Pioneer Special Schools serves Portland’s special-education students, kindergarten to 21 years old, who are unable to be successful in less restrictive school placements. With three school sites, the program helps students with social/emotional needs, fragile mental health, developmental disabilities such as autism spectrum disorder, life skills, or GED preparation needs or who require vocational training and community transition services.
Specially designed instruction and related services are provided to meet each student's individual needs. School wide positive behavioral supports and daily social skills lessons in the classroom provide the structure and framework by which we address pro-social school skills and work with students and families to ameliorate negative behaviors which impede their ability to access less restrictive educational environments.
Delivery of services in the classroom is provided by a certified teacher and two para-educators, as well as a Masters level therapist at least half time to address mental health issues. Behavior coaches are available to assist with positive reinforcement of pro-social behavior and to facilitate the de-escalation of students who have become a danger to themselves or others. Related services may include professionals such as a speech-language pathologist, educational assistants, school psychologist, adapted physical education teacher, and occupational therapist.