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Kennedy Krieger Schools: Fairmount Campus Kindergarten Through 8th Grade
Kennedy Krieger Schools: Fairmount Campus • 1750 East Fairmount Ave. • Baltimore, MD 21231
The School Programs at Kennedy Krieger Institute has been named a 2012 Leadership and Innovation in Special Education Awardee by the National Association of Private Special Education Centers (NAPSEC).
This program provides special education and related services to students kindergarten through Grade 8. Evidence-based instructional practices are implemented in an intensive, highly supportive environment that maintains a low student/teacher ratio which addresses the unique, educational and therapeutic needs of each child. Classroom teachers and related service providers work together in a highly coordinated fashion to maximize the educational benefits for students. Local school systems (LSS) within Maryland, Washington DC, and neighboring states refer, place and fund the approximately 165 students in both the elementary and middle schools.
Transportation is provided by the LSS.
Kindergarten Through Eighth Grade
Students are carefully grouped each year for optimal learning in small classrooms. This program focuses upon grade level instruction with necessary accommodations, modifications and adaptations to the curriculum to ensure that students are able to reach their potential. Fully certified teachers -- with the assistance of highly trained teaching assistants -- provide academic instruction utilizing a multi-sensory approach in individual and small group settings.
Instruction is aligned with national standards and guided by the Maryland State Curriculum. Content areas include English/Language Arts (using scientifically based practices for reading, writing and spelling instruction), math, science, social studies, physical education, fine art, career development and health. Our instructional materials are carefully selected based on their proven effectiveness and motivational appeal to our students. Instruction and assignments are differentiated to provide each student with the maximum opportunity to access the material and demonstrate understanding.
In addition to the expected classroom instruction, students at Kennedy Krieger have an opportunity to participate in community-based field trips. The cultural and commercial communities of Baltimore provide many options, allowing classroom instruction to come alive through hands-on, experiential learning.
Technology is fully integrated into the instructional program. Each classroom is equipped with computers that allow for seamless student access to the Internet, as well as a large variety of motivational and instructional educational software. Computers are also available for easy student access in our library/media center. Classes have access to a technology center with a large number of computers where students can learn new applications, increase computer skills and work on special technology projects. The school has installed ten, 60-inch interactive display boards throughout its classrooms, which maximize opportunities for students to interact with technology.
Students and staff have access to a modern library/media center, which we refer to as “Main Street.” A large variety of print material is available for students to use for reference and to borrow for classroom and home use. Engaging multimedia materials are also housed here. Professional and parent sections have also been added to the library collection.
Main Street also provides a venue for student activities such as the variety show, assemblies, plays, musical performances, guest speakers, Career Day and the Science Fair.
In addition to grade-level coursework, students also receive additional instructional support in the areas of mathematics and reading. These intervention (or enrichment) classes are targeted to the specific needs and learning styles of each student. Unlike the majority of the instructional day, which focuses on material from the student's grade level, these groups are designed to meet the specific needs of students with similar instructional goals and learning styles. Intervention classes utilize research-based methodologies including, but not limited to, Wilson, Lindamood Bell, Early Literacy Skills Builder, Orton Gillingham, Edmark, Mathletics, Knowing Mathematics, Math Steps and Touch Math.
Assessment of Progress
Effective, timely and targeted assessment of student progress is critical to our instructional program. Teachers and related service staff maintain ongoing systems for evaluating the progress of each child. It is through this dynamic process of continuous assessment that we are able to make instructional and clinical decisions about the direction and pace of instruction and service delivery.
Kennedy Krieger students also participate in the Maryland School Assessments (MSA), DC School Assessments and other state assessments required for other referring states each year. Where appropriate, students may participate in alternative assessments, such as the Alt-MSA, which allows their school performance to be evaluated relative to individually established benchmarks. Decisions about participation in assessments, and the associated determination of instructional focus, is made by the IEP team -- a group which includes the student’s school team, parents and representatives of the student’s local school system.
Related services identified on each student's Individualized Education Plan (IEP) are offered. Related services are delivered in pull out, embedded and consultative formats. These services include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Speech/Language Pathology
- Mental Health Services
- Occupational Therapy
- Physical Therapy
- School Health Services
Related services are interwoven with the instructional program and delivered within the classroom setting whenever possible. Psychiatric consults are available. An interdisciplinary team approach ensures regular and cohesive communication and co-planning amongst teachers, related services and therapeutic staff.
Positive Behavior Intervention:
For many students, academic needs are secondary to the extensive behavioral and environment support required to permit access to instruction. Kennedy Krieger has a highly structured school-wide behavior management system with predictable rewards and consequences that uses a meaningful point system monitored by both teacher and student as appropriate. Students have opportunities to regain self-control in the classroom (called self-helps), or they can be directed to one of several resource areas for supervised support while they regain their ability to return to classroom instruction. Crisis intervention is available when needed, and all staff members are trained in research-based behavioral intervention practices.
Sensory needs are addressed through modifications to the classroom environment and access to a variety of sensory strategies including a state-of-the-art multi-sensory room.
Students are provided a high level of behavioral support when transitioning to and from, and participating in all classes.