The primary focus of the unit school program is to assess student ability academically, functionally and emotionally. Patients/students attend school five days a week for assessment, assignments, unstructured activities and social development. An individual program is developed for each student. Students are observed and assessed formally and informally. A member of the school staff attends and contributes to the weekly multidisciplinary meetings and patient rounds. During this time information regarding assessment findings and informal behavioral observations are presented. Information is routinely shared between the hospital team, the home school and, when requested, the parents. Transition planning considers the student’s needs and strengths, the available school resources, as well as community supports. Included in the planning process is consideration of the necessity of a student safety plan, a flexible school day, instructional strategies, adaptations and accommodations and student coping skills. If additional support is required following discharge the school program maintains on-going communication with school staff, parents and community members to promote understanding and to monitor the student’s progress/adjustment.
Students are admitted to the unit either from the wait list or as direct transfers from the Psychiatric Emergency Crisis Unit. Upon admission to the BCCH Adolescent Psychiatry Assessment Unit, a school consent to release information form is obtained from the parents/guardians of the student. The programs two teachers contact the students most recent educational placement to obtain information regarding results of any formal assessments and to obtain a report regarding informal behavioral observations or concerns.
Discharge planning meetings are held to develop transition plans. A formal report summarizing assessment findings and placement recommendations which is distributed to the school, the parents, to medical health records of BCCH and to any other party with the parent’s approval.
The teacher acts as a bridge between the hospital school program and the community school. The community school contact person is invited to connect with the unit school to access resources and to address any questions or concerns.