Our PhilosophyThe right support makes all the difference.
The Right Environment
At The Burkard School, we know that the right environment can make all the difference in a child’s academic and social success. Many times, students struggle in traditional or even specialized schools because they require more support than is made available to them. Other students are marginalized and parents are told that the only way they can be successful is with the help of a one-on-one aid. These same students flourish in our setting as the entire school is structured to help them excel, no aids necessary. We give every student the safe and supportive environment they need to thrive.
The Right Resources
We know that learning does not happen unless a student can trust the adults around them. Our first order of business is to establish a meaningful connection with each of our students. We do that by being in tune to each child’s emotional, behavioral, educational and psychological needs. From the low student-to-teacher ratio, to the multi-sensory curriculum, to the structure of the school day, every aspect of The Burkard School is geared toward our students’ success. Clear visual charts coupled with liberal front-loading and prompting help the students understand what’s coming next in the classroom. Students are given ample opportunities for movement and calm-corner breaks. Strategies for various sensory diets are used throughout the day. A highly-trained educator and behavioral specialist instruct each classroom, ensuring that academics can be taught effectively and that social-emotional learning is happening when it’s needed most – in the moment. Additionally, we know that children learn best when they’re having fun! Hands-on, experiential learning keeps the students engaged and loving school.
At The Burkard School, each child feels welcomed, understood, supported, and capable. We believe in strong collaboration between teachers, parents, and specialists, and provide a Personalized Plan for each student that incorporates input from each valued member of the child’s team.
There is no need for your child to struggle or feel different than the other kids. Together, we can make school a happy, successful place for your child.
The Benefits of a Specialized School Setting
What type of setting is best for your child?
A question many parents have when considering the ideal school placement for their child is which type of setting would serve their child’s needs best: a specialized school placement or an inclusive “mainstream” environment with typically-developing kids.
The answer, of course, depends greatly on the child, what their particular challenges are, and what goals the family has for their child’s education.
In an inclusive environment, children have the benefit of observing “typical” behavior from their classmates and of interacting with typically-developing children. The hope is that those interactions are positive, that the child picks up on the typical behavior that is modeled, and that the child feels more included and “typical” as a result. In an ideal world, this would be the case.
However, the reality of an inclusive, mainstream setting may not always match the ideal. In some cases, children struggle to successfully navigate the demands of a classroom largely geared toward children who do not have difficulty with sensory issues, anxiety, or other such challenges. The size of the classroom can be overwhelming; the pace and expectations of behavior may be more than the child can manage. The child might have an aid to help them with frontloading what’s coming next and pulling them out when she is struggling and being disruptive, but that means that they are treated differently than the others and are missing important class time and academic learning. This can lead to an unfortunate cycle where the child is not feeling successful both socially and academically, as they miss critical material in the classroom.
Even if the child’s classmates and teachers are wonderfully sensitive to their differences and all their social interactions are successful, in the best of circumstances the child still is aware of their differences every time they have to step out of class or rely on their aid. In the worst of circumstances, the other students are not welcoming, the teacher is exasperated, and the child’s self-esteem suffers.
An environment tailor-made for your child.
At The Burkard School, every child is struggling with their own particular challenges. Being in our classroom may be the first time in your child’s life that they feel completely typical – just like their peers. All the students are front-loaded. All the students are given visual tools. And all the students are gently coached to be good friends and student citizens.
Just as importantly, all the students learn the tools they need to ultimately be happy and successful in any school setting, and in real life. Our intensive social-emotional curriculum teaches such topics as Flexibility, Perspective Taking, Character Building, Relationship Building, Personal Responsibility, and Caring about the Community. Of course, all students can benefit from learning these important tenets, but our students often need explicit, comprehensive, and in-depth instruction in order to master these concepts. We devote the time necessary to delve deeply into these topics in our daily curriculum.
Here at The Burkard School, we see it as the difference between your child surviving in school and thriving in school. Everything we do at TBS is geared towards your child’s success. From the size of the classroom, to the outpouring of positive reinforcement, to the frequent movement breaks, to the focused social-emotional curriculum – we specialize in making your child shine!
A small independent K-8 school for bright children who need extra support with self-regulation, executive functioning, and/or social-emotional learning in the classroom.