Program Highlight: The IDEAL Program at Francis Wyman Elementary School, Burlington

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L to R, top row. Christine Newton, aide; Janet Cappola, Physical Therapist; Dennis Gougan, Teacher; Susanne Carbone, Nurse; Teacher, Pat Hansen; Nurse, Deb Regan; Occupational Therapist L to R, Bottom row: Mary D'Addario, Speech Therapist; Anne Harbour, aide; Maria Cormier, Teacher

Individual Developmental Education for All Learners

The philosophy of the LABBB I.D.E.A.L. Program is that every child has the right to an individualized education that will help them learn to the best of their ability no matter what their disability. We serve a variety of disabled children ages 5-11 in grades Kindergarten through Five. The children’s special needs conditions include, but are not limited to cerebral palsy, visually impairment, seizure disorders and neurological impairments. All of our children have some degree of motor and language impairment.

Housed in the Francis Wyman Elementary School in Burlington our program is an eleven month program. That includes the ten school months as well as a camp program that runs half days during the month of July. We offer two small classes no larger then six students per class. Each classroom is staffed with a special education teacher, a nurse and at least one assistant. We offer services in the area of Physical Therapy, Occupation Therapy, Speech & Language, and Social Services. Using assistive technology the children work on basic communication skills, including augmentative alternative means of communication, gross and fine motor skills cognitive skills and early self-care skills. All of our children work on individual education plans where they develop cognitive skills at there own pace.

We are a small specialized program with the benefits of being involved in a large public school. We follow an inclusion model whenever it is appropriate. At any given time you might see students in a school play, participating in regular recess, or studying the subject of wind while flying kites with a regular education class. Weekly we join our voices together in the “Big Sing” group along with other special education classrooms in our school. The children also partake in community experience programs whenever possible,  such as bowling in Woburn, Bowlarama and school curriculum related fieldtrips.

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