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Social & Emotional Learning

Special education school - 2 male students together on playground - Bloomfield NJ - Westbridge Academy

“I have never felt alone with the problems that my child has, because Westbridge Academy has eased my mind of all the worry I had about his future.”

– Carolina Martinez,

Preparing students who are ready to learn

Throughout the student’s time at Westbridge Academy, we recognize and address the link between emotional challenges and the ability to learn.  Teachers are trained to look for emotional cues that may need to be addressed.  And we provide the individual counseling and social skills training to build emotional harmony and self-esteem in students, so they can learn.

With the foundation of this sensitive support system, we collaborate in the design and implement the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for each student.  The plan is managed by our Student Services Coordinator who oversees the student’s progress, conducts regular meetings with parents and representatives from the school district, and documents everything for future reference.  This way, whatever challenges may arise will be addressed immediately in the context of the IEP.  The social worker (student’s case manager) and staff also regularly call parents about particular concerns and guide them on how they can support their children at home.

Responding effectively to crises

A proactive, measured approach mitigates classroom disturbances

Crisis Intervention Pyramid

Westbridge Academy’s small classrooms are specifically designed to reduce distractions from other students.  Even the desks are positioned in a way that encourages students to stay focused on their own work while allowing the teacher to monitor progress.

But when disruptions do occur, it’s important to respond appropriately, so the student’s issues can be effectively managed or supported as needed.  The adapted Response to Intervention (RTI) model addresses this need by classifying disturbances into three tiers based on their level of severity, from Tier 1 (prevention), to Tier 3 ( typically a physical outbreak).  The RTI model prescribes specific solutions for these different scenarios.

Two male students with their arms over each others shoulders - Private Special Education, social skills, Bloomfield NJAt Westbridge Academy, we have been using the RTI model successfully in conjunction with our own crisis intervention methods.  Given our close monitoring of students, we understand their unique issues and are ready to respond with the appropriate level of help.  Our highly trained Crisis Intervention Team is comprised of teachers, social workers and administrators.  With the team’s depth of experience, the use of proven methods and frequent assessments, we focus on preventing stumbling blocks to ensure the academic, social and emotional well-being of our students.

Project Achieve

Developing essential “Stop & Think” Social Skills

To help our kids develop the essential social skills they need for success in life, we launched Project Achieve in the 2010-2011 school year.  This program, which is used in more than 40 states across the country, employs the latest and most effective techniques to break through poor behavior patterns – by teaching students how to solve problems, strengthen their own resilience, and develop effective self-management skills.

Applied in all grades, Project Achieve lessons will be incorporated in the curriculum throughout the school year, to help our kids improve their ability to:

  • Listen
  • Follow directions
  • Ask for help
  • Ignore distractions
  • Deal with teasing
  • Manage anger
  • Learn how to apologize