LIBERTY: (Learning Independence By Educating Responsible Trustworthy Youth)

The LIBERTY Program offers a highly structured classroom designed for students with a dual diagnosis and/or students on the autism spectrum. The students in LIBERTY can learn in a small group setting, work independently for short amounts of time, and wait for access to the teacher or reinforcing items. It is a language rich environment that focuses on increasing vocabulary for life and school activities. 

The principals of Applied Behavior Analysis and Verbal Behavior are used to teach intraverbal language skills as well as academic, social, and group learning skills. Students in this class are able to receive instruction in small groups and can work independently for short periods of time. Teacher to student ratio varies, but the average is one teacher for every 3-4 students. 

Target Population

The program targets students from kindergarten to grade 12, who score at a high level 2 or level 3 in most skill areas on the Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (VBMAPP). It also targets students who have mastered the must have essentials/red skills on the McGreevy Essentials for Living, including students who:

* Have functional communication skills but need to work on asking for missing items, actions, giving directions to peers, asking for items from peers and asking for items with attributes. 

* Spontaneously comment on their environment but need to expand their commenting skills to include pronouns, adverbs, adjectives, and prepositions

* Follow classroom routines but have difficulty following directions out of routine or directions with modifiers other than color and size

* Work and/or play independently for 15 minutes or more but have difficulty playing with a small group of students or following the rules of a group game

*Accept "no" sometimes and will wait for short periods of time but still need a dense reinforcement schedule with frequent breaks from non-preferred tasks

* Learn in small group setting of about 2-4 students, but have difficulty learning in larger groups


LIBERTY focuses on leisure/play skills, social skills, and conversational skills as well as the skills necessary to be successful in less restrictive environments including:

* Increasing vocabulary to include prepositions, pronouns, adjectives, and adverbs

* Improving conversational skills including answering questions such as who, doing what, and where

* Improving direction following skills (receptive language) to include following multi-step directions with modifiers more typical of what is found in a general education classroom

* Social and cooperative play skills 

* Thinning the reinforcement schedule while increasing work endurance to a level more typical of a less restrictive environment 

* Learning in a larger group with choral instruction 

* Eliminating problem behaviors while teaching appropriate replacement skills and self-advocacy skills

* Academic skills related to Colorado Standards through extended evidence outcomes 


LIBERTY Staff members use the following general structure to ensure student success: 

* Staff training in Applied Behavioral Analysis, Verbal Behavior, Restorative Practices, and Love and Logic

* Therapeutic support for mental health issues, conflict resolution skills, and coping skills

* Systematic and thorough data collection and analysis with educational and behavioral decisions data driven 

* Specific teaching on skills required to learn in larger groups

* Program interventions by skilled Board Certified Behavioral Analyst 

* Family training and support

* Elementary multi-aged classroom, grades kindergarten-5th 

* Middle school multi-aged classroom, grades 6-8

* Two high school classrooms, grades 9-12 


For additional information on the LIBERTY Program, please contact:

The School of Excellence 
Phone: (719) 635-6333