Therapeutic Day School
CHNK’s Therapeutic Day School, launched at the start of the 2014-2015 academic year and located on CHNK’s Devou Park campus, marries traditional academic services with treatment services for high-risk student populations. Throughout the school day, students have access to treatment services such as individual, group, and recreation therapy, clinical de-escalation, crisis management, substance use disorder treatment, and an onsite licensed nurse. Operated in partnership with Covington Independent Public Schools (CIPS), the school includes eight classrooms, multiple academic and treatment offices, a computer lab, a media room/library, and a student learning kitchen.
While there are other types of therapeutic day schools in Kentucky, none are similar to the model that has been adopted by CHNK and CIPS. Presently, models exist for youth who have already experienced court/judicial involvement, such as with the Department of Juvenile Justice, or have been placed into out-of-home care under the auspices of the Department for Community-Based Services. Our endeavor is a more proactive approach that brings services to at-risk youth even before there has been an opportunity for such involvement.
Our goal? To integrate services across systems – specifically, the educational and behavioral health systems – to create a more efficient and coordinated approach for impacting at-risk youth. If we can reduce the barriers to success that students in our target population face, we expect to see fewer incarcerations, fewer removals of children into state custody, fewer psychiatric hospitalizations, and the saving of thousands – if not eventually, millions – in taxpayer dollars, while simultaneously improving individual and family functioning.
In June 2015, the Therapeutic Day School was recognized as an Alternative Program of Distinction by the Kentucky Board of Education.
The school offers three distinct programs:
Covington’s Alternative To Suspension (CATS)
This short-term program is for youth who have displayed behaviors in a traditional classroom environment that would typically warrant a suspension from the classroom. A student participates in CATS for anywhere from 1 to 20 days, and school work is provided by their teachers. CATS students also have access to Apex Learning digital curriculum; this online credit recovery program assists students who need to recover course credits in order to graduate high school.
Transformational Learning Center (TLC)
Students who attend TLC are referred to the program by the school district’s Deputy of Pupil Personnel, due to poor school attendance, behavioral issues, and/or use of drugs during school hours. While in TLC, a student is taught the same curriculum that s/he would be taught in his or her home school, just at a different pace. TLC students are able to continue to take classes, such as electives, by using Apex Learning digital curriculum. The length of time a student participates in TLC varies; some students successfully complete the program in 6-8 weeks, while others require a much longer participation period.
Some of the youth in residential treatment at CHNK also participate in TLC via two self-contained classrooms within the therapeutic day school. In addition to CIPS teachers in the classrooms, CHNK provides two paid “school liaisons” (one in each of the two classrooms) who are able to directly and immediately assist with any behavioral issues that may be exhibited by a student during the school day.
Alternative to Expulsion (A2E)
This program operates between 11:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. and is designed for youth who have exhibited behaviors in a traditional classroom environment that would typically warrant expulsion from the school. Students receive instruction via a computer program called Odysseyware and are overseen by two certified teachers and a teaching assistant. A student transitions from A2E to TLC before ultimately transitioning back into his or her home school.