School Avoidance

Since its inception in 2006, Cornerstone Day School has been successfully educating and treating students struggling with school avoidance. Comprehensive treatment and educational protocols have been developed to provide a unique opportunity for students and their parents to overcome this major obstacle that prevents academic and social development.

For students who are not yet ready to attend the mainstream setting because of their school avoidance, Pathways at Cornerstone Day School is the ideal vehicle to help students return to a school environment. “Pathways” uses the school’s proven approach in a school-within-a-school structure for students who are not yet ready to attend Cornerstone’s mainstream setting.

Pathways is housed in a spacious and secluded suite adjacent to the main school. With an intimate learning setting, counseling office and comfortable lounge. Pathways provides students with a warm and non-threatening environment that allows them to begin the process of returning to a school setting. When ready, students are then slowly introduced to the general school milieu, starting with low-anxiety classes such as art, music or academic classes they enjoy.

The clinical and academic team assigned to each student always transitions with him/her to the mainstream setting, ensuring important support and continuity that can make all the difference in the student achieving the overall goal of comfortably and successfully attending the full class schedule.

The stay in Pathways is short or long, whatever makes the most sense for each student. All services are highly personalized, with flexible scheduling to meet late start/early dismissal needs as needed.

Cornerstone’s proven clinical and educational strategies for school avoidance form the core of Pathways.

Treatment typically includes home visits, gradual exposure procedures, anxiety-reduction exercises, coping strategies and individualized incentive programs. Parent work is also critically important and includes ongoing family therapy, parent coaching and an educationally oriented support group.

Academically, students initially receive 1:1 instruction, eventually progressing to two students working together with one teacher. This individualized attention allows for rapid progress and the development of a healthy teacher-student relationship, which is key to helping students attend regular Cornerstone classes.

Pathways at Cornerstone Day School offers the best of everything for school avoidant students: proven treatment and education strategies, a comforting stress-free setting and a path to the full Cornerstone Experience and finally, a return to home district.