baker hall school

Baker Hall School

Baker Hall School (BHS) is a private non-profit school which transforms the lives of the region's most challenged and challenging students in a day and residential setting. The goal of BHS is to educate a community of students in an environment that encourages growth, safety, social responsibility and hope for the future. These commitments are achieved through fostering a trauma-sensitive environment in which students are provided structure, support, and skills to manage emotions.

BHS serves youth from ages 11-21 in grades 6 through 12th grade. A rolling admission process accepts applications throughout the school year. Baker Hall School is licensed by the NYS Education Department to serve students educationally diagnosed with one of the following:

  • Emotional Disturbance
  • Intellectual Disability
  • Multiple Disabilities
  • Traumatic Brain Injury

All referrals must be made through the home school district's Committee on Special Education (CSE). The following documents are required from the school district for placement consideration:

  • Current Evaluation Report of disciplinary history, psychological
  • Current Individual Education Plan (IEP)
  • Social History and current treatment information
  • Immunization record
  • Last report card and credits earned (high school only)
  • Referral Form

What are our Values?
Baker Hall School is committed to embracing organizational and treatment goals to provide a safe and healing environment for youth who need to recover from adversity in their childhood experiences. Such experiences disrupt the normal development of a child and can interfere with the ability to learn. The staff at BHS are committed maintaining a vision consistent with Father Baker's history: creating a safe, non-violent, and nurturing environment. BHS promotes a respectful, learning and growing community which fosters open communication, personal responsibility and an appreciation of diversity. Teachers and staff at BHS strive to assist students to create plans and develop skills to follow their dreams for the future.

These dreams may include return to public school, enrollment in college and completion of high school and preparation for employment.

What resources are offered?

Small classes: 8 students
1-2 teacher aides per classroom
Counseling-individual and group
Related services: speech, occupational therapy, physical therapy
Content-certified high school teachers for students enrolled in departmental classes
PBIS philosophy of behavioral support
Transition planning and services
Pre-vocational skill development
Special subjects classes (vary by grade level): Music, Physical Education, Technology, Spanish, Home and Careers, Health Education and Art

What Makes us Exceptional?

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 64% of children experience trauma of some kind. In collaborations with Kaiser Permanente, the CDC conducted The Adverse Childhood Experience Study which found that the incidence of traumatic experiences in childhood showed a "strong and graded" relationship to many serious adult health problems, including early death. Additionally, research show that traumatic and chronic stress interrupts a child's learning overriding their higher reasoning skills at a time when they are just developing. Baker Hall School is committed to reversing the effect of childhood adversity by creating a non-violent, democratic school community.

BHS embraces the philosophy and practices of Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS), a nationally-researched data-based systems approach to preventing behavior problems in a school. PBIS is a framework for developing proactive interventions and instruction to teach children proper social skills to function successfully in school and life.

BHS is pursuing an improvement model called the Adaptive School, through the Center for Adaptive Schools. This approach will strengthens skills and abilities and develop a professional learning community for our faculty. A strong collaborative faculty creates a productive learning environment for students.

All teacher aides and mental health specialists are training in Cornell University's model of Therapeutic Crisis Intervention (TCI). The purpose of the TCI system is to provide a crisis prevention and intervention model which prevents crises from occurring.

Baker Hall School has an extensive transition planning program for older students. Students may participate in career exploration field trips; work in prevocational training sites such as food service, customer service, and marketing. The Work Appreciation for Youth (WAY) program helps students create online work resume portfolios. Students who qualify may be referred for ACESS-VR (formerly VESID) services which may help provide job assessment and training after high school.

BHS is small, with an enrollment of 120-130 students. Each student is assigned a Master's-level counselor to work with them and their family as outlined on the student's education plan. Counselors may make visits to the students' home as needed.

Seniors can participate in an elective called Student Leadership in Action. Students are taught project management, goal setting, proposal writing, and project evaluation. Through the course, students participate in 10 community service hours per quarter and 15 school-related hours per quarter.

Frequently asked Questions and Answers

Q. Can a parent enroll their child in Baker Hall School?
A. No, the referral must come from the school district responsible for the student. Families with questions regarding the process for school district referral may contact our Intake Coordinator

Q. Can students who are not classified as needing special education services attend this school?
A. Yes, but only students referred and placed in residential services.

Q. Are there after school programs?
A. Yes, some students preparing for transition or involved in local county WRAP or B2H services may participate in after school skill building.

Q. Are there after school sports?
A. No

Q.What is the difference between Day School and Day Treatment?
A. Day treatment provides treatment and medication monitoring by a psychiatrist.

Q. Are there residential students who attend school at Baker Hall School?
A. Yes, about 48% of the school's students are from Baker Victory Services residential programs. The majority of students are day school enrollments.

Q. Do you encourage family involvement?
A. Yes, family involvement is encouraged. Support from family members help children grow and succeed in school.

Q. Is there a nurse at school who can administer medication during the school day?
A. Yes, the parent must send medication in the original prescription bottle with the prescription from a physician.

Q. Do staff restrain students who are exhibiting aggressive unsafe behavior?
A. Yes, but only in situations of seriously unsafe behavior.

Q. Are meals provided at school?
A. Yes, Baker Hall School participates in Federal Breakfast lunch program; breakfast and lunch are available daily at school. Students may bring bag lunches from home. Parents must complete a free/reduced meal application.

Q. How are students transported to school?
A. School districts arrange transportation via school bus. Buffalo Public School students may not use metro passes unless approved by Baker Hall School Principal.

Q. Are there special events that students can participate in?
A. Yes, the school has an annual awards ceremony, field trips, dances, special lunch celebrations, PBIS celebrations monthly, and other creative ways to celebrate our school community.