ChanceLight®, the nation’s leading provider of behavioral health, therapy and education services for children and young adults, today announced a contract with the Muscogee County School District to collaborate with the district to provide services and supports for the Behavior Supports Program. This new program will provide students with emotional behavioral disorders in grades K-12 with life-changing education and therapy and is the first of its kind in Georgia.

The Behavior Supports Program integrates Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services with mental health supports. ABA therapy focuses on improving specific behaviors such as social skills, behavior reduction, and academics, as well as adaptive learning skills and independent functioning. ABA is effective for children and adolescents with emotional/behavioral disorders, and it has been shown that consistent ABA can significantly improve behaviors and social skills in the classroom, at home and in the community.

“Students with behavioral skill deficits benefit from mental health therapeutic services from qualified therapists, and specialized instruction to learn social and emotional skills in a safe environment,” Mark Claypool, CEO of ChanceLight Behavioral Health, Therapy and Education, said. “We look forward to working with the children, educators and families throughout the county to help change the direction of students’ lives by offering them the opportunity to create successful, independent futures.”

“The Muscogee County School District has experienced an increase in the frequency and intensity of significant behavioral deficits exhibited by students, which led to our district’s development of an appropriate continuum of services to best serve their needs while ensuring a safe and productive learning environment for all. Given the unique challenges associated with staffing and training this continuum within our district, a representative stakeholder committee ultimately recommended ChanceLight as the clear choice to collaborate with our district in providing the social/emotional and therapeutic services needed to support our students,” said Dr. David Lewis, Superintendent of Education, Muscogee County School District. “On behalf of all of our students, teachers and families in Muscogee County, who are going to be the beneficiaries of this collaboration, we are very pleased and excited for the potential this holds for all of our students, directly or indirectly.”

The Behavior Supports Program will provide academic and therapeutic services for students throughout the Behavior Supports Continuum of Services. Additionally, ChanceLight will partner with the District to provide professional development and technical assistance to teachers and staff across the entire continuum of services. The ChanceLight program will be in five elementary schools, four middle schools and three high schools, and will include 15 total classrooms.

To qualify for the Behavior Supports Program, a student must be identified by his or her Individualized Education Program (IEP) team as having behavioral skill deficits that require intensive academic, behavioral and social-emotional supports. Students with emotional/behavioral disorders often have co-occurring diagnoses such as:

  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Attention Deficit Disorder & Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity
  • Oppositional Defiant Disorder
  • Intermittent Explosive Disorder
  • Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Personality Disorder
  • Reactive Attachment Disorder
  • Victims of Abuse/Neglect

The Behavior Supports Program will include a Therapeutic Day School and Collaborative Classrooms. Therapeutic Day School classrooms provide services for students who struggle in a standard academic setting and who may have fallen behind due to emotional, behavioral or social skill challenges. In addition to core academic instruction, a Therapeutic Day School classroom offers individual and group counseling, behavior supports, social skills instruction and academic assistance in aligned with a student’s IEP in a separate setting.

In the Collaborative Classrooms, ChanceLight provides the classroom special education teachers, instructional aides and student services personnel, and implements the behavioral and educational programs in a general school setting. This ensures students receive the services their IEP requires in their Least Restrictive Environment (LRE), giving each student access to a setting that allows for maximum interaction with their general education peers.

“Our team is ready to get started,” Claypool said. “We’re on an aggressive hiring track, seeking to hire approximately 75 positions in the next few weeks. Our goal is to expand this program within Georgia and to other states where students and school districts have the need for specialized, innovative services,” he said.

ChanceLight will host a job fair on Thursday, June 13 from 8 a.m-6 p.m. at the DoubleTree Hotel located at 5351 Sidney Simons Blvd in Columbus. For more information about the open job positions, please visit, click on Education and enter Columbus, Georgia.

About ChanceLight

ChanceLight® is the nation’s leading provider of behavioral health, therapy and education solutions for children and young adults. We change the direction of children’s lives by offering them the opportunity to create successful, independent futures. ChanceLight serves nearly 19,000 clients and students each year at more than 150 locations in more than 20 states. We work with children and young adults who have special needs, or who have autism spectrum and other behavioral disorders; infants, children and young adults who have complex medical and developmental needs; and middle- and high school students who have dropped out of school or are at risk of dropping out.

Robin Embry
Lovell Communications Inc., 615-750-9033