The Regional Alternative Program (RAP) serves school aged children, grades K-12, who have been diagnosed as behaviorally disordered and/or seriously emotionally disturbed, (most with concomitant behavioral disorders), and whose needs can no longer be met in a traditional setting. The RAP is designed to provide an educational and therapeutic environment that will help students gain the behavioral and academic knowledge and skills necessary to be successful in lesser restrictive school, work, and community settings. These students have unique needs that are the focal point of RAP's curriculum, instruction, and assessment. The difficulties that they have experienced in school are often a result of a myriad of environmental influences, which must be addressed if the student is to grow. Therefore, a team approach is utilized to develop individualized programming designed to optimize student success. The academic instruction of the teacher and instructional assistant are augmented by the services of a social worker, a consulting clinical psychologist and/or psychiatrist, and behavioral specialists. The students' family and involved community agencies, such as DCYF or a community mental health agency, are vital as contributing members of the team.
Students in grades K-8 require a highly structured environment to address challenging behaviors. Two aspects of the RAP paradigm do this by utilizing a "level system" of rewards and de-escalation techniques. Staff are trained in Crisis Prevention Intervention (CPI) and employ physical restraint when absolutely necessary. A key focus of the program is to help children develop better control over their own behavior while maintaining academic progress. The goal for all children is to return to their home districts in a less restrictive environment, when they have demonstrated a readiness to do so.
Secondary students have a number of academic and career-oriented options, all correlated to the Rhode Island High School Diploma System requirements. The curriculum is unique in that it is flexible and open to on-going change and development. Community-based learning is an integral part of the program, providing students with experiences that will help them better understand themselves and their connection to their communities. Vocational options include several on-site initiatives, community-based training programs, part-time arrangements with area vocational-technical high schools, and work study programs. Student programs are highly individualized and take into consideration the student's cognitive, emotional and behavioral status. The goal is to prepare students for their eventual transition to post-secondary education and/or training, or to the world of work.
For more information on the Regional Alternative Program , please contact Robert E. Wall Jr., Director of Educational Services at (401) 495-2000 x 2011.