Description of Program

City Honors School is a public, grade 5-12, theme-based magnet school established to bring together students of diverse backgrounds throughout the City of Buffalo to foster lessons in understanding, cooperation and leadership that will benefit future generations. STARS (STudents with Autism Rising to Success) has become an important part of the school’s mission and identity. Students in the STARS program and traditional education program at City Honors learn and grow from their interaction and experiences with one another.

At the same time, the STARS program provides students with Autism a tailored instructional experience and support from a team of educators specializing in Autism Spectrum Disorders. Teachers of the STARS Program provide services in an 8:1:1 self-contained classroom setting.

For grades 5 through 8 students will be in an 8:1:1 self-contained setting for the 4 core area subjects (Math, Science, English, Social Studies). Students in 5th and 6th grade have the same teacher for all subjects. Students in 7th and 8th grade have one teacher for Math and Science and a second teacher for English and Social Studies.

At the high school level students are provided with an authentic high school experience. Classes are departmentalized and taught by highly qualified teachers of that subject area. Students rotate between the four core subject areas (Math, Science, English, Social Studies), all in 8:1:1 settings. Students participate in formal CTE business courses to develop college and career readiness skills.

In addition to the regents track STARS classes, there are classes for students in an Alternate Assessment Program. The middle school and high school alternate assessment classes collaborate frequently to teach students reading, writing and math skills along with life skills. Students in the alternate assessment program work and participate in the community.

Students take all elective courses outside of the program, not in self-contained settings. Students are encouraged to participate in extra curricular activities and all school events.  

Program Services

General Social Skills

The program offers social skills training. A main component of Autism Spectrum Disorders is the developmental delays relating to social consciousness and behaviors. Social skills training is a core component embedded in the daily curriculum. Concepts focused upon include: daily living skills, job readiness, life skills, and self-advocacy.

Social Club Program

City Honors Social Club is a peer friendship program for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and peers in general education that focuses on developing social and communication skills, having fun and promoting community and acceptance of all students at City Honors School (CHS). Involvement in the program will increase awareness, acceptance and understanding of differences, build leadership skills, and strengthen students’ college or job applications. The program as a whole will promote autism awareness and social bonds in the City Honors community. Students wishing to participate in Social Club should be mature, patient and understanding and have strong communication and leadership skills.


Transition services include career exploration, links with service coordination, day-to-day changes, and post secondary planning with the support of ACCES-VR. As students approach graduation, they will be given opportunities to visit colleges and participate in college exploration programs. This is based on student need and a student's future plans. 

Research-Based Behavior Management

STARS utilizes research-based positive behavioral supports, such as positive reinforcement and individual behavior modification plans.

Positive Behavior Intervention System

All STARS classrooms utilize a Positive Behavior Intervention System in varying forms. The type of system varies from classroom to classroom but all programs are designed to be age appropriate and specific for the needs of the students in that classroom. Good behavior management systems change and adapt to meet the needs of the students receiving instruction. 

For More Information

If you are interested in obtaining more information or would like to explore the STARS Intake Process please contact the Placement Office:

Placement Office, School #12
Telephone: 716-816-3952
Fax: 716-816-3997

NOTE: It is important to understand the STARS Program is an academically based program and not equipped to support all manifestations of autism and related disabilities. Our BPS placement specialist and program faculty will work with your family to determine whether STARS may be a fit for your child's needs.

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