Programs and Services

Heartwood Staffing

All Heartwood teachers are all highly qualified and provide outstanding diverse, educational opportunities and experiences for all learners. Each classroom is supported by skilled paraprofessionals who support the daily learning and functioning of each and every student. In addition to classroom staff, Heartwood students benefit from a variety of related service providers as determined on student IEP's.

POSITIVE BEHAVIOR SUPPORTS

Heartwood's school wide rules are Be Safe, Be Kind, Be Learning
decorative imageStudents making purchases at the school store.

  • Visuals in each classroom and in the hallways to continually remind students and staff of these rules. 
  • Staff can be seen and heard referring to the rules and giving out "tickets" for positive behavior.
  • Students save or spend their earned tickets at the Heartwood School Store.
  • All Heartwood School classroom have a classroom mangement plan specfic to needs of the students that embrace and provide postive behavior supports throught each school day.
  • Some students may need extra assistance. The Behavior Intervention Team will collaborate with classroom staff and parents to complete a functional behavior assessment and then, if necessary, generate a plan of specific supports and strategies for individuals through a Behavior Intervention Plan.

Speech and Language Therapy

Each student's communication abilities are unique. Staff use some guiding principles to promote communication for our students at Heartwood school. Developing functional communication skills with various communication partners is crucial for success both in the academic setting as well as in the home and community.

CORE Vocabulary is a small set of simple words, in any language, that are used frequently and across contexts. CORE makes up about 75% of what adults and children actually say. The intent of CORE Vocabulary is to provide more robust communication that translates across age, environments, activities and communication partners.  Staff are encouraged to utilize Aided Language Input while communicating with students to promote growth of expressive and receptive language skills through Core Vocabulary.

Various Communication Modalities
Students are encouraged to utilize a variety of modalities to communicate with various individuals in various situations; examples include words, verbal/vocalizations, gestures, pictures, basic sign, low-, mid- and high-tech alternative and augmentative communication (AAC), pointing, actions, body movements, eye gaze/visual skills and facial expressions. 

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Music Therapy

Music therapy is the professional use of music and its elements as an intervention in medical, educational, and everyday environments with individuals, groups, families, or communities who see to optimize their quality of life and improve their physical, social, communicative, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual health and wellbeing. Research, practice, education, and clinical training in music therapy are based on professional standards to cultural, social, and political contexts" (World Federation of Music Therapy, 2011).

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Adaptive Physical Education Teacher

Our Adaptive Physical Education Teacher (ADPE) provides developmentally appropriate physical education at its finest. It involves differentiating instruction so the physical activity is as appropriate for the person with a disability as it is for a person without a disability. This role includes swim instruction in Heartwood School's heated pool.

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Occupational Therapy

A full time Occupational Therapist and Occupational Therapist Assistant evaluate, consult, monitor and or treat students in the following areas:

  • Educational Training
  • Sensory Processing Skills
  • Accommodations in the Educational Setting
  • Components of Movement
  • Assistive Technology
  • Self-Care Skills
  • Adaptation of Equipment
  • Pre-Vocational and Vocational Skills
    PDF DocumentSpecific Roles of Occupational Therapy Staff

Physical Therapy

A Physical Therapist and Physical Therapist Assistant are highly quaulifed to meet the very unique mobility needs of students at Heartwood School. The school fully encompasses MOVE® and has become a model site in the state of Michigan.

School Nurse

A full time nurse manages student health needs at Heartwood School. This is a vital service that allows students with significant to minor health needs be able to attend and participate in school. Our nurse is able to to train and educate staff to best meet student needs.

School Psycologist

Heartwood School is served by a school psychologist. Our school's psycologist has the necessary training and expertise to assist parents and teachers in their efforts to maximize student outcomes.

Community Relationships

Community Based Instruction (CBI)
Community Based Instruction outings support a variety of areas within the curriculum.

  • leisure and recreation                                    
  • communication
  • social and group interactions
  • functional academics
  • vocational training

Michigan State University
Heartwood School's teachers and therapists are excited to be working with the MSU Engineers to design and build a therapeutic mechanical pony.Michigan State University Engineer Team

Our physically challenged students are highly motivated by movement and fun just like their non-disabled peers. The pony will have a real saddle, stirrups and reins with movement that will provide our young students a horseback riding experience. The pony, named Seabiscuit, will help them build skills needed for trunk stability, head control, visual motor coordination and grasping.

This project fits perfectly with the MOVE® model we use with students at Heartwood. The pony will provide an opportunity to develop skills that will impact all areas of their lives and empower them to be active participants in school, home and community activities.

Captial Area Career Center
This partnership allows students with special needs to become comfortable around individuals wearing uniforms. In return, it provides law enforcement students to opportnity to interact with a variety of individuals who have different ways of communicating, behaving and moving.

Classroom Compliance

Heartwood currently has 13 classrooms that services students ages 3-26 in the following classroom designations as are found in the Michigan Administrative Rules for Special Education Supplemented with IDEA Federal Regulations:

  • R 340.1738  Severe cognitive impairment program
  • R 340.1739  Programs for students with moderate cognitive impairment
  • R 340.1748  Severe multiple impairments program
  • R 340.1758  Autism Spectrum Disorder

Compliance Standards

Placement in specific classrooms are determined each year dependent on age, functioning and IEP determinations.