Small Classes

Nexus students are grouped according to academic achievement, language ability, learning capacity, and relational development. Instruction takes place in small groups. Within each class, the students are paired with a peer according to their strengths/weaknesses in each subject area.

Goals: Lessening Anxiety / Increasing Flexibility

Nexus provides its students a calm learning environment through small class size and by working with them proactively rather than reactively. This is accomplished through direct teaching, clear structure, consistency, and sensory integration based on each child’s individual needs. As the students acquire greater flexibility, they are better able to expand their range of coping skills. The objective is to teach skills that will generalize and last. Applied Behavioral Analysis, natural environment teaching  and social skills development are essential parts of the overall program.

We currently have 4 classrooms:

Classrooms A & B
The A & B classrooms use a Verbal Behavior approach to learning academic skills and into Natural Environment teaching. These two rooms have the same focus and use the same techniques, but are divided by age. The main objectives for the children in the A & B rooms is spontaneous language and reducing prompt dependency resulting in increased independence. There are 6 key steps to teaching in Rooms A & B:

  1. Errorless Teaching/Transfer Trials
  2. Reinforcement (moving to social reinforcement)
  3. Mix and Vary Instructional Demands
  4. Intersperse Easy and Hard Demands
  5. Teaching to Fluency
  6. Prompting (individualized to each child – please ask teacher as one of the major difficulties in Room B is prompt dependency).

Classroom C
Classroom C focuses on transitioning students into a more academic setting with dyad and group instruction. The children learn how to manage a classroom environment by being responsible for their own work and behavior. In this classroom the students learn to increase and strengthen independent skills. They also work on academic skill on their level, increasing language skills, self-help skills and further developing play and social skills. Most new skills are taught in the Verbal Behavior model. Task analyses are used to teach new life skills and are quickly faded to help promote independence. The opportunity for structured and unstructured play occurs daily. 

Classroom D
In classroom D the students are working on increasing their pragmatic language and social skills. In some cases academic skills are strong, in others, difficulties are found in retention of skills. These students are working on forming strong relationships. While most students can describe what is expected in various scenarios the challenge lies in situational application. Life skills and pre-vocational skills are practiced by many of the students in this classroom. Also, these students are working learning appropriate ways to manage anxiety and learn self regulation.