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Today's Family Magazine

Perspectives Academy creates special environment for student success

By Laura Lytle

For some students school can be challenging. There are peers to impress, exams to pass and other pressures that can stress even the smartest and organized students.  In some cases though, the overwhelming stresses of school can result in behavior issues and outbursts or poor grades.

However, students can still succeed at the Perspectives Academy, which provides an alternative learning environment for students that experience anxiety, depression, and social and emotional issues. Students can participate in the program short term or long term and do not need a state IEP to enroll.

Founder and licensed psychologist, Jay Berk, PhD wanted to create a safe and positive place for these students to go.  “Perspectives Academy helps the students falling through the cracks.  Maybe they don’t have severe behavior or extreme learning problems but they are still struggling.”

Perspectives Academy offers classrooms for students in grades 3-12.  An Ohio licensed teacher supervises each classroom while the students complete schoolwork from their own district or electronic school program.  Students get additional support from intervention specialists and therapists throughout the day to ensure any problems that arise are used as teaching moments.

“Our high teacher-to-student ratio ensures each student gets the attention they need.  Students can enjoy their education experience here.  They have all experienced similar problems in the past, which makes them very welcoming and supportive of each other in the classrooms.  They may have missed days of school without care, but here… they don’t want to miss a day of our program,” added Dr. Berk.

Perspectives Academy is unlike other programs because of the small classroom size and personalized plan for each student’s unique learning needs. The push-in model encourages students to utilize the skills they are learning and enact them.

Dr. Berk said, “Most kids when they’re angry or anxious know the right social behavior, but these students struggle to make the right choice when in a situation and they feel angry or depressed.  We help students through the situation and utilize their skills versus just learning them.”

The support doesn’t end in the classroom either. Group therapy, family therapy and parent coaching are also offered to families.

“Sibling support is important, too.  Even a strong, supportive sibling can have their own issues which need attention and support,” said Dr. Berk.

Students can also apply for the Autism Scholarship of Ohio and the Jon Peterson Scholarship to help make the program affordable for families.

Perspectives Academy is located in Beachwood and is making a positive difference in the lives of many children and their families throughout northeast Ohio.

For more information on enrollment or to set an appointment, call 216-292-7170 or visit  Students can enter the program rapidly upon assessment appointment.

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