Belmont CARES Program
Not all children learn successfully in a conventional classroom. For many children, chronic and severe behavioral or emotional problems impede their ability to succeed in the mainstream classroom and learn through traditional teaching methods. These students require a modified classroom setting in a structured and supportive learning environment that utilizes dynamic instruction methods.
The Belmont CARES Program is designed specifically to serve these students. With student-to-teacher ratios of 5:1, the CARES program aims to reduce maladaptive behaviors of its students, to teach them healthy outlets for negative emotions, and to improve their coping skills. A full time Behavior Specialist provides social/emotional programming including goal groups, psycho-educational groups, and self assessment groups. In addition to the social and emotional education and counseling, CARES students continue to follow the curricula from their previous classrooms to prevent them from falling behind academically. Some students will spend a certain amount of time in the program and eventually graduate out to return to a mainstream classroom. For other students, not even the intensity of CARES can fully address their behavioral and emotional problems so a joint decision between teacher and administrator will be made to send them to more appropriate schools.
Students must go through a referral process to determine their eligibility for CARES. These referrals are made through an orderly progression of interventions. Placing a child with poor behavior in CARES is never the first level of intervention. All students referred to CARES have first been referred to their Family Support Specialist, interventions have been tried in the classroom, and possible other classroom placements have been tried.
Not only does the CARES program help children succeed in school, but it also promotes healthier and more constructiveparent/child relationships. CARES teachers demonstrate and increased awareness and sensitivity to familial situations andtheir impact on students' success in school and they promote frequent parent contact. By strengthening the home-school connection, students have a greater chance for success as lessons and practices from school are reinforced at home.
The CARES program is designed to produce the following outcomes and goals:
1. Reduce behaviors that have a negative impact on students’ educational experience.
2. Improve relationships between family, community, and school.
3. Promote a climate that is conducive to learning.
4. Increase learning opportunities at school and home for the students.
5. Students will enjoy an increased self awareness and understanding.
6. Students will promote respect for self and others.
7. Students will develop increased learning skills and minimize negative attitudes towards school.