Management • Individual
and Group Therapy • Crisis
Academic Special Education •
Pre/Vocational Programs •
Speech, Language and Occupational Therapy •
• Social Skills
Development • Comprehensive
Highly Structured Residential Program • Transitional
Homes in Local Communities •
Recreation and Activities •
Competitive and Intramural
Sports Teams • National
Youth Program Using Mini-Bikes (NYPUM) •
High and Low Ropes
Kolburne maintains a clinical service program
designed to address the needs of students with emotional and learning
difficulties and maladaptive behaviors. The staff who provide Clinical
services include Psychiatrists (MD) and masters-level licensed or
licensed-eligible Clinical Specialists with backgrounds in Clinical
Social Work, Psychology, Guidance, Counseling and Psychiatric Nursing.
Periodically, Kolburne also maintains a Field Placement program
for graduate students completing Masters programs in those fields
matriculating in nearby universities.
Upon admission, students are assigned
to a specific psychiatrist. The psychiatrist completes an initial
evaluation, determines the appropriate working diagnoses, and appropriate
medication regimen to be administered. The psychiatrists meet with
the students on at least a quarterly scheduled basis or, more frequently
as needed, to review progress and overall functioning.
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Kolburne provides comprehensive nursing and medical services for
students through a primary health care model. A licensed professional
nursing staff is available for the students from 7 am to 11pm, seven
days a week, and on call from 11pm to 7 am. Medical coverage for
emergency care and services such as x-ray and lab is available 24
hours a day through a local community hospital. Individually
assigned primary care physicians provide comprehensive student physical
health and wellness services.
Students are assigned to specific
clinical specialists. These therapists are the lead treatment staff
responsible for treatment. Clinical specialists complete assessments
and assist students as well as Academic, Residence and Nursing program
staff to develop student treatment plans. The clinical specialist
coordinates the review of student progress, and, as case manager,
is the primary contact for the parent, guardian, referring agency
and sending school district.
The clinical specialist is responsible for collaboration
with local resources in the student’s home area, reporting
the student progress toward discharge as well as recommending needed
after-care resources in the receiving community to facilitate continued
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and Group Therapy
The clinical specialist provides
therapy support for the student on an individual basis. Sessions
are scheduled to ensure at least one hour per week of individual
time. These sessions may occur on a once per week basis or as multiple
sessions during the week, depending upon need. Group therapy may
be available as well, depending upon the issues presented by the
student. Group therapy sessions are usually conducted with co-therapists
throughout the year. These occur on a weekly basis and students
attend for a 6-8 weeks for each group.
Kolburne's twenty-four hour supervision,
medical, and clinical services provide safe, effective crisis management.
Staff are extensively trained in crisis prevention and response.
Upon being hired all staff receive over 40 hours of training related
to understanding, preventing, and safely managing crisis situations.
Staff review this material in monthly practice sessions and through
annual retraining. Training involves verification of skills through
various testing methods. Staff must demonstrate competence in all
aspects of crisis intervention. Kolburne's strength-based treatment
approach proactively limits crisis -- a supportive, positive orientation
enables staff to intervene upon recognition of conflict or general
anxiety. Additional on-call psychiatric, clinical and medical services
assure safe, effective crisis management.
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Full Academic Special
has self-contained elementary classrooms for students aged 8-14,
grades 2-8. All elementary students are offered art and physical
education classes along with standard academic subjects. Upon completion
of our elementary program, students are assessed for one of three
Students who have incoming high school credits and/or who are
capable of earning credit toward a high school diploma, are enrolled
in Kolburne’s 9-12 high school program, which includes academic
subjects, pre-vocational programs, art, and physical education
as well as a resource room available for additional assistance.
Students move through the various classes according to a traditional
Our curriculum is reviewed on a regular basis to
assure content area equivalency with the high school academic
standards of referring states.
Self Contained High School/GED
High School students who may find it difficult to transition throughout
the day and in and out of high school subject classes often learn
more easily in this classroom. Our Self Contained High School/GED
programs offer all academic subjects and, depending on need, physical
education and art classes. Students often study with the intent
of taking the General Education Development Test (GED). Practice
tests and instruction for the GED are emphasized as well as Life
Skills. Students may also participate in a pre-vocational program
as part of the curriculum.
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The pre-vocational setting includes four Life
Skills classes where students who need more independent daily
living skills are enrolled in this program which emphasizes the
academic subjects and how they relate to daily living. Our pre-vocational
program, which assists students with building skills necessary
for future employment, includes:
agricultural mechanics: woodworking; horticulture; grounds and
maintenance; farm production
Our pre-vocational program assists students
in developing appropriate work skills and appropriate work behavior.
If students meet regulated criteria and the treatment team approves
their request, they may obtain employment either on or off campus
as part of their pre-vocational program. Students who have completed
GED, High School and IEP criteria are candidates for graduation.
Academic subjects are taught by certified (or
waivered) elementary and secondary special education teachers as
well as by subject certified teachers. Pre-vocational skills are
supervised or taught by certified vocational instructors and vocational
specialists, with a ratio of approximately 1 staff member to 4 students.
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and Occupational Therapy
Speech and language services
will be made available to students who are in need, after an initial
evaluation by Kolburne's speech pathologist. Evaluations will be
administered after admission with a funding agency, school district,
or Kolburne faculty referral. Our speech and language pathologist
will then develop updated, appropriate speech and language goals
for the student’s IEP. Therapy takes place on an individual
Kolburne provides occupational therapy to students
who require it. Occupational Therapy evaluations are administered
by Kolburne's certified occupational therapist after a referral
from the funding source, school district and/or Kolburne faculty.
Living Skills Training
Hands-on practice of living skills occurs
on a daily basis within our on-campus and off-campus group home
residences. Our group homes allow for students to learn aspects
of living independently related to cooking, cleaning, self-care,
and shopping. On campus students learn hygiene, shopping, cleaning
and other individualized skills as needed, depending on discharge
criteria. Kolburne’s use of Berkshire County resources also
creates opportunities for learning. Off campus recreational and
educational outings as well as off campus dining and special events
fosters true experiential learning. Formal living skills training
occurs in group settings as part of the evening daily routine. Kolburne
utilizes the Preparing Adolescents for Young Adulthood (PAYA) curriculum.
This program enables staff to teach activities related to understanding
how certain things work in society. Students learn basics of banking,
bargain shopping, job seeking, housing and many other important
skills. Students progress in key areas are documented through assessment
and the treatment review process. Many students in off-campus group
homes work in the community.
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Social Skills Training
Teaching social skills is paramount at Kolburne. Healthy adult/student
relationships create the setting for teaching. Kolburne utilizes
its social skills program through modeling, general praise, instruction,
daily empowerment conferences, and formal structured learning groups.
Empowerment conferences provide practice of key target social skills
necessary for student success. Prime Advocates are assigned to each
student to assure individual attention. Staff review target skills
through encouragement, role-play and feedback. Formal structured
learning groups occur during evening program each week to review
additional skills. Skills related to improving frustration tolerance,
increasing problem-solving abilities, and building empathy, are
discussed and practiced in a safe learning environment. Additional
empowerment groups occur at the beginning of each school day to
encourage students to use new skills. Throughout the day, students
are praised and rewarded with positive points for using target skills,
as well as meeting classroom and program expectations.
Kolburne’s Character Development Program is derived from the
Josephson Institute's Character Counts program. It serves
as the backbone to teaching social skills. Target skills relate
to aspects of good characterr. Character Counts put emphasis
on the six core ethical values that all students and adults should
aspire to live by: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility,
Caring, Fairness, and Citizenship.
The Six Pillars of Character are
intertwined throughout all aspects of Kolburne’s culture.
As you walk around the Kolburne campus, signs reminding students
about good character are found everywhere. In addition to weekly
character development training, student character assemblies and
special character events occur frequently.
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Structured Residential Program
Kolburne provides a highly structured, staff-intensive,
comprehensive residential program. Residential teams are based upon
age, gender, and developmental and treatment needs. Residential
staff assist students in setting realistic goals, and providing
social skills instruction with independent living and character
Kolburne’s residential structure incorporates
a daily routine that offers consistency, predictability, and supervision.
Components of the program include a daily community meeting, character
development training, social skills training, independent living
skills training, recreation and activities, meals, leisure time,
hygiene skills, chores, and bedroom cleaning maintenance.
Homes in Local Communities
Within a variety of living locations
our residential services help prepare students for eventual independent
living. In addition to our main campus and on-campus group homes,
Kolburne maintains group homes in Great Barrington, Sheffield and
Lee which offer community-based living and employment opportunities,
while still utilizing programs and services provided through our
main campus. Community-based residential opportunities are also
offered at our Lee, MA campus. Please see residential service descriptions
for a full review of these programs.
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Recreation and Activities
The mission of the Student Activities program is to provide a wide
range of recreation and leisure programs that will enable all Kolburne
students to find an activity that stimulates their interest and
increases their self-esteem.
There are four major categories of activities:
Athletics, Outdoor/Adventure, Leisure and Arts. Students are encouraged
to participate in each group so that they have a well-rounded diverse
activity program, which supports their various needs as indicated
in their Treatment Plan.
||Arts & Crafts
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Additionally, there are Theme Nights, field trips
and other overnight trips
and Intramural Sports Teams
At Kolburne, students enjoy the
many benefits of being on sports teams. Students participate in
a variety of intramural sports or compete on varsity sports teams.
Intramural sports include flag football, basketball, softball, deck-hockey,
soccer, volleyball, swimming, and ping pong. Varsity sports include
flag football, soccer, basketball, and softball. Kolburne students
also participate in the Special Olympics in events such as down
hill skiing, bowling, track and field, and softball.
Program Using Mini-Bikes (NYPUM)
This exciting program was started
by the Honda Corporation and is designed to give students the opportunity
to learn about themselves and to improve self discipline and self
esteem. The students participate in a training course that teaches
them to ride motorbikes safely, as well as to conduct maintenance
on the bikes. Students learn the importance of following instructions,
pre-planning and problem solving.
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High and Low Ropes
Imagine standing on a small wooden platform, built into the trunk
of a tree 50 feet in the air. You look below at the people encouraging
you to jump to a trapeze bar 8 feet away, 50 feet in the air. The
facilitator and your teammates are encouraging you to take the leap.
You take a deep breath, bend your knees and jump…
This is one of the elements at Kolburne's High Ropes Course. It’s
called the Leap of Faith. And that student who made the leap was
wearing a helmet and a safety rope harness that was being tended
by trained staff. This was her third try and this time she made
it, to the cheering approval of her fellow students and teammates.
Learning not to give up on yourself is just one of the lessons learned
on our High Ropes Course. And the self-esteem gained by succeeding
at these elements cannot be taught, it has to be experienced. Our
students learn that future obstacles can be overcome with persistence
and hard work.
In addition to the Leap of Faith, Kolburne's
High Ropes Course consists of such elements as the Burma Bridge,
the Vertical Playground, the Gorge Swing, the Postman’s Walk,
the Crisis Bridge, the Criss Cross, and the Multi-Vine Traverse.
courses present a unique combination of dramatic skill elements
within an old pine forest. The incredible natural setting complete
with a mountain stream and groomed trails allow for safe recreation
capable of meeting anyone’s need for fun and excitement."
John Snyder - Out-Door Wilderness Guide
Kolburne also has a Low Ropes Course. It consists
of the Spider Web, the Mohawk Walk, the Triangular Tension Traverse,
the Wild Woosey, and All Aboard.
The Low Ropes Course teaches teamwork. These elements
cannot be completed alone. Each requires a team of students working
together under the guidance of trained staff. When they complete
an element successfully, the smiles and high-fives say it all. These
students are learning that obstacles that cannot be overcome by
themselves can be overcome by working through a team.
Students are guided through the various elements of
both the high and low ropes courses. Certified ropes instructors
working with trained staff, gently persuade students to push themselves
beyond their comfort zones. After these students realize some success
at the easier elements, they move on to the more difficult elements
with confidence. Students who meet the challenges of the ropes program
develop self-esteem, confidence, coordination, trust, persistence,
problem-solving skills, and team building skills.
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