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Education Program at Tennyson Center

Overview of Program 

The Gerald H. Phipps Education Center at Tennyson Center for Children houses our fully accredited K-12 school program designed to meet the academic, social, emotional and behavioral needs of our students. The Education Mission of Tennyson Center is to create a learning environment which inspires growth in children and their families, enabling them to rejoin their communities and public schools with new confidence and skills. We are accredited by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) as well as North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI). The program operates on a traditional school year calendar and also includes an 8 week summer school program.

Overview of Services

The program provides regular and special education services delivered by licensed regular and special education teachers.  Tennyson Center employs a full-time Speech/Language Pathologist and a part-time Occupational Therapist to provide students with a consistent on-site service provider.  To enhance the educational experience and services of our students, Tennyson Center also provides a full-time Physical Education, Art, Computer and Title I Teacher.  Our student to classroom staff ratio is 12:3 which allows for individualized instruction, attention, and coaching.  Ultimately, our school program prepares students to transition to public school and provides transitional services to meet this goal.

Unique Components of Our Main Campus Education Program

• We are recognized by the Colorado Department of Education as a Positive Behavior Intervention Support (PBIS) school where both students and staff are committed to being safe, respectful and responsible.
• We use pre, mid-year, and post formal assessments to measure and report out student academic growth.
• We provide all special education services in-house which allows our students and families to develop working relationships with service providers.  In-house service provision allows for close supervision of the services being provided and ensures continuity and quality of care.
• We collect, analyze and make programmatic decisions based on behavioral data collected on a weekly basis.
• We conduct all necessary assessments for special education determination.
• We host a variety of school wide events including but not limited to:  Back-to-School Night, Biography Bash, Literacy Night, Winter Program, Math Night, Science Fair, and Field Day.  These events provide students and families the opportunity to come together with school staff to celebrate learning.
• When students are ready to transition to public school, we provide extensive transitional services including but not limited to:  assistance in the determination of an appropriate placement, coordination of and attendance at transition meetings at the receiving school, supervised visits by Tennyson Center staff to the receiving school, mid-day transportation to allow the student a period of time where he/she attends public school for part of the day and Tennyson Center for part of the day, and follow-up phone contact with the receiving school for up to 6 months from discharge.

Specialized Classroom for Students with Dual Diagnosis

Tennyson Center for Children opens a new, specialized classroom in the fall of 2011, for students with a dual diagnosis of educational disabilities (such as, but not limited to, SLIC - Significant Limited Intellectual Capacity and SIED - Significant Identifiable Emotional Disability) combined with specific mental health and/or behavioral challenges (including children with Autism or on the PDD spectrum.) This life skills program and classroom will be self-contained for male and female students in grades 7th – 12th. Staff will include a teacher certified in Special Education, two paraprofessionals and a therapist with expertise in developmental delay issues and behavior management.

The curriculum will focus on personal/social skills, hygiene, practical skills (i.e. cooking, laundry, housekeeping etc.), work competencies, and functional academics.  The curriculum will be aligned with the Quality Indicators for Students with Significant Needs, the CSAPA Framework, and the Expanded Benchmarks. The skills learned in this program will allow them to successfully re-enter the public school system as well as increase the student's independence and their options for living and working in the community after high school.  There is also the potential for the student to matriculate into our ongoing secondary education program if appropriate.

Additional services will include a family support group and psycho-educational component to assist parents.  Tennyson utilizes Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) throughout the entire campus. Tennyson’s comprehensive continuum of care also offers additional services.  We are experienced in contracting with mental health agencies for our provision of therapeutic services. Our campus is centrally located to many school districts and offers summer school programming.

Off-Site Education Program

Our off-site self-contained licensed Day Treatment Education Program is located in Englewood Public Schools at Clayton Elementary School.  This program is owned and operated by Tennyson Center and has been operating in a public elementary school for over 10 years.  We have partnered with Englewood Public Schools and other surrounding districts to allow for elementary-aged students grades K-6 to receive intensive academic and therapeutic services while remaining in a public school environment.  Our student to classroom staff ratio of 9:4 allows for individualized instruction, attention, and coaching.  Program services are provided by a full-time licensed Special Education Teacher, a full-time Therapist, and two full-time Youth Treatment Counselors.  While the program follows the traditional Englewood Public School Calendar, we also provide an 8 week summer school program which provides additional academic support as well as community based and experiential learning opportunities.   

Summer Programs

Summer School: In addition to the regular school year, we offer an eight-week summer school program that provides students the opportunity to continue to improve their academic, social, emotional and behavioral skills.  Our summer school program is staffed with licensed special and regular education teachers and provides a student to classroom staff ratio of 12:3 which allows for individualized instruction, attention, and coaching.  The goal of our summer school program is to provide seamless educational services to students who would otherwise find themselves in the community with little to occupy their time and their minds.  With a combination of direct classroom instruction, community based experiences, and hands-on learning opportunities we maintain student interest and increase skills.  Our summer school program is available to current students of our traditional education program as well as students who need a structured summer school program but who intend to return to their previous educational placement in the fall.  
Challenge by Choice: Another Day Treatment program offered during the summer is our Challenge by Choice program, an experiential education environment outside the traditional school classroom.  Students have the opportunity to participate in a summer journey that helps them reach their highest potential.  The goal of Challenge by Choice is to provide students with the opportunity to achieve personal growth by attaining a sense of autonomy, confidence, and self-awareness while also understanding the fundamental values of teamwork.  These goals are attained by pushing both physical and mental bounds through the use of a wide range of activities that include but are not limited to:  Camping, Backpacking, White Water Rafting, Indoor Rock Climbing, High Ropes Course, Mountain Biking, Tree Climbing and Hiking at High Altitudes.  The culminating team activity is climbing Colorado’s tallest mountain, Mt. Elbert.  Each student who participates in Challenge by Choice is outfitted with hiking boots, socks, and proper clothing attire.  Students are also provided access to all the proper camping equipment for the duration of the program.  Helping abused children overcome poor self-esteem, low self-confidence, the inability to build appropriate social relationships, and poor sportsmanship is paramount to our Challenge by Choice program and the healing process.

If you would like more information regarding our Education Programs, please contact our Director of Education, Djuana Osby via email by clicking here or via phone at 720-855-3433.