The Collaborative Model developed by our All-In! Partnership Project is an inclusive solution for the highest-need students. These are the students who are struggling intensely and daily in being safe, respectful, and responsible. These are the students that teachers talk about saying, “It’s impossible for me to teach my class when this kid is in the room.” These are the students who most push us and challenge us, as individual providers and as school systems.
As individuals - as teachers, as therapists, as administrators - these students can and do push our buttons. Through the challenging behaviors they bring, they can invite us to feel a lot of negative things: frustrated, hopeless, overwhelmed, often ineffective or not good at our jobs.
Relatedly, these students push and challenge the educational settings and systems they’re in and too often these systems push these kids out of their schools and place them in more restrictive special education placements like special day classes (SDC), counseling enriched classes (CEC), or non-public schools (NPS).
Our mission in our Unconditional Education partnerships is to embrace and face the challenge that these kids bring and give them the services and supports they need to successfully participate and learn in their community schools. These young people and their families deserve that and it’s our job to provide it.
In the 2017-18 school year, we’ve expanded our partnership at Caliber Beta Academy in Richmond to include the Collaborative Model. We currently have four transdisciplinary teams of professionals built around the four students our Beta elementary school Collab program, coordinating their services and supporting their skills in the academic, behavioral, and social-emotional strands.
The Seneca team at Caliber Beta includes our two Clinical Intervention Specialists, Alys Larson and Jennifer Harry, both returning for their second year at Beta. Alys and Jenny provide a number of important services at Caliber Beta such as individual, group, and family therapy supports, classroom behavioral support, and teacher consultation. This school year Behavior Support Specialist Jeff Pitts joined the Seneca/Beta partnership to oversee the Collab program and utilize his leadership and expertise to enhance overall school culture and climate, and to provide coaching and professional development to many Caliber Beta staff. Terrence Adams had been a part of the Caliber Beta team last school year and switched his role over the summer, joining Seneca and entering this year in the role of Student Support Assistant. Jason Keppe (Director of School Partnerships), Robyn Ganeles (Assistant Director of Clinical Services), and Lulu Gonzalez (Program Assistant) provide additional Seneca support and oversight for our Seneca/Caliber Beta program, where we are proud to partner with the school in supporting Caliber’s mission, that:
All children deserve a rigorous education,
regardless of their zip code
Jason Keppe, Director of School Partnerships