Students in the Birch Classroom are middle school age (12-14), who are able to access more advanced academic curriculum ranging from 5th through 9th grade resources. Academics are aligned with Oregon and national academic standards. Birch students demonstrate the ability to learn in whole group instruction or in groups of 3–4. They are working toward self-monitoring their own behavior in order to work independently for increasingly longer periods of time, as they prepare for high school classes.
Birch students actively work on executive functioning skills, such as perspective taking, time management, impulse control, and conversational skills. Working on these areas allows these students the opportunity to practice empathy, to form social connections, and to develop the ability to learn without being directly taught--the latter being a crucial element in independence and academic success. In Birch, social emotional and academic goals are taught in tandem to provide a holistic education.
Birch students participate in weekly Community Based Instruction (CBI) in order to generalize both social and academic skills learned in the classroom. As middle schoolers, their CBI outings target the essential skills required to participate successfully in the community.