The Day Program at the Boston Higashi School operates 217 days a year, and utilizes the methodology of Daily Life Therapy® to deliver all of its educational services through a holistic, group dynamic program. Students develop an inner sense of well-being and confidence which propels their curiosity about the world around them through clear structure, a high level of engaging activities, and spontaneous fun. Our program blends the curricular areas of communication, social education, academics, art, music, physical education, technology and employment education. Instructional methods are designed to teach students at their individual level through real and meaningful experiences in the classroom, throughout the school campus, and in the community. We are an open school; we have many visitors, and parents are always welcome to observe their child in class. Parent collaboration is essential for successful generalizations of school learning to the home and community, and forms a key component of our school mission.

Divisions

Three elementary students posing and smiling

Elementary

The Elementary division is where our students are introduced to initial stage guidance, and the basics of Daily Life Therapy. Students will start to develop a daily rhythm of life as they learn to try new foods, exercise daily, and develop a toileting routine. Through play based activities students will learn new skills, learn how to be part of a group, and have fun with their friends. The rich curriculum offers them many hands-on activities to help keep them engaged and challenged while at the same time having fun.

Student and teacher playing

Middle School

The Middle School division builds on what the Elementary division started. Finding age appropriate activities that are still fun, yet challenging. Increased exercise as energy diffusion is paramount at this age. Curriculum includes thematic units centered on academic, pre-vocational, and community based themes. Within each unit, students address content that is rich in reading and writing, mathematics, health and hygiene awareness, personal information, and social skills.

Student smiling at camera

Younger High School

The Younger High School division focuses heavily on increasing independence, energy diffusion, developing functional communication skills as well as meaningful relationships. The curriculum is developed from the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks and modified to fit the needs of our students. The curriculum also focuses on pre-vocational skills as well as social emotional learning. It is a crucial time developmentally to teach students about self regulation, identifying feelings and emotions as well as coping strategies. The students also participate in a variety of creative arts lessons including music, art and PE that help to provide meaningful and enriching leisure skills.

Older students working at a coffee shop

Older High School

The Older High School division focuses on aiding the students in developing functional skills necessary to become productive members of their communities, increase their independence and develop the communication skills needed to form meaningful relationships. The curriculum focuses on generalizing the skills and subject matter taken from the Frameworks and applying it to “real world” situations. The students also actively engage in a variety of employment education opportunities at high quality job sites throughout the campus. This introduction to job sites allows the students to not only apply their knowledge but also to explore their interests in order to identify appropriate job placements as they move towards the Emergence Program and eventually the adult world.

Emergence program students working in a cafeteria

Emergence Program

This division is a preparatory program that is an extension of the younger divisions of the school with a focus on the necessary intensive educational and vocational outcome goals for young adults who are 19-22 years old. Employment requirements for this division will mirror those expected after graduation (10-20 hours/week). Community connected academics will provide students with intensive and relevant on-site and off-site based learning in the community. The frameworks that are taught to these students is that of a 24-hour lifestyle incorporating academics, hobbies, domestic activities, exercise, employment, and community participation. The social and communication practices are taught in a way to allow them to be generalized post-graduation. Transition support is developed and outlined through the IEP and transition planning process.

Day in the Life

  • Students arriving on the bus

    8:30 - Arrival

    Students arrive by school district transportation or parent drop off to start the day!

  • Students sitting at desks

    8:50 - Homeroom

    After changing into Higashi clothing, students group up in their classroom

  • Students jogging outside

    9:05 - Jogging

    Before starting academics, students go jogging every morning around our beautiful campus

  • student writing their name

    9:45 - Basic Study

    Back in the classroom, students begin their academics by signing in and discussing the weather and calendar

  • students at desks looking at board in front of room

    10:25 - Assembly

    Students review the schedule so that everyone knows what to expect for the day

  • students playing with large parachute

    10:50 Joint PE

    Each week divisions will hold a join special subject lesson like Joint PE where everyone learns together!

  • student playing with playdough

    11:30 - Skills Group

    Led by our Clinical Team, students work on skills to improve their communication and motor skills

  • students eating lunch

    12:10 - Lunch

    Lunch is still learning area for our students at Higashi. A lot of time is devoted to expanding student’s preferences and abilities when it comes to choosing what to eat

  • student on swingset

    12:50 - Free Play

    Time for a break from academics and to simply play with peers. This is important for our students to learn to play with others in a less structured format

  • students playing musical instruments

    1:25 - Joint Music

    Each weeks students have special subject lessons in Music, PE, Communication and Art. Classes during the week are based on individual classes with one lesson a week being a joint activity

  • students at desks with teacher

    2:05 - Social Emotional Learning (SEL)

    SEL classes allow students to gain tools for identifying and communicating emotional needs, strategies for managing emotions, and opportunities to develop and expand their relational capacity

  • student clothes lockers

    2:45 - Change Clothes

    At the end of the academic day it is time to change back into their clothes to either return home for the day students or to begin the transition to residence for students who live on campus

  • students eating snack

    3:00 - Snack

    It’s important to get a final snack in before going home for the day. Once a week this snack period is for Special Snack which incorporates Communication lessons

  • Students leaving on school bus

    3:15 - Dismissal

    Day students pack their bags and wait for their transportation home while Residential students bring their belongings back to their dorm rooms to begin residential