Here at TQS, we believe that there is the Light of God within every person, and that we are meant to share that Light through our efforts, our gifts, and our actions.
To ensure that every student has that opportunity, including those students whose Autism is more challenging than the general TQS population, we created the Sassafras Program, a highly structured, self-contained K-4 classroom that focuses on behavior regulation and social skill acquisition.
The goal: for each child to develop the skills they need to succeed as a fully integrated member of the TQS community.
Now in its first year of operation, the Sassafras Program is based on the premise that students need to build positive relationships, feel positive emotions, and develop a sense of control and purpose in order to learn. It offers students a predictable structure and a supportive environment, with academic engagement tailored to meet each child’s specific needs.
The Sassafras Program is in its inception and subject to change in order to address the needs of its students.
The current classroom structure includes:
Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) in the classroom
Two classroom assistants
A self-contained classroom within TQS
Ratio of 5:1:1:2 (5 Students: 1 Lead Teacher: 1 BCBA: 2 Assistants)
The classroom teacher and educational assistants deliver instruction in very small groups. The BCBA, an occupational therapist (OT), and the classroom teacher collaborate to ensure students’ sensory needs are met.
The students will develop cognitive skills to help master their behavioral challenges using the AIM curriculum-a behavior analytic program that focuses on mindfulness, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Behavior Analysis.
Project-based learning is the basis for all content area instruction.
Course curriculums include Science Fusion for science, Harcourt Our Communities for social studies, and Language for Learning for language.
Direct reading instruction using Orton-Gillingham-based methods is available for students with decoding difficulties. If a student requires 1:1 instruction, it is offered at an additional charge.
Students receive direct instruction in social skills, yoga, and mindfulness.
Assistive technology is used for reading, writing, executive functioning, and self-regulation using 1:1 Chromebooks or iPads, depending upon student need and preference.
Speech and OT will push in to the classroom one hour weekly to provide adjustments and support. Additional 1:1 speech and OT are available through TQS or Sensory Zone.
A therapy dog from Nellie’s Schoolhouse visits weekly.
Participation in school-wide events, at teacher discretion, is based on each student’s preferences and skill sets, and supported by the educational assistants. Some possible events are:
Meeting For Worship
Want to learn more about the Sassafras Program?
Contact us with any questions or to schedule a virtual tour of our school.