Our curriculum is based on National Educational Standards; our approach is unique. That’s because how we teach the curriculum varies according to the needs of the student. Whether that means a sensory sensitive environment, reducing task-demand until the student feels successful or designing an individualized learning path, we carefully meet each student’s needs.
How We Do It
Students alternate regularly between engaging with teachers and peers and focusing on online content tailored to their learning pace and progress. The result of blended learning is richer and deeper interactions between teachers and students than in traditional classrooms. Integrating technology and teaching allows students to fully master content and skills, and at the pace that’s right for them.
Homogeneous Groupings for Math and Language Arts
For math and language arts, students are grouped and taught at their instructional level, not their grade level. This allows each student to achieve success, regardless of where they are academically in comparison to other students their age. An average of eight students with one teacher and one educational assistant professional during math and language arts allows the teacher to firmly grasp each student’s specific challenges, and make modifications as needed.
Students with learning differences need more repetition, more teacher-directed instruction, and more input via all modalities in order to thoroughly learn a subject. The goal is to ‘teach to mastery’; therefore, there is ongoing assessment and reinforcement of student learning.
Social Skills is taught both through a daily Social skills class and infused into the expectations and instruction in every class.
Uniquely Structured School Day
- Competency in math and language arts forms the foundation for success in other subjects so the entire morning is devoted to their intensive study.
- Both math and language arts are taught at the same time school-wide. This provides us with the ability to be flexible and responsive to the changing needs of each student.
- Project based learning accommodates students with varying learning styles and differences and develops the student’s ability to work with his or her peers, building teamwork and group skills.
- Students are grouped with students of similar social abilities for afternoon classes including Social Studies/Science, and electives of Fine Arts, Gym, Brain Training, Technology, Life Skills and Social Skills.
- Wherever possible, our science and social studies curriculums are reinforced through our Fine Arts
- Community based instruction at nature centers, music and theater performances or through community resources complement classroom work.
Technology is an important part of teaching at Academy of Whole Learning. In addition to being an integral part of our world, technology helps students access information, write reports and finish homework faster and more easily.
- Every classroom has an interactive whiteboard.
- Technology is both integrated into the curriculum and taught directly. Students create individual portfolios to showcase their learning through video production, designing Prezi’s and PowerPoint presentations, and computer programming.
- All students have daily keyboarding instruction, to increase their typing speed.
- All students have computer work stations in each classroom.
- We will help parents obtain any assistive technology needed.
- Every classroom has iPads.
Testing and Evaluating
Academy of Whole Learning uses a variety of testing procedures in order to evaluate progress and guide instruction, including norm-referenced testing, criterion-reference testing, and performance-based assessments.
We use the most up-to-date testing materials and take a great deal of care to examine and consider test results. Testing data helps us determine a student’s areas of strengths and weaknesses, allowing us to make the best possible decisions when planning the student’s placement and curriculum.