- Who We Serve
- Evergreen Community Residences
- Evergreen's Individualized Education Program
- Evergreen Staff and Professional Development
- Medical Care
- Family Involvement and Parental Support
- Assistive Technology and Augmentative Communication Devices
Welcome to the Evergreen Center! 2012 marks our thirtieth year as a Milford, Massachusetts residential school with community living options for students with developmental disabilities. Our standard for successful instruction is social competence. We believe children will develop to their maximum potential when instruction is woven through daily activities and living environments.
- Our individualized education programs follow the principles of applied behavioral analysis and other evidence-based practices.
- We are located in a state-of-the-art central educational facility in Milford, Massachusetts that is surrounded by student residences in Milford and local communities.
- We employ an interdisciplinary team of professionals with the specialized skills needed by our student population.
- We are responsive to each student’s and each family’s needs.
- We offer our students community choices for learning and living 12 months a year with a rich staff to student ratio.
- We are fully licensed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and we are approved to serve students from other states, as well.
Who We Serve
The Evergreen Center serves male and female children aged 6 to 22 that have been diagnosed with autism, severe intellectual impairments, developmental disabilities, physical handicaps or have been dually diagnosed.
Evergreen Community Residences
There is a closely integrated relationship between how we house our students and the way we educate them. Students make daily trips through the community to and from school. There are frequent trips to the grocery store, a restaurant, the local library, a movie theater, church, volunteer work, or a part-time job. In these settings close supervision is provided so students may gain experience interacting in real community settings. Our students learn the routines of daily living personal hygiene, housekeeping, food preparation, and appropriate leisure skills in their community residence.
- Evergreen residences are located in towns surrounding the Milford Central Education Facility. Our homes are located in typical residential neighborhoods. They look like other single family homes in the area.
- All Evergreen residences are located in areas that afford students frequent access to shopping, dining in preferred restaurants, and other recreational activities in the community. In addition each student’s educational plan includes objectives to increase the student’s participation in community activities.
- We blend clinically necessary features and safety enhancements with typical residential aesthetics. Our attention to these details ensures that Evergreen homes blend comfortably into the landscape of community living.
- Evergreen has a sufficient number of residences to allow for the careful matching of individual student needs and capabilities.
Each neighborhood residence has been carefully normalized for student dignity and the highest degree of community integration.
Evergreen's Individualized Education Program
Students served by the Evergreen Center exhibit skill deficits and behavioral needs that require a carefully planned individualized educational program using a treatment approach centered on the principles of Applied Behavioral Analysis. Evergreen’s educational program:
- (1) applies an extensive range of instructional procedures including direct instruction;
- (2) teaches functional skills that, once acquired, will change the quality of a student’s life;
- (3) substantiates the evidence-based practices used to measure each student’s progress. With this philosophy we have helped students develop to their maximum potential and have returned many to less restrictive placements.
- (4) Using family input and our professional evaluation, these programs are uniquely tailored to each student’s physical, medical, academic and emotional needs and development goals.
- (5) Each student’s individualized education program takes advantage of Evergreen’s Basic Skills Program and Behavior Development Program.
- In keeping with Evergreen’s standards for successful instruction, social competence and community participation, the Basic Skills Program is designed to teach functional daily living skills that will increase independence in community, residential and school environments.
- At their Evergreen residence, as well as in the community, students learn increased independence in self-care and domestic skills, develop appropriate leisure skills and gain the ability to express personal preferences and choices.
- Classroom education is provided through individual and small group instruction which emphasizes functional communication, self-preservation skills, community integration, pre-vocational and vocational training and adaptive social behavior.
- Individualized therapy -- speech and language therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy and adapted physical education are provided by licensed professionals through individual or group treatment or consultation.
Behavioral Development Program
Evergreen’s Behavioral Development Program addresses maladaptive behaviors that significantly interfere with a student’s ability to acquire basic skills and achieve social competence and community participation. The Center for Behavior Development helps students acquire positive alternative behaviors which increase their functional skills and independence.
The intensity and variety of maladaptive behaviors addressed by the Behavior Development Program necessitates that students receive a comprehensive behavioral intervention plan. Students with self-injurious, aggressive or destructive behaviors receive functional behavior assessments, which are based upon formal testing, observation and data collection. Additional data is collected to assess any other areas such as psychiatric or medical needs. This analysis of individual maladaptive behaviors results in a specific behavior management plan. Periodic reviews are scheduled to evaluate each treatment plan. As students respond to this approach, they gain self-control which helps them to benefit more from the opportunities and choices available to them in the Evergreen Center's model for community involvement.
Evergreen Staff and Professional Development
The motto of the Evergreen Center is "Caring through Competence." In order to maintain a high level of expertise among teaching staff, the Evergreen Center has a fully resourced Department of Professional Development. The department trains professional staff in a manner that blends technical competence, creativity and an enthusiastic commitment to individuals with developmental disabilities. Staff can conveniently access Evergreen’s Training-On-Demand website as a resource for specific skill development. Staff can also access higher education opportunities through one of our affiliated university programs.
The Evergreen Center hires and trains teachers to provide highly specialized services with the highest competence possible. Affiliations with university programs have allowed Evergreen staff to pursue graduate degrees with tuition support. These graduate programs have prepared participating Evergreen staff to become certified teachers as well as nationally recognized Board Certified Behavior Analysts.
The teaching staff of the Evergreen Center is part of a larger multi-disciplinary team. This team includes nursing services, vocational services, behavioral services, family services, occupational therapy, speech therapy, physical therapy, adaptive physical education, and other services as needed. The multi-disciplinary team is responsible for the success of each student’s individualized education program.
Medical Care is a very important part of each student’s life at Evergreen. Each student is assigned a primary nurse who understands the student's medical history and particular health care needs. Evergreen staff are trained to support treatment procedures for seizures, diabetes, orthopedic conditions, shunts, and tube feedings. Special medical needs, such as catheterization or post-operative care are also addressed in staff training conducted on an ongoing basis by Evergreen's Health Services Department.
Evergreen students have around the clock access to professional medical attention. Day and evening nursing services are available at the Central Educational Facility. Nurses are also on-call overnight. Evergreen’s in-house nursing staff have the capacity to evaluate a student’s health status on a daily basis.
Students receive regular checkups. Both medical and psychiatric medications are delivered daily. Direct-care staff are educated and briefed on each student’s health challenges.
Family Involvement and Parental Support
Evergreen parents are routinely involved in their child’s individualized education program, providing key information and setting realistic goals. We are organized to provide parents the information and support needed to help their students succeed in his or her new setting.
Program staff and administrators are always available to parents.
Throughout the year various activities, from quarterly Parent Association meetings to special events, are scheduled to encourage parent participation. A Parent Advisory Group consults on the ongoing development of Evergreen’s programs and policies.
The Family Services Department is led by a Director of Family Services who is available to advise individuals or families. The department also organizes parent support groups and publishes a quarterly newsletter. For example, the parent’s Turning 22 group helps each parent achieve an optimum transition at the time of discharge.
Assistive Technology and Augmentative Communication
The Evergreen Center invests in the latest technology devices that broaden opportunities to access educational content or alternative modes of communication.
The Evergreen Center is committed to providing all students regardless of age, ability, or legal status with a safe learning environment. This commitment is an intergral part of our comprehensive efforts to promote learning, and to prevent and eliminate all forms of bullying and other harmful and disruptive behavior that can impede the learning process. To this end the Evergreen Center strictly prohibits bullying, retaliation, and cyber-bullying. For the full policy please click here.