At St. Joseph Center the daily schedule provides for an appropriate balance of spiritual, academic, recreational, and therapeutic activities individually tailored to each student.
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The Religious Education Coordinator, in collaboration with the teachers involve every student in participation in religious services through live music, movement activities, sign language, tangible props and scripted themes. We are proud to gather together as a prayerful, respectful and mutually supportive community.
Pflaum Gospel Weeklies is the faith formation program used at St. Joseph Center. The levels used are: Seeds (Primary), Promise (Intermediate), and Good News (Secondary). Each student has an appropriate level consumable handbook entitled What the Church Believes and Teaches.
Through varied conventional, technological, tactile-kinesthetic and experiential resources, we provide a rich and stimulating educational environment. Taking advantage of the small student population, we share student learning styles, challenges and successes from year to year as students move from one teacher to another.
Our curriculum covers the areas of language arts, mathematics, social studies, science, art and music. The essential skills related to literacy and mathematics receive major emphasis in terms of instructional time. In addition, the school has strong programs and activities related to perceptual motor development, self-help skills, social skills, communication, sensory integration, pre-vocation and adaptive physical education appropriate to the special needs of the student.
Various sequential programs are used so that students experience continuity in content and format as they progress through the year and as they transition from one teacher to another. Programs implemented are: Edmark (computer based) and Milestones for reading; Touch and Early Math for mathematics; Steck Vaughn Social Studies; Focus on Science; Handwriting Without Tears; Weekly Reader; Time for Kids; local news.
The learning experience is enriched by significant use of co-curricular activities such as field trips, community-based instruction, networking with community organizations and bringing varied guest presenters into the school from the local community.
Making use of a rich array of technological and multimedia resources, we motivate and reinforce learning and respond to student learning styles. Student work is reinforced with high levels of praise and social recognition by the entire school community, in displays throughout the building, and in communication materials, brochures and other publications made available to parents and the community.
Students who have developmental, emotional and psychiatric disabilities, as well as Autism Spectrum Disorders and Pervasive Developmental Disorder, frequently experience impairments in the way they integrate, process and organize all sensory information. Every child has unique sensory needs and we consult with Stepping Stones Rehabilitation Services, Inc., Orwigsburg, to help evaluate sensory processing abilities and determine what types of sensory activities would be beneficial.
Occupational therapy is extremely important for students with fine and gross motor skill deficits and sensory integration dysfunction. Our goal is to help students participate fully in school and social situations. All new students are evaluated and Individual Plan (IP) goals, both short and long term, are established. Students already enrolled are re-evaluated as needed and weekly progress reports are given to parents. Midterm progress reports are issued in January. Final progress reports are issued in June.