Our Program

Creating a Beloved Community where all students feel safe and thrive.

Esther B. Clark Schools

Life at EBC

Esther B. Clark School strives to exist as a Beloved Community in which all members feel a sense of safety, belonging and inclusion when working and learning together. Through our work, we seek to transform the way our students view themselves and their school experience.

Back of student with long hair and a backpack giving a thumbs up

Our goal is to create a Beloved Community
and this will require a qualitative change in our souls as well as a quantitative change in our lives.

—Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

How We Help

EBC offers the following program experience for all our students:

  • Specialized academic instruction in all core subjects
  • Small class sizes (12 or fewer students)
  • A special education teacher, behavior specialist and assistant in each classroom to ensure personalized attention and support
  • 4 hours/week of therapy services onsite including individual, family, group and art therapy
  • Social emotional learning (embedded and direct instruction)
  • Embedded schoolwide behavior plan with incentives, personalized as necessary
  • Ongoing collaboration with parents/caregivers, including home behavior plan
  • An ongoing commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging through dedicated instructional periods, community activities, and guest speaker events
  • A robust school culture, including monthly Beloved Community Barbecue and annual events (talent show, Art Gala, Community Lunch, Carnival and more)
Two Art Students Smiling and Sharing Unique Work


EBC’s student population consists of a broad range of learners, including students who are accessing grade level curriculum, students who are currently working below grade level, students who have missed significant portions of classroom instruction and students with specific learning disabilities. It is the role of our instructional staff to organize and deliver instruction so that all students are able to progress in the curriculum. EBC supports the use of learning tools (visuals, manipulatives, audiobooks, etc.) and assistive technology to help every student perform to their highest academic potential, and all students are provided with a Chromebook to use at school.

Teacher Demonstration to Engaged Group of Students

Our Academic Program

EBC’s academic program consists of regular instruction in the following subjects:

  • English Language Arts
  • Writing
  • Math
  • PE
  • Elective
  • History (fall semester)
  • Science (spring semester)

Most classrooms at EBC span two grade levels, and students are grouped according to age, academic levels, social cohesiveness and availability of space. It is the priority of our staff that all students receive academic instruction that is appropriate to their current level of achievement. If necessary, assignments may be modified or expectations may be temporarily adjusted in accordance with the student’s behavioral and therapeutic needs.

EBC offers general credits towards a California high school diploma for students in grades 9 and 10. EBC’s courses are not A-G Aprroved.


At EBC Schools, we understand that behavioral challenges are a manifestation of emotional dysregulation, and do not define our students.

Our behavior program is built on the core belief that all students want to be successful, and are capable of developing self-regulatory skills in a safe, supportive, and consistent environment.

Behavior is Communication

With the expertise of EBC’s program and staff, children with social-emotional challenges re-engage in learning and develop positive skills to transition back to a mainstream school environment.

Positive Behavior Teaching (PBT)

EBC utilizes a schoolwide behavior management system known as the Positive Behavior Teaching system, or PBT. Within the parameters of a well-established and clearly defined system of behavioral expectations, students receive scores based on their behaviors for each period of the school day. Supported by the Classroom Behavior Specialist, students set goals, reflect mindfully on their behavior throughout the school day and learn how to make choices that will result in desired outcomes (including tangible incentives, access to preferred activities and other rewards). PBT provides students with immediate, direct and positive feedback each day, reinforcing expected behavior and setting clear limits without relying primarily on consequences.

Iceberg of Behaviors - The Challenging Behavior Is The Communication

Additionally, the Classroom Behavior Specialist and other staff members provide real-time feedback and support in the classroom to help students maintain regulation and navigate the challenges of the school day. If desired by the caregiver(s), the Behavior Specialist also assists in setting up a personalized home PBT to help the student meet behavior goals at home. We believe in the power of positive reinforcement (outdoor time, 1:1 time with preferred staff, reading, drawing, etc.), and make a point of communicating successes to caregivers to celebrate student progress.

The behavior skills training and social skills instruction incorporated into the EBC school day allow students to gain knowledge of themselves and the power of the choices they make. At the same time, they practice using these skills in the context of demands of the school day. Over time, students gain the ability to apply these skills more independently and generalize them to other settings. EBC’s behavior program teaches students practical strategies for handling stress, controlling impulses and displaying resilience through challenging situations.


The EBC program includes four dedicated therapy sessions per week. Upon enrollment at EBC, each student is assigned to work with one of our onsite school therapists, who provides weekly 1:1 therapy for the student as well as weekly family therapy. In addition to these regular sessions, students may also request to check in with their therapist throughout the week as needed. The therapist works closely with the student and the student’s classroom staff to establish goals and practice social-emotional skills, such as identifying emotions or utilizing appropriate coping strategies.

Additionally, all students participate in two weekly small group therapies. These include art therapy, harnessing the therapeutic powers of the creative process in our fully equipped on-campus art studio, and Therapeutic Activity Group (TAG), in which students engage in more traditional talk- and activity-based therapy activities.

Therapy Gym with Climbing and Swings

Two Student Support Specialists Smile and Hold Flowers

Highly qualified professionals provide onsite related services to students as designated by the student’s IEP. These professionals collaborate closely with the student’s classroom team, therapist and caregivers to maximize their support and progress.

  • Speech and Language Therapist
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Behavior Skills Trainer
  • Reading Specialist

Additionally, the following CHC staff members provide support to students and staff on each campus:

  • Student Support Counselor – provides proactive student engagement and responsive deescalation/crisis management.
  • Educational Technology Specialist – implements assistive technology systems and devices (e.g. audiobooks, dictation, device-based instructional programs and tools) to increase learning outcomes.

Having put about four or five years between me and EBC, I can confidently say that Esther B. Clark is an amazing program that absolutely changed my life. It helped me deal with my issues and become an infinitely better person. I am so glad I went through this program.

—EBC Program Graduate