July 12, 2017-First Children Services is opening a second Transitions Program in Mercer County this Fall! The Transitions Program is an alternative educational program for students with anxiety challenges and school refusal. We serve students in elementary school through high school. The initial goal of our program is to help students with school refusal who are not attending or thriving in a typical school setting to return to a classroom setting and cope with their anxiety challenges. Our ultimate goal is to transition our students back to their public schools. Our program is unique in that it is dedicated exclusively to children with anxiety challenges and school refusal, and we do not accept students with behavioral challenges that would compromise the well being of our vulnerable student population.
We provide students with a small classroom setting and a low teacher to student ratio. Students receive individual counseling at least once a week and group counseling on a weekly basis. Our counseling services include Dialectic Behavioral Therapy and/or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with a heavy emphasis on Mindfulness. The counseling that students receive at our program does not replace outside counseling, but rather works cooperatively with the students’ outside therapy and treatment plans. The program’s educational curriculum follows the NJ Core Standards. We offer core courses including; language arts, mathematics, social studies, science, and physical education as well as electives such as art, music, and psychology. Honors courses are available on an individual basis. All of our teachers are NJ certified and experienced in following IEP or 504 accommodation plans. The Transitions Program is a NJ Department of Education approved program for home instruction and counseling.
The program started in 2004 in our South Jersey location with one middle school and one high school classroom. Since then, the South Jersey Program, now located in Cherry Hill, has multiple classrooms for middle and high school students. Over the years, the program has been a very effective program in helping children with anxiety challenges and school refusal to return to a classroom setting amongst their peers and eventually back to their public schools. Students who graduate with us typically go on to college or trade school programs.
First Children Services will also be offering our Balance Program in our new location in Mercer County. The Balance Program is a center-based home instruction program for elementary through high school students who require home instruction due to a variety of reasons, but can benefit from small group instruction. The Balance Program offers individualized instruction in a small group setting by NJ certified teachers. The instruction is based on work provided by the district teacher or by our teachers. Unlike traditional home instruction, the Balance Program offers an opportunity for students to interact with peers in a minimal distraction environment. We offer next day admissions with short term and flexible stay lengths. Our center based home instruction services allows us to offer school districts discounts for multiple students.
The expansion of the Transitions and Balance Programs into Mercer County will fulfill a need in the Central Jersey area for alternative education programs for students who are not able to attend their public schools.
For more information on our Transitions Program and/or Balance Program, please contact:
Melissa Langford, Director, Transitional Education Services
Phone: (856) 888-1097 Ext. 303