The Content Mastery program, CM for short, is a school treatment center used primarily by elementary schools to aid developmentally challenged students. This program was developed in the Texas school system in an effort to improve upon the established resource rooms and aide the learning disabled. CM centers serve the need of students diagnosed with disabilities that affect learning and those who are considered at-risk for becoming diagnosed with learning disabilities and needing assistance through a school treatment center teacher.
Most school systems mainstream special needs children to keep them active with their peer groups and social community. They receive education directly from a regular teacher in a regular classroom. However, these children do need further instruction and help with their class work and are sent to the CM center when necessary. Students are allowed to go to the CM center, or school treatment center, only during periods of independent study and return to their regular classroom at the end of the period. The CM center is equipped to provide those children with a more focused learning environment, either in small groups or individually, similar to that of a tutoring center. They are staffed by special education teachers and assigned aides, who give guided instruction with the class work assigned by the student’s regular teacher. The idea is for the CM center to serve as a bridge between the mainstream classroom teacher and the special education teacher, uniting their skills and expertise for the student in the school treatment center.
This collaborative effort fostered by the CM center has many benefits for the student, not only for the progression of the student’s class work but for their social and personal development as well. It reinforces the student’s success in the mainstream classroom and with regular class work. It helps students to evaluate their own strengths and weaknesses and develop methods to deal with them. And, maybe even more importantly, it empowers the students to take an active role in their education, where they otherwise might have withdrawn due to the difficulties they encountered with the regular class work. Using the school treatment center, a child can grow with their fellow classmates, remaining a member of society and eliminating feelings of an “outsider”.