Events

Tree Nut and Peanut Free Zone
Elliott Institute is a tree nut and peanut free zone, to keep our students safe from tree nut and peanut allergies.

“Yellow butterflies look like flowers flying through the warm summer air.”

–Andrea Willis

 

2016-2018 School Accountability Report Card (SARC), continued

School/Clinic Profile

Elliott Institute is situated on the edge of the cities of La Crescenta and La Canada, centrally located on Foothill Blvd. in the foothills, at the crest of Los Angeles, often referred to as the “balcony” of Los Angeles County. The Institute serves a maximum of 36 students from Kindergarten through High School in an old Colonial style home setting. It is intended to be small so as to offer maximum attention to the most severely involved children with autism. The intention is to attend to each child individually, as dictated by regulations and to create an environment that fosters the development of each child from individual to group interaction. The demographics of the school population are varied and represent a cross section of Los Angeles, Orange County, Inland Empire and Desert communities.

Discipline and Climate for Learning

Elliott Institute is committed to ensuring that all pupils have the right to participate fully in the education process, in compliance with Education Code 201A and 35181. Students are to be free from discriminatory attitudes, practices, events or activities that hinder a pupil’s ability to have an equal opportunity to receive an appropriate education. The parent/legal guardian has the right to appeal school site decisions that affect their students’ due process rights with the Executive Director.

It is recognized that, pursuant to Education Code 48900.5, the Director of the school or Director’s designee, may suspend a student from the school for reasons stated in Section 48900, for no more than five consecutive school days. However, it should be noted that this has never been a cause for concern at the Institute due to the recognition of the severity of the students’ disabilities and their need for consistent and positive programming to overcome most severe behavior issues. Staff strives to have high expectations for achievement of educational goals, including each student’s Behavior Support Plan and consistently provides a safe and nurturing but disciplined environment for all students to thrive in, in a positive manner. Communication with parents is critical and accomplished through phone calls, daily journals, parent conferences as needed and classroom newsletters for maintaining a positive climate for learning.

School Attendance

Elliott Institute receives Non-Public School funds from participating districts for the education of their students that are served by Elliott. Private enrollment is also allowed. Attendance is critical to the attainment of Individual Educational objectives and as such, student attendance is carefully monitored. Attendance is taken daily by assigned classroom teachers on standard Registers of Daily Attendance. The Registers are validated by Business Administration against Front Office Sign-in Sheets. At the end of the month, when Business Administration has verified daily attendance, the classroom teachers sign the Registers. Warrants for payment are then issued to each district for payment.

Students who are absent for more than three days must follow Master Contract regulations for re-entry to school. Each district has different regulations regarding total days of absence. Parents are asked to call in and notify staff if a student will be late due to doctors or other professional appointments or personal behavior problems at home. This is not an uncommon circumstance for the student population at Elliott and a degree of flexibility is allowed here. They are generally allotted an hour to one and a half-hour leeway for these circumstances. If the student is out for more than half a day, parents are asked to write a note for the office and the student is posted as “tardy” on the Register.

Class Size

Elliott Institute maintains a pupil-to-teacher ratio of 2:1 during the school year. Once-to-one assistants are provided as dictated by individual IEPs and ISAs. The average class size is 6-8 students. Class size is deliberately limited because of severity of behaviors in each classroom.

Minimum Days and Instructional Minutes

During the school year, Elliott Institute provides 200-210 days of instruction, comprised of 180 regular days, 20-30 days of Extended School Year (depending on grade level of student and district calendars) and 10 minimum days. Minimum days are used for in-service training in a variety of topics, Back to School Lunch, and the Thanksgiving Family Feast. School is in session a minimum of 360 minutes for all grade levels. All instructional time is based on Basic Core Curriculum and includes Independent Living Skill time, outside time and lunch time.

School Facilities and Safety

Elliott Institute’s setting is an old Colonial style house with an adjacent building that used to be a “Mom and Pop” grocery store from the 1940’s. Both buildings have been brought up to current codes and safety standards. In addition, two new classrooms have been added to the back patio area and the parking lot has been increased. There are outside eating areas for students as well as handicapped ramps for wheelchair and physical disability access.

Safety of students and staff is a primary concern. Staff continually monitors students outside at breaks, during lunch and any outside activity. There are multiple gates with notices to secure the gates after opening to ensure the safety of our students. Visits from Districts and parents or other community members are welcome but advance notification is requested where possible. Anyone on site is asked to sign in at the front reception area and obtain a visitor’s pass. A record is kept of parent approved names for individual student’s drop-off or pick-up. Students are not released to anyone unknown to the staff until verification is received from parents.

Elliott Institute maintains a School Site Safety Plan which is monitored by the Office Administrator and the Program Manager. This plan requires a review every three months of the entire facility, both inside and outside to determine areas or objects of potential harm to students, staff, or visitors. Concerns or revisions are shared immediately with staff and corrections are made by appropriate personnel. Key elements of the plan include child abuse reporting and procedures, teacher notification of dangerous pupils procedures, disaster response procedures, procedures for safe egress and ingress from school, sexual harassment policy and dress code policy. The school is in compliance with the laws and regulations pertaining to hazardous materials and state earthquake standards. Fire and earthquake drills are conducted monthly and logged accordingly. Lockdown drills are reviewed for staff quarterly.

Cleaning Process

Elliott Institute provides a clean environment for students, staff and community visitors. Basic cleaning is performed on a nightly basis. Sanitation is maintained daily by staff.

Maintenance and Repair

Elliott Institute retains a contractor and his crew to follow through on work requests and emergency repairs that do not require outside contracting.

School Leadership

Elliott Institute is overseen by Dr. Alicia A. Elliott with a handful of department Directors. Classroom teachers maintain the leadership in their classroom with major support from Administration.

Curriculum

Curriculum for Elliott Institute students is written and maintained according to the state framework and the model curriculum standards promoted by the Glendale Unified School District and our local SELPA. A collaborative effort with principle classroom staff is maintained throughout the year as each new IEP is written. In addition to State Standards, Elliott Institute also uses The Basics, Moderate to Severe Basic Skills Curriculum Frameworks used by GUSD. This is also used as the SELPA approved curriculum. Staff and in-service meetings are held regularly and on minimum days to keep staff informed about curriculum changes and to participate in round-table discussions and decision-making as it pertains to the curriculum.

Speech/Language

Elliott Institute provides Speech/Language therapy daily for all students as determined by their individual IEPs. This encompasses any combination of individual pull-out and group/classroom therapy (i.e. 3x30 individual and 2x30 group; or 1x30 individual and 4x30 group and/or AAC classroom consult) etc. Individual and group language therapy is emphasized in order to increase receptive processing and expressive recall and syntactic organization, particularly as needed for accessing core curriculum in the classrooms. In addition, collaborative group sessions emphasize on-going classroom curriculum vocabulary, consistent access and use of individualized AAC/AT access and pragmatic/social language.

Elliott Institute believes in the communication potential of all students. Because of our student’s communication challenges, we have either a full time Speech Language Pathologist/Assistive Technology Specialist or an outside contracted AAC consultant. Our emphasis is on utilizing Augmentative Alternative Communication (AAC) modes that support each student’s communication is put in place. Many of our students currently use: Picture Exchange Communication (PECS), Signing Exact English (SEE), tactile communication systems, pointing boards, static digitized voice boards, text to speech word processors and a variety of speech generated devices (SGD). We realize that funding for some devices can be quite costly. Therefore, we try several avenues to help the parents acquire the device their child may need.

Behavior Services

Elliott Institute has consistent and immediate access in all classrooms to on-site behavior services. Behavior administration averages 90 minutes per day per classroom, assisting in the follow through of Behavior Support Plans and immediate intervention.

Student Achievement and Testing

An assortment of measures are used within Elliott Institute to measure individual progress on their Individual Education Plan and to assist in the development of new objectives annually. Elliott Institute is a CAPA (California Alternative Performance Assessment) level program as a special education program for the moderate to severe disability of autism. The CAASPP/CAPA is administered once a year. We have also administered the newly required Fitness-Gram. There are two trained assessors on staff. Other State tests are currently not appropriate for any of our students.

Transition Program

VITAL, which stands for Vocational Independence Training and Life-Skills, focuses on developing independent living, vocational, and pre-vocational skills. The students learn these skills in school as well as perform and maintain them in the community through many community-based activities. The students at Elliott also participate in school-based jobs such as running the School Snack Shop or helping in the office with clerical work. They also have Community Collaboration jobs from local small businesses and independent schools. These jobs prepare students for real life work out in the community, as well as instilling in them a sense of pride and responsibility. We also work toward connecting them with real positions in the community when students have reached the necessary skill level.

Teacher Evaluation and Professional Development

Professional development is critical for Elliott Institute staff who are working with extremely involved individuals with autism. Administration maintains high standards for the teaching staff and cutting edge research and technology is continuously brought into the classroom. In-services are provided to disseminate current research in medical and clinical fields that might advance the progress of just one child in the program. Readings are provided at least once a month that illuminate the bridge between behavior, communication and education and allow for insight into some of the clinical management techniques or skills needed in an educational setting for this complex disorder. Elliott Institute also has two pupil free days for teaching staff to participate in different activities such as off-site visitations to local public school classes, curriculum development, teaching strategies and methodologies and cutting-edge techniques that can be brought back to our classrooms. High expectations are held for all students in the program and it is though continual professional development that the teachers can uphold these high expectations of each individual student in the program. Teachers are evaluated annually and their continued education commitment to the disability itself is noted.

Teacher Assignment

Elliott Institute recruits and employs highly qualified teachers who also show the temperament and initiative to work with this very difficult population. Elliott Institute currently has four certified teachers who meet all current credential requirements in accordance with the State of California guidelines.

Substitute Teachers

Substitute teachers for Elliott Institute must hold a Bachelor’s degree and have successfully passed the California Basic Educational Skills Test. Substitute teachers are in-house personnel already on Elliott staff to allow for consistency in the management of student’s educational and behavioral goals. On rare occasions, when a substitute is not available for an absent teacher, credentialed administrators can fulfill the role of substitute teacher.

Textbooks and Instructional Materials

Elliott Institute has a complete set of textbooks, grades K-12, in each core subject area at each grade level, as adopted by the Glendale Unified School District Board of Education, Foothill SELPA. All textbooks are in adequate supply and in fair to excellent condition. 100% of K-9th grade students in each core subject area possess the necessary textbooks and instructional materials. While the school does not have its own library, students have regular access to La Crescenta Public Library, in addition to a mini-library in each classroom and in the Teacher Resource Room. Students also have access to computers within their classrooms and in the speech and behavior services offices. Students receive computer-assisted instruction on a regular schedule. Currently, iPads are available for communication and access to education and curriculum in every classroom.

Teacher and Administrative Salaries

Teacher and administrative salaries for Elliott Institute comprise 47.16% of the total budget. The average teacher and administrative salaries equal approximately $628,177 annually.