Aurora Program

Aurora is an alternative program designed for students for whom the regular school day is not appropriate. Our students come from a wide variety of schools and display a wide range of exceptionalities. What they have in common is a need for a smaller, more personalized environment with individualized social, emotional, and behavioral supports. 

Due to these supports, students at Aurora drastically reduce their incidents of frustration and out of school time. Through restorative and therapeutic approaches, our staff empower students to build their adaptive coping skills so they are able to engage in an academically rigorous, grade-level curriculum. 

Aurora is a small community-centered program, with up to 40 students in grades K-8. Located on the beautiful Tubman Montessori campus, students spend their day engaging in academic classes, community time, and enrichment and play activities. 

Typically, students come to Aurora by way of their school’s special education team. 

If you believe Aurora may be the right fit for your student or child, here is how to initiate the referral process: 

  • Contact your child’s special education director and inquire about the Aurora referral process
  • School special education personnel then contact Carissa Kolakauskas, Director of the Aurora Program.
  • School personnel complete and submit the Aurora Referral Packet and include supporting documentation
  • The Aurora team visits the child’s school to observe them in academic classes and social environments
  • School special education team and the Aurora team determine whether Aurora is an appropriate placement for the child. 
  • A transition plan is put in place involving the parent, the sending school, and Aurora. 

* Note: Aurora is not on the NCAP, meaning parents cannot select Aurora directly as a placement for their child. Instead, see above for the process. Students transitioning to the Aurora program retain their enrollment at their sending school. 

In order to accept a student into the Aurora program, we require the sending school provide data that documents the behavioral and academic interventions provided to the student in their current environment. Without that data, a referral will not be accepted.


To contact the program Director:

Carissa Kolakauskas, LCSW-BACS
Director, Aurora Program
(504) 708-8325