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The mission of Action Based Enterprises (ABE) is to serve adolescents and their families who are at risk, or experiencing a crisis in their lives. ABE serves all families regardless of their race, religion, income or national origin with acceptance, respect and dignity.


The philosophy of ABE is to reach the good in every student. We believe that every individual must be treated with respect and dignity if they are to accept themselves as valued members of society. Every student must be accepted for who they are regardless of the problems and experiences they bring with them. Through the creation of a warm, nurturing environment provides an atmosphere where each student feels safe and supported. Feeling safe and comfortable allows students to examine their issues, become more self-aware, and build self-confidence.

We encourage students to tap into their inner resources and develop their individual skills and talents. We support them as they get in touch with their feelings, learn new skills and develop new behaviors. We motivate them to function more successfully within the family structure and to be more successful members of their schools and communities by realizing their full potential.

ABE's mission is to afford at-risk students the opportunity and encouragement to become prosperous members of society. Our specialty is providing effective and competent holistic community services to students. 's program is geared toward the self-sufficiency of the student and his ability to resolve present and future conflicts without intervention. has created a group environment that encourages growth, self-discipline, and self-understanding for students; we provide a controlled environment where students can find personal safety and healthy coping behaviors. Within this environment the students develop self-soothing mechanisms, needed ego strengths and identify and hone their academic strengths.

Our normative group culture is characterized by setting realistic guidelines, limits, and consequences. Limits and guidelines for behavior are set as the norm. When a student goes beyond the acceptable limit or is outside the parameters of acceptable behavior, he is made aware of the consequences for his actions, for which he must take responsibility via a process know as "owning". By owning up to his actions, the student comes to see that there are limits to acceptable behavior and begins to develop appropriate social behaviors.

ABE feels an important prerequisite for successful treatment and

community care is that individual clinical treatment be designed specifically for each student in our program; offering a multifaceted clinical approach that includes: psychotherapy, cognitive behavior modification, and group therapy. Individual and group counseling at ABE strives to develop and discover in all students those personal and social resources that enable them to take responsibility for their growth, change, important relationships and learning. Central to accomplishing this is the work of raising self-esteem and acknowledging positive alternatives to past self-defeating behaviors.

Our empowerment based community program always looks towards the successful reintegration of the student into the community and public school. We constantly work toward the clarification of rights, responsibilities, and choices to be made by the student. At this school each student is treated with dignity, warmth, and respect. Through our dedicated staff and holistic approach to students we provide a comprehensive group living environment where each student can identify his needs and issues and can be helped to make positive decisions regarding his future. At ABE we maintain a safe, consistent and structured environment where each student can formulate plans for a worthwhile life.

A full academic program is offered in addition to an extensive psycho-therapy treatment program including individual, group and family treatment. The program places an emphasis on both peer group and multiple family group treatment.

ABE currently provides comprehensive treatment to boys between the ages of fourteen (14) through eighteen (18). The Program Director, Clinical Director, and Educational Director review each referral to determine who may be viable candidates for admission into the program. All students are evaluated for admission in relation to their ability to address their educational needs, social behavior, clinical profile and their personal commitment to the program; also requests family involvement in the student's treatment which includes multiple family group therapy. Family treatment is an important part of our services; however, no student is turned away because there is no family involvement. These students participate in specialized family work with others who do not have family members involved in their treatment.

As a Massachusetts Department of Education licensed special education school, ABE's 12-month education program accepts and services the educational needs of students with special needs. An Individual Education Plan is developed for each student with the student's school district, parents/guardian, and human service agencies.

All minority students who speak English as a second language are evaluated to determine their ability to function in a therapeutic and educational setting that has no bilingual capacity. When needed, a translator is used in family therapy to facilitate the participation of non-English speaking parents.

All of the students served by the school program present with some form of emotional and/or behavioral disorder, including, but not limited to, Conduct Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Mood Disorders, or Learning Disabilities. We specialize in serving students with violent pasts and the potential for acting out behavior. These students come to the program with a wide variety of emotional and behavioral problems such as alcohol and/or drug involvement, conflict with their families, truancy, sexuality issues, and a myriad of other Issues.

ABE does serve students who are in need of psychotropic medication. We have a registered nurse on staff and the services of psychiatric consultants who insure that all students who are in need of psychotropic medication receive appropriate medical screening and monitoring.

Children diagnosed as severely developmentally delayed, acutely psychotic, actively suicidal or homicidal, or with major neurological disabilities may not be

appropriate for the program. For the welfare and safety of students and staff, adolescents exhibiting the following conditions may not be appropriate for our program:

a) expressed unwillingness to participate in the program;

b) student has exhibited violent or out of control behavior within the past 30 days; c) student has exhibited promiscuity or sexual misconduct within the past 30 days; d) severe autism;

e) acute psychosis;

f) acute risk of: or attempted suicide within the past 30 days;

g) high risk of running (negotiable based on mutually agreed upon shared


h) fire setting unless already treated and evaluated as not currently at high risk; or a prior murder conviction;

j) mentally retarded (negotiable - in marginal cases, will reserve any

decision on the student's appropriateness for the program until after an intake

interview has been completed); and

k) certain medical conditions (on a case by case basis).

The primary goal of is to foster optimal educational and social functioning through the individual growth and development of all the students in its care. The principle goal of each student is to be able to leave the program and lead a stable, constructive life because of increased self-esteem and individual control over emotional impulses and behavior problems. The development and integration of new personal, academic, and social skills is the constant work of each student. The creation of shared times, counseling, therapy, education and recreation assists each student in his personal growth and his eventual transition from the program to the student's local school, community, home or to independent living. By identifying the root of problems through education, counseling, behavior management and therapy, the student is able to move forward with confidence. Additional transitional services, if needed, are arranged at discharge through cooperation with the student's local school district, state agencies and/or health care providers.


^ Curriculum Frameworks

The school has an ongoing commitment to improving curriculum and instruction in each subject area. Major emphasis is placed on alignment of the school curriculum

with the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks and the School Department of Fall River. The principles and learning strands for each of the Frameworks are included in the overview for each curriculum area. Each teacher has a copy of the Massachusetts Framework for his/her content area and lesson units and lesson plans are prepared using a standard format which details the common core skills and learning strands which are addressed in the unit/lesson.

In addition to planning and teaching lessons that address the skills and strands of the Frameworks, teachers also plan and carry out curriculum designs and adaptations that meet the needs of students with disabilities and prepare them to participate in the MCAS and other standardized testing. Provision is also made for alternate assessment for students for whom standard and non-standard test accommodations and modifications are not enough to ensure the student access to the MCAS.

Orientation training for new teaching personnel shall be provided by the Education Director. The goal of this orientation is to provide a full understanding of the connection between the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks and the expectations of the state for student performance as well as the rights of students with disabilities to be full participants in the general curriculum. The orientation shall also include training in the preparation of lesson units and lesson plans which reflect the use of the common core skills and learning strands in daily classroom instruction.

All teaching staff shall receive regularly scheduled training by the Education Director which addresses the need for staff to continue to improve the school curriculum by becoming more knowledgeable about the Curriculum Frameworks, learn more strategies to adapt curriculum instruction and activities to meet the diverse learning styles of students, and gain a better understanding of the special needs population the school serves and how best to meet their needs.


The school's English Language Arts curriculum provides comprehensive instruction in the areas of language, literature, composition and media. We want our students to be able to read with comprehension, write with clarity, speak effectively, and use a variety of sources to acquire, organize and interpret information.

Literature selections, novels, plays and poetry are the core of the English literature curriculum. They are read for enjoyment, appreciation of language and form, to build awareness of other people and cultures, and to develop insight into the human condition. They provide the impetus for dramatic reading, literary analysis, journal writing and meaningful vocabulary study. Essays and non-fiction are also read to improve comprehension, provide accurate and complete information and to develop critical thinking.

A great deal of emphasis is placed on the written word, and process writing is used throughout the curriculum. Students are given varied and challenging writing assignments ranging from book and movie reviews, personal reactions, essays, literary analysis, letters, short stories and poetry. The use of Standard English in oral and written communication is stressed because most of our students are accustomed to using dialect in conversation and writing.

Textbooks, library books, and encyclopedias are regularly supplemented with information gleaned from CD ROMs movies and videos. Students prepare visual aids and give oral presentations. Videotaping is utilized so students can assess their own work.

Many of our students read significantly below grade level and individual tutoring is provided to improve reading comprehension and reinforce study skills which are crucial to successful management of academic material. Students develop the skills of identifying the main idea, using context cues, predicting outcomes and drawing inferences. Students are taught note taking, outlining, mapping, the use of reference resources, and test taking strategies.

The English Language Arts curriculum is guided by these core principles for constructing and evaluating English language arts curricula. An effective English language arts curriculum:

1) develops thinking and language together through interactive learning. 2) develops students' oral language and literacy through appropriately

challenging learning.

3) draws on literature from many genres, time periods, and cultures, featuring works that

reflect our common literary heritage.

4) emphasizes writing as an essential way to develop, clarify, and communicate ideas in persuasive, expository, literary, and expressive discourse.

5) provides for literacy in all forms of media.

6) embeds skills instruction in meaningful learning.

7) teaches the strategies necessary for acquiring academic knowledge, achieving common academic standards, and attaining independence in learning.

8) builds on the language, experiences, and interests that students bring to school. 9) develops each student's distinctive writing or speaking voice.

10) encourages respect for differences in home backgrounds and nurtures students' sense of their common ground in order to prepare them for responsible participation in our schools and civic life.

The school's Language Arts curriculum strives to align itself with the standards of the four content strands of the Massachusetts English Arts Curriculum Framework.

Language Strand

Students will:

1) Use agreed-upon rules for informal and formal discussions in small and large groups. 2) Pose questions, listen to the ideas of others, and contribute their own information or

ideas in group discussions and interviews in order to acquire new knowledge.

3) Make oral presentations that demonstrate appropriate consideration of audience, purpose, and the information to be conveyed.

4) Acquire and use correctly an advanced reading vocabulary of English words, identifying meanings through an understanding of word relationships.

5) Identify, describe, and apply knowledge of the structure of the English language and Standard English conventions for sentence structure, usage, punctuation, capitalization, and spelling.

6) Describe and analyze how oral dialects differ from each other in English, how they differ from written Standard English, and what role standard American English plays in informal and formal communication.

7) Describe and analyze how the English language has developed and been influenced by other languages.

^ Literature Strand

Students will:

1) Decode accurately and understand new words encountered in their reading materials, drawing on a variety of strategies as needed, and then use these words accurately in speaking and writing.

2) Identify the basic facts and essential ideas in what they have read, heard, or viewed. 10) Demonstrate an understanding of the characteristics of different genres.

3) Identify, analyze, and apply knowledge of theme in literature and provide evidence from the text to support their understanding.

4) Identify, analyze, and apply knowledge of the structure and elements of fiction and provide evidence from the text to support their understanding.

5) Identify, analyze and apply knowledge of the structure, elements, and meaning of nonfiction or informational material and provide evidence from the text to support their meaning.

6) Identify, analyze, and apply knowledge of the structure, elements, and theme of poetry and provide evidence from the text to support their understanding.

7) Identify and analyze how an author's choice of words appeals to the senses, creates imagery, suggests mood, and sets tone.

8) Compare and contrast similar myths and narratives from different cultures and geographic regions.

9) Interpret the meaning of literary works, nonfiction, films, and media by using different critical lenses and analytic techniques.

10) Plan and present effective dramatic readings, recitations, and performances that demonstrate appropriate consideration of audience and purpose.

Composition Strand

Students will:

1) Write compositions with a clear focus, logically related ideas to develop it, and adequate supporting detail.

2) Select and use appropriate genres, modes of reasoning, and speaking styles when writing for different audiences and rhetorical purposes.

3) Improve organization, content paragraph development, level of detail, style, tone, and word choice in revising their compositions.

4) Use their knowledge of Standard English conventions for sentence structure, usage, punctuation, capitalization, and spelling to edit their writing.

5) Use self-generated questions, note-taking, summarizing, precise writing, and outlining to enhance learning when reading or writing.

6) Use open-ended research questions, different sources of information, and appropriate research methods to gather information for their research projects.

7) Develop and use rhetorical, logical, and stylistic criteria for assessing final versions of their compositions or research projects before presenting them to varied audiences.

^ Media Strand

Students will:

1) Obtain information by using a variety of media and evaluate the quality of the information obtained.

2) Explain how techniques used in electronic media modify traditional forms of discourse for different aesthetic and rhetorical purposes.

3) Design and create coherent media productions with a clear focus, adequate detail, and consideration of audience and purpose.


^ Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare Macbeth, Shakespeare

Orthello, Shakespeare

The Canterbury Tales, Chaucer 1984, Orwell

Lord of the Flies, Golding

Greek Myths Coolidge

The Hobbit, Tolkien

To Kill a Mockingbird, Lee Diary of Anne Frank, Frank Night, Weisel

The Things They Carried, O'Brien Literature, Prentice Hall

Various short stories and essays Hooked On English, Umstatter Writer's Choice


Math instruction at the school is individualized to meet the needs of a highly diverse group of students with very different backgrounds and abilities. Students are expected to be active in their own learning process and are encouraged to seek remedial assistance when needed.

At each level of math instruction there is an emphasis on problem solving and critical thinking. Each unit of instruction involves active student participation and hands- on activities to reinforce concepts. Units are designed to relate the role of math in other disciplines such as Art, Science, Consumer Economics, etc. Computer technology is also used to enhance instruction.

Instruction is given in Pre-Algebra, Algebra I, Algebra II, and Geometry. Mastery of skills is required for students to progress to the next level of math.

The guiding principles of mathematics education at the school are those which make up the core concepts of the Massachusetts Curriculum Framework:

1) To guide students in exploring mathematical ideas in ways that maintain their enjoyment of and curiosity about mathematics, help them develop depth of understanding, and reflect real world applications.

2) To provide all students access to high quality math programs.

3) To teach students that mathematics learning is a lifelong learning process that begins and continues in the home and extends to school and community settings.

4) To provide mathematics instruction that connects with other disciplines and moves toward integration of mathematical domains.

5) To provide opportunities for students to work together in teams and groups

to enhance mathematical learning, help students communicate effectively, and develop students' social and mathematical skills.

6) To use technology as a tool in effective mathematics education.

7) To use mathematics assessment as a multifaceted tool to monitor students' performance, improve instruction, enhance learning, and encourage student self-reflection.

Students at the school will use problem solving, communicating, reasoning, and connecting to explore, develop, investigate, and know:

1) Number Sense - concepts of whole number operations, factions and decimals, estimation, whole number computation, number systems and number theory, discrete mathematics, and mathematics structure.

2) Patterns, Relations, and Functions - relationships, algebra.

3) Geometry and Measurements - spatial sense and geometry Items an algebraic perspective. 4) Statistics and Probability - gathering and graphing data, chance, simulations, and theoretical probability.


Pre-Algebra, Prentice Hall

Algebra I, Prentice Hall

Algebra 11 with Trigonometry, Prentice Hall

Introduction to Geometry, Frank Schaffer Publications

Math Starters! ,The Center for Applied Research in Education

10-Minute Critical Thinking Activities for Math Classes, J. Weston Walch

Daily Math Warm-ups, 1. Weston Walch

Success in Math: Basic Geometry, Globe Fearon

Consumer Mathematics, American Guidance Service, Inc.

Real-Life Math: Probability, J. Weston Walch


Life Skills is the body of knowledge which one needs to function as an individual in society. These skills include personal living skills, job skills, and community living skills. The school sees the community as encompassing both the student, school, community and the larger community offal River.

Many life skills are taught within the context of living at the school and some are integrated into other curriculum areas. Most are specifically taught during Life Skills classes. Teachers draw instruction materials from published curriculums and real life experience to meet the life skill needs of students. Lessons are geared toward the constructivist approach to teaching where students construct meaning through their participation in hands-on activities. Students construct budgets, establish goals, fill out applications, practice social skills, mediate differences, and learn problem solving techniques.


^ The Prepare Curriculum: Teaching Prosocial Competencies Goldstein

Succeeding in the World of Work Glencoe McGraw -Hill

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