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PHILOSOPHY STATEMENT

Meliora Academy strives to provide optimum educational opportunities for every student and is dedicated to the belief that each student is a unique person with dignity and worth despite their challenges. We endeavor to provide for every individual's safety and welfare using research-based interventions including but not limited to applied behavior analysis. Our goal is to provide them with the opportunity to reach their maximum potential intellectually, socially, emotionally, physically, aesthetically and morally.

Meliora Academy will be sensitive and responsive to the needs of families, sending school districts and the community in which we reside. Our instructional model and well-trained staff design stable, individualized yet flexible curriculum for each child that emphasizes proficiency in basic skills as well as experiences that contribute to a comprehensive and functional/practical education. This is accomplished by implementing evidenced based interventions that are considered best practice in autism treatment. Our instructional and clinical staff are supported by our parent company and administrative staff that share in our mission of maximizing the potential of our students.

Given that life is not fragmented, we believe that students need to be provided an integrated or blended curriculum. Materials from the student's sending schools as well as the Connecticut State Curriculum Frameworks form the foundation for every student's individualized program. In keeping with this standard, a theme-based model of instruction is utilized with skills and content from all the developmental and curriculum domains (including speech, occupational and physical therapy) embedded in instructional programs. This provides our students, who tend to be fragmented learners, a context in which to be able to retrieve and subsequently apply learned information to real-life experiences.

We embody an interdisciplinary approach to intervention. Strong team relationships between instructional staff, related service providers, teachers and parents are forged in the context of regularly scheduled team meetings. These meetings produce curriculum targets, theme-based content, implementation of IEP objectives, generalization and application of skills, assessment and treatment of problem behavior and progress updates.

Consideration for and planning with families is an integral component of our philosophy. Our families know their children best and are the most significantly impacted on a day-to-day basis by what we do. Family participation is paramount to our student's success. Integrating family and community participation into our program provides parent support and training. Regular team meetings, daily communication in the form of notes sent home and program planning/generalization activities provides our students the opportunity to apply skills acquired during instruction to real life situations that occur with their families in their homes and communities.

Since learning is a continuous process and Meliora Academy is an integral part of our communities, we are dedicated to the development of individuals who will become valuable contributing members of their communities.

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