Via School Program
Via Center serves accepts students aged 5-22, and provides educational and behavioral intervention for a wide range of students with intensive needs. Our students are provided with a highly-structured, individualized, behaviorally-based program, offered in the context of a warm and family-like environment.
Referrals can be made by parents, school district program managers, case managers or care providers. Placements must be made by the students' school districts through the Individualized Educational Program (IEP) teams.
Via Center follows a Life Skills Curriculum. We provide intensive instruction across multiple domains, to help our students develop independence and success as they move toward adulthood. In addition to academic remediation, our students are taught daily living, such as cooking, budgeting, shopping, dressing, washing hands, and toileting, as well as vocational, social and communication skills.
Many of our students have learned to use aggression or other challenging behaviors to get their needs met. We place a strong emphasis on the development of communication, social-skills, and self-calming techniques, such as sensory strategies, yoga, and exercise.
IEP's are highly individualized, building on each student's unique gifts and strengths to develop the skills s/he needs to succeed with her or his particular life-challenges and opportunities. All IEP goals and objectives are drawn from the state's core curriculum in Language Arts, Math, Health, History, Social Sciences and Physical Education. Progress on the goals and objectives is reported quarterly. Standardized testing is done each year.
Via's standards-based curriculum includes a rich variety of activities. Weekly or twice-weekly classes in Movement and Relaxation and in Art are taught by visiting instructors. A weekly swimming class is taught at the local YMCA. Our WorkAbility program encourages the development of vocational and pre-vocational skills as students work "on-the-clock," to earn money for desired purchases or activities. The WorkAbility program has recently begun two enterprises: a ceramics studio and a cafe.
Our students have lots of fun groups and outing opportunities every week. We are fortunate to be located in area that has lots of parks and local businesses that welcome our students' visits. On Thursdays they can choose special outings, such as bowling and swimming. On "Fun" Fridays Black Pine Circle students join us for yoga, music and art classes.
We recognize that our students need to feel appreciated and valued for exactly who they are. We see each of our students as unique individuals making valuable contributions to the various communities in which they live, study, and work. This respect for differences is an important part of our program philosophy. We try to reflect this respect in the day-to-day interactions between all members of the Via community and in between Via Center and the community-at-large.
Some of the students we work with have developed habits of physical aggression as a reaction to the challenges life sends them. We help our students to use relaxation and sensory strategies to calm themselves, and put particular emphasis on teaching them to use communication and replacement skills to better meet their needs. Via Center is a non-restraint, positive behavior intervention program. Our staff is regularly trained in nonviolent crisis intervention procedures by a trainer certified through the Crisis Prevention Institute.