The Lower School is for students ages 6–14, students are identified for special education services with primary disabilities that include Autism Spectrum Disorder, Intellectual Disabilities, Specific Learning Disability, Emotional Disturbance or Other Health Impairments. Students often have secondary disabilities of Speech or Language Impairment or a combination of those mentioned above. The Lower School creates an environment for effective skill development, with support of the School-Wide Positive Behavior Program, social skills instruction, and "push-in" support from related services.
The Pathway School's Lower School program takes a unique approach to instructional strategies while using a research-based social skills curriculum that is used across all subject areas. The Lower School education program follows the Pennsylvania Common Core standards of English/Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies, Science Education, Health and Physical Education, Arts and Humanities, and Technical Education State Standards through adapting content and presentation that meets each student's academic goals. Within a small classroom setting, teachers can focus on opportunities to implement and practice active learning and social awareness. Through individualized instruction, paced to address gaps in learning, accommodations are made to meet the needs of students with language delays, motor planning, and processing difficulties.
Building interpersonal skills in diverse social settings is a focus throughout every student's tenure at The Pathway School and begins in our Lower School program. After building a foundation of social learning in the classroom, students progress toward greater integration opportunities – that include community integration activities, educational field trips, and on-campus job experiences with transition planning starting at age 14.
At The Pathway School, we also believe in building confidence and curiosity through creative exploration. Lower School students begin tapping into their own self-expression through our Theatre Arts Program and Horticulture Program.