The Center Student Services Staff

The Center at Independence Nontraditional School is a public separate program which provides intensive emotional and behavioral supports to students. Counseling is provided individually and in small groups. Our student services staff consult with teachers, administrators, families and providers to help our students access the curriculum and learn social and emotional skills for success.

Tam Lerch - Special Education Teacher/Alternative Class

Emily Morgan - School Psychologist & Counseling K-8

Theresa Mahmood - School Social Worker & Counseling 9-10

Dolly Saini - School Psychologist & Counseling 11-12

Kimberly Wiecki - Transition Specialist

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Social Skills Instruction/Social Emotional Learning

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Students in grades K-10 receive targeted social skills instruction and social emotional learning while grades 11-12 focus on individual goals and problem solving individually with support of their counselor. Center student services staff utilize the following curriculum and resources for social skills instruction and social emotional learning:

K-8 Second Step Curriculum, Zones of Regulation
9/10 Strong Teens Grades 9-12 by Carrizales-Englemann, Feuerborn, Gueldner, Tran

Don't Let Your Emotions Run Your Life for Teens by Sheri Van Dijk, MSW

Conquer Negative Thinking for Teens by Mary Karapetian Alvord, PhD & Anne McGrath, MA
Mind Up Curriculum by Scholastic

CARES Matrix / Daily Interaction Sheet

The Center Program utilizes a matrix of ten essential skills which students are expected to demonstrate daily. Each class period students are evaluated in the skill areas and awarded points for skill performance on the Daily Interaction Sheet (DIS) which is shared with students and parents and serves as a tool for behavioral data collection. Those points accumulate weekly and students are able to use their points in the school store on Fridays for items such as toys, ear buds, headphones, sports equipment, games, and other items.

C = citizenship (follows directions, participation)
A = accountability (work effort, accepts feedback)
R = respect
(positive interactions, appropriate speech)
E = empathy (ignore negatives, positive attitude)
S = safety (remains in location, boundaries and property)