Beard School is a specialty Chicago Public School that services students with special needs from Pre-K to 3rd grade. Age ranges of students attending Beard are from 3 to 8 years old. Programs are designed to have an academic focus integrated with social and emotional learning skills. Staff members are trained specialists in working with students on the spectrum of autism and other disabilities. Placement and enrollment into Beard School is completed only through the CPS Office of Diverse Learners Supports and Services.
Beard School utilizes a variety of instructional approaches. Teaching models, strategies, and curriculums used include academically aligned common core curriculums, Orton Gillingham multi-sensory approach, TEACCH methodologies in structured teaching and independent learning, Applied Behavior Analysis, Picture Exchange Communication Systems, Unique Learning Systems, News-2-You and many other supplemental programs. Instruction for every child is highly differentiated to address the individual learning styles of our students. Most students have a significantly modified curriculum. Home-school software programs that supplement academics include Raz Kids, IXL.com, Compass Learning, Starfall, Envision, BrainPOP Jr., Enchanted Learning, Handwriting without Tears, TumbleBooks, and other instructional apps. All classrooms at Beard School have an interactive Promethean Board so that technology is woven into the instructional day of the school.
As a Chicago Public School, therapy services are delivered to students through a classroom model in which students receive services with other classroom peers. Therapy services are provided by a team of highly qualified clinicians. Beard School provides speech, occupational therapy, psychology, social work, physical therapy, and nursing based on IEP eligibility and student needs through a classroom inclusion model.
Beard has two instructional half day Pre-K programs that service students with special needs requiring additional supports. In addition to our specialty programs, we also have a blended preschool program comprised of general education students from the neighborhood along with other preschool students with IEP’s.
The extended school day has afforded students an increase in instructional minutes in the common core subjects of Reading, Math, Social Studies and Science. Students have specialized classes in Adaptive P.E., Art, Music, and Library. This year students will have 90 minutes per a week of physical education activities. Over the course of the year, students will also engage in the following additional enrichment programs at Beard which include, Drama through Literacy, Special Olympics Young Athletes Program, MeMoves, Partners in Play with Edison Gifted Regional School, Girl Scouts, IPAD Photography, Chicago Botanic Gardens partnership, Children’s Puppet Theater, Garden Science in the exploratory nature outdoor classroom, Social Skills Development, Xbox Dance, Yoga, and Cooking.
Parents enjoy the many activities sponsored by the school which include Parent Support Meetings, School Picnics, Open House, LSC Meetings, International Fest, Parents in the Garden Night, Art Auctions, Halloween Festival, Dr. Seuss Family Reading Day, Special Olympics, Winter Assemblies, Science Fair, Recognition Assemblies, Kindergarten Graduation, and 3rd Grade Farewell Ceremony.
Beard School has received a Creative Schools Certification of Category 1, “Excelling” in the Fine Arts. In addition, Beard School is very fortunate to be one of the few schools in the state of Illinois to have a certified nature explore outdoor classroom garden developed by stakeholders of the school. The school is located on the northwest corner of Jefferson Park in Chicago near the intersections of Nagle and Gunnison.