Emotional Support Program

Our Emotional Support Program curriculum includes the Boys Town behavior model

The Pathway School’s Emotional Support (ES) Program provides academic, emotional, and behavioral support for students ages 5–14 who are unable to participate in regular educational programs because of moderate-to-severe behavioral and social skill impairments. The curriculum includes the Boys Town behavior model.

The Curriculum

The Emotional Support Program encompasses the Pennsylvania Common Core English-Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies, Science, Health and Physical Education, Arts and Humanities, and Technical Education state standards. The program also provides instruction necessary for active learning, self-control, and socialization.

The Emotional Support Program offers the following components:

  • Functional Behavior Assessment
  • Individualized Positive Behavior Support Plan
  • Immersion in the Boys Town Education Model® in which students are taught prosocial skills that reinforce positive behaviors
  • Education and treatment interventions that target the student’s bio-psychosocial needs
  • Effective motivation systems including numerous special events, educational, social activities and field trips.

STEM Education

All students at The Pathway School have access to our Innovation Center supporting our STEM programming. We also provide immersive technology that enables all students to utilize netbooks, tablets, “smart” interactive whiteboards, and online programs that support our in-class curriculum.

In our ES Program, we use the Boys Town Behavior Model and PBIS Program to promote positive behavior and achievements for our students to take advantage of additional STEM activities that would not normally be a part of their everyday school experience. Access to STEM projects and coding packs, participating as a news anchor on our Pathway Today morning show, and creating 3D prints or t-shirt designs are examples of rewards for our positive behavior programs.

Classroom Environment

Our approach allows us to maintain the highest level of consistent educational engagement and social/emotional support in classrooms that have a 1:4 ratio.

By identifying each young person’s personal strengths, The Pathway School helps students gain the confidence necessary to challenge their less-productive behaviors and rely on those strengths when confronting academic and social tasks that require positive risk-taking.

Integrated Services

The Pathway School offers integrated clinical, behavioral, and related services such as speech and occupational therapy as part of individualized academic programming, as needed.

Creative Exploration

At The Pathway School, we believe in building confidence and curiosity through creative exploration. Emotional Support Program students begin tapping into their own self-expression through our Theatre Arts Program, Musicopia Program, and Art and Design Program.

Opportunity for Transition

Students who are a part of the Emotional Support Program have an opportunity to transition into other educational programs at The Pathway School within our Lower School or Upper School Programs (Link to these program pages). The IEP team will work with the school district and the parent(s) or guardian(s) to determine the least restrictive environment for students prior to graduation from the Emotional Support Program. The team will make a recommendation for the student to transition into the available educational programs offered at The Pathway School, return to their home school district, or into an alternate placement determined by the school district or charter school.


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Pathway’s unique holistic approach to education focuses on the student’s abilities and needs so that targeted instruction and support is provided to them!