Community School of Maryland
The CSAAC Community School of Maryland is a licensed, private educational facility that operates classrooms in both public and private schools buildings. School students range between 6 and 21 years old and are served in two programs that provide educational instruction and training in compliance with their Individualized Education Programs. Instruction is facilitated using functional approaches that not only increase skills in core subjects, but also prepares students for inclusion in their communities. The 12-month program is non-graded and provides full day and residential Special Education and related services for students with autism.
Classrooms are licensed by the Montgomery County Department of Health; the educational programs are approved by the Maryland State Department of Education; and the residential facilities are approved and licensed by the Developmental Disabilities Administration. The Community School of Maryland is also a member of Maryland Association of Non-Public Special Education Facilities (MANSEF).
The two sites operated through CSAACs school program are: The Community School of Maryland Brookeville Campus, located in Brookeville, Maryland, which serves as the main school campus and provides educational services in a beautiful, modern instructional facility. The second school site, Community School of Maryland at Northwood High School, functions within Northwood High School in Silver Spring. This location features potential inclusion techniques that enable our students to have unique school experiences with their same aged peers in a public high school located in Montgomery County, Maryland. Speech-language, occupational therapy and other related services are provided at both school locations, as well as vocational training that includes school-based and community-based job opportunities.
The Community School of Maryland Brookeville Campus site provides services for children ages 6-21. It is a non-graded, year round residential school and day school program. There are currently five classrooms at the Brookeville campus each with a capacity of seven students. Related services are provided on site and often in the community, and the facility has substantial grounds for exploration and play. We consider this program our state-of-the-art model for future growth as an educational institution. The campus is in a beautiful, rural atmosphere, surrounded by farms, yet students are still only minutes away from community opportunities to access public transportation, seek community involvement, and apply functional skills developed in the classroom.
The Community School of Maryland at Northwood High School is also a 365-day per year non-graded residential program and a non-graded 12-month day program for male and female adolescents, ages 14-21. The school provides full day and residential Special Education and related services to students with autism. One of the goals of this program is to provide inclusion opportunities for students to interact with their high school aged peers.
School facilities are located in Montgomery County, Maryland at 21515 Zion Road (Brookeville), and 919 West University Blvd. Silver Spring (Northwood High School).
General Information about the School Program
Students are referred to the Community School of Maryland by their local education agencies. Once CSAAC has received the referral, the student and family may be invited to visit and tour prospective campuses and attend the CSAAC Admissions-Review-Dismissal Committee meeting, which will determine whether the student is eligible for services.
All students attend classroom and community-based instruction during the day. Instruction is provided individually and in small groups. A 1:1 or 1:2 student to staff ratio is maintained at all times. Instructional areas may include functional academics, communication, self-care skills, fine and gross motor skills, interpersonal skills, leisure skills, and vocational skills. Students also participate in scheduled social leisure activities during school and/or residential hours, such as swimming, adapted gymnastics, the 4-H garden project, movies, eat-outs, summer activities, horseback riding, field trips, and a variety of other activities provided through the Montgomery County Parks and Recreation and Washington metropolitan area groups. Each student follows an individualized schedule divided into time increments that includes behavioral and instructional programming, maintaining continuity in the school and/or residence.
Behavioral and instructional data is taken daily and tabulated to produce documentation of student performance. The Director of Education and the psychologists review the data, which then becomes part of the student's permanent record. Any related service may be provided to a student based on the IEP for direct or consultative services. Most common forms of related services would be speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and psychological services.
The instructional programs at the Community School of Maryland are distinguished by the psychological services provided to the students. Special education teachers and related staff meet with the psychologists at least weekly to discuss each student's behavior. Behavior specialists are employed to observe staff as they are implementing behavior programs. Staff is rated on their ability to implement the programs and is retrained and coached in any areas where implementation needs improvement. The Community School staff strives to help students be integrated members of their community. Special education teachers, along with the school directors and the director for residential services, work collaboratively to make home visits and ensure consistent program implementation in all environments.
To learn more about CSAACs school program, contact Josh Sarracino, Assistant Director for School Operations, at (240) 912-3602 or firstname.lastname@example.org