The Shirley Aninias School is a developmentally oriented program committed to our unique learners. Our Whole Child Approach prioritizes the full scope of a child’s developmental needs (cognitive, social-emotional, behavioral, fine, gross motor, and health development) to ensure that every child reaches their full potential.

We emphasize social, language, and behaviorally rich learning experiences in and out of school for each child.  We value relationship-centered learning environments in the areas of academics, social, emotional, speech-language, for deeper learning that provides an integrated student support to ensure progress.


Behavioral-Based Model

  • Evidence-based practices for reducing behaviors that challenge success in a classroom setting
  • School Wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) framework
  • Applied Behavior Analysis to Schooling
  • Natural Environment Teaching
  • Class-wide contingencies: reinforcement that supports the positive behavior of a whole class together, by earning points through class dojo for a shared goal
  • Students earn points/rewards for:

– Class wide Expectations

– Social and Coping Expectations

– Academic Expectations

Cross-Functional Adaptive Learning Model

SAS uses three core instructional models (1:1, 2:1, 3:1) to accelerate our students learning in a classroom/group setting.

Each model can be customized to each student’s individualized educational plan. These core models afford the flexibility needed to ensure that each student learns at their own pace utilizing what works best for them.

Student Learning Profiles

Attention Deficit Disorder

Twice Exceptional

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Speech Language Disorder

Emotional & Mood Difficulties

Learning Disabilities

Intellectual Disabilities

Social Pragmatic/Self- Regulation Difficulties

Other Developmental Delays Including Genetic Chromosomal Disorders

Learning Approaches

Individualized Educational Approach

Our small class size allows us the flexibility to customize our program for each child to effectively address their learning needs. We begin each class in a group setting, while addressing their individualized needs, to acclimate our students to the more traditional learning approach.

Students are then separated into smaller groups by learning styles and skill levels. This flexibility allows us to scale towards a 3:1, 2:1 or 1:1 student- to-teacher ratio as necessary. This approach ensures that each child learn at their own pace in their own space and with less restrictive environments when appropriate.

Interdisciplinary Approach

The interdisciplinary approach addresses our students’ individual differences and helps us develop strategies to carry over their learned skills in other settings.

This approach encourages students to reflect critically on every idea or situation (expected an unexpected) and see perspectives from multiple views.  Our goal is to empower our students as they learn to be independent thinkers, collaborators and problem solvers.

Multidisciplinary Approach

Teamwork and collaboration are key components of our program and is integral to each student’s educational success. Collaborating with teachers, related service providers, parents, caregivers, and community members is a core tenet of our program and ultimately provides everyone with a better understanding of how each child learns inside and outside the classroom.

SAS offers a full academic curriculum in social-language rich classrooms with behavioral supports. We adhere to the New York State Common Core standards for English/Language Arts, math, science, and social studies. We offer art, music/movement, physical education, as well as related services in speech, occupational therapy and counseling. Each educational component synergistically works together to maximize each child’s learning potential. Individualized goals are derived from New York State Next Generation Learning Standards (NGLS) in conjunction with Common Core State Standards (CCSS).