Program Philosophy And Design

By Michelle Hathaway November 2017

At The Margaret Murphy Centers for Children, we believe that every child has the right to effective education and treatment. To that end, we are committed to use of best practices as we create a positive and productive culture for learning and develop programming and intervention strategies for each student. We build caring, individualized social and physical learning environments that promote academic achievement and pro-social behavior. We also employ evidence-based programming and teaching strategies that yield objective data, upon which we can routinely assess student progress. We invest in our staff members’ growth and development in order to ensure the highest quality programming possible for each student.

Group experiences and individualized direct instruction, based on principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), enable students to learn meaningful academic and social skills while building positive relationships with their families, friends, peers, support providers, and other members of their communities. Individualized Positive Behavioral Support plans, based on the results of comprehensive Functional Behavior Assessments, are developed to increase appropriate social behavior and to simultaneously decrease maladaptive behaviors that have interfered with learning and daily functioning.

These plans are designed to be consistent with fundamental principles of behavior and learning theory and include ongoing objective evaluation to determine the effectiveness of interventions. Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) systems are employed in order to maximize effectiveness of programming including team-based decision making based on objective data, continuous monitoring of student behavior, and effective ongoing professional development. Student behavioral data is recorded daily and routinely analyzed for progress by intervention teams. Formal analysis occurs at least monthly, by a team of professionals, for progress reporting purposes. Strategic adjustments may be made to plan goals or intervention strategies, depending on the determined rate of student growth.