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:
WHO is a PALS student?
- 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
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:
WHERE do PALS students learn?
- Students who have ADHD
- Students who suffer from Anxiety Disorders
- Students who are diagnosed with Language Based Learning Disabilities
- Students who have Speech and Language Impediments
- Students who have High-Functioning ASD or Social Communication Disorders
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.