instructional assistants, a special education supervisor and a doctoral-level Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Before the start of the 2020-21 school year in August, these employees received advanced training in evidence-based instructional and classroom management strategies to better support students with EBD.
“Our primary goal is to provide a positive, safe and supportive learning environment for students in need. Over the course of the school year, teachers will evaluate and assess students’ progress to help them achieve academic excellence,” McCurdy explained. “This marks the first time the CES has staffed an ES classroom, and we look forward to creating a program that will help us advance our services for students with emotional and behavioral challenges in this school district and beyond.”
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