Laureate Day School



"Our son, and our family, receives such individualized support and attention, I often have to remind myself he's not the only student at Laureate. I know I can call or e-mail anytime for any reason, and that as his needs change or new challenges arise, the staff is there to adapt and change with him almost immediately. I tell everyone who asks, Laureate is the perfect place for him."
-Laureate Day School Parent

"Knowing that my son is at a school filled with professionals who care for him brings a great amount of joy and relief to me. At Laureate, he is surrounded by a staff who are able to help him through his challenging moments with ease. They care about his education as much as they care about him as a person, and that is what means everything to me as a parent."
Laureate Day School Parent

Mission Statement

To provide a structured learning environment for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), using educational and therapeutic best practices to maximize success in the areas of emotional regulation, communication, social relationships, academic performance and independent functioning.


Laureate offers comprehensive mental health treatment along with individualized education planning to students K-8 (ages 5-15) with a primary diagnosis of autism(AUT/ASD); students categorized as ED/LD/OHI who are experiencing symptoms of depression, anxiety, OCD, school refusal, and/or ADHD are typically very successful in the program as well.  Students with severe emotional disorders are more appropriately referred to the Metro Prep Grade School. 

The Laureate program is small by design and maintains a high staff to student ratio, using a multi-disciplinary, team approach.  Each multi-grade classroom is staffed by a state-certified special education teacher and at least one teacher aide; additional aides are provided for extra support, as needed.  Other team members include state-licensed counselors, a speech-language pathologist, an occupational therapist, a reading specialist, a LD resource teacher, a psychiatric consultant, and a school psychologist, as well as computer, art, and P.E. teachers.  We provide a full 12 month schedule for students and the Extended School Year (ESY) component is an essential and required part of our program.

Admission to Laureate is initiated by referral from local school districts for students in need of private placement; 45-day diagnostic placements are also available for students recently identified for special education services.  Parents and districts are encouraged to call or visit our campus to determine which program is best for their child.  

Laureate Day School has adopted the TEACCH (Treatment and Education of Autistic and related Communication Handicapped Children) model of structured teaching for students with ASD.  Structured teaching provides a system for organizing the classroom environment and developing appropriate activities that allow students to understand what is expected of them.  This decreases anxiety and frustration and addresses challenging behaviors in a proactive manner by creating a meaningful environment that feels predictable and safe.  Structured teaching has three main goals:

1.  Provide developmentally appropriate supports

2.  Increase academic and social understanding and skills

3.  Foster maximum independence

Classroom Environment:  Every classroom at Laureate has three basic areas: 

Work Area:  Where students work with the teacher 1:1 or in small groups to learn new academic concepts in all subjects. 

Independent Area:  Where academic material the student has been taught and mastered will be reinforced through the use of structured activities.

Leisure Area:  Where students have access to structured leisure activities and/or may engage in sensory regulating activities that will help them prepare for the next academic task.

Appropriate ActivitiesChildren with ASD have a strength and preference for visual communication and learning.  To take advantage of this fact, Laureate uses visual schedules, to-do lists and structured activities to support our students throughout the entire school day.

Utilizing visual structure answers three key questions for students with ASD:  Where do I go?  What do I do?  When am I finished?  By addressing these questions, our students are able to negotiate the school environment with minimal disruption and maximum independence.

The best thing about the structured teaching model is that it works!  It can be easily adapted for all age levels and provides appropriate support for students with disabilities other than autism.

Program components include:

·  Structured Teaching – we use the TEACCH model of Structured Teaching in all of our classrooms.  Structured Teaching support will be used in all areas of the school including group, PE, art, and resource.  Learn more about this approach at 

·  Specialized Behavior Management  we have developed our own exclusive behavior management system that can only be found at Laureate - The RPI Daily Functioning Behavior 
Program for Students with ASD©.  It is structured but flexible, provides clear and logical consequences without being punitive, maximizes the student’s feelings of success and mastery by not overwhelming them with expectations that are too difficult, and provides a safety net of extra support when they become dysregulated.  Our staff is also fully trained to manage crisis situations using Therapeutic Crisis Intervention (TCI).

·  Zones of Regulation® – This popular and successful curriculum by Leah Kuypers, M.A. Ed., OTR/L supports students with self-regulation and emotional control.  Learn more at 

·  Social Thinking® – Social Thinking® is a term coined by Michele Garcia Winner, CCC-SLP and represents a coordinated teaching framework of curriculum, vocabulary, tools and strategies for individuals ages preschool through adults. The concepts of perspective taking, expected versus unexpected behaviors, and whole body listening (among others) will be taught in group and used with students throughout the school milieu.  Learn more at 

·  Interpersonal Play Therapy© (IPT) – Exclusive to Laureate, this counseling model will provide a weekly social experience for two students together under the direct supervision and support of a counselor.  In addition, our students receive one individual counseling session per week and social skills group therapy every day. 

·  Transition/Life Skills – Junior high students will participate in regularly scheduled life skills groups and community outings coordinated by our OT and SLP.  In addition, Laureate uses the TTAP (Teacch Transition Assessment Profile) to assess and identify transition goals, strengths, and areas of need for our older students.  

·  iPads – Every student at Laureate will be provided with access to an iPad for use at school.  A variety of Apps are used for academic, communication, social-emotional, and social-leisure support.