Research and experience tell us that to be effective with children, teaching practices need to be “developmentally appropriate.” We use our knowledge of child development to intentionally plan appropriate learning experiences that match children’s interests and abilities.

HOPE School uses the HighScope curriculum and best practices in the field of special needs education. Our instructional program meets the needs of learners who have developmentally delayed cognitive abilities. It follows a consistent daily routine which gives students opportunities to make choices, work, and problem-solve in a variety of social settings.

Teachers plan instructional strategies around the core content areas of the curriculum called Key Developmental Indicators:  Approaches to Learning, Social and Emotional Development, Language, Literacy and Communication, Mathematics, Science and Technology, Social Studies, Creative Arts and Physical Development and Health.


All classes follow the same consistent daily schedule: Breakfast, Morning Meeting, Large Group Time, Planning Time, Work Time, Cleanup Time, Recall Time, Lunch, Small-Group Time, and Outside Time. Classes for the older students feature workshops for Math, Language, Social Studies and Science. Teachers plan each day’s activities based on student assessment and observation data which is recorded daily.