Primary & Upper School

Primary & Upper School

About Us

Crystal Academy is a non-profit, 501 (C) 3, non-sectarian, private school that provides an enriching academic and therapeutic learning environment for children between the age of 5 and adolescents. Our holistic individualized program caters to children with developmental delays including but not limited to autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, developmental academic disorder, nonverbal learning disorder, attention deficit disorder and more. We believe that children learn in different ways. We want to foster individual learning styles to make your child more independent and social within their community and within their everyday life.

Our Mission

Our mission at Crystal Academy School is to develop and nurture a child’s individualized ability, while meeting the needs of the child through academics, evidence based services, and socialization with peers. We believe that children learn in different ways. We want to foster individual learning styles, to make your child more independent and social within their community and within their life.

At the Crystal Academy School, we believe that every child’s life begins with the ability and desire to communicate with the people they are in contact with everyday. By the time they reach the school age, these children need a place to grow both cognitively and socially. At CAPS your child will develop individually and naturally through different therapies and skill related programs.

Our Philosophy

Central to our approach is the belief that, through the right interventions and learning, the brain can be re-wired and cognitive function can be enhanced. New neural pathways can be developed through intensive, one-on-one therapies, as well as group activities during the early years and beyond. The Crystal Academy School is proud to provide a variety of evidence based services and curriculums that are crafted into holistic programs individualized for each child that include Academic Learning; Language Arts, Reading, Math, Science and Social Studies, Behavior Therapy based on the Verbal Behavior VB-MAPP, Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Sensory Integration, Play Skills, Adaptive Daily Living Skills, Music Therapy, and Socialization Skills.

Our program was developed to provide a behavior and language-based intervention that promotes communication, language, cognition, independence, and social development for our children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADD, ADHD, Academic Learning Disorder and related learning delays and disorders. The CAPS program will cater to children on all levels of their delays and disorders by designing a holistic and individualized program. Students will be engaged in group activities and therapies as well as one to one individualized instruction and therapy.

A comprehensive evaluation of your child’s skill and developmental challenges is conducted by our professional staff in order to design your child’s personalized program. A detailed report will be provided to the parents every marking period in order to discuss your child’s progress.

Our Staff

Our experienced and qualified team includes Certified Exceptional Student Education (ESE) Teachers, Certified Speech-Language Pathologists, Licensed Occupational Therapists, Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants, Certified Music Therapists, Certified Speech-Language Pathologist Assistants, Board Certified Behavior Analyst, Board Certified Assistant Behavioral Analysts, and Registered Behavior Assistants. Every staff member who works with the students has had a Level 2 background screening to ensure the children’s safety. Our team has experience working with children with varying developmental delays including Autism Spectrum Disorder, Cognitive Impairment and Language Delays. Our staff is supportive and dedicated to helping the students reach their full potential. Please see our About Us section to meet the staff.

Our Students

Our program has been developed to provide a behavior and language-based intervention that promotes communication, language, cognition, independence, and social development for our children with varying developmental delays which include but are not limited to Autism Spectrum Disorder, Cognitive Impairment, Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder and Language-Based Delay. Our program serves elementary, middle and early high school age students that will be grouped according to chronological age as well as cognitive functioning level.

Our Programs

Crystal Academy offers two unique and tailored classroom models to meet every child’s individual needs. The Paired Model is designed to mirror a neuro-typical classroom environment as much as is practical.  All Academic and Behavioral services are provided in a two-to-one children-teacher ratio. Children are always paired based on developmental need.  The Focused Model is for children whose development does not yet allow for large group shared attention, children who require or would materially benefit from constant direct attention.  All Academic and Behavioral services are designed specifically to the child’s developmental needs. However, One to Two will also occur when appropriate for both child’s social growth and staff requirements.  Ancillary services, art, PE, speech, lunch, are always provided in a small group setting for both models.

Admissions

Students applying for CAPS admission are required to have either a full psycho-educational evaluation or a neuro-psychological evaluation completed in the past two years. We ask that you provide us with any additional evaluations, progress reports, individualized education plans or learning plans (ex. IEP), and school records completed in the past year. A comprehensive application packet must be completed. Your admissions fee of $500.00 includes the application processing, formal and informal evaluation, and a comprehensive report. Our admissions procedure ensures that your child will be placed in the best environment, whether at CAPS or not, to develop their fullest learning potential.

Admissions Checklist

  • Completed Application Packet
  • Admissions Fee of $500.00
  • Psycho-Educational Evaluation or Neuro-Psychological Evaluation within the past two years
  • Progress Reports, Additional Evaluations, IEP and School Records within the past year
  • Health Forms
  • Copy of Birth Certificate

Evaluation Procedure

Each student will be evaluated with formal assessments and informal observations by our Exceptional Student Education Teacher (ESE) and our certified Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) prior to admission.

General Information

  • Crystal Academy Premium Therapy Center and School accepts McKay Scholarship towards the cost of tuition
  • Tuition does not vary with the number of siblings enrolled
  • Tuition can be paid in advance annually, semi-annually or by semester
  • Uniforms are required
  • Crystal Academy Primary School is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization
Activity Description
VB-MAPP

and

ABLLS-R

Your child will be assessed using either the Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (VB-MAPP) or the Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills revised edition (ABLLS-R).   Based on this assessment each child will have an individualize program developed to target that child’s specific needs across multiple domains. Some of these domains include: requests, labels, receptive language, visual perceptual skills, independent and social play, and self- help skills.
Morning Group The children begin each morning with a group activity in which children engage in social skills, conversation building, problem solving, sensory integration, and body awareness activities. It may also include taking attendance and creating their daily schedules. Morning circle provides a time for listening, developing attention, promoting communication, and learning new concepts and skills.

 

Handwriting The Handwriting Without Tears program uses music, movement, building, coloring, and other hands-on exercises to help children of different abilities develop color and shape awareness, fine and gross motor control, letter and number recognition, counting skills, and social skills. The activities are research based and assist in the development of good handwriting habits and strong writers.
Reading We follow the Florida standards, ABLLS, and VB-MAPP to develop the goals specific to your child’s needs. The ABLLS and VB-MAPP break down the goals by each step to ensure that all components are learned prior to achieving mastery.

 

The Edmark Reading Program uses a whole-word approach, with short instructional steps and consistent repetition across multiple modalities. It incorporates positive reinforcement and graphics that can be catered to each individual.

 

Fast ForWord is a computer based reading program that targets phonemic awareness and strengthening the skills of memory, attention, processing rate, and sequencing for children.

 

Math In conjunction with the common core standard, we also use goals from ABLLS and VB-MAPP. Students develop computational fluency with numbers while recognizing patterns to develop mathematical thinking. Activities are designed to strengthen problem solving strategies and thinking.
Science and Social Studies The science and social studies sections of the curriculum follow Florida standards. Teachers deliver instruction and activities in whole or small group settings, while meeting each individual’s needs. Supplementary hands-on activities and experiences are used to ensure each child’s learning style is addressed through exploration.
Group Speech Group speech focuses on engaging the children in social skills activities, during meal time or based on different themes related to academic learning. The Certified Speech-Language Pathologist encourages the children to communicate through conversation, social play, and body awareness. Group speech integrates language based services in a group atmosphere while incorporating social skill learning and development.

 

Group Music The certified music therapist uses music to engage in turn-taking skills, attention skills, and problem solving skills that assist children in social awareness, language development, and sensory integration. Group music also uses different themes that relate to the current academic skills.
Art Art education is designed to enhance the school day curriculum through hands on exploration using visual and tangible activities. Drawing, painting, and creating will enhance motor development, sensory skills, and motivation.
Tutoring We are proud to offer personalized tutoring in any of our academic programs, including all standard disciplines as well as Fast Forward. These services are available to any of our students as well as any in the community requiring special support.

Arts

All the students at Crystal Academy are exposed to the fine and performing arts at every grade and age level. Music, drama, and studio art are important components of the school curriculum to allow the students to explore their creativity. Students participate in productions throughout the year and often perform in front of parents, grandparents, and special guests. Students’ art work is displayed throughout the campus. Each child in their school schedule participates in 2 half hour groups of music, 2 half hour groups of art and 1 half hour of theater per week. Each group is tailored to the child’s abilities and interest.

Fitness Club

The fitness club is organized by Alfonso Menes, an RBT and the physical fitness coordinator. The fitness club is an hour long program incorporating fine motor, gross motor, core, flexibility, endurance, strength and conditioning. The children work on a multitude of fitness exercises while incorporating pragmatic language concepts such as: following directions turn taking, processing, and socialization with peers. This program can be done from 1 to 3 times a week. Each child is placed in a group with peers with similar age, fitness ability and cognition level.

Homework Club

Crystal Academy gives children homework each night consisting of material that has been mastered in the classroom. Homework is for generalization and allowing the parents and caregivers to see firsthand the skills their children have learned. In addition, homework is given as an opportunity for the parents to be involved in the children’s learning. Homework is sent in a variety of methods such as worksheets, projects, or arts & crafts. Here at Crystal Academy we understand that life can be busy and the time for homework at the end of the day may be difficult, so we offer our Homework Club. During this time, children registered are paired together and share a social hour after school. The children are encouraged to help each other on concepts, engage in conversation and share snacks. In addition, this allows for the teachers to offer extra tutoring and teaching if a child has difficulty on a particular concept.

Aceing Autism

ACEing Autism is an established with a proven delivery model to achieve meaningful benefits for socialization and tennis skills. ACEing Autism was founded in the summer of 2008 by Richard Spurling & Dr. Shafali Jeste in Boston, MA. As a family run organization with the invaluable efforts of its volunteers & supporters. They launched their first program at The Longfellow Club, Wayland (MA) with 15 children. In the spring of 2009 they added a second location, The Weymouth Club in Weymouth (MA). Richard quickly realized that he could greatly enhance the lives of children and families with autism through tennis, and he made a commitment to dedicate his career to the development and expansion of ACEing Autism.

In early 2010, Shafali was recruited to the UCLA Center for Autism Research and Treatment, a center that has been a leader in the field of autism research for decades. Shafali and Richard relocated to Los Angeles in 2010, and since then Richard has focused on program development and expansion. ACEing Autism now has sites in Los Angeles, New York, Fort Lauderdale, Dallas, Pittsburgh, San Diego, New Orleans, Nashville, and Indianapolis. The expansion continues, as it is now beginning to develop in Miami in collaboration with us at Crystal Academy.

Safety Patrol

School Safety Patrol members are school-sponsored student volunteers from our primary and upper school. Our patrollers assist in directing traffic at drop-off before school, engage in varying pragmatic skills and have fun while feeling a part of an important role. As school-age leaders in traffic safety, patrol members teach other students about traffic safety on a peer-to-peer basis. They also serve as models for younger children, who look up to them.

All children of all levels are able to participate in the safety patrol program. As many other programs, their individualize goals are tailored in the safety patrol program. For example, one child may focus on initiating a greeting with a hand wave, while another child is working on expanding their language and are prompted to respond to a greeting with 3 to 4 words. Each child serves 2 weeks at a time. They are required to wear an orange safety belt; they are responsible for set up and are expected to arrive early to school. A registered behavior technician usually serves as the patrol advisor. Local law enforcement officers may also be involved with their patrol.

Theater

Crystal Academy collaborates with the Area Stage Company (ASC) for their theater. The ASC, a nonprofit organization, is an award-winning professional theater company that for over 28 years has staged provocative, world-class theatre and musical productions. With a mission to be a dynamic force of cultural growth, Area Stage Co. has continuously produced a mix of contemporary plays, musicals, and original new works, becoming one of South Florida’s most influential theatre companies. ASC now houses a professional theatre company, a professional-level conservatory for young, aspiring performers, and a theatre program for people with developmental disabilities. ASC’s mission is to be an instrument of cultural growth in South Florida through world-class productions that cultivates new generations of audiences by bridging cultural gaps across diverse local communities through a commitment of making the performing arts accessible to everyone, including populations with disabilities.