Pioneer Therapeutic Early Grades Classroom

Pioneer Therapeutic Early Grades Classroom young boy playing with art supplies

Pioneer Therapeutic Early Grades Classroom

We believe that every student can learn and succeed.

The Pioneer Therapeutic Early Grades Classroom offers a supportive environment for building necessary social-emotional skills in young children while ensuring the integrity of the learning process for others. The program fully integrates supports, training and coaching for classroom teachers on creating effective social-emotional learning environments, providing needed classroom expectations, trauma informed care, tiered instruction, and brain based and universal designs for learning.

The Therapeutic Early Grades Classroom is hosted by Pioneer Valley School District, in partnership with CES. The program accepts students from any Franklin County school district, and is located at Northfield Elementary School.

Is the Therapeutic Early Grades Classroom a match for my student?

The program is designed for students, ages 4-7, experiencing any of the following:

  • Mental health issues
  • Multiple aversive childhood experiences
  • Needs for medication therapy
  • A return to the district from out of district placement
  • Lack of housing stability
  • Oppositional defiant disorder, explosive behavior, or fire setting behavior
  • Developmental delays

Our Approach - Compassionate, Collaborative, and Student-focused

The Therapeutic Early Grades Classroom is designed to support both students and families, as well as educators and school staff, by providing and implementing research-based practices for:

  • Academic development
  • Social skills development
  • Self-regulation skills
  • Emotional skills development
  • Family engagement
  • Training for school leaders, teachers and paraprofessionals
  • School and family assistance with accessing and navigating community resources (these can include physical, mental health, emotional support, family counseling, insurance, housing stability)
  • Assistance for school staff to interact effectively with early intervention services, physicians, mental health centers, and community agencies 

Our focus is not only to ensure that students become ready for school, but also to provide skills support to educators, so that school is ready for the students. 

The program is designed with three phases, and length of stay is dependent on student progress.

Phase I:  Screening and Goal-Setting

Students are identified for the program, and their IEPs, service plans, or 504 accommodation needs are reviewed. Staff will meet with families and interview if needed. 

Staff will work with schools, family and the student to identify both biopsychosocial and early learning needs, difficulties with learning, and personalized strategies for success. Student goals are developed, and academic screening provided to identify any foundational academic skills needed. Community resources access is also address at this time.

Phase II: Learning Process

A well structured classroom routine helps develop positive relationships with classroom staff, classmates, and supporting adults. This includes a developmentally appropriate standards-based curriculum, regularly scheduled play and social skills groups, individual therapies for students and families, and classroom instruction in social and communication skills, self regulation, and calming strategies. 

Family engagement is critically important to successfully sustaining the child's development and progress. 

Phase III: Practice in the School Community

As students develop the skills needed, the goal is to successfully use those skills outside of the therapeutic classroom and in the school community. Staff work with receiving school leadership and teachers to identify the critical skills to be practiced, and students are gradually transitioned into working with receiving school personnel. Classroom staff will continue to work with and support receiving school staff and teachers for a period of time after the student transitions back into the regular classroom.


Interested districts, please contact for referrals:  Christine Maguire, Administrator of Special Education and Early Childhood Education, Pioneer Valley Regional School District. 


Telephone: (413) 498-2911

Students are referred directly to the program at Pioneer Valley School District. Tuition will be paid to the Pioneer Valley School District. Students from a district other than Pioneer Valley School District will require a transition specialist to return the child to the receving school. CES will hire and train the transition specialist and contract directly with the sending district for this service.

CES programs and services prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, gender identity, religion, national origin, or sexual orientation and ensure that all students have equal rights of access and equal enjoyment of the opportunities, advantages, privileges, and courses of study. 

For more information, contact: 
ECMH Clinical Supervisor
413.586.4900 x5567