Within the Speech and Language Department, services are individualized to target skills and strategies within the broader domains of receptive, expressive, and pragmatic language. Students are explicitly taught foundational language concepts and strategies, and then supported to generalize and maintain those skills and strategies across all settings. While goal areas depend on the specific needs of each student, targeted concepts can include vocabulary and word retrieval, organization of language, language processing and memory, language comprehension, abstract/higher-level language, and social language.
Skills addressed in OT sessions vary according to each student’s needs. A wide variety of techniques are utilized, ranging from arts and crafts projects, pencil and paperwork, technology and board games, to strengthening and coordination exercises. As student’s progress, skill areas are addressed within the context of practical learning experiences. Students engage in various activities involving life skills and age-appropriate “jobs” around the school. Work-related vocabulary and basic work behaviors are emphasized throughout the curriculum while developing executive functioning skills.
Our approach to social communication utilizes Michelle Garcia Winner's Social Thinking© concepts, which views social skills as dynamic and situational skills that evolve from thinking about how one wants to be perceived. Because all LPS staff utilize these concepts, they have a common understanding of the foundational skills and knowledge which create successful social communication, and the strategies and language which help to foster the development of these skills. Additional support for social communication is provided through positive reinforcement as well as speech & health classes, where pragmatic skills are taught.
Thinking Maps® provide a visual language that works in every grade, every subject, and at any level of academic activity. Students are able to organize and see their own thinking, and teachers can observe the students' thinking processes. As students become fluent in Thinking Maps®, they’re able to apply multiple skills to problem-solve and develop higher-level, inferential thinking and cognitive skills. Learning Prep School has been nationally recognized by the Thinking Foundation with the first Dr. Albert Upton Award for our "groundbreaking, foundational work on the facilitation of thinking through the use of Thinking Maps®”. LPS is featured in Visual Tools for Transforming Information into Knowledge by David Hyerle, available on Amazon.
The Enrichment block is a dedicated period each day where students are able to participate in additional social opportunities in order to enhance communication skills as well as expose them to new activities. During the enrichment period, we begin the school year with students primarily grouped by homeroom, participating in activities related to student citizenship, focusing on our core principals. Students are then able to choose from a list of options in which to participate on a rotating basis each semester. We are very excited to provide this opportunity for students to explore and benefit from a greater variety of experiences during their school day.
We have always believed that a range of elective offerings enriches the lives of our students, helps them find their interests and passions, builds self-esteem, and develops real-world problem-solving skills. At LPS, we believe educating students for life; students need electives to balance their academic schedule to enhance their educational experience.
In addition to Art, Physical Education Computers/Technology, Learning Prep offers 3 unique elective opportunities for students:
Childcare (Age 15+)
Students have an opportunity to work in a licensed program that provides Child Care for LPS employees. Students do not necessarily have to want a career in Child Care to participate, however if interested, they will be provided information and support to pursue further. Students work alongside the Child Care teachers to assist with the daily routines and tasks necessary to run a successful program. Teachers provide instruction using school-wide learning strategies to reinforce work skills and behaviors throughout the school year such as the importance of punctuality, positive social skills, teamwork, self-advocating, professionalism, timely task completion, sequencing tasks and health & safety.
Food Service (High School)
Through the production of breakfast, lunch and special events, students prepare a variety of dishes. Our program focuses on fundamental culinary and employability skills in a true commercial kitchen setting. Skills developed in our class include kitchen safety, sanitation and safety, knife skills, nutrition, serving and customer service, reading and following a recipe, communication and team work.
Horticulture (Middle and High School)
Classes take place in our recently renovated greenhouse on campus and learn the basics of greenhouse maintenance, plant care, grow herbs and vegetables, and planning and starting a garden in the spring. In May and June, the greenhouse is open for business to customers in our community to purchase houseplants, flowers, herbs, and vegetable seedlings to plant in local gardens. LPS Horticulture students learn planning and organizational skills, patience, work ethic, environmental awareness, mindfulness, nutrition, healthy eating, and much, much more. Students also learn entrepreneurial and marketing skills while running our greenhouse as a business. Many of our vegetables and herbs are utilized in our collaborative farm to table program with our LPS Food Service Team so everyone in our community can enjoy the benefits of our program.