label How are students grouped in the education program?
All students are assigned to a grade level and their education is based on curricula aligned with state standards. Most students have an Individual Education Plan (IEP) that outlines goals, services, accommodations, and modifications to meet the student’s learning needs. Students are grouped by age and grade level when appropriate. Students with similar learning needs may also be grouped together, which means students across multiple grades may be in the same classroom.
label What are the living arrangements like for residential students?
The residential complex has separate spaces known as “cottages.” Each cottage has a living room with a TV, several couches, and some chairs. Each cottage has space for students to work on homework including computers and access to a printer. Each cottage has a kitchen with all the amenities and a dining area, where meals are served family-style. The cottages are segregated by gender. Students who are deaf or hard of hearing are grouped together and students who are blind or visually impaired are grouped together, when possible. Each bedroom is designed for two students, although many students are able to have their own room. Each student has a bed, desk, chair, and a closet with drawers. In some cottages, a bathroom is shared between two bedrooms. In other cottages, there are common bathroom and shower areas.
label Can students bring personal items to the cottages?
Absolutely! The school does provide linens, pillows, blankets and all furniture. Many students bring their own bedspread or comforter, and of course their favorite stuffed animal. All bedrooms have bulletin boards for students to hang posters, schedules, letters from home, and decorate with other mementos. Students are responsible for their own clothing and they learn how to clean their laundry.
label What supervision is provided in the cottages?
At least two Student Life Staff members are on duty in each cottage during the hours when the students are out of school and awake. During the night, the Nightwatch Staff is on duty and checking that students are in bed and asleep every fifteen minutes and more often if necessary. Nightwatch Staff use a program called The Pipe to record their checks on students which are logged into a computer system.
label How are meals provided for students in the residential program?
The Student Life Staff or Nightwatch Staff prepares breakfast and the students eat in the dining areas of their cottage. On weekends, the students may fix their own breakfast. Weekday lunches are served in the common dining room and are very similar to meals served in the public schools. Dinners and weekend lunches are prepared in the main kitchen and delivered to the dining area of each cottage, where they are served family style. The nutritious meals include a variety of foods and follow USDA guidelines. There are also Formal Dinners around the holidays, when the students may invite teachers, and the dining room is decorated. This is a special time for the students, as they are excited about going home for the holidays.
label What interaction do students have with other students in the residential program?
Although the students sleep and live with students similar in age, they do have the opportunity to socialize with those either younger or older. Students are supervised by Student Life Staff members at all times. Situations in which students of varying ages may interact could be when all the cottages are together for parties, formal dinners, activities in the gym, and general visiting. The Student Life Staff make every effort to ensure these interactions are positive and age appropriate.
label How often do residential students come home?
School-provided transportation occurs about once a month. Students may go home whenever they want if they have reliable and parent-approved transportation. Travel dates have been set by the school calendar, which is published prior to the beginning of each school year. Students travel home on chartered transportation, with supervision by Student Life Staff.
label Can I visit whenever I want?
Parents and family members are always welcome to visit their child on campus. Several rooms have been designated in some of the cottages as visitor rooms. These rooms are for parents, families of children going through a 10-day observation period, families coming to MSDB to learn more about the services offered, or parents who might want to simply spend more time with their child. We advise families to call ahead to make sure space is available. There is no cost for families to use these facilities.
label How much day-to-day control do parents relinquish?
This is a concern for many parents. The Student Life Program makes every effort to allow parents to maintain as much control as possible. Parent permissions are sought for off-campus activities. Some parents might request to be called to give permission each time their child goes on a date, for example. We accommodate parents’ wishes to the extent practical. There is extensive communication between students and their parents. With videophones and relay services, e-mail, personal cell phones, and texting, parents maintain regular contact with their children.
label What if my child needs medical care while at MSDB?
The Health Services Center/Infirmary is located in the cottage building and is staffed daily by Nurses under the direction of an RN, with on-call services at night. The Nursing Staff works closely with parents, staff, and the child’s physician to develop the best plan of care for the student while in attendance at MSDB. As needed, Health Services Center/Infirmary personnel will accompany students to medical, vision, and dental exams. Emergency medical care is always available 24 hours a day at Benefis Health System in Great Falls. At MSDB, all medications are kept in the Health Services Center/Infirmary. Medications are dispensed only by the Health Services Center/Infirmary Staff and with written doctor’s orders. Parents are contacted by the Health Services Staff when their child is not feeling well. The School uses the Health Services Center/Infirmary for students who need to be isolated while they are sick. If a child is going to be ill for an extended period, the parents may take their child home.
label How often would my child receive speech therapy as an MSDB student?
Speech therapy services are individualized and designed to support the student in his or her educational program. The regularity of these services is determined at the IEP meeting.
label How often would my child receive occupational and/or physical therapy (OT/PT) as an MSDB student?
Occupational and Physical Therapies (OT/PT) are provided when IEP teams determine those services are necessary for the student to access his/her education based on OT/PT assessments. The OT/PT consults with classroom teachers to support all students in their learning.