The Board of Directors of the National Association of Therapeutic
Schools and Programs has unanimously adopted the following
Supplemental Principles of Good Practice for Therapeutic Schools.
These supplemental best practice standards for therapeutic
schools recognize and highlight the unique nature of education
and its relationship to other program components found in
the therapeutic school. In addition to meeting the general
best practice standards, full member therapeutic schools certify
that they are also in compliance with these supplemental standards.
Associate member schools are aspiring to the general best
practice and supplemental standards, but are not yet in full
compliance. The intent of these supplemental best practice
standards is to raise the general level of operating practices
within therapeutic schools.
2.1.3 Mission Statement
The school will have a clear mission statement, philosophy,
126.96.36.199 The school's governing body and
staff will understand and support the school's mission,
philosophy, and goals.
188.8.131.52 The school will effectively communicate
the school's mission statement, philosophy, and goals.
184.108.40.206 The schools programs and operations
will reflect the mission statement, philosophy and goals.
220.127.116.11 The school's philosophy, principles, and practices
will be consistent with a humane and diverse society.
18.104.22.168 The school will provide an intellectual
environment that promotes student freedom of inquiry and
in which students are encouraged to express individual
points of view, develop independent critical thinking
and to examine and debate all sides of a subject in a
rational mature manner.
22.214.171.124 Integrated Student/family Services
The school will have a planning process
for each student/family relevant to the school's mission
126.96.36.199.1 An enrollment strategy to ensure
the successful integration of the student into all aspects
of school life.
188.8.131.52.2 An ongoing planning process with:
184.108.40.206.2.1 An appropriate and sufficient
menu of services designed to support all aspects of a
student's journey toward completion or exit (e.g. education
services, special education, guidance counseling, IEP
management, standardized assessment preparation and administration;
psychological and counseling services; health and medical
services and physical education and recreation services).
220.127.116.11.2.2 Evaluative components to determine
if the goals of the planning process are met.
18.104.22.168.2.3 A process to assess the ongoing
suitability of the
student to the program.
22.214.171.124.2.4 A completion/exit strategy
that helps the student plan
for a successful life after leaving the school.
126.96.36.199 School Curriculum
The school will have a curriculum designed to foster the
intellectual, aesthetic, personal, physical, social, and
career development of the student population and engage
students in rigorous and challenging educational pursuits
commensurate with their level of development.
188.8.131.52.1 The school will have a collaboratively
developed program of studies that includes a balance of
disciplines that reflect the needs and
Interests of the students and is consistent with the school's
mission and beliefs.
184.108.40.206.2 The curriculum will include a
set of essential knowledge and skills in each content
area with written course descriptions that reflect attention
to scope, sequence, continuity, integration, materials,
and performance assessments as appropriate to the school's
mission and goals.
220.127.116.11.3 The curriculum will address the
development of content standards and an appropriate balance
of the following components of learning: factual mastery,
skill development, creativity, comprehension, application,
analysis, synthesis, and evaluation as appropriate to
its mission and goals.
18.104.22.168.4 The school will have a process
for a timely review and revision of curriculum.
22.214.171.124.5 The student's academic progress will be monitored,
documented, and communicated to parents in an appropriate
126.96.36.199.6 Assessments of student learning
will be based on clearly articulated
and appropriate expectations for student academic achievement.
188.8.131.52 Credit, Grades and Graduation Requirements
The school will have developed, articulated and/or made
available to students, parents, faculty, and others the
184.108.40.206.1 Clearly defined grading rubrics
220.127.116.11.2 Clearly defined criteria for
awarding course credit.
18.104.22.168.3 Clearly defined graduation requirements that
are consistent with the school's mission and goals, integrated
with the school's program components and designed to meet
the needs of the students.
22.214.171.124.4 School accreditation by a state, regional, or
national accrediting body.
2.1.7 Organizational Structure
126.96.36.199 Program Integration
The school will have policies, procedures, and plans that
describe the integration of its several school components
within the context of its mission and philosophy. This
plan will include:
188.8.131.52.1 Direct references to the school's
mission and philosophy.
184.108.40.206.2 Policies providing for effective
inter and intra departmental information sharing.
220.127.116.11.3 An explanation of how all aspects
of a student's life are integrated by the school in such
areas as academics, residential life, recreation, and
18.104.22.168.4 A description of the structure
and process by which the school shares information both
intra and interdepartmentally (e.g. meetings, regular
22.214.171.124.5 An explanation of how each aspect
of the curriculum (e.g. academic, social, emotional, and
physical) will address the student's
2.1.9 School Self Evaluation and Improvement
The school will develop and implement an ongoing improvement
plan that emphasizes learning for all students and is consistent
with the school's mission and goals.
126.96.36.199 The school will have a regular
review of its mission and goals.
188.8.131.52 The school will have a process
for initiating, planning and coordinating the school's
improvement efforts. The planning process may include
the following components:
184.108.40.206.1 Evaluation to select focus for
areas of improvement.
220.127.116.11.2 Development of strategies for
18.104.22.168.3 Implementation of strategies.
22.214.171.124.4 Monitoring and evaluation of
126.96.36.199 The school will engage in a periodic
self-study or evaluation process that provides for broad
participation of its stakeholders and full disclosure
of the school's strengths and weaknesses.
2.3 Accounting Practices
2.3.1 The school will have sufficient financial
resources available to provide space, people, time, and
materials to support the balanced integration of programs
and services to maximize the potential for all students
as appropriate to its mission.