MAP Curriculum and Methods

In contrast to the large groups, bustle, and rigid curricula that our students find hard to manage, we provide calm, supportive environments in which highly trained teachers, assistants and therapists work collaboratively to engage students, help them maximize their cognitive abilities, develop their social potential, and celebrate their successes. 

Curriculum
In addition to the academic curriculum which is based on the student’s state and local curriculum, the program provides a dynamic, rigorous and experiential curriculum incorporates social learning into all aspects of the school experience and integrated related services provide structured and supported opportunities for MAP students to successfully acquire and practice emotional regulation and social skills. The strategies that students learn are practiced and applied throughout the school day and transferred to home and community settings.

Implementation
When our students learn a skill, they often have difficulty using it in settings different from the setting in which it was learned. In MAP, they learn the skill and then practice using it in a variety of settings, first in their classroom, then elsewhere at school and at home, and finally in the community.

Support
In addition to direct instruction and opportunities to practice specific social skills, MAP provides structure and support during periods of the school day in which our students with social cognition challenges often struggle, such as lunch and recess.  For example, our younger students have a pre-determined lunch date with another student each day. In the morning students make their lunch date plans, which include conversational topics and recess activities, with the help of a teacher. The plans teach a compensatory strategy for weak executive functioning (prepared in advance), reduce anxiety about unknowns by providing a roadmap, and allow the children to build their rote and relationship social skills while feeling safe rather than overwhelmed. 

MAP also provides: 
Small classes tailored for each student’s academic, social, and sensory needs. Each class has an average of eight students with one teacher and two assistants. A speech language pathologist, occupational therapist, or social worker is often present through our integrated services model. 
Creative and challenging academics using individual and small-group instruction and engaging interdisciplinary projects to promote excellence and develop critical thinking, problem solving and teamwork abilities. 
Positive, evidence-based practices for emotional regulation and behavior management. Cognitive behavioral approaches support students in a consistent fashion in all school activities. Individual plans tailored to individual needs help students learn these critical life skills and guide teachers and students in objectively assessing emotional states, behavior, and progress toward goals.
Constant monitoring and refinement. Each and every day we work to improve the program model, identifying what is working well and asking ourselves where and how to make improvements. Our goals are to create the best possible program for each student and to create a model program for other settings.


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