We really appreciate CMI’s dedication to inclusion and the way my child has been treated as an important and valued member of the school community.
The Creative Minds International PCS program incorporates Dr. Stanley Greenspan’s developmental approach to education as presented in The Learning Tree (Stanley and Nancy Greenspan, 2010), in order to ensure that students have strong foundational social and cognitive skills and personal attributes required for success in the 21st Century. The tree is used as a metaphor to describe various individual characteristics involved in the learning process. The roots represent how children process the world around them through their sensory systems (what they hear, see, smell, and touch). The trunk of the tree represents thinking skills used in both relationships and academic learning. The branches represent skills used in academic learning (speaking, reading, writing, math, and organizing). Individual learning rates and styles are explained by differences in the ways children process information. Understanding and supporting each child’s unique development in all these areas is crucial for creating inclusive learning opportunities that prepare students for their future academic and personal success and well-being.
Dr. Greenspan’s approach embraces the following principles:
- It is important to know where a child is developmentally in order to plan appropriate educational goals
- Children learn best through engagement and meaningful interactions
- Relationships with teachers and parents are critical to a child’s development
- Children’s natural interests affect their motivation to learn
With support from the late Dr. Greenspan’s son, Jake Greenspan, our teachers are trained to address the various aspects of learning that affect children’s individual academic achievement. From an early age, teachers will assess and assist our students’ progress in the key social and cognitive developmental milestones related to learning. For each child, individual goals are identified to maximize his/her ability to think, relate, and communicate at different developmental levels.
We also address our students’ wellness through opportunities for movement and exercise throughout the school day. Activities include yoga, dance, sensory integration work, and physically-active games. Some students have “sensory diets” integrated in their schedules in order to provide them with the breaks and activities they need to best focus on learning.
While inclusion is at the heart of the CMI’s program design, with a curriculum and daily schedule that takes into account developmentally appropriate educational opportunities for all students, some students also qualify for additional services through the special education referral process.
If parents or teachers suspect that a child may have developmental delays or specific learning challenges that impede his/her learning, they refer the student for a psycho-educational evaluation to assess whether or not the he/she needs further supports. As a result, a student may qualify for an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and receive special education services, such as additional learning support implemented by a special education teacher, speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, or counseling services. If you have questions regarding special education services, please contact Maura Hoyson for students in preschool through 4th grade at firstname.lastname@example.org, and Kelly (Birdie) Vergamini for students in 4th through 8th grades at email@example.com.