• Our focus is improving outcomes for all students by providing an integrated approach addressing each student’s unique academic, behavioral and social/emotional needs in a safe and supportive learning environment.
  • We are approved by the Maryland State Department of Education and the Office of the State Superintendent of Education in the District of Columbia and adhere to State and District standards and assessments.
  • We promote a team approach which values cooperation and collaboration and involves students, school personnel, parents and the community.
  • We provide job embedded professional development that contributes to a highly qualified, dedicated staff.
Academics 

The elementary and middle school program serves students in grades 1-8 at our Gaithersburg campus and K-8 at our Largo campus. School personnel work as a team to improve student achievement, reduce problem behaviors and improve overall social/emotional well-being. Students are instructed at their individual level based on their Individualized Educational Programs (IEP) and ongoing assessment data. Teachers use evidenced-based strategies to actively engage students and increase their success rates in school.

The Maryland College and Career Readiness Standards and the Common Core State Standards drive our instruction and prepare students for lifelong learning. The school curriculum includes all subjects required by the state and local school systems. Academic instruction combines a strong emphasis on basic skills as well as higher order thinking. Teachers also use standardized measures to determine appropriate instructional levels and to assess student progress. Throughout the school year, teachers monitor progress towards students’ IEP goals and use data to make instructional decisions for maximizing student progress.

The Foundation Schools promotes the belief that all students can learn and make good choices. School personnel use explicit instruction, clear expectations and structured routines to promote independence and coping skills. Because we serve students who have a history of difficulties in school, we use a Positive Behavioral Support Model that incorporates social skill instruction and continuous performance feedback throughout the school day. Teamwork and a sense of community are emphasized through cooperative learning groupings and planned social activities. Students are taught skills that can be generalized to their homes and communities. The goal of the elementary program is to teach and prepare students to return to a less restrictive environment, ultimately a general education classroom in a public school setting.

The high school program serves students in grades 9-12. High school students’ educational needs are defined in the Individualized Educational Program and have two primary components: academic and pre-vocational with an emphasis on post-secondary goals.

The Maryland College and Career Readiness Standards and the Common Core State Standards drive our instruction and prepare students for lifelong learning. The school curriculum includes all subjects required by the state and local school systems.

The goals for our high school students are to:

  1. Obtain a high school diploma.
  2. Return to their home school district: If students have an interest in returning to their home school district, more emphasis is placed on the general curriculum. Transition to a public school setting utilizes a highly structured process that involves the students, their family, school system personnel, and The Foundation Schools’ staff.
  3. Find their career path: Students who have post-secondary goals of gaining competitive employment, acquiring pre-vocational skills and exploring job opportunities may receive services from the Career Connections In-School Workroom Program. This program provides students with career exploration opportunities and supervised, simulated work experiences within the school environment. Students learn technical skills such as resume crafting, application processes and job skills for obtaining and maintaining employment which include interviewing, accepting corrective feedback, communicating with co-workers, being absent from work and resigning from the job. Behavioral goals are monitored on a daily basis and achievement is celebrated weekly. Finally, if appropriate, students may be provided with job coaches and work part of the school day in the community.
Behavior Management & Related Services 
We offer intensive behavior supports to meet each student’s individual needs.  These supports start with a school-wide behavior management system that includes a points and levels system, incentives, and consequences.  Our behavior management system includes the components of School Wide Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (SWPBIS).  Through the behavior management system and explicit social skills instruction, students are explicitly taught to demonstrate appropriate behavior and are provided with opportunities to practice appropriate behavior.  Students are charged with monitoring their behavior in conjunction with feedback from the staff of The Foundation Schools and they receive rewards for accomplishing behavior goals.  In addition to the school-wide behavior management system, students who require additional supports in this area may have increased counseling, a dedicated aide, or an individual behavior plan to address a specific negative behavior.

Therapeutic supports are available to all students.  We offer individual and group counseling on a variety of topics.  The goal of this school based counseling is to help students be more school ready and more available for learning.  Topics for school based counseling include: Drug and alcohol education, prevention, and counseling, violence prevention, trauma-informed cognitive behavior therapy, anger management training, social skills development, grief and loss counseling, peer mediation, conflict resolution, and intensive crisis intervention.  Therapeutic services are provided using a variety of modalities including talk therapy, pet therapy, and play therapy and may be provided as a pull-out service or within a classroom.  Case management services are provided by the therapists at The Foundation Schools in order to establish collaborative communication with each student’s parent/guardian as well as the student’s outpatient treatment providers or supports.  Therapists and Foundation Links staff will also work with parents to help prevent or address truancy issues with students.

The Foundation Schools also provides other related services as required by a students IEP including speech/language and occupational therapy.  The Foundation Schools team also includes consulting psychiatrists who are available to consult with outside psychiatrists, work with parent/guardians, and provide medication management when appropriate.

Supportive Services  

Through home-based and after school outreach interventions, the Foundation Links program connects students and their families to quality community-based resources. For those who do not have the means to seek private therapeutic care, The Foundation Links program introduces accessible resources including consultation with The Foundation Schools’ psychiatrists. Other resources include providing crisis intervention services such as food and clothing, transportation and in-home therapeutic services. 

Students who have post-secondary goals of gaining competitive employment, acquiring pre-vocational skills and exploring job opportunities may receive services from the Career Connections In-School Workroom Program. This program provides students with career exploration and supervised, simulated work experiences within the school environment. Students learn technical skills such as resume crafting, application processes and job skills for obtaining and maintaining employment which include interviewing, accepting corrective feedback, communicating with co-workers, being absent from work and resigning from the job. Behavioral goals are monitored on a daily basis and achievement is celebrated weekly. Finally, if appropriate, students may be provided with job coaches and work part of the school day in the community.

The Food for Thought program acknowledges the importance of every meal, as more than 80 percent of our students fall below the poverty line and are many of our families are unable to ensure that their children have access to a healthy breakfast and lunch daily. This program ensures all students receive the proper nutrition to be successful in school and nutrition education.