Consistent care at school and residences
Since they receive consistent support from our warm and caring staff, students with complex special needs can flourish by attending The Guild School and also living in one of The Guild’s nine residences. Students benefit from having a single Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and a single unified behavior plan that staff members implement both at school and in the residences.
Guild residential students live in comfortable, safe, family-style homes located in neighborhoods in surrounding communities. Students sleep in bedrooms, not dormitories. Many students decorate their bedrooms with personal belongings, pictures and favorite items. Students focus on skill development for independence, including cooking, making grocery lists and doing laundry.
Safety and comfort
The safety and comfort of students are ensured through:
- Staff-to-student ratios are typically 1:3 or 1:4, but are routinely adjusted to meet individual student needs.
- Awake, overnight staff perform bed checks every 15 minutes throughout the night.
- Doors and windows are alarmed.
- Medication storage areas are locked.
- Security cameras are located in common areas.
- Yards are fenced.
- Homes are centrally heated and air conditioned.
- Routine home repair and maintenance is handled by an on-staff crew.
After helping students with morning routines and breakfast, residential staff members accompany students to school. In addition, residential staff members routinely meet on specific student issues and receive training to ensure continuity that promotes student progress.
Students engage in community-based activities daily, ranging from participation in Special Olympics to shopping at the grocery store to eating out at restaurants. The Guild prioritizes skill practice and generalization through activities of daily living. Since each residence has access to The Guild’s fleet of vehicles, students and staff can easily engage in activities that lead to enhanced independence in the community.
Learning activities of daily living, making friends, using new and improved social/coping skills, and having fun are all part of each student’s busy residential life. After the first several weeks at The Guild, parents are often surprised by how much more their student is able to do on his or her own. Guild staff members share strategies to ensure that home visits go smoothly.
"The structure of The Guild's residential program has really helped him to live safely in a home environment with other people and to navigate safely in the community." – Kathy Lewiecki, Guild School parent