Rosemary Kennedy School
The Rosemary Kennedy School (RKS) is designed for students with moderate to severe developmental disabilities. The instructional program, which is aligned to the New York State Standards for Students with Severe Disabilities and the New York State Common Core Learning Standards, builds confidence and capabilities of students and focuses on developing communication skills and personal independence.
Research-based methodologies, such as Explicit Direct Instruction, Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), visual strategies, the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), augmentative communications systems, functional behavioral assessment and positive behavioral supports are utilized in this program.
The Rosemary Kennedy School consists of the elementary, middle and high school classes as well as district-based classes which provide mainstreaming opportunities for students. Community-based instruction is an essential part of the curriculum and compliments traditional classroom learning. Students participate in recreational activities (libraries, bowling), life skills (grocery shopping, restaurants), volunteer work sites (Mercy Hospital, Hofstra University) and vocational enclaves in the community (fast food restaurants, retail stores). Each student is educated by an interdisciplinary team comprised of the classroom teacher, teacher aides, psychologist, social worker, related service personnel, curriculum teachers and administrators.
Parents are encouraged to participate in their child's education through daily communication notebooks, conferences, visits, parent training sessions and parent support groups. Transition planning for students from ages 12 to 21 is facilitated by vocational rehabilitation counselors and social workers in coordination with students and their families prior to graduation.