Hollis Brookline High School is committed to providing a continuum of services offering students with disabilities the opportunity to actively participate in the learning environment. The HBHS Special Education Department is committed to supporting the delivery of services indicated in the Individualized Education Program (IEP) with an emphasis on increasing opportunities for students with disabilities to learn and grow with their non-disabled peers. The Special Education Team addresses the unique needs of these students through a variety of team-designed programs and settings.
Services for Students Identified with a Disability
Services, modifications, and accommodations are provided to identified students to meet the needs indicated in the students’ Individualized Education Plans (IEP). Specialized instruction is provided to meet the students’ IEP goals and to develop executive functioning skills in the areas of test-taking, study skills, organization, planning, and self-advocacy. Related Services in the areas of speech/language therapy, occupational and physical therapies, and counseling are available. Special Education teachers and staff also provide consultation services and support to the teaching staff.
The section 504 Program is dedicated to delivering accommodations to students who qualify for protection under section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Accommodations are individualized to each qualifying student to ensure that despite his/her major life impacting disability, free and appropriate education is accessible.
The CHOICE Program is a non-therapeutic, alternative education program to help students achieve goals towards the completion of their high school education via alternative pathways that may include computer-based, for-credit programs, or preparation for the HiSet (high school equivalency) test. Students can also work in a targeted study to receive individualized attention to achieve their academic goals. In addition, students can have the opportunity to participate in Extended Learning Opportunities, have access to transition supports such as vocational assessment, assistance with job placement, counseling, and referrals to outside agencies. Students may spend all or part of their day in the program based on their needs.
The FIEMUS program is designed to meet the needs of students whose emotional challenges require an education that goes beyond the traditional curriculum. The program integrates a therapeutic skill building approach with individualized, self-paced curriculum as well as a focus on transition. The SKILS course utilizes Dialectical Behavioral Therapy skills, self-advocacy and goal-setting using the SMART paradigm. A strengths-based perspective engages students to build competence in academics, self- regulation, and transition planning. Students may spend all or part of their day in the program based on their needs.
Life Skills Transitions Program
The Life Skills Transitions Program (LSTP) is designed to meet the needs of the HBHS population who are identified with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD), Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), Speech and Language Disorders (SP), Multiple Disabilities (MD), Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD), Other Health Impairments (OHI), and/or Adaptive Behavior Challenges (ABC). The goal of the LSTP is to encourage and support each student in their journey to become as independent as possible within their school, home, and community. Integration of academic instruction, interdependent living skills, social communications, pre- employment skill development, vocational internships with the assistance of a job coach, adult service provider enrollment, and assistance with the application processes for enrollment into post-secondary colleges and university programs designed for students with these identified disabilities. The LSTP prepares students and their families for a successful transition into life beyond high school.
Life Skills Intensive Needs Program
The mission of this program is to support students who have intensive cognitive, medical, speech and language, and/or physical needs in a self-contained classroom. Students are typically nonverbal, or have limited functional language, and may require the use of an Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) device. Services include speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy and the services of a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Adult one-on-one support is provided for the entire school day, due to the level of students’ intensive needs.
This program focuses on Adaptive Daily Living Skills, emphasizing self-care: toileting, changing non- ambulatory students, showering, shaving, brushing teeth, and facial cleanliness. Skill building in kitchen productivity is also stressed: food preparation, safety, function and location of items, washing dishes, using appliances correctly, and manners while eating in order to prepare students to be as independent as possible in their adult lives. As a result, through intensive data collection on teaching steps and monitoring behaviors, generalizing skills into different environments is an important component for this program.
The Special Education Team works together with parents to meet the intensive needs of students in this program. Students have access to regular education classes for participation and socialization. When in these classes, the curriculum is modified to meet each student’s academic level, however, grades are not awarded. It is an opportunity for students to interact with their peers, while accompanied by a one-on- one paraprofessional. Students typically remain in high school until the age of 21, graduating with a Hollis Brookline Equivalency Diploma that focuses on the completion of their Individualized Educational Program Goals.