MLN Curriculum and Methods

MLN provides an approximate 3:1 student to teacher ratio which allows each student to receive the level of attention and support they need to maximize progress.  Each student has an individualized schedule and transitions between classrooms throughout the day (e.g., from English to homeroom).  Students are placed in instructional groups based on their skill level.  These groups are regularly re-evaluated and adjusted to best accommodate our students’ needs. 

Instructional Methodology
An explicit instructional approach to lesson design and delivery, grounded in evidence-based methods from the fields of applied behavior analysis, special education, and general education, is provided to support students to learn, maintain, and apply taught material independently across generalized settings.  This errorless approach ensures that students remain highly accurate while teacher-provided or curricular supports are gradually faded and the complexity of taught material is systematically increased. This instructional approach ensures that learning occurs as quickly as possible and student success begets continued learning.

Academic Programming
Student programming is aligned to the curriculum of the applicable state and local school system.  Student progress is monitored on a regular basis with an emphasis on data-based decision-making. We monitor progress using informal formative assessment, comprehensive summative assessments, universal progress monitoring, and state assessments (e.g., PARCC, SOLs, or MSAA). 

Adaptive Programming
Adaptive instruction provided to MLN students is critical to support each student as they reach their highest level of independence.  Access to adaptive programming increases as students progress through grades and is provided as follows:

Elementary School
  •  Completing daily living routines (e.g., unpacking upon arrival, eating lunch to include getting ready and cleaning up)
  • Maintaining personal belongings (e.g., making sure students have needed materials for class, keeping homework organized)
  • Using language instead of engaging in maladaptive behavior (e.g., saying excuse me instead of yelling for a teacher's attention)
  • Social skills (e.g., using appropriate language, social interactions, relationships, perspective taking)
  • Learning in a group (e.g., sitting quietly and atttending to the teacher
  •  Continue Elementary School areas of focus
  • Pre-requisite skills for community participation (e.g., community safety, purchasing within the school)
  • Pre-vocational programming (e.g., following checklists, completing routines)
  • Health/Sexuality/Hygiene programming
  •  Continue Middle School areas of focus
  • Community-based instruction (e.g., community navigation, transportation, purchasing)
  • Daily Living Skills (e.g., personal hygiene, using a mobile phone, purchasing food, meal preparation)
  • Vocational classes and opportunities (e.g., on-site school business participation, school-based jobs, in-school internships, off-site job sampling)

Course Sequence

Diploma             Students pursuing a high school diploma typically participate in an extended high school program, across five or six years as compared to a standard four year program as determined by the student’s IEP team. This extra time allows students to participate in courses to increase prerequisite skills, remediate courses, and allow for access to adaptive programming that otherwise would not be possible given the rigorous diploma course requirements. 
       Students pursuing a certificate of completion remain in the high school program for approximately three to four years based on age, before moving to our School to Work program. These students participate in academic courses and are provided increased access to functional academics and adaptive programming.


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