“We serve a need that many school districts cannot fulfill,” said Five Star Program Supervisor Erin Hepworth.
Five Star is a full-time emotional support program. The program’s main focus is safety, respect, and responsibility. The overall goal is to help students improve in all of these areas in order to move on to a less restrictive program. All students within the program have an Individualized Education Program (IEP). So, while everyone in the program has mutual goals, each student has goals specialized for their individual needs. Five Star focuses on providing positive behavior support and they’re working toward the next tier in this type of implementation.
Students are referred to Five Star by a special education supervisor in that district. Then the parents and school district agree upon the placement. If the student needs partial hospitalization the placement will be agreed upon by a psychiatrist as well.
Five Star works in 16 school districts in the CSIU region. Five Star currently has two locations with varied services and approximately 27 staff members across locations. The Sunbury location is for middle school and high school students, and offers a partial hospitalization program, while the Watsontown location is for elementary students.
This program was designed to not only benefit students, but also their parents and families, and school districts. Five Star serves students that need special attention and individualized curriculums. School districts aren’t equipped with staff and programs that fit these needs. Five Star is a location that can offer these students the services and the individual attention necessary to succeed.
Written by Briana Shervinskie, a CSIU Summer 2018 Communications Intern. She is from Sunbury and is a junior at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. She is a dual major in Public Relations and Organizational Communication with a minor in Public Speaking. Having completed the CSIU internship, she is also considering a minor in Journalism.