Community-Based Instruction (CBI) is a research-based strategy that promotes the functional acquisition of skills in natural settings, specifically for students with disabilities. The program in the Englewood Public Schools is offered at McCloud (grades 4-5-6), J.E. Dismus Middle School (grades 7-8) and Dwight Morrow High School (grades 9-12).
CBI is designed for students who need systematic instruction in functional and daily living skills and is documented in the IEP of a student participant as an instructional strategy and component of his/her transition plan. CBI is a strategy that is sequential and ongoing. The specific areas that are focused on are:
- Vocational: Students learn about community workers and participate in on-campus as well as off-campus career exploration. They also learn related employability skills such as being on time, staying on task, following rules and instruction, and other work-related skills.
- Domestic: Skill areas include self-care, personal grooming, wellness and nutrition and home care such as laundry, housekeeping, cooking and meal planning.
- Community: Students learn about, and use various transportation modes. They visit and use places in the community including libraries, restaurants, shopping centers/malls, the post office, and convenience stores.
- Recreation and Leisure: The focus is on learning how to utilize public recreation options and to plan personal leisure time. Students also participate in recreational activities at places like the Ice Rink, local bowling lanes, tennis courts, and Overbeck Park.
The NJ DOE defines Community Based Instruction as follows: CBI means an instructional method involving the use of sustained and repeated instructional activities that take place in various natural community environments outside of the school building in order to facilitate skill development and generalization. Community-Based Instruction goals are directly related to objectives written in the students' Individual Education Programs (IEPs), and therefore, they reflect the individual needs of each student.