ABOUT ELIZABETH IVES SCHOOL
On behalf of the staff and students at Ives School, we would like to welcome you to our web page. I have had the honor of working at Ives School for more than 25 years, and am happy to announce that Christopher Moruzzi joined us last October as the Assistant Director. He comes to us with several years of classroom experience, and is clearly driven by hard work. He has built some wonderful relationships with our students, and I have full faith in his ability to lead when I retire in a few years. We also continue to have a staff of incredibly dedicated teachers, paraprofessionals, and related service providers, some of whom have more than thirty years experience in the field. We work together with our parents and sending school districts to developed programs where students learn to lead with their strengths.
Our philosophy is strengths-based and we have worked with Dr. Ross Greene who developed Collaborative and Proactive Solutions. He believes that "Kids do well if they can." as do we. If students are not doing well, there is a mismatch between their needs and the demands of the environment. This a problem solving program that involves active participation of our students. The focus is working WITH our students, not doing things for them or to them. This naturally allows for the development of an internal locus of control. While behaviorally based programs work wonderfully for some students, we found that it was not the appropriate intervention for our population. We also borrow from the Circle of Courage Model developed by Dr. Larry Brendtro and others. This program looks at four areas: Belonging, Mastery, Independence, and Generosity. Other similar programs may call these attributes Acceptance, Achievement, Autonomy, and Altruism. To assist in helping students develop competencies in these areas, we foster a sense of community in our setting where all are welcome; we do baseline assessments and provide instruction at each child's level; we provide opportunities for appropriate sense of personal power to impact their lives in a positive manner, and finally... help children realize that they are part of a society where they can feel empowered about giving back to the greater good.
Linda A. Zunda, M.S., 6th Year, L.M.F.T. Chris Moruzzi, MAT, 6th Year
As mentioned above, we have found that our strengths-based philosophy work best with our population. This philosophy views misbehavior as due an unmet need or an unlearned skill. Strengths based interventions foster the development of an internal locus of control. We believe that we must not only prepare our students for success in the classroom, but success in life as well. This involves helping them understand the expectations that society has for all of its people.
Elizabeth Ives began a preschool for special needs students in 1963 under the direction of Mrs. Betty Ives. At that time, there were few services available. The school was originally housed in the basement of Church of the Redeemer in New Haven. The school worked closely with several professionals from Yale Child Study Center. The school was housed for several years at the Unitarian Society in Hamden before purchasing and moving to 70 State Street in North Haven. Our population has evolved from pre-school to elementary aged children, and we now service children from the ages five years through 21. We facilitate the transition of our students back to public school, to adult services programs, to jobs, and/or to college.