The Community School is a unique program that addresses the needs of participants from ages 11 into young adulthood. We group participants into peer communities, or cohorts. Each cohort is made up of participants whose goals, interests, and abilities are compatible with each other. This allows the best opportunities for participants to connect with others to form friendships and to learn from each other.
For participants who are in middle or high school, TCS’s program can educate struggling learners in a deliberate, compassionate way that addresses their underlying processing challenges and supports the emergence of complex, logical problem-solving and critical thinking. The program is accredited by the Georgia Accrediting Commission, and we offer two diploma options: Developmental and General Education. Some of our graduates have gone on to two- and four-year colleges, while others have ventured into the world of work.
For participants who are transitioning to adulthood, TCS’s program can offer support for higher education, for career development, and for independence. For all participants, TCS works to strengthen participants’ emotional regulation, social communication, and ability to build and maintain relationships.
For young adult participants who may have completed high school, TCS is a flexible, individualized program that provides support in a variety of ways. Broad support categories include:
- Social-emotional functioning
- Academic & educational support, for skill strengthening and/or degree completion
- Career exploration and coaching, including facilitated internships
- General health and well-being, including physical fitness
- Independent life skills, including relationships, money management, and transportation
The Piedmont group is a cohort of individuals who have significant academic and cognitive strengths, who may also struggle with emotional regulation and relationship skills. As a group, they may be seen as underachievers, as many they are often viewed as not taking full advantage of their strengths.
School age Piedmont participants may be seeking a high school degree to prepare for college or career. Young adult Piedmont participants may be attending college or aspiring to attend college. They may be seeking work experience or support developing a career. They may be transitioning to living outside of their caregivers’ home. With the right support, they can make excellent progress towards the goal of independent, emotionally balanced participation in adulthood.
For Piedmont participants in middle or high school, the program runs from 9:30-3. For Piedmont participants who have completed high school, the program runs from 9:30-1.
The Candler group is a cohort of individuals who have great strengths and a wide range of interests, who may also struggle with emotional regulation, fully engaged social communication, and developing a sense of self. As a group, their abilities may be overlooked, and they may not always be given their deserved opportunities for independence. Participants in the Candler group may rely on a wider variety of support for a longer period in their lives, and may not expect to live fully independently. Nevertheless, they are often capable of strengthening their relationship skills and their ability to lead purposeful, happy, more independent lives.
School age participants may be focused on strengthening functional academic skills and processing abilities. Young adult participants in this cohort are generally working on strengthening their processing abilities and their functional skills, as well as improving their capacity for fully reciprocal communication, critical thinking, and complex logical problem-solving. They may also be seeking work experience, a sense of purpose in life, a greater connection to community, and the opportunity to live outside their caregivers’ home.
For all Candler participants, the program runs from 9:30-3.
The Oakhurst group is a cohort of individuals who, like the Piedmont group, has solid cognitive strengths and the potential to be fully independent. Like the Candler group, their need for support is relatively greater, and their progress towards independence may be more deliberate and more highly supported.
For all Oakhurst participants, the program runs from 9:30-3.
The Kirkwood group is a small cohort of individuals who are not quite ready for full participation in a peer community, but who appear to have the capacity to grow into that participation. Kirkwood participants may have a wide range of strengths and a wide range of challenges, and generally receive primarily one-to-one support when they first begin attending the program.
Kirkwood participants have individualized schedules, and may attend the program anywhere from several hours a week to a nearly full-time schedule, depending on need and readiness.
Basic Elements of the Program
The basic components of the program are as follows, although each individual program is ultimately customized based on the profile and goals of the participant:
Participants who are in middle or high school will have an individualized plan for their education, including classes to strengthen foundational processing skills, as well as classes to work on core subjects. Whenever possible, learning is experiential and built around participants’ specific interests.
Depending on the participant’s stage in life, independence support may include college or other school program support, job/internship support, executive functioning support, interest/affinities development, and/or other aspects of independent living like money management, transportation and basic care.
Individual and Group Counseling
Each participant meets weekly with a licensed mental health professional, both in small groups and individually. This provides emotional support, developmental growth, and individualized work on communication and relationship building.
A combination of group and individualized activities occurring three times a week designed to improve general health and well-being.
Each participant meets regularly in group or individual activities to focus on interest development, life skills, communication skills, or social-emotional support. Examples of group activity include a cooking class, lessons in public transportation, creative writing class, and/or a relationship skills group. Individual activities may include explorations of specific interest, including photography, anime, computer programming, and much, much more.
Hiking and Lunch Out
The program includes a weekly hike at one of many local wilderness areas. This format provides opportunities for facilitated group discussion as well as decision-making, compromise and negotiation, all in the context of a physical, community-based activity.
Please contact the TCS Office at 404-308-8548 or use this Contact Form to learn more.