The ICE classrooms include a multidisciplinary team of the district teacher, district teacher’s aide, Seneca Mental Health Counselors, and a Seneca Classroom Therapist. The Seneca Mental Health Counselors are responsible for intervening when students are exhibiting disruptive behaviors in the classroom. Through team collaboration, each student’s unique needs and goals are addressed through a personalized treatment plan that includes individual, group, and often family therapy, supported by intensive case management and crisis intervention services. Program services are designed and tailored to enable each individual student the best possible behavioral, therapeutic, and educational support.
Our ICE classroom at Bridges Academy at Melrose has just kicked off its fourth school year in Oakland Unified School District. There are currently eleven 4th and 5th grade students enrolled in the classroom, all of whom are working on specialized behavioral and academic plans. Throughout the school day, the students participate in music class, PE, science, and go to the library in addition to their regular academic classes. Students receive individual therapy every week as well participate in group social skills, and the classroom therapist is available for check-ins with students as needed. With the support of our Mental Health Counselors, there are three students who are already mainstreaming in general education classes, and many others who are motivated to progress on their behavioral goals to begin going to general education classes. Additionally, there are multiple students who earn time as mentors in the kindergarten classes where they support and help younger students during the school day. This allows students to be viewed as leaders not only in their own classroom, but the school community as well. With the use of a behavioral phase system that includes incentives such as special lunches and field trips, the students work towards earning privileges and rewards. Many students are on individual contracts to further work on their own personal goals and to be able to earn a reward of their choosing for their progress. While there are blow outs, escalations, and hard times along the way, the students in our classroom continue to grow and progress with the help of our strong collaboration with the Bridges administration and school community.