Academy360 Lower School operates at our campus in Verona, NJ.
As part of our promise to deliver a spectrum of options, classrooms at Academy360 Lower School provide NJDOE-approved programs for those identified as a preschool child with a disability, elementary and secondary autism, and behaviorally disabled through both self-contained and departmental instruction.
High quality early education is the most effective primary intervention for young children with an autism spectrum disorder and behavioral and related disabilities. Our state-approved curriculum emphasizes effective, evidence-based interventions. It focuses not only on the acquisition of critical new skills, but also on socialization, language and communication strategies, and modifying behaviors that may interfere with learning and living.
Our data-driven program for younger students adheres to the dimensions of traditional Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). It is applied, behavioral, analytic, technological, conceptually systematic, and effective and works to help students begin to generalize learned skills and behavior across settings in school, at home, and in the community.
In Preschool/Elementary grades, we provide:
- A full day of instruction
- An individualized program
- Class size of no more than 6 students
- Student staff ratio of 1:1 for preschoolers
- Student staff ratio of 2:1 for students in elementary grades
- Instruction intervention based on Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), the systematic application of the science of Behavior Analysis
- Traditional discrete trial teaching and verbal behavior techniques
- Speech Therapy
- Occupational Therapy and/or Physical Therapy available onsite
- Special Programs designed to teach “the whole child” including Music, Art, Computers and Adaptive PE
- Integrated Preschool (see below)
- Extended School Year Instruction
Academy360’s full day integrated preschool program is comprised of students ages 3-5 who are classified as “Preschool Child with a Disability” as well as a cohort of typically developing peers.
An integrated program is the most effective way to learn from other children. Research also demonstrates that preschoolers on the autistic spectrum in integrated programs make significantly more progress in cognitive, language, and social development, have fewer behavior problems, and show fewer symptoms of autism than pupils in control groups.
Our staff works with the typical peers, teaching them appropriate social interactions and language, so they can model and teach appropriate behavior and learning for their classmates.
This behaviorally oriented program operates five days a week, with typical peers joining for two to three of those days. Academy360 students receive related services on site, in accordance with their IEPs. As part of the program, typically developing peers participate in related services activities to facilitate peer modeling in these settings as well.
Elementary School Program
Academy360 Lower School’s Elementary Program is a safe, positive and exciting environment. We foster an open, collaborative partnership with parents, students, teachers and support staff through respect and communication. We believe all students can and will learn through differentiated instruction and curriculum.
Our Elementary Program consists of classrooms for children from from 5 to 11 years old. The student/staff ratio in the Elementary Program is 2:1, with a maximum of six students in each class.
The principals of Applied Behavioral Analysis are incorporated into the daily program. Social skills training is also an integral part of the program’s foundation for developing appropriate social interactions. Students are exposed to formal social skills lessons and the goals and objectives are infused into content area curriculum.
Academy360 Lower School Elementary Program conducts functional assessments for each student and develops behavior intervention plans to decrease maladaptive behaviors and teach appropriate replacement behaviors. Students have the opportunity to participate in weekly clubs and monthly trips in the community.Subjects taught include:
- Language Arts Literacy
- Social Studies
- Physical Education
Social Skills & Community Involvement:
- Social Skills lessons
- Community Service projects
- Weekly student clubs
- Monthly student trips in the community
Our Preschool/Elementary program is overseen by:
Tara Hayek, Assistant Principal
973.509.3050 ext. 223
Middle School and 9th Grade Transition Program
Our goal is to promote maturity, self-motivation and independence in every child. As students mature, we actively teach them to become more aware of their role as members of their families, schools, and communities. They learn to apply skills they’ve acquired in the classroom in the real world, and begin to set personal goals that foster self-reflection and self-evaluation.
Our classes offer students instruction founded on the principles of ABA. Here our instructional strategy is expanded to include Differentiated Instruction, and Universal Design for Learning, as well as more contemporary ABA strategies such as peer modeling and incidental teaching.
Our classroom support team, comprised of a Teacher, Speech Therapist, Clinician, Behaviorist, Occupational and Physical Therapists and Paraprofessionals, is cohesive and free to collaborate more intensively.
Consultations with our school psychiatrist, psychologist and experts in the field of autism, behavior management and technology ensure that our interventions remain responsive to the needs of each individual student.
- Small classes and student to staff ratios
- Speech, Clinical, Behavioral services
- Behavioral, Medical, Psychological and Psychiatric Consultations
- Courses aligned with national and state standards
- Life Skills and Career Education classes; Career Development Workshops
- Community Based Instruction
- Evidence-based Teaching Strategies
- Special Academic Programs, including Inventor’s Expo, Poetry Recital, Math (Data) Day and May Market
- Extended School Year Instruction
Our Middle School/9th Grade Transition program is overseen by:
Gina Catania, Principal
973.509.3050 ext. 241
Find us at:
Academy360 Lower School
One Sunset Avenue
Verona, NJ 07044