We are so excited to report that our School expansion site at 170 Lexington Road is complete and we have received DESE approval to open! The School site occupies the first floor of the building and our Adult Program occupies the second floor. As those of you whose child is moving already know, step one of the expansion will be to move 15 students and their teaching teams to the new School space. We will do this effective July 13th! Then, we will be able to gradually add new students in both of our School sites over the next three years, eventually adding 40 new students to our current census of 90.
This accomplishment marks an important milestone in NLG’s strategic plan. It will enable us to serve more of the individuals with autism who desperately need the services we provide! This will also provide staff development opportunities at both sites, essential to retaining our excellent staff. Our model of serving students with highly trained staff and talented Clinical Directors whose caseloads allow them to intensively supervise each student is unique. It allows our students to make vital developmental progress. Our parent community and the school districts who send students here have spread the word about NLG’s high quality instruction by loving teachers, and many more families are anxious to have the same opportunity for their own children. Answering this call is NLG’s mission: we are excited to welcome new families to NLG just as we welcomed you.
As we grow, we will primarily add younger students at 10 Oak and students aged 10 and older at 170 Lex. In order to facilitate smooth drop off and pick up for districts sending to both sites, the 170 Lexington School Site will operate from 8:45 to 2:45. Hours for the Adult Program have been shifted to 9:15 to 3:15. Hours at 10 Oak Park will remain the same, 9:00 to 3:00. Days of operation for both School sites will be the same. To facilitate referring to each site, we will call them NLG-10 Oak and NLG- 170 Lex.
The two School sites will operate as one School and both sites will benefit from the mechanisms we have put in place over the last several years to enhance our quality across our School and Adult Programs, anticipating future growth. These include our Behavior Council, Peer Mentoring Teams for Clinical Directors, our Life and Vocational skills Inventory tool, and our Redesigned Training and Mentoring Programs. These systems enable us to more effectively share and review clinical practices and individualized curricula and train and mentor staff. They help us ensure that we are consistent and that each individual has access to our best thinking on his or her programming. We have also enhanced our administrative systems, including Schedule Builder, and our data tracking and management systems to enable smooth operation of two sites. Finally, we have added capacity in Finance, IT, administration, and Development over the last year to enable our growth.
This new School site is the culmination of many years of planning and will mark the 5th time in NLG’s 12 years that we have opened a Program site. NLG’s Clinical model, emphasizing professional development of staff and Clinical Directors with small caseloads of 8-10 students, is designed to facilitate growth while continuing to deliver high quality service to each and every student. We are excited to welcome new families to our NLG community. Thank you to everyone for all your support of NLG! Together we enable individuals with autism to achieve their potential, both as children and as adults!
CEO, President and Clinical Director