Program Services

AVC is deeply committed to bringing communities togetherto provide high quality services to children, families, and our region


AVCAS Program Services

Instructional Services & Electives



AVCAS provides small academic instructional groups to allow for individualized instruction and attention. AVCAS offers curriculum that is aligned to the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks and that meets the requirements of each sending school district. Teachers employ a variety of strategies to engage reluctant students in the learning process while individualizing instruction according to each student's IEP. Best practice methodology including hands-on activities, differentiated instruction, and real-world simulations are incorporated in each classroom to ensure that students have access to curriculum that is appropriately challenging to each student. Teachers also utilize a variety of strategies to help students cope with difficulties during class time.


Speech & Language Services:

AVCAS provides speech and language services for students who have been identified in needing specialized instruction in this area. SLP services include work in the areas of: expressive/receptive skills, written language and pragmatics. SLP services are delivered in a variety of contexts including: individual, sm. groups and embedded classroom support. Speech & Language evaluation and consultation is also available.  


Specialized Reading Instruction:

AVCAS is able to provide specialized reading instruction for those students whose IEP identifies goals in this area. Teaching methods are direct, multi-sensory and individualized for specific learning styles. Reading services are able to be delivered in a variety of contexts including individual, small group and embedded classroom support.



AVCAS provides a wide range of elective courses that are designed to further engage students in developing skills, interests, and hobbies and that also align to the Curriculum Frameworks. Electives vary each semester depending upon student input, teacher interest, and outside community resources.

  • Art – pottery, sketching, painting, sculpture, jewelry making, woodworking, metals and glasswork
  • Media – Film History, Film Analysis and Critique
  • Language Arts – Creative Writing, Journalism, Drama, Yearbook, Book Clubs
  • Social Sciences– Current Events/Newspaper, Economics, Psychology, Sociology, International Studies
  • Math/Science – Engineering, Technology, Computers, Game Theory, Dissection, Environmental Studies
  • P.E./Health – Yoga, Fitness, Softball, Basketball, Soccer, Nutrition, Healthy Choices
  • Life Skills/Transitional Services – Resume Writing, Job Readiness, Work Study, and Prevocational Studies
  • MCAS Prep

Clinical Services

The AVCAS clinical team employs an eclectic practice, drawing upon a variety of theories and evidence-based practices to best meet the social and emotional needs of individual students. While common goals exist across different treatment models (i.e. to improve social relatedness, to implement positive coping strategies), the eclectic practice framework allows clinicians to consider multiple theoretical perspectives and to implement a variety of practices and techniques in order to provide the most comprehensive and effective treatment for students.


As one component of the eclectic practice, the clinical team utilizes cognitive behavioral strategies, coaching students to monitor and change distorted thought patterns in order to change and manage emotions. AVCAS also draws upon the principles of reality therapy and choice theory, which emphasizes the relationship between staff and student and their ability to problem-solve situations in the moment. In psycho-educational groups, the clinical staff employs expressive therapy techniques to assist students in processing and working through emotional issues through role-play, art, and other forms of creative expression. The AVCAS team draws upon these and several other clinical practices to tailor each student’s treatment to his or her individual strengths and needs.


The following psycho-educational and clinical groups are offered by the AVCAS clinical team:

  • Dyads/Pairs Group – fosters social relatedness and friendship building
  • Social Skills and Emotion Regulation – uses techniques of distress tolerance, coping skills, and pro-social behavior
  • Advanced Art Studio – utilizes techniques of expressive therapy in community art centers where students experience personal growth through self-expression
  • Young Men’s Issues – allows a forum for discussion of current and salient issues pertinent to male students; fosters social relatedness
  • Young Women’s Issues – allows a forum for discussion of current and salient issues pertinent to female students; fosters social relatedness
  • Yoga and Meditation – uses principles of mind-body awareness to help students develop relaxation and coping skills
  • Drug and Alcohol Group – utilizes harm reduction theory to assist students in making well-informed, safe choices around issues related to substance use
  • Games Group – utilizes practices from play therapy to assist students in building social skills, teamwork, frustration tolerance, and cooperation through the use of games


In addition to psycho-educational and clinical groups, the following are among the services provided by the AVCAS clinical support staff team:

  • Assessment and referral      for community based therapy services
  • Clinical support during      school day including weekly sessions and check-ins as indicated
  • Family consultation and      referrals to community-based providers for additional family services as      needed and assistance in navigating systems and obtaining support outside      of the school day
  • Medication      administration as provided by the nursing staff, as well as communication      with families regarding students’ medical issues, and coursework on      health-related topics
  • Transition planning for      students post-graduation

Behavioral Management Services

AVCAS follows a structure of reinforcing positive behaviors/choices while establishing deterrents for negative behaviors/choices during the school day. Students earn points for each portion of the school day by participating responsibly and respectfully, and by demonstrating effort on their individual school goals. When students are making progress, they will access a variety of privileges to reinforce their progress – privileges will include participation in off-grounds P.E. and elective courses, level-related social lunches, opportunities for work-study and independent study activities, and increasing access to incentives in AVCAS’s school store. When students are having difficulty, a variety of strategies will be applied in an effort to assist students in adapting their behavior at the earliest intervention point. These strategies will begin with a staff prompt or offer for a check-in, a redirection to set a limit for the student, a directed/required time away, or an in-school suspension. AVCAS does occasionally need to enforce out-of-school suspensions for unsafe behaviors, but will attempt to exhaust all other avenues of consequences when possible. Our goal is to work with students to find meaningful rewards and consequences to assist them in making productive and positive choices in the school environment.

The AVCAS therapeutic milieu provides a structured backbone to the program, and offers students a platform for earning increasing levels of privilege and responsibility. Liberal ratios of staff to students enable individual attention and support for each student as he/she works towards his/her goals. Case managers provide continuous therapeutic support to assist students in increasing their access to educational programming through the following activities:

  • Weekly individual      meetings
  • Crisis      intervention/prevention
  • Weekly Multidisciplinary Team meetings
  • Life Skills
  • Collaboration with parents and service providers
  • Time Away/Check Ins
  • Behavioral Support