Behavior, Counseling, Crisis Intervention, and Social Skills | Harbor School

Behavior, Counseling, Crisis Intervention, and Social Skills Services

In collaboration with Rutgers Behavioral Health Care (UBHC), Harbor School will be offering a School-Based Program.

The goal of a School-Based Program is to create a healthy environment of learning that promotes academic and life success for all of our students. UBHC and Harbor will partner to develop prevention and intervention strategies to meet this goal. This service, at no charge to families, allows us to better address the mental health and psychiatric needs of some of our more challenging developmentally disabled students.

The School-Based Program provides a range of free and confidential mental health services including:

  • Medication Management with child Psychiatrist
  • Individual Counseling
  • Family Counseling
  • Case Management I Referral Services
  • Staff Consultation
  • Crisis Intervention
  • And more

Through the School-Based Program, a child Psychiatrist meets with families/students for medication of specifically identified students.

In addition, a Mental Health Clinician will work collaboratively with the Psychiatrist, Harbor staff, families and students to develop behavior plans, monitor student progress and advise teachers to support the positive mental health of our students. This program, (more information to follow) will begin in September 2017.


Harbor School is happy to offer a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts as part of the school staff, as well as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. The responsibilities of the behaviorist include, but are not limited to:

  • Direct Staff Training
  • Design and Implementation of Data Collection
  • Data Analysis to Monitor and Determine the Effectiveness of Interventions
  • Parent Assistance and Training
  • Collaborative efforts with the classroom teacher to minimize behaviors in the academic and school settings

Some of the Harbor School Behavior Therapy Services Include:

  • Application of behavioral-based interventions and techniques including the reduction and/or elimination of maladaptive behaviors
  • Functional Behavioral Assessments
  • Collaboration with Instructional Staff and Related Service Professionals
  • Behavior Intervention Plan Development
  • Curriculum Development based on the needs of the Individual




Our certified school social worker provides counseling services for those students who are deemed appropriate. It is important that our students are given the opportunity to express themselves in a comfortable environment with someone they trust. Students are provided not only with individual opportunities to speak with a counselor but also have the chance to talk with their peers on relatable topics that may be impacting their lives.

Students at Harbor School may receive:

  • Individual Counseling. Talk Therapy and Cognitive Behavior Therapy are used to help each student reflect on the connection between their feelings and behavior
  • Group Counseling. Group counseling provides students with social skills training with the use of reality talk and board games, which promote the use of positive social skills in a peer environment
  • Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying Services. Our school social worker is a specialist in investigating, reporting and resolving any incidents of maltreatment


Crisis Intervention

Harbor School uses the Non-Violent Crisis Intervention Program, which is a safe, non-harmful behavior management system designed to help staff provide for the best possible Care, Welfare, Safety and Security of disruptive, assaultive, and out-of-control individuals – even during their most violent moments.

Crisis intervention is a small segment of time in which staff members must intervene with another person to address behavior that may escalate into disruptive or even violent incidents.

The goal of the staff here at Harbor School is to intervene in a way that provides for the Care, Welfare, Safety and Security of all who are involved in a crisis situation.

One of the goals of the Non-Violent Crisis Intervention training is to find positive ways of dealing with crises so they are not traumatic or so the degree of trauma is lessened. One of the way we do this is by trying to recognize early signs that an individual may be headed for a crisis and to intervene early enough to head off a difficult behavior before it escalates.

A Non-Violent Physical Control position will be utilized only as a last resort when an out-of-control person is in danger of physically hurting him/herself or others.


Social Skills

Social Skills are infused throughout Harbor School’s daily program.  During the school day, students are encouraged to practice their social skills through the various classroom businesses, dealing with issues that might arise within a classroom, and out in the community during class trips, transition programs, or learning experiences.   Social skills are an important part of the curriculum, as well, as teachers and staff members consistently reinforce positive social interactions throughout the school day.  Students work on such skills as anger management, taking turns, complimenting others, apologizing, and dealing with emotions.

All of the Harbor School students want to develop friendships and relationships with others, so there are many opportunities for students to develop these relationships in Harbor’s various collaborative student efforts such as Peer Power, specialized music classes, walking aerobics and Harbor Hangout.  Our goal is for students to take what they learn in school and generalize it in the home and community.

The Harbor After School Program provides students who require additional social skills after traditional school hours, with a fun and engaging learning environment.
Parents/Guardians can feel comfortable knowing their children are not only receiving professional academic support but are also interacting with peers in a physically and emotionally safe environment. Student participate in structured invigorating activities with their friends in recreation and cooperative team-building games encouraging social skills.

The goals and objectives of the Social Skills Program are:

  • Peer Relationships/Friendships
  • Conversational Skills
  • Eye Contact
  • Body Language
  • Cooperative Play Skills
  • Assertive Skills/Conflict Resolution
  • Empathy
  • Emotions