The Long Beach Unified School District faced a challenge familiar to many educators – the needs of students in their special education classrooms were outpacing the district’s ability to provide sufficient behavioral, social and emotional supports. Though the district offered options for students with mild, moderate and severe behaviors, many students required more intensive services than the district could provide. The district needed a comprehensive education program designed specifically for its student population.
The ChanceLight Solution
The Long Beach Unified School District partnered with ChanceLight Education to design a program for its students with autism spectrum or other disorders and for its students with emotional disturbances or other behavioral health issues.
For those students with autism spectrum disorders working toward a certification of completion from the school district, ChanceLight established a functional skills program in which students learn academic skills in a functional context. Students participate in hands-on classroom activities, individualized lessons and real-life learning experiences to build practical life skills needed to gain independence and develop pro-social behaviors while meeting their Individualized Education Plan (IEP) goals.
For those students with emotional or other behavioral health issues, ChanceLight implemented an academic program in the Long Beach district. Many of these students are on track to receive a high school diploma but need additional support to succeed academically, socially and behaviorally. Through individualized classroom work and personalized intervention programs, students in the academic program gain the knowledge and skills needed to develop grade-level proficiency and achieve their personal and IEP goals.
ChanceLight’s program is rooted in data-driven, evidence-based strategies. Each of these programs incorporates the principles of Applied Behavioral Analysis into classroom instruction to allow students to gain independence while reducing specific behavior concerns. To maximize students’ participation and increase success rates, classroom sizes are limited to allow teachers to spend more time with each student.
At the beginning of the partnership, the Long Beach Unified School District wanted to ensure its students enrolled in special education classrooms still felt included in activities with their peers in the lunchroom, at assemblies and on field trips. ChanceLight agreed and implemented reverse mainstreaming, peer modeling and interactive instruction to help students develop the social and behavioral skills needed to engage with their peers. ChanceLight aides also staff several of the district’s bus routes to help students practice these skills during the ride to school each day.
Collaborating with the Long Beach Unified School District has broadened local awareness of the need for the specialized programs ChanceLight offers. Since the partnership began, the program has grown exponentially. ChanceLight launched in 2015 at one school location serving two classrooms and now serves more than 80 K-12 students in seven classrooms at four campuses across the district.
To ensure the programs continue to be successful, ChanceLight meets weekly with school district representatives. These ongoing discussions provide an opportunity to discuss challenges, achievements and inclusion efforts to promote students’ personal and academic growth.
ChanceLight Education is a division of ChanceLight, Inc., the nation’s leading provider of behavioral health, therapy and education solutions for children and young adults.
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