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Providing Alternative Learning Strategies (PALS)

Learn More About PALS At Carmel

PALS: Providing Alternative Learning Strategies

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 inclusion 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 certification. 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
  • Mutli-sensory approach to reading, math, and all curricular material
  • Adaptive physical education
WHO is a PALS student?
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 are diagnosed with Language Based Learning Chellenges, including expressive and/or receptive language
  • Students who experience Processing Difficulties
  • Students who have High-Functioning ASD or Social Communication Disorders
WHERE do PALS students learn?
PALS students can 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 be comfortable and able to thrive in a ‘regular’ classroom, and thus, opportunities for inclusion start early.

When is PALS available?
The PALS program is available in every grade from Kindergarten through 8th grade.
For additional information, please contact Ella Shteingart, Director of Admissions, at ella.shteingart@carmelacademy.com or 203-983-3503; or Jonathan Holub, Director of Educational Resources/PALS Program, at jonathan.holub@carmelacademy.com.

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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.