Our Program at Sheppard Pratt School in Glyndon
We take pride in connecting our students with everything that they need to thrive. With small class sizes and a low student-to-staff ratio, personal attention and compassionate care are our top priorities.
Following the admissions process, we meet with each new student and their family to evaluate the student’s needs and review their Individual Education Program (IEP) to determine the best instructional environment for each student. Many students also have a behavior intervention plan. We use an evidence-based, trauma-informed behavior treatment model rooted in the assumption that all students are capable of learning positive, adaptive behaviors. While all behavior serves a need (i.e., function), students can be supported and taught to decrease maladaptive behaviors and increase adaptive, prosocial behaviors. Our schools are dedicated to multidisciplinary collaboration between school staff and families to best meet our students’ behavioral needs. We believe that improvement in behavioral functioning leads to improved educational outcomes and quality of life during and beyond a student’s academic career.
We are a Type 1 nonpublic school that provides specially designed instruction and therapeutic services to students with autism, emotional disability, intellectual disability, multiple disabilities, other health impairment, specific learning disability, and speech or language impairment in kindergarten through grade 12. Students are grouped according to grade, age, social skills, and/or adaptive behavior functioning, ensuring all students are working alongside peers in a supportive environment.
We provide the following related services:
- Behavior intervention and management
- Crisis intervention
- Educational evaluation
- Individual, group, and family counseling
- On-site psychiatric services and medication management
- Speech and language therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Physical therapy
- School health services
- Transition services
The Glyndon Campus is home to an elementary, middle, and high school program for students with autism, emotional disability, intellectual disability, multiple disabilities, other health impairment, specific learning disability, and speech or language impairment, in grades kindergarten through grade 12. We provide academic, vocational, therapeutic, and functional services to students through graduation or age 21.
Our campus houses multiple buildings full of vibrant classrooms, therapeutic areas, multi-purpose rooms, and more, all of which function to support our students as they learn and grow.
Our students benefit from a structured and therapeutic environment, diverse offerings, and compassionate care. With small class sizes focusing on academics, individualized instruction, behavior intervention, and clinical support, this program has succeeded with children and adolescents who struggled in prior placements. Students in this program receive behavioral and therapeutic support that is individualized to meet their social and emotional needs. Our staff is trained to work effectively with students who have experienced trauma.
Academics, Interactive Learning, and Events
Students in middle and high school rotate classes as they would in a traditional school program, fostering the development of responsibility, flexibility, and organizational skills. Academic instruction is based on the curriculum of Baltimore County and other local school systems in Maryland, and is differentiated to meet each student’s needs. High school students select from Career Completer options such as carpentry, culinary arts, technology, auto mechanics, career research development, or foreign language, and choose from electives such as music, art, and physical education. We have a woodworking shop, media center, computer lab, and kitchen where our students engage in hands-on training.
Understanding that our students learn in different ways, we created a dynamic workspace called “The Innovation Station,” where learning is interactive, visual, and uses multiple technologies. Students use technology to bring ideas and projects to life in this unique classroom. Additionally, every classroom is equipped with an interactive whiteboard, allowing our teachers and aides to weave supplemental learning materials, videos, and internet-based resources into their lessons.
Some of our high school students take college-level courses at local community colleges. We assist these students with tuition, transportation, academic help, logistics, and other types of support to help them succeed.
Internships and Vocational Training
We partner with several local businesses to provide unpaid work-based learning experiences for our students to learn valuable real-world job skills. Our students can be found in local restaurants, schools, the local library, retail stores, and more. In addition, on campus we have a maintenance worksite, a school store, and a cafeteria where our students learn what it takes to succeed outside of the school setting while still in a familiar and supportive environment. Our dedicated, multidisciplinary teams work together to help our students learn the necessary skills to obtain employment once they have graduated. Each work experience fosters confidence, responsibility, social skills, and self-esteem, and also provides multiple opportunities for developing the problem-solving and life skills that will prepare them for the adult world. Our students learn the satisfaction of doing a job well, and they take pride in their work.
Healthy Choices and Fitness
We care about the whole person and we want our students to be healthy, both physically and emotionally. We know that making healthy choices at home and at school can be a challenge for many of our students. Teaching health and daily living activities while helping our students make healthy choices, in terms of what they eat, how they live, and how they behave, is an integral part of our curriculum. Depending on age and ability, curriculum, programming, and activities vary, but the goals remain the same.
Many of our students express interest in extracurricular activities, but we know that it can be a challenge to find appropriate opportunities outside of school. Twice a week during Advisory Period, our high school students participate in clubs that they have chosen from a wide range of options and based on students’ interests. In addition, students can try out for sports teams, such as co-ed flag football, volleyball, basketball, and indoor soccer. For those who do not play on the teams, there are plenty of opportunities for exercise during physical education and lunch. These physical activities help students to learn healthy habits and teamwork and to develop motor skills, self-esteem, and confidence. Our full-service cafeteria provides healthy, hot meals daily for our students and staff members, and our students help to prepare the nutritionally-balanced menu as part of the culinary arts program.
Interactive Learning and Events
We create a warm and welcoming atmosphere at our school, and that is evident in everything we do. Our curriculum is rigorous and individualized, involving social thinking, manipulatives, visual learning, and technology. Every classroom is equipped with an interactive whiteboard, allowing our teachers and aides to access curriculum, supplemental learning materials, videos, and the Internet.
To foster development of social skills – as well as a sense of community – we host campus-wide events throughout the year, including our popular mixed matinee, our ever popular “Survivor” field day, ice cream social, science fair, prom, water day, and pizza bingo. We also host alumni events, where students from years past return to connect with one another. Family members are encouraged to participate in many of these activities. We are fortunate to have a full-size auditorium where we have campus-wide assemblies such as visits from the local fire station or outside performances that enhance the academic program. These activities are enjoyed by both students and staff.
Therapeutic Supports and Services
The students in our programs may be struggling at home and school, and they often need extra support. Our diverse team of classroom teachers, speech/language pathologists, occupational therapists, social workers, licensed counselors, psychologists, and psychiatrists utilize a variety of therapeutic modalities to create an atmosphere for success in which our students are given tools to improve communication skills, motor development, and social/emotional regulation. Our students receive speech-language, occupational, physical therapy, and counseling services as prescribed by their IEPs. We recognize the important role families have in supporting their children and when needed we provide family support and consult. Additionally, case management maybe necessary to coordinate care with community-based providers.
We believe in finding the right tools and the right environment for each student, and adapt our environment and curriculum to meet the individual needs of our students. We have designed several spaces in the building, such as our sensory rooms, reset room, and open space resource rooms to support our students when they need to regulate their emotional and/or sensory needs or when they need space or want to work quietly. We focus on keeping students in the classroom as much as possible and try to intervene proactively so that our students learn to identify their needs, focus on their goals and strengths, and be able to access the curriculum. In addition, we continuously use creative arts and recreational activities to instill social and coping skills. Our extensive facilities allow our students unique opportunities for learning, as well as creative outlets where they can express their emotions while learning valuable life and vocational skills.
The Behavior Support Program at our school supports the social, emotional, and behavioral growth of students. Through this program, we continuously enable and encourage our students to begin to understand their behavior and make positive choices. The evidence-based, multi-tiered approach program uses the framework of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) to teach and reinforce school wide behavioral expectation. Our program focuses on teaching elementary and middle school students how to appropriately demonstrate SAFE, RESPECTFUL, and RESPONSIBLE behavior throughout their school day and across school environments. The focus for our high school students is on being prepared, accountable, courteous, and keeping safe. We work within a system that is designed to acknowledge the efforts of our students with skill specific praise and other positive reinforcements. We also maximize the utilization of preventative strategies and provide students with general and specific corrective feedback when necessary. We are proud that we have been recognized by the Maryland State Department of Education as a ‘gold medal’ PBIS school for more than a decade.