The Austin School provides an educational program for young people who are inpatients in the Austin Child and Youth Mental Health Service (CYMHS) Adolescent Unit. It is an integral part of the total program for inpatients providing an opportunity for adolescents to continue schooling by participating in a relevant and meaningful program.
On most days an hourly session is offered in the morning and a two hourly session in the afternoon. Up to ten students may be in the classes with two to three staff present.
In addition to the wide range of mental health conditions which bring young people to the unit, many have experienced educational, social and emotional problems at school. As such, the classroom program is flexible to ensure that the curriculum is appropriate and responsive to the individual academic, social and emotional needs of each young person. The classroom provides a safe and supportive environment which encourages student engagement and promotes positive relationships. The program is orientated towards achieving positive outcomes for each student.
Young people work with teachers to develop an Individual Learning Plan based on their interests, strengths and needs. In addition to negotiated tasks, students may participate in music, art, a combined secondary session, weekly excursions and group activities. Liaison often occurs with their home school and strategies are developed to assist their return to school or transition to a new educational setting.
Each student’s program takes into account their schooling history and current mental state. Medication regimes and the adolescent’s emotional and physical health impact on the nature and amount of schooling undertaken.
See our program brochure here.
Art work in AIP classroom: