Behavioral Consultation is a service designed to assess a child’s behavior in many different environments. Our consultants are either BCBA/BCaBA or are working towards qualifications needed to become board certified. Through observation and the application of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) principles our consultants can determine the factors influencing certain behavior, and teach the child positive replacement behaviors.
Our goal at New Story is to teach positive replacement behaviors that can be used in everyday situations in order to improve the child’s behavior over time. Areas of focus include decreasing verbal and physical aggression, self-injury, property destruction, and task refusal; while increasing communication, social skills, attention to task, and participation in academic tasks/demands.
Behavioral Consultants/Behavior Analysts conduct Functional Behavior Assessments and develop each students individualized Positive Behavior Support Plan. New Story develops programming based on each child’s specific needs.
Behavioral Support Staff
By providing students with behavioral support there is a reduction in disciplinary incidents, increased safety for students and improved academic outcomes.
Behavioral Support Staff (BSS) are responsible for providing direct services to the students attending New Story. They assist with implementation of the student’s Individual Education Program (IEP), as well as the ABA principles outlined in each student’s Positive Behavior Support Plan.
The Behavioral Support Staff also help teach the student to manage his/her behavior effectively and to become more independent with skill areas.
Crisis intervention is conducted by trained staff known as Crisis Intervention Specialists at New Story. Our Crisis Intervention Specialists are an additional resource to help students manage their behaviors as well as assist staff in de-escalating crisis situations.
Crisis Intervention Specialists provide therapeutic behavioral interventions as outlined in each students individualized Positive Behavior Support Plan. Additionally, these staff members ensure to develop a positive rapport with each student.
Our Crisis Intervention Specialists utilize nonviolent crisis intervention techniques to ensure the maximum safety for all of the students attending New Story. Our staff is trained by certified instructors through the Crisis Prevention Institute.
Curriculum and Assessment
New Story educators and professionals work with parents/guardians and school districts to create a personalized learning plan for each student. We do not have a standard curriculum – and this is intentional. We believe that each child is unique and requires a personalized curriculum designed to meet personal needs.
The curriculum used for each student is aligned with the Pennsylvania State Standards. Materials used are proven to advance performance. Also, we are able to adopt a school district’s curriculum for a student to maintain consistency and structure.
At New Story we believe no two students are alike, especially when it comes to learning. We teach the way a student learns and our curriculum reflects this approach. New Story Harrisburg builds a program around the strengths and needs of the students, offering specially designed instruction, support and services with an individually designed instructional program to meet their unique learning needs. Teachers adapt and modify lessons to fit the way a student learns, which encourages growth and success.
We also incorporate technology into our curriculum and lessons such as SMART boards, ipads and computers. All of the curriculum used at New Story Harrisburg is comprised of outcomes based methodology and is aligned with Pennsylvania State Standards.
Extended School Year (ESY)
Extended School Year (ESY) services are special education and related services provided to students with disabilities that qualify for education beyond the 180-day school year.
Each year, at the annual IEP meeting, the IEP team takes into consideration a variety of factors (such as regression/recoupment, mastery of skills, successive interruptions from the educational programming, independence from caretakers, severity of disability, history of ESY, etc…) to determine eligibility. If the student is determined to be eligible, the ESY programming is specifically designed for the individual student based on the identified need(s). A student’s goals may range from math and reading; to behavioral and/or counseling goals; to daily living skills and personal safety skills.
Students with prescribed time for related services (speech therapy, occupational therapy, counseling, etc.) during the school year may also receive related services during the ESY program if determined by the IEP team.
All students are evaluated for ESY services as part of the IEP process, but not all students are determined eligible for ESY services.
The ESY programming at New Story Harrisburg typically runs from the end of June/beginning of July to end of July/beginning of August depending on the year. ESY mirrors the school year and takes place Monday to Friday from 8:30 AM to 2:30 PM (excluding the 4th of July).
Our Speech Therapists evaluate, assess and develop treatment plans that meet the needs and strengths of each individual child.
Speech Therapists can help children with autism, and others with developmental speech and language delays, optimize their ability to communicate their message through spoken language and/or alternative communication methods.
As part of a multidisciplinary team the speech therapist works to improve the effectiveness of services across all school settings. The speech therapist works to develop the student’s verbal and nonverbal skills by providing individual sessions and reinforces these skills during social interactions with staff and peers during small group and classroom therapy sessions.
Our Occupational Therapists evaluate, assess and develop treatment plans that meet the needs and strengths of each individual child.
Occupational Therapists can help students to participate in activities of everyday life, such as self-care skills, education, work experiences and social interactions.
The Harrisburg school has a state of the art Multi-Sensory Environment (Sensory Room) which allows students the opportunity to enjoy and control a variety of sensory experiences. Multi-Sensory Environments generate a stimulating yet calming atmosphere, which can be especially beneficial for students with sensory processing disorders. This environment provides ways of encouraging learning, motor development, cognitive development, language and social interaction skills. Providing a stimulating environment can:
- Develop a sense of cause and effect
- Heighten awareness
- Increase concentration and focus attention
- Improve coordination and motor development
At age 14, students with an IEP are eligible to receive transition services. New Story students have the opportunity to participate in transition services that are a combination of school-based learning, work-based learning and independent living skills. Our students receive the knowledge base, varied experiences and skill sets needed to be productive and function independently, or with supports, in the workplace, community or post-secondary education institution.
Students receiving transition services have the opportunity to participate in community work experiences in order to help them learn the needed skills for adulthood.
Parent Counceling and Training
The purpose of Parent Counseling and Training is to assist parents in acquiring skills to support the implementation of aspects of their child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) outside of the school day.
This service can include, but is not limited to, assisting parents in understanding the educational needs of their child, providing parents with information about child development, providing support and basic information about a special education need, providing support and more clear instruction in the implementation of a specific intervention and providing parents with contact information about parent support groups, financial assistance resources, and other potential sources of information or support outside of the school system.