Our Education Philosophy at Woods Services
At Woods Services, we have 6 core beliefs for both our students and our team members when it comes to the education of individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), development disabilities, emotional & behavioral challenges and Prader-Willi. We believe in the power of:
- Health and Safety
We don’t simply believe these values are important, we believe they are a critical right that each person we serve deserves – without exception. This belief translates directly into our educational approach to all students with special educational needs.
Our Approach to Special Education
Our school programs are designed to help our students meet educational, emotional, behavioral and medical needs, while bringing them closer to achieving their own personal goals.
Our year-round special education program is fully licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Education as both Private Licensed School and an Approved Private School, and as a result we adhere to all aspects of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. All of our classrooms are staffed by certified special education teachers, supported by direct support professionals, occupational therapists, speech therapists, physical therapists, clinicians, psychologists, and nurses.
Our approach is person-centered and focuses on each student’s strengths, interests, abilities, aptitudes, learning needs and educational levels – utilizing the Individualized Education Planning (IEP) process to identify the best possible objectives and goals. We recognize the importance of giving a voice to the student and parents in all aspects of the learning process. In fact, we embrace an open-door policy for parents and family members in an effort to ensure the maximum experience for our clients.
Educational Experience in Special Needs
Students with disabilities often lack key skills such as interacting with peers or speech impairments, which lead to classroom behaviors. Our specialized classrooms are arranged by skill levels, to give every student the opportunity to succeed. Additionally, we recognize the interplay between skills and behavior. So while the main focus of our education program, is on reducing the behaviors that serve as barriers in the classroom, we aim to increase motivation to build skills in the areas of communication and socialization that fosters a willingness to learn.
Our Classrooms include
- Emotional Support
- Life Skills
- Multiple Disabilities
- Diploma Bound
We offer stimulating, small class-sizes that are designed to promote evidence-based teaching strategies and self-contained instruction which is essential for children.
This structure enables our faculty and staff to personally know each and every student in our schools, in order to best connect with them academically and individually. We rely on every person in the building to achieve this level of team engagement, which helps provide students with continuous support and maximum resources throughout their educational journey.
In addition to traditional lessons, students participate in adapted physical education, music, art, sensory room, school library and our cooking programs based on their interests, needs and goals. For students who are approaching the working world, we also provide a variety of training experiences that integrate functional academics, skill building, job readiness and work experience both on campus and in the community.
In keeping with our open-door policy, we provide full transparency through a continuous feedback loop, including progress reports five times a year. We believe that this is one of the many critical steps to nurturing successful behavior as it relates to communication, socialization and skill acquisition that ultimately enables a student to integrate back into their home environment.
To learn more about our education programs, contact our Admissions Department at 215-750-4000
Public Law 108-265, the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004, requires all schools participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) to develop local wellness policies. Using the Nutritional Standards for Competitive Foods, the Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA) reports, and the results of the School Health Index, Woods Services developed its policy which can be read here. Woods Wellness Policy
National School Lunch Program
All children in our residential program participate in the National School Breakfast and Lunch Program (NSBLP). The NSBLP is available for all families in need, and more information can be found at the USDA’s Child Nutrition Website. The USDA also provides free or reduced price meals for children in need for the summer via the Summer Food Service Program.
Also available for families that do not have adequate access for nutritious meals is Why Hunger. If interested, you can find more information and participating locations near you by visiting www.whyhunger.org.
It is our policy to to guarantee each individual his or her civil rights and to educate all staff so they can exercise these rights as appropriate.