Students are taught functional academics in all core areas of study including: Reading, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, and Health, as well as being provided simple functional cooking lessons on a weekly basis. CSM offers a Reading Intervention program for our students which includes intensive reading instruction provided by a reading specialist to help our students learn this valuable life skill. The campus is equipped with a Science Lab where students are exposed to laboratory equipment and conduct science experiments.
The Community School incorporates applied behavior analysis into teaching strategies, and all lessons are tailored to meet the performance level of the students. Technology is incorporated into educational programming. Students have access to Ipads, computers, and Promethean Boards to create interactive technology-based learning opportunities.
Community-Based Learning Experiences
The Community School of Maryland is a community-based program that values education beyond the classroom. This belief is manifested in CSM’s dedication to consistent community access for educational, transitional, recreational and social purposes. Community-based learning experiences consist of activities that foster learning, independence, community awareness and generalization of skills outside of the classroom environment. Students have the opportunity to develop shopping and purchasing skills, learn appropriate social behavior, develop peer relationships, and learn valuable life-skills while participating in these activities. CSM also sponsors periodic educational field trips to a variety of cultural, historical and entertainment venues such as the National Aquarium, the National Zoo, Port Discovery and Imagination Station. Students also take part in specialized tours of businesses and service providers of interest, such as the fire department and county facilities
Preparation for Employment
Preparing transitioning students for employment is a critical aspect of each student’s educational experience. The Community School of Maryland offers a variety of job training opportunities geared to meet student’s skill levels. The employment training program is comprised of school-based employment experiences, community based worksites, and a variety of other opportunities. At transition planning age (14), students begin training at school-based jobs. These job experiences include mail distribution, food service, recycling, supply delivery, librarian duties, clerical tasks and custodial tasks. Students are also given opportunities to learn how to do operate office equipment. In addition to school training, students are provided with community-based employment training. CSM has partnered with local businesses to provide CSM students with a variety of work experiences As students move closer to their transition from educational programming to adult services, their exposure to worksites increases to prepare them for their next steps.
Increasing Personal Independence
The Community School of Maryland offers a comprehensive curricula designed to enable students to develop independence in caring for themselves and their environment. Students have an opportunity to learn and practice skills related to all aspects of self-care, money management, health and safety. Instruction and practice is provided in a wide range of subjects including hygiene, grooming, home maintenance, culinary arts, nutrition, health and safety. Instruction is both school-based and community-based and seeks to build skills and increase maturity and independence as the student moves towards transition to adulthood.
Recreation and Social Skill Development
Students with autism often need structured programs to develop meaningful recreational skills and practical social skills. The Community School offers instruction and experiences to allow students to mature in their ability to make recreational choice and to engage socially. These skills are taught through classroom experiences, as auxiliary lessons to academic and other instructional programs, and through a variety of school based and community based experiences.
Recreational skills and social skills are taught through structured programming as well as informally throughout the student’s educational experiences. Recreational and social curricula are provided through a wide variety of events that include instructional components such as visits to restaurants, farms, museums, cultural performances, mini golf and bowling. Social skills are practiced in diverse community environments including restaurants, shops, grocery stores and recreational and leisure venues.
Community School of Maryland provides students with experiences that are traditional for their age and grade. Events are held including include an annual Prom, Science Fair, and Field Day among other periodic dances and parties.