EDUCATION SERVICES FOR MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN ALLEGANY COUNTY
The Jefferson School at Finan Center for Students with Emotional Disturbance
The Jefferson School at Finan Center is a program
of Sheppard Pratt Health System, Inc. Located in Allegany County,
the school serves as a day school placement for students who have
emotional, behavioral and learning needs. The school is a coeducational
program for 35 middle and high school students whose emotional problems
impede their successful functioning in a less restrictive educational
environment. The program offers four classrooms for students ages
12 to 21 in grades 6 to 12 with a primary disability of emotional
disturbance. The Jefferson School at Finan Center is academically,
psychologically and socially oriented and concerned with the development
of the whole child.
Utilizing the Allegany County Public School's curriculum
and Maryland State Department of Education’s Voluntary State
Curriculum, areas of study include mathematics, English, social studies,
science, fine arts, physical education, health education, technology
education, career education, and remedial education. The Jefferson
School at Finan Center provides classes that enable students to improve
in reading, writing, mathematics and oral/written language; gain awareness
of the social and physical environment; build greater capacities to
cope with school behavioral expectations; and participate in the development
of pre-vocational, vocational and transition skills.
The school’s purpose is to provide a safe, supportive
and structured educational environment. Small class size, together
with a low student-to-teacher ratio, allow for maximum communication
within the school team, highly individualized attention to students’
needs, and the flexibility to respond quickly to changes and growth
in the students. The school operates a 12 month, 214 day program,
which is comprised of four quarters and a four week summer session.
The school day consists of homeroom period, four class periods in
the morning, a lunch period and two class periods in the afternoon.
and family therapy
A comprehensive range of treatment is carefully integrated into the
educational plan for each student. Individual psychotherapy is undertaken
weekly so the student may become aware of the issues related to his/her
challenges and may rediscover the skills, attitudes and adaptive capabilities
that have been lost or compromised by his/her emotional or developmental
difficulties. Each student participates in weekly group psychotherapy
to gain an understanding and improvement of peer relationships and
to learn to work effectively in groups. Each family is encouraged
to be involved in weekly family therapy to maximize the family’s
potential to support, nurture and enhance the growth and development
of the child.
Local educational agencies, parents, and other area schools can refer
prospective students by submitting educational records. Their records
are reviewed by the School Admissions Committee. If a candidate is
appropriate, an interview with the student and his/her family is arranged.
A final decision is made during the week following the interview and
all parties are informed. A date for enrollment is set, or the family
and referring agency are given the specific reasons for the rejection.
The prospective student must have an emotionally handicapping condition
which interferes with his/her education.
The student must
have at least average intelligence and be able to function within the
parameters of the program.
The student must
be willing and able to participate in individual and group psychotherapy
parents/guardian must make a commitment to become involved in family
All students enrolled must have been approved for
placement by the local educational agency with such approval in place
prior to enrollment. Families who wish to pay privately may do so
if the student meets admission criteria.
A Work Study Program offers all students an opportunity to experience
a variety of career options and to earn credits for actual paid employment
while attending school. This program assists the Jefferson School
at Finan Center students with transition to the world of work after
graduation and is generally offered in the senior year. Preparation
for both the PSAT and SAT exams is offered for students wishing to
pursue education at the college level.
Staff at the Jefferson School at Finan Center work
closely with students’ home schools to facilitate smooth transitions
to less restrictive settings. This includes systemic conferencing
and communication with referring and responsible local education
The Jefferson School at Finan Center employs teachers who are dually
certified in a curriculum specialty and special education. Other educational
support staff include teacher assistants, 1:1 instructional aides,
a transition coordinator, and two full time resource counselors whose
main tasks are de-escalation, crisis intervention and milieu management.
There is a registered nurse on campus and medication is monitored
by a psychiatrist. Social workers provide services for the clinical
component of the program and a clinical coordinator manages the clinicians
and directs clinical training for all staff. A psychologist, speech
therapist, and occupational therapist contracted by Allegany County
Public Schools are available as needed. The Jefferson School at Finan
Center is administered by a full time principal, with support from
an administrative assistant and school secretary.
Bonnie Fetzer, M. Ed.
The services and facilities of Sheppard Pratt and
its affiliates are operated on a nondiscriminatory basis. This policy
prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, gender,
sexual orientation, age, national origin, disability, or any other
basis proscribed by law. It applies to the provision of services,
use of facilities, granting of accommodations, and opportunity to
participate in programs or activities.
From Baltimore: Take 695 to I-70 W. at
Hancock. Continue on I-68 W. to Cumberland. Take Exit#44 (Willowbrook
Rd/Baltimore Ave.). Turn left at the bottom of the exit ramp. Turn
left onto Country Club Road look for sign "Next left to Brandenburg
and Finan Centers." Less than 1 mile take right at Center entrance.
Jefferson School at Finan Center is located in the Finan Center at
top of entrance road turn left onto "Autumn Drive." Jefferson
School is straight ahead at the loading dock entrance. Doors to building
are to the right of the loading dock.
Take I-270 W. to Frederick. Take I-70 W. from Frederick to Hancock.
I-68 W. to Cumberland. Take Exit#44 (Willowbrook Rd/Baltimore Ave.).
Turn left at the bottom of the exit ramp. Turn left onto Country
Club Road look for sign "Next left to Brandenburg and Finan
Centers." Less than 1 mile take right at Center entrance. Jefferson
School is located in the Finan Center at top of entrance road turn
left onto "Autumn Drive." Jefferson School is straight
ahead at the loading dock entrance. Doors to building are to the
right of the loading dock.