How We Help

Every stage of life brings exciting challenges as well as problematic obstacles. At Applewood Academy for Progressive Learning, we offer students a confidential and safe classroom to learn the necessary skills to manage.

Applewood Academy for Progressive Learning began building its team of educational and mental health professionals in 2001. Students and families are offered a dedicated staff with specialized experience in Special Education, Psychiatry, Psychology, Psychometry and Social Work.

The elementary school program at Applewood Academy for Progressive Learning has been issued a Board Student Identification Number (BSID) and is listed as a private school on the Ontario Ministry of Education website. Our mission is to provide individualized, therapeutically supported educational programming for students from kindergarten to grade 8, whose learning has been impacted upon by challenges from developmental, medical, and mental health conditions. We work in partnership with the local school board to help adolescent students earn high school credits.

Our Mission

At Applewood Academy for Progressive Learning, our primary goal is to provide children with opportunities for academic success and thereby create a positive attitude toward an environment that is often avoided, due to their previous negative experiences.

Applewood Academy for Progressive Learning’s mission is to maintain the child’s academic placement through the development of therapeutic relationships, the application of behavioral management techniques, the implementation of individualized learning programs and continuous clinical and academic support.

Applewood Academy’s vision is that children with specialized treatment needs will have access to high quality, compassionate and therapeutic educational programming that allows for the simultaneous delivery of educational and therapeutic interventions.

Applewood Academy for Progressive Learning has set its’ goals:

  1. To assist children with special treatment and learning needs in obtaining their highest academic potential;
  2. To promote healthy personality development in the child;
  3. To reduce and counterbalance the negative factors contributing to a child’s emotional health;
  4. To support and facilitate the transition of the child back into a community school whenever possible and beneficial to the child or engage in planning which promotes continuity of care for the child when this is not possible;
  5. To support the child becoming a successful and self-led learner;
  6. To support the child to feel part of a school community; and
  7. To provide professional teaching and counseling through classroom experiences that promote normal maturation (care), prevent further injury to the child (safety), and correct specific problems that interfere with healthy personality development (treatment).

Our Students

Applewood Academy for Progressive Learning’s clients experience difficulties attending traditional academic placements. Often they are identified as having learning disabilities; mild intellectual defiencies; developmental disabilities; attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; oppositional defiant disorder; conduct disorder or other emotional difficulties, such as, anxiety and sadness, which makes socializing very difficult.

The average client at Applewood Academy for Progressive Learning has had classroom experiences that are frequently characterized by peer conflict, teacher conflict, marginalization and failure. Resources for assisting our clients within traditional school settings are limited. It is also becoming increasingly difficult to secure and maintain placements within traditional academic settings.

As an alternative, maintaining a ‘home school’ program diminishes the client’s access to appropriate social experiences, limits the quality of instruction offered and further marginalizes the client. Home schooling over extended periods of time also places excessive strain on the parent-child relationship and increases the likelihood of family breakdowns.

Applewood Academy for Progressive Learning provides short and long term educational / therapeutic programming for children in this situation, understands the challenges that families face with traditional academic settings and work with all members of a client’s treatment team, medical, psychological, and psychiatric to create a positive learning environment for the client and maximize the client’s learning potential.

Applewood Academy for Progressive Learning is open to any child in need. Any parent or guardian in the community may refer their child to Applewood Academy.

Role of Employees

  • To provide academic programming which reflects the treatment goals established by the treatment team during in take and the initial assessment;
  • To provide consistently calm, respectful, nurturing educational and social opportunities for the student to learn and grow in the classroom setting;
  • To continue to assess the student’s progress and functioning and support the student in meeting established goals;
  • To provide counseling to the student as they work through difficult situation that arise in the classroom;
  • To provide extensive modeling of appropriate social interactions and problem solving;
  • To provide a structured and consistent environment in which positive behavior is rewarded and negative behavior is compassionately redirected;
  • To assist the student in meeting their developmental milestones; recognizing that many students who have experienced breaks in familial relationships and / or educational placements require more support than their same age peers;
  • To establish and maintain excellent communication with all treatment team members regarding the student’s progress in the school setting;
  • To provide leadership in establishing and maintaining communication with the student’s community school and work toward reintegration when indicated.

On some occasions, Applewood Academy may provide educational assistance to students being treated at BridgeCross Center for Eating Disorders. In these circumstances, the student’s assigned worker at BridgeCross will liaise wit the Applewood Academy’s Director of Services to arrange for the type of academic support required. It is expected that residents at BridgeCross continue with academic programming through their home schools and these students are likely to work on their academic program at the BridgeCross Center, as opposed to at the school site.

Role of Parents / Guardians

  • Parents/guardians of students will actively communicate with Applewood Academy regarding the needs and progress of their child;
  • Parents / Guardians will attend all relevant meetings related to their child’s placement at Applewood Academy;
  • Parents / Guardians will encourage their child with respect to school attendance and academic performance;
  • Parents / Guardians will assist their child at home through the use of structured homework time, the application of appropriate natural and logical consequences for behavior, monitoring of homework completion and tutorial assistance;
  • Parents / Guardians will request a case conference with the treatment team if their child’s need for academic support at home exceeds that which they feel they are able to provide. Tutorial supports may be considered in these circumstances.

Valued Partners

In 1999, Mr. Jeffrey J. Waplak joined with Terry Stevenson to form Stevenson, Waplak & Associates. Stevenson, Waplak & Associates is a team of mental health professionals. Clients are offered a dedicated staff with specialized experience and designation in Psychiatry, Psychology, Counseling, Psychometry and Social Work. Stevenson, Waplak & Associates now provides services to more than 200 clients per year.

In 1999, Stevenson, Waplak & Associates‘ expertise in residential treatment was partnered with the residential management skills of Mr. Michael Schmidt to form a program so that both primary care and treatment were delivered through Parent Therapists. Now, they help more than 80 Children and Youth per year through its network of 35 Parent Therapy Foster Homes.

In 2002, Stevenson, Waplak & Associates developed a specialized Day Treatment Program and a partnership was created with Applewood Academy for Progressive Learning, to provide educational and day treatment services to clients unable to attend community schools. Applewood Academy for Progressive Learning now helps 20 to 30 children per school year to continue learning, while offering a treatment plan that addresses their emotional and behavioural problems, and charts a path for their return to community school.

In 2007, BridgeCross Residential and Outpatient Treatment Centre for Eating Disorders was developed in partnership with the clinical expertise of Stevenson, Waplak & Associates, the residential treatment expertise, and the educational expertise of Applewood Academy for Progressive Learning. It now provides residential treatment for 8 girls and young women in need of weight restoration and stabilization.