NACHAS PROGRAM @ SIHA
Nachas at SIHA is revolutionizing the education of special needs children from unaffiliated Jewish families by offering an individualized student-centered education while bringing the children back to their Jewish roots with a deep love and appreciation of their Jewish heritage. Nachas strives to create a supportive educational climate with diversified instruction within a combined self-contained and inclusion based program. Our certified special education teachers and caring professionals are devoted to the academic, social, and emotional development of each student. At our core is a well-defined differentiated instructional and interdisciplinary teaching model that recognizes the importance of each individual child. By combining a student-centered curriculum with a rich Judaic studies program, we aim to promote an atmosphere of belongingness, success, meaning, and fun. We aim to develop students that can appreciate their cultural heritage and pursue to mold students of high moral character that can engage and collaborate with the best and the brightest of the 21st century. Our students understand what it means to be Jewish, are proud of their Jewish heritage and can carry the torch of Judaism to their families and beyond.
Nachas offers programs and services for students in grades one through eight, who have language based learning disabilities and perform optimally in a combined self-contained and inclusion based classroom. Only students whose behaviors are managed and appropriate for a classroom setting are accepted into the Nachas program.
Nachas employs a variety of methodologies and strategies for students who may experience challenges in the following areas:
The Nachas average class size consists of a maximum of 8 students within the self-contained program and no more than 4 students within the inclusion program inside a general education setting of 15 students. We aim to achieve a low student to teacher ratio of 8:1:1 in self-contained and 4:1:1 within the inclusion setting. There is a special education certified teacher within in both classroom settings. This affords our students the attention necessary to remediate their specific challenges. Our skill based instruction uses a multi-sensory approach, where students are taught compensatory strategies. Through the use of technology, visual, auditory, tactile strategies, our students are able to benefit from the modality that fits their unique learning style. Differentiated instruction allows us to meet the needs of every child through individualized student- centered education. Students are placed into fluid learning groups based on their need.
Our highly trained staff includes:
Social Integration with Inclusion
Our inclusion program allows for fluid movement of students between small self-contained classes and larger mainstream opportunities. Nachas classrooms are situated within the SIHA building and next to grade level peers. In addition, the Nachas students are partnered with a corresponding mainstream class for all non-academic as well as specialty subjects and activities including morning prayer, recess, lunch, snack, art, music, drama, gym, yoga, assemblies, and field trips.
Academic Mainstream Process
Academic mainstream opportunities are available based on standardized criteria in subject content areas. Students are monitored on an ongoing basis to assess progress via diagnostic, formative and summative assessments. Mainstream benchmarks are used throughout the school year, standardized tests are administered two times a year. Based upon these evaluations, some students are able to enter mainstream classes via the Inclusion approach. Once appropriate progress is made within the Inclusion setting, students are able to proceed within a given subject area to a regular education classroom in its entirety. Students who are mainstreamed have exhibited the ability to function independently both academically and socially. The Nachas staff is in close contact with general education teachers and principals to track each mainstreamed student’s progress and implement appropriate support where necessary.
At Nachas, our commitment to meeting the individual needs of our students has led us toward the development of individual curriculum advance. Secular and Judaic staff collaborate with our curriculum directors, consultants and specialists to engage in the dynamic and creative process of evaluation, content refinement, teaching and learning strategies, and materials. In addition to their constant reevaluation of chosen teaching practices, curriculum personnel are charged with the responsibility of developing specific curricula to meet the ever changing needs of their students in all areas; including language development, social skills training, and life skills training.
Nachas provides an optimum learning environment for our students. Our core curriculum consists of language arts (including: reading, hand writing, comprehension, phonics, vocabulary, grammar, spelling, and language skills), math, science, social studies, Russian language, Hebrew Language, and computers. Students centered based program offers an individualized curriculum that instills the confidence necessary to implement compensatory strategies needed to meet the challenges of their learning disabilities. Students are provided with direct individualized teaching within the classroom setting or individualized tutorials. Classes range in size from 1-8 students in the self-contained classroom and 1-4 in the inclusion based classroom. Groups are arranged according to chronological age, functioning level, learning style and social emotional skill level. In all areas teachers use a multisensory/interdisciplinary approach, integrating the use of all senses and many disciplines, reinforcing meaningful learning.