Model Program

TLC at Neshaminy (Formerly Tawanka Learning Center)

2001 Old Lincoln Highway
Langhorne, PA 19047

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Contact Information:
Mrs. Joann Holland

Program Specification:






Limited Evidence of Effectiveness

Age/Grade Level:

Target Settings:

Target Groups:

Middle School
High School




Other Participation Criteria:

All Ethnicities

Academic failure, chronic attendance issues, emotional, social, behavioral and/or familial issues


TLC @ Neshaminy a public alternative school serving Neshaminy School District.The program is relationship based. Students generally exhibit one or more at-risk factors. Approximately 15% of the students have IEPS. Several Once identified and after RTI has been implemented, the social worker presents the student's case to a Review Committee(Pupil Services Director, Special Ed. Supervisors, Social Workers,Director of K12 Education). In limited cases, students with Board Policy Violations are considered for approval. Once approved, the student and parent meet with the TLC principal, counselor and social worker at an intake interview. Following the meeting, the potential student is asked to discuss attending TLC with his/her support people and then contact the principal to express his/her wishes to/not to attend TLC. This is the student's first step in taking responsibility. In addition to academic, students engage in weekly service learning projects, Individual Service Plan mentoring, Co-op, and elective courses. The most coveted electives are those having to do with personal wellness (weightlifting, meditation,etc.) All students participate twice a week in Educational Support Groups with a certified therapist. Some students receive additional mental health support with school psychologist and or inter-agency wrap around. TLC students have the opportunity to take academic/elective classes at the regular high school as well as participate in the HS athletic and co-curricular programs. The TLC program is situated in a secure and separate building located on the main high school campus. The school day is condensed yet exceeds the 990 hours required of annual instruction. Enrollment is capped at 75 concurrent students. The maximum class size is eighteen. TLC students are encouraged to "do well, and stay and do well" until they begin to transition back to their home school, or in some cases, go directly into community college as a Dual Enrollment students.

Program Descriptors Include:
Academic Improvement, Alternative Education, Attendance/Truancy, Behavior Management/Discipline, Career Education, Community Collaboration, Computer Assisted Instruction, Counseling/Advisories/Coaches, Credit Recovery, Family/Parental Involvement, Homeless, Literacy Development, Mentoring/Tutoring, Middle/Early College, Professional Development, Service Learning, Students with Disabilities, Study Skills, Substance Abuse, Teen Pregnancy, Life Skills Training

Strategies for Locating Students:

Starting Date: 2002
Students Served Per Year: 50-250
Reenrolled Students with Disabilities: 16-20%
Last Verified: 2010

Risk Factors:

Protective Factors:

Program addresses the following:

Individual factors

  • Has a learning disability or emotional disturbance
  • Parenthood
  • High-risk peer group
  • High-risk social behavior
  • Highly socially active outside of school
  • Low achievement
  • Retention/overage for grade
  • Poor attendance
  • Lack of effort
  • Low commitment to school
  • No extracurricular participation
  • Misbehavior
  • Early aggression

Family factors

  • Low socioeconomic status
  • Low education level of parents
  • Not living with both natural parents
  • Family disruption
  • Sibling(s) has dropped out

School factors

  • School size: too small/too large
  • School policies and practices
  • Student engagement
  • Teacher expectations

Community factors

  • Family composition/socioeconomic status
  • Youth social attitudes

Program promotes the following:


  • Presence and involvement of caring, supportive adults
  • Opportunities and rewards for pro-social involvement
  • Clear social norms
  • Good relationships with parents, peers, and teachers
  • Perception of support from adults and peers


  • Healthy/conventional beliefs and standards
  • Positive/resilient temperament


  • Social competencies
  • Self efficacy


  • Problem-solving skills
  • Flexibility


  • High expectations by community, family, school, and self
  • Optimistic

Program Resources:

Annual Cost:

The annual cost range of the program is over $500,000 or over $2000 per student.

Funding Sources Include:

Program Staff Includes:

School Districts

Social Workers
Graduation Coaches
School Administrators

Materials Used:

Supporting / Partner Organizations:

Instructional Texts/Manuals
Computer/Internet Based

Bucks County Community College, Bucks County Juvenile Probation, Child, Home and Community, Bucks County of Employment and Training

Evaluation Information:

Graduation Rate for 2009-2010 School Year 100%. Graduation Rate for years 2002-2009 96-98%. Granted US Presidential Volunteer Service Silver Award. Project Wisdom Character Education 2009-10 Year. Currently implementing School Wide Positive Behavior Support(SWPBS).

How evaluation data was collected:
Data collected and analyzed at school/district level