Our full day program provides students with an integrated learning approach that addresses the whole child by meeting their academic, behavioral, social, and emotional needs.
Your child will benefit from a great deal of attention and focus due to our high student/teacher ratio. Our class sizes are limited to 8 students, and each class has a teacher and teacher’s aide, in addition to shadow teachers and volunteers as required. The students will also be attended by our high quality therapists who meet with the students one-on-one and in group therapy sessions. These therapists will work with your child’s psychological, physical and speech needs as required.
Typically your child’s day will follow a schedule of activities that combines learning with play, life skills and therapy.
Every student at PACE is assigned a homeroom wherein one teacher, one teachers assistant and one classroom acts as home base for a small group of students. Our student teacher ratio currently sits at 2 students per teacher, which means that your child will absolutely benefit from one-on-one instruction and attention.
Each of our homerooms is assigned a specific color and named after a famous scientist, artist or inventor who also had special needs. This not only helps our students identify their classroom but encourages them to succeed by highlighting the accomplishments of others like them.
Your child’s homeroom teacher will be in charge of keeping a portfolio of each of their learning goals and tacking their progress as they strive to achieve them. In addition, your child’s homeroom teacher will keep a communication journal that moves between your home and PACE, and acts as a medium for you to provide feedback and communicate concerns and requests.
To put it simply, your child’s homeroom teacher, in cooperation with our multidisciplinary team, is their main source of encouragement and support while at PACE, and your main source of communication and engagement while your child attends our centre.
Yoga and meditation help our students improve their mobility, strength, imitation skills, cognitive skills, concentration and social-communicative behaviors. With its morning placement in our daily routine, it sets your child up for a productive day.
“Yoga-based therapy is a good setting to teach self-calming measures because it provides a serene environment where normal responses to stimuli may not fit. Not knowing the boundaries of this new environment, children are often more thoughtful in their responses.
Structure and continuity are key elements of these sessions to provide predictability and boundaries that support trust. Toys, fluorescent lights, and heavy human traffic are eliminated to ease stimuli for sensory defensive students.
Practicing balancing poses incorporates the use of directing one’s gaze and focused breathing. This stimulation of the vestibular system and portions of the brain that control eye movement are important because both areas of the brain are directly involved with regulating concentration.
Students may begin to recognize low levels of agitation and ways to calm themselves when agitation levels rise. This key element of social competence and well-being can be understood and applied outside the yoga setting and gives students a higher sense of self-confidence.” Using Yoga to Teach Special Needs Students the Power of Namaste
Your child’s academic program is designed though ACE® which is the culmination of over 40 years of research and practice conducted at The New England Center for Children (NECC®), a leader in the fields of applied behavior analysis (ABA) and autism. The ACE application provides an interactive interface containing assessment tools, lesson plans, teaching materials, and student performance reports for over 1,900 skills drawn from the program used at NECC. For more information about ACE click here.
These key academic classes will develop your child’s abilities in reading, writing and mathematics, as well as increasing their general knowledge of the world around them.
Our Literacy, Numeracy & Science classes use a project based learning approach that allows them to gain knowledge and skills through investigation, problem solving, inquiry, reflection, communication, revision and demonstration. This hands on approach will teach your child how to make the transition between a school subject and its use in their everyday lives.
Recognizing that all children learn differently and in a variety of ways PACE has developed “Extras”, classes in Music, Art, Computer Science, and Physical Education that will encourage your child to explore their interests as well as engage in alternative communication platforms.
The multi-sensory nature of our “Extras” means that your child will be actively engaged in their learning, leading to improvements in memory and cognition, especially when academic content is combined with color-coding, movement, rhythm, sound phrases, textures and other sensory input.
”Medical studies have found that participation in creative arts reduces stress, which in turn enhances the ability to learn. In addition, because procedural memory is more reliable than short-term memory, the daily drills and routines of music, dance and drama classes allow a person with special needs to retain that knowledge and experience.“ The Importance of the Arts in Special Education
All of our “Extras” will complement your child’s ongoing academic subjects and will require them to be active participants, therefore allowing them to learn more easily.
Our Life Skills classes aim to provide your child with the skills they need to be more self sufficient. Classes will focus on everything from successful completion of personal grooming to domestic chores, like making the bed. These classes will play a key part in helping your child meet their daily needs and boost their personal development. Our Life Skills classes are taught by both your child’s homeroom teacher, and by our qualified Occupation Therapists.
For students 12 and over PACE will also be participating in the ASDAN Life Skills Challenges. These challenges are part of an eLearning resource wherein your child will take on tasks in areas that are key to success in their adult life. The challenges aren’t really about learning information, but rather being able to do things. For more information about the ASDAN Life Skills Challenges, please click here.