Providing Alternative Learning Strategies (PALS)

Values-Driven Diversity of Learning

WHO is a PALS Student?

Every child is unique. So is their journey to success.

Carmel Academy’s PALS (Providing Alternative Learning Strategies) program has been educating alternative learners for more than a decade within an integrated, warm environment where excellence is paramount to living out our values.

A PALS student is a child facing academic, social, or attentional challenges who, with appropriate modifications and supports, can be successful and achieve grade level standards or beyond. Appropriate for the PALS program are:
  • Students who have ADHD
  • Students who suffer from anxiety disorders
  • Students who preset with language-based learning challenges, including expressive and/or receptive language
  • Students with auditory processing difficulties
  • Students who have High-Functioning ASD or Social Communication Disorders

WHAT is the PALS Program?

Every parent knows child development is not linear – it’s bumpy, with skills and tool sets often developing unevenly. For some children, the unevenness is greater, and can make standard school environments a difficult place to thrive. To address this, and as part of our commitment to living out our values of inclusion and caring, Carmel Academy launched the PALS program in 2006.

PALS is an integrated program tailored to each student. PALS students have self-contained classrooms with class sizes averaging 5 for K-5, and capped at 8 for grades 6-8. The average student teacher ratio in PALS is 3:1 with all PALS teachers possessing extensive Special Education credentials. The PALS program at Carmel provides all of the following supports:
  • Occupational therapy including a sensory gym
  • Speech and language therapy including pragmatic language skills therapy
  • Whole-school social skills curriculum, with extra support and training for PALS students
  • Executive functioning support and education
  • Research-based, Orton Gillingham reading instruction
  • Multi-sensory approach to reading, math, and all curricular material
  • Adaptive physical education

WHERE Do PALS Students Learn?

PALS students spend as much time as they need in their self-contained classes, and also have time learning and engaging with their core peers as much as they are able (always supported by their PALS teachers). A PALS classroom is like a warm, calm, and small homeroom, where kids can get the support and respite they need, and from which they can “launch” to join their peers as appropriate. The end goal for PALS students is to join and thrive in a mainstream learning environment and to be comfortable and able to thrive in a mainstream classroom. Thus, opportunities for student integration start early.

WHEN Can a Student Enter the PALS Program?

The PALS program serves students from Kindergarten through 8th grade.

Click here to request additional information or to begin the application process.

For questions or to schedule a personal tour,  please contact
Lisa Corner, Director of Educational Resources/PALS Program, at or 203-983-3556
Danielle Cohen, Director of Admissions and Marketing, at or 203-983-3503.

We also welcome educational providers and consultants to see our school in actiodgzatsyt,dxn and to learn more about our PALS program for students with special learning needs.

Learn More About PALS At Carmel

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  • Carmel Academy is a private school for children of all Jewish affiliations, serving children from transitional kindergarten through 8th grade.

Carmel Academy is a recipient of UJA Greenwich, the United Jewish Federation of Greater Stamford, New Canaan and Darien, Federation for Jewish Philanthropy of Upper Fairfield County and The UJA Federation on New York.