K-12 School and Day Treatment Program
All children deserve the right educational support to become lifelong learners and successful adults! Some children thrive in the public school setting while others require higher levels of support and a customized education at school. Our therapeutic school and Day Treatment program is provided through a fully accredited, K-12 school with a 4:1 student-to-staff ratio that integrates social, emotional, behavioral, and academic learning and growth.
Tennyson Center is a National Model of a school-based, therapeutic Day Treatment program for children who have experienced complex trauma so that they attain their highest quality of life and academic growth and performance.
Tennyson Center for Children is a research-based, data-driven educational program for students with complex trauma who also experience emotional/behavioral disabilities which require focused academic and therapeutic services.
Tennyson is a K-12 accredited, licensed facility school, monitored by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE).
Every 5 years, Tennyson participates in a rigorous accreditation process conducted by Cognia. Accreditation is based on a set of research-based standards and evidence-based criteria, which examines the whole institution including its policies, programs, practices, learning conditions, and cultural context. The process determines how well the institution works together to carry out the school’s vision and meet the needs of every learner.
Tennyson provides a schoolwide implementation of Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS). PBIS is an evidence-based multi-tiered framework that establishes a social culture and the behavior supports needed to improve social, emotional, behavioral, and academic outcomes for students.
Programming highlights include:
- K-12 standards-based curriculum;
- Specially designed instruction which consists of explicit, sequential,
and research-based strategies;
- Specific skills-based progress data monitoring;
- Technology access for all students;
- iReady diagnostic assessments conducted three times per year;
- Multisensory supports in the classroom including visual and sensory;
- Direct and explicit instruction on social and emotional skills and regulation;
- Clinical and therapeutic supports throughout the day including weekly social
Our therapeutic, K-12 school and Day Treatment program focuses on meeting learners “where they are at” in terms of educational needs and emotional development, instead of placing children in classrooms based upon chronological age. Our education team is dedicated to providing individual instruction in academics and social skills so that students can return to a public school setting. We build relationships through a therapeutic model using ARC and social-emotional competencies. When we create a consistent routine in a safe environment, then academic improvement follows.
Students and their families receive therapeutic support in addition to an education, including individual, family, and group therapy with a masters level clinician, milieu therapy with a bachelor level staff, and an educational curriculum with special education educators.
Adaptive Skills for People with Emotional Needs (ASPEN)
Tennyson has three ASPEN classrooms that serve students who need more concentrated adult support due to the impact of one or more educational disabilities and/or mental health needs. These students may have intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, and/or other physical disabilities that present a greater need for more intensive support. The ASPEN program includes an elementary classroom, a late elementary/early middle school classroom, and a secondary classroom.
ASPEN classrooms have a capacity of 8 students, with intensive adult support including: two student engagement specialists (SES), a master’s level clinician and a licensed special education teacher. Classrooms are designed to have a specific and consistent routines and rituals that create a predictable and safe environment for our students. Classroom accommodations and supports include visual schedules, sensory supports, emotional regulating activities, assistive technology, and communication devices. There is an intentional focus on the student’s sensory needs and the creation of a sensory diet if appropriate. Student instruction is individualized and aligned with IEP goals and the CO academic standards. All classrooms are supported by an occupational therapist and speech and language therapist.
Instruction and emotional support are heavily focused on social and emotional skill development with four therapeutic groups facilitated by a licensed clinician inside the classroom. The clinical staff also provides weekly individual and family therapy. Heavy emphasis is placed on the development of emotional regulation skill sets and creating a calm and therapeutic learning environment.
Students who are graduating from an ASPEN classroom will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of transition activities, depending on their individual developmental skill sets. Some students may have the opportunity to complete transition services and programming in their home school district until the age of 21. The ASPEN program provides a wide variety of experiential opportunities outside of the classroom including field trips, volunteer opportunities, cooking lessons, and working within the school building to gain independent living skills.
The application process for the ASPEN program is the same as the process for the therapeutic day treatment program. Some students may need additional supports such as medical assistance and exclusive adult support. Tennyson is happy to discuss these individual student needs and work with the home school district on programming options. For more information on the ASPEN program please contact Kim Cini, K12 Principal, and Special Education Director @ 720.855.3424.
Tennyson’s Life Skills Program was created to assist students in our ASPEN program and set them up for success prior to discharging. Opportunities for children include:
- Students ages 12 years and up earning internships on campus, which range from recycling around the building to preparing meals for meetings. These internships teach soft skills such as making introductions punctuality, initiative, and work ethic;
- Community members visit Tennyson’s students to share tips about becoming job-ready; and
- Other practical skills are gained through field trips that offer students the chance to understand and master public transportation, visits to college campuses, and more!
Therapeutic School and Day Treatment Admissions
Our Admissions department handles all referrals and inquiries regarding accessing our services. We also help families navigate a complex system of service within child welfare and mental health.
Tennyson’s day treatment program specializes in working with children who have not been successful in the public school system often due to the influence of past trauma or other emotional and behavioral needs. We currently work with children in grades K-12 who struggle with emotional regulation and need additional emotional support to be successful in school. At this time our school is not able to provide substance abuse-specific treatment or SOMB treatment. For additional admissions criteria, please outreach our admissions team.
Referral Process for Educators
If you have a student that the school district has identified as needing a separate school setting and you would like to refer them to Tennyson’s Day Treatment program (including the ASPEN program), please complete the following steps. Any questions should be directed to our admissions department at [email protected]
- Complete Tennyson’s referral document
- Email a completed referral form along with a current IEP to [email protected]
- Please note that the student’s IEP must have a separate school listed as their LRE setting in order to qualify
- Please include any other documentation that may be helpful for us to determine if we are the best placement to meet the student’s needs. This may include additional testing, clinical assessments, or reports
Referral Process for Caregivers and Other Professionals
In order for a student to be eligible for day treatment (including ASPEN) services, the student must have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and this plan must list the student’s least restrictive environment as a separate school. Due to these requirements, we are not able to take referrals directly from a student’s caregiver. However, we can accept referrals from other professionals as long as the school district has approved of the placement.