High School Program

We think about each of our students in terms of their strengths and abilities. SLCD's mission is to help each student reach his/her potential in order to achieve independent living and success.

SLCD's High School program prepares students for a future of active participation within their respective communities as well as productive independence. Located in Richmond Hill, the High School is designed to meet the unique needs of students whose language and learning weaknesses prevent them from being successful in other academic programs even though they may possess the cognitive underpinnings to manage a High School curriculum. The majority of students accepted into the SLCD High School program typically present with language disorders, autism spectrum disorders, learning disabilities and other health impairments. It is our belief that language learning provides the foundation for all content areas of academic instruction.

SLCD offers a general education curriculum with instructional goals aligned with the New York State and Common Core Learning Standards. Students are departmentalized throughout the course of the day with intensive academic programming being scheduled between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm. Most classes are arranged by students' grade and functioning level within student –teacher ratios of 12:1:3. Teachers utilize a differentiated instructional approach in class to meet the individualized needs of students. Furthermore, the general education curriculum is modified to each student's level of language comprehension so that they can assess the content material. 

The educational path for each child will be different since our students have distinct strengths, skills and abilities. Some of our students excel in math, technology, information processing, graphic arts, dance and music. Our goal is to identify the strengths of each child so that these skills can be developed and translated into higher educational or vocational opportunities. The High School Program (grades 9-12) at Richmond Hill educates students up to 21 years of age and provides services to students who require less intensive related services. The program is academically oriented with related services such as speech and language therapy provided in a group push-in model within the classroom environment. In addition, students receive additional periods of reading and writing instruction (Grades 9-10) and vocational training (Grades 10-12). All students at SLCD participate in one of four vocational pathways (Retail Marketing, Business and Office Technology, Computer Arts Technology, and Hospitality), which are designed to expose them to real-life work situations as well as to provide them with the opportunity to gain skills and knowledge about the equipment and technology used in the work world. Students learn 21st century skills in order to enhance career opportunities.

Parents are expected to participate in educational training classes and participate in fund-raising activities with the PTFA. Parent and student contracts are a significant part of SLCD's program philosophy. Parents and students need to understand our expectations and the commitment they need to make to learning. Teachers/specialists can be contacted on a daily basis for telephone conferences concerning student instruction and homework assignments. Parents can also schedule individual appointments with teachers/specialists at school.