The Valley Day School believes that clinical and behavioral support is critical for the personal and academic growth of our students. One of the primary strategies is the application of The Sanctuary Model. We believe the root of many behavioral issues that students face can be linked to traumatic experiences. The Sanctuary Model is the comprehensive approach we use to develop our trauma-sensitive culture which promotes mental, emotional and physical health. Referred to as a “full-system approach,” the Sanctuary Model requires extensive participation at every level; administration and staff alike, while providing a comprehensive plan and process for creating our trauma-informed approach to education.
About 20% of our staff serves in roles that provide VDS students with clinical or behavioral support. These professionals include:
Student Case Managers - VDS has three case managers on staff who serve as the primary liaison between the home, family and sending districts. Two of the case managers are certified school psychologists and the third is a certified guidance counselor. The case managers work closely with classroom teachers to help draft and implement student IEP's and assist in the development of action plans or safety plans should the need arise. They also provide direct counseling when needed, conduct social clubs and groups, and coordinate services with community mental health agencies.
Behavioralists - VDS has five behavioralists on staff who directly work with students to identify healthy behaviors and take measures to help students demonstrate those behaviors in and out of school. When negative behavior occurs, the behavioralists will try to determine the causes of the behavior and work with the student, teachers, case managers, and the family to determine a course of action to prevent further actions from occurring. They also work within the school's positive behavioral support plan to reinforce pro-social student behavior.
Clinical Therapist - VDS has a licensed clinical therapist on staff to work with students who have acute behavioral and emotional needs. The therapist also works with community mental health agencies to help families access resources provided within the community.
Clinical and behavioral staff participate in special education and treatment team meetings and play a vital role in the child's instructional program.