The CREST Difference
The overlying hallmark of CREST is that there is no single approach to academic learning, communication, or behavior that meets the needs of every student. Our belief is that as individuals our needs are met in distinct ways, our students are just as unique. We realize that the use of peer-reviewed and well documented strategies is critical to our program design, while at the same time we also recognize the responsibility that we have to carefully and critically evaluate how each students’ needs can best be met.
With the recognition that our Non-public school provides a very specific program to meet the needs of students who require a learning environment different from what has been available to them, we have chosen our name, CREST, to exemplify that difference.
The acronym CREST, as well as our logo, symbolizes the philosophy behind our Non-public school. Our logo demonstrates that it takes a team (school staff, parents, districts, agencies) to reach the crest, coming from two sides to finally meet at the “top”.
Our acronym clearly identifies the components necessary for the team:
Communication forms the basis of our program. We recognize that communication is the foundation of learning – not just verbal (speech) but all aspects that allows our students to exchange ideas, emotions, knowledge, desires and so forth. Communication takes many forms at CREST. It may be verbal, written, gestural, pictured, signed, facilitated or any combination of each modality that allows every student to express themselves. In addition to facilitating and developing a system of communication for each student, CREST promotes education and training of those primary communication partners (classroom staff, parents, care providers, siblings). Communication transcends all environments and is critical to the development of every individual. Beyond the importance of communication for our students, CREST is also committed to encouraging and welcoming open communication between staff, parents, school districts and relevant agencies.
Respect for the individual student, for the parent and for the staff is paramount to growth for all those who are a part of our students’ lives. Respect for abilities, respect for growth (to whatever level), respect for the opinions of all involved, and respect for the uniqueness and the contributions of every individual are critical components.
Empowerment for each individual involved in CREST, student and adult alike. Each is empowered to speak for themselves (however they may speak), to recognize that they can make changes that benefit them as well as the program, and to recognize that they can make a difference in their life as well as the lives of others.
Success is measured in whatever form it takes, but is recognized as success. Whether it is a first word spoken, signed, written; using a calculator to determine dollars needed to make a purchase; performing a science experiment, reading a piece of literature or a recipe, or hitting a ball….each is measured as success for that individual student. Our staff and parent success is measured also by the realization that every positive change is a move towards the “CREST”.
Teamwork is critical to every aspect of the CREST program. Progress is not made in a vacuum and is not attributed to a single person. Success is measured by the result of dedicated work by teachers, therapists, aides, parents/care-providers and any others who recognize and are committed to the growth of our students. We never forget that the students are an integral part of the team and ultimately demonstrate the results of the work of each member of the team.
The CREST team commits itself to never underestimate the abilities of each of its students. And most of all to always apply the philosophy that CREST teaches the way our students learn.