The Creekside School

  • The Creekside School is a nonprofit 501(c)3 private and nonpublic school dedicated to students with challenges relating to the world around them, most commonly found in autism and related special needs.
  • We are devoted to discovering untapped potential often overlooked due to communicative and/or sensory motor-based issues.
  • Currently, The Creekside School serves students in grades K-8, and we are working toward developing a high school/young adult curriculum so that the current class of students may continue attending The Creekside School until the age of 22.

School Overview

School TypeSpecial Education School
School Membership(s)School Assoc.California Association of Private Special Education Schools (CAPSES)
Religious AffiliationNonsectarian
Grades OfferedGrades 1-10
Learning Difference ProgramsYes
Learning Programs Supportedautism, PDD-NOS, developmental delay, etc.
Year Founded2007
Summer School OfferedYes

Student Body

Total Students10 students
Student Body TypeCo-ed
% Students of Color
State avg.: 44%

Academics and Faculty

Total Classroom Teachers2 teachers
Student : Teacher Ratio5:1
National avg.: 13:1
Average Class Size5 students
Classroom Dress CodeCasual

Finances and Admission

Admission DeadlineNone / Rolling
Admissions DirectorKelly Ettinger
Admissions AssociateKavita Ramani

School Notes

  • Mission
  • The Creekside School is committed to building an individualized, educational, and therapeutic school program fostering greater student independence and healthy development.
  • We believe that anyone can learn once we learn how to teach them.
  • Guided by this simple premise, it is each student's unique set of interests, strengths and needs which are the driving factor for their comprehensive program. Through active collaboration between professionals and those who comprise the family unit, we strive to gain a greater understanding of the student as a whole so that we can develop programs accordingly.
  • Philosophy
  • Our foundation is based in the DIR®/Floortime™ model, created by Drs. Greenspan and Wieder. Though this model was originally intended for young children in clinical and/or home-based settings, TCS uses principles of DIR® and Floortime™ within a curriculum appropriate for a school environment serving students ages 5-14.  The Developmental, Individual difference, Relationship-based (DIR®/Floortime™) model is a framework that helps clinicians, parents and educators develop intervention programs tailored to the unique challenges and strengths of students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and other developmental challenges (for more information on DIR®/ Floortime™, please visit or
  • The components of the DIR® framework that TCS emphasizes include individualizing students’ educational program and placing emphasis on students’ interests and autonomy as the primary drive for learning.  TCS takes an eclectic approach, using a variety of educational and therapeutic interventions, including but not limited to Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), SCERTS® (focusing on Social Communication, Emotional Regulation, and Transactional Support), and/or Relationship Development Intervention (RDI®), adapted to the needs of each student. Our team strives to stay current with progressive methodologies as potential intervention options.
  • TCS Student Goals:
  • All students will achieve greater independence through:
  • -Developing effective means of communication
  • -Learning positive behaviors/ self regulation skills
  • -Building relationships and acquiring social skills
  • -Gaining community skills/access to community
  • -Developing academic skills to be generalized across multiple life contexts
  • Organization Goals
  • -Foster open communication and collaboration with parents/guardians and across all care providers, to allow for consistency in care/interventions, meeting the individual needs of every student
  • -Provide a supportive community for families to learn, participate, and foster healthy family relationships
  • -Use a holistic approach in thinking about students; this includes TCS staff collaborating with other professionals (including private therapists and physicians) as needed to promote further development and find solutions to challenges related to the needs of each student
  • -Provide a safe, nurturing environment where students thrive and develop to their highest potential
  • -Educate students at their developmental level with age-appropriate activities
  • -Provide functional and meaningful, multi-sensory, experienced-based learning opportunities leading to the development of academic, vocational, and daily living skills that can be practiced and integrated across all environments and people
  • -Raise greater awareness and understanding within the public community of autism and those with sensory and communicative challenges
  • Educational Program and Curriculum
  • Individual student programming and participation in specific activities is based on IEP goals and the student’s Developmental and Individual Differences Profile (DIDP).  The DIDP is a document created by the teacher and therapists using input from assessments, observations, family members, and outside providers working with the student.  It is recommended that parents share this document with all those working with their child to have a greater understanding of the students’ needs.  The classroom team further uses the DIDP to design activities and the learning environment in a way that promotes sensory regulation, communication, and active participation.
  • Class sizes are small (up to 5 students) in order to effectively organize and manage the environment, and to ensure the students receive the attention needed to support learning throughout the day.  We currently have two classrooms, separated by the age range of students enrolled.
  • Classroom Team
  • TCS classroom staff support the varying needs of the classroom and individual needs of students by utilizing a highly collaborative and interdisciplinary approach in which team members consult with each other regularly and provide training across disciplines.  The classroom team consists of:
  • -Educational coordinator and Behavior Intervention Case Manager (BICM)
  • -Special education teacher
  • -Speech-language pathologist
  • -Occupational therapist
  • -Inclusion specialist
  • -Experienced teaching assistants
  • All classroom team members bring various areas of expertise in order to provide a high quality educational and therapeutic program for all students. The progress and development of each student is evaluated regularly through observations, data collection, team discussions, ongoing communication with family members, care providers, and other professionals, as well as through data analysis sessions, staff to staff consult, coaching and observations, and video reviews to ensure the students continue to progress and flourish. Should challenges arise, team members collaborate and problem solve ways in which to best support the educational needs of each student.
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Show me:
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The average private school tuition in San Jose, CA is $13,188 for elementary schools and $18,933 for high schools (read more about average private school tuition across the country).
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