Non-Public School Educational Program
Carousel is certified by the California State Department of Education, and meets all state program requirements. Carousel is open year-round which offers an After-School Socialization Program. During the summer and spring break periods, extended hours programs are available.
Designated Instructional Services (DIS)
Carousel offers Speech & Language Therapy, Occupational and Physical Therapy, Specially-Designed Physical Education, Behavior Intervention, and Counseling. Our therapy services provide personalized programs tailored to meet each individual child’s needs.
Carousel School offers a comprehensive educational program and provides services for children and their families challenged by a wide range of learning, developmental, and emotional disabilities. The students range from preschool through high school. An innovative and integrated curriculum and high staff-to-student ratio supports students so they can achieve success. Based on each student’s IEP (Individualized Education Program), an individual instructional plan is designed to maximize his or her learning. Case management is an integral part of our service and helps to facilitate coordination with other professionals who are working the child and family. Our teachers recognize and appreciate the individual needs of each student, and encourage them to develop their interests and talents. Through small group interaction and individual attention, each student’s day is filled with learning opportunities that are interactive and stimulating. Children’s self-esteem flourishes and creativity blossoms when they feel that intellectual and emotional experiences are valuable.
Curriculum & Instruction
Our transdisciplinary curriculum is enhanced by our special facilities and diverse teaching methods to ensure continuity in all subject areas. Along with a student’s IEP, Carousel’s teachers utilize the California Content Standards and the Curriculum Guide for Students with Moderate to Severe Disabilities as tools to develop the curriculum and lessons each year. Teachers also make modifications and adaptations to lessons and their teaching to accommodate each student’s needs. The use of manipulatives and hands-on experiences are integrated into lessons whenever possible to make learning more exciting and interactive.
School-Wide Social Skills
At Carousel, we acknowledge that a vital component to a child’s daily routine is the socialization with his or her peers and adults at school, home, and in the community. Children with various diagnoses, including, but not limited to, Pervasive Developmental Disorders (e.g., Autism Spectrum Disorder, Asperger’s syndrome, Fragile X Syndrome) and Attention Disorders (e.g., Attention Deficit Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) often demonstrate poor social skills. Many of our students need to learn the fundamental skills necessary to appropriately interact with others. Carousel staff facilitates the development of social skills through daily and weekly activities. Our teachers and classroom staff encourage students to interact with peers through class-wide activities. In order to prepare our students for the Community-Based Instruction (CBI) to allow them to participate in social interaction outside of school. Our specially designed Physical Education class also facilitates social skills through specific group games and activities that allow students to have fun while learning how to appropriately interact with their peers.
Community Based Instruction/Independent Living Skills
Carousel middle school and high school students participate in weekly Community Based Instruction (CBI) trips, which target the development of functional skills in natural, non-school based environments, such as the post office, grocery store, bakery, and police and fire stations. Prior to going out into the community, teachers and staff prepare the students for what they will do and how they should act. Skills learned in the classroom are generalized and taught in the community. These skills, practiced over time, will give our students the confidence to participate in community events and socialize in new and unfamiliar environments.
The focus of CBI is to assist students with moderate to severe disabilities to acquire the essential independent living skills necessary to successfully transition into the adult world. CBI is an instructional strategy that helps students develop skills in self-advocacy, safety in the community, taking initiative, and appropriate work and social behaviors. CBI provides opportunities for students to plan for transportation needs, gain advanced mobility skills, access local community resources, and obtain work-based learning experiences.
CBI adheres to legislative mandates for individuals with disabilities.
Benefits of CBI:
- Supports transition planning
- Reflects systematic ecological instruction
- Promotes the transfer of skills from the classroom to the community
- Provides developmentally appropriate activities
- Fosters problem-solving
- Ensures continuity across the life-skills curriculum
- Creates acceptance in the community and local partnerships
Other independent living skills that all students participate in throughout the year include:
- Weekly community walks
- Gardening and grounds maintenance
- Automotive maintenance
- Assisting with snack and lunch distribution
- Personal care and personal hygiene
- Personal health and safety
- General shopping
- Student store support
- Classroom assistance
- Custodial services
Specially-Designed Physical Education
Carousel’s Specially-Designed Physical Education program incorporates daily age-appropriate games, activities, and sports for our students. Our on-site coach provides individual and group activities throughout the day that are designed to improve the students’ hand/eye coordination, large and small muscle group development, motor skills, and socializations. To strengthen the students’ skills in interacting appropriately with peers, our P.E. class provides the students with opportunities to learn social skills, such as playing together, taking turns, and participating in new games. Our specially-designed class works with the students’ individual capabilities and allows them to feel successful outside of the classroom. Our students strengthen their self-confidence as they continue to participate in new activities. Carousel staff has helped to introduce special events to our program such as our school-wide Carousel Olympics, Carousel Car Wash, and even participating in outside community events, such as local high school football games.
Carousel School offers the following electives: cooking, gardening, music appreciation, and computer science.
In cooking class, the teacher breaks the task into smaller segments (task analysis). Cooking provides plenty of opportunities for students to be exposed to many senses including visual and auditory. It motivates students to learn to follow cooking instructions, as they are positively reinforced by eating their finished product.
Gardening teaches students planning, and creativity. Additionally, it will help students improve their motor skills and social skills. The students learns germination process and responsibilities to care for their potted plants. Gardening is a rewarding experience for our students, especially when they see their plants grow.
Music appreciation is both a teacher-directed and student-led activity. Students have opportunities to play different musical instruments such as keyboard, cymbals, triangle, djembe drum, tom-tom, xylophone, and percussion frog. In a teacher-directed activity, the teacher teaches different rhythms that the students can follow. For student-led activities, students play their assigned instruments and make their own rhythm. For their dance class, the teacher offers a wide variety of music that the students can dance to; however, students can also select their preferred songs.
In computer science, students are exposed to modern technology and their applications. Their experience will vary with many different types of activities. Students will work cooperatively toward similar goals utilizing digital avatars of themselves. They will sharpen their gross and fine motor skills with various video games. The students will also work on computers to further their transition skills. Their artistic side will be expressed through project utilizing graphics software. Word processing programs such as excel, word, and powerpoint will be covered to expose students to modern work skills.