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Essential Skills Development FAQs


If you believe your learner does not yet have the prerequisite skills to join our Foundations Program or another elementary program and would need additional support, they may be best suited for our Essential Skills Development (ESD) Program.


Our ESD program provides an individualized, alternative educational model of instruction that is based on the science of Applied Behavior Analysis.  We offer two different support levels based on the physical and social needs of our select group of learners. This program is specifically designed for learners who need to build their essential skills prior to moving into our Elementary Foundations program or another elementary program.


Below are examples of the skills and behaviors of a student well-suited for our ESD program at either Support Level One or Two. A board-certified behavior analyst will conduct a PEAK assessment that will cover skills within various developmental domains to determine the level of support needed for your learner.


Support Level One:

Student:Teacher ratio of no more than 3:1

Moderate-Severe distractibility or interfering behaviors 

  • Ex: unable to sit and attend to a task, high rates of stimming behaviors, etc. 

Mild-Moderate problem behavior

  • Occurring more than 40% of the time

  • Ex: Tantrum, non-compliance, verbal outbursts

Limited joint attention

  • Does not respond to name or other verbal prompts

  • Looks to others when seeking to have needs met (Ex. needs help, hungry, or thirsty)

Adult directed activity

  • Needs reinforcement throughout a 1-3 minute structured activity

  • Needs a high level of verbal, gestural, and some physical support to follow one-step directions that are familiar. 

Peer interactions 

  • Plays more often alone and sometimes disrupts the play of others

  • Limited functional play with toys or materials


Support Level Two:

Student:Teacher ratio of no more than 4:1

Mild-Moderate distractibility or interfering behaviors

  • Ex: Can sit and attend to tasks for a minimum of 3-5 minutes, low rates of stimming behaviors, etc. 

Mild problem behavior

  • Occurring less than 40% of the time

  • Ex: tantrum, noncompliance, verbal outbursts

Joint attention

  • Looks to others for praise or to share interest/engagement in activity.

  • Consistently looks when name is called.

Adult directed activity

  • Will complete a structured activity for 3-5 minutes and earn reinforcement when activity is completed. 

  • Needs a low to moderate level of verbal, gestural, and some physical support to follow 1 step directions that are familiar. 

Peer Interactions 

  • Engages in parallel play with peers.

  • Has some functional play skills. 


***Presence of aggression, self-injurious behavior, and property disruption will be evaluated on an individual basis looking at impact on classroom environment and individual support needed. A discussion of center-based ABA services may be recommended. 



What is the investment for an academic year at Bumblebee Academy?


Tuition & Fees: (items below included)

  • Instructional Materials

  • Technology: Learning programs/Apps and Parent Communication System                              


Program level placement will be determined by behavior analyst after the completion of an initial assessment.

  • ESD Level One- $300 per week

  • ESD Level Two- $250 per week

  • Initial assessment fee- $175 one-time fee* 

  • Registration fee- $125 one-time fee


*waived for current POTP families


Payment Options:

Weekly payment will be processed via automatic payment withdrawal.

  • Sibling Discount: A 5% sibling discount is given to families that have multiple siblings enrolled concurrently at the learning center. The discount only applies to tuition and not to any other fees. The oldest sibling is not eligible for the 5% discount. 

*Tuition is subject to change 

We do offer direct billing to the FES-UA scholarship through Step Up for Students. For more information on that funding, click here.

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