For students who struggle with learning, the academic component of school can be especially difficult. Continued failure in classes and conflict with teachers and parents over their poor grades is often a source of extreme stress for students. In addition, although some students can learn to do well in a traditional setting, other students have very different learning needs, which are difficult for most school to accommodate.
Read about our instructional approach and curriculum to learn how Atlantis Academy’s individualized instruction can help your child learn the skills necessary for life after high school and feel confident about their learning ability again.
Atlantis Academy’s primary academic goal is to teach core curriculum within a balanced framework that encourages critical thinking, creative reflection and both basic and college-level skills. We strive to challenge each student in ways unavailable in a traditional and public school education.
Our students receive individualized instruction designed to employ each student’s educational strengths in every class. Our staff is trained in diverse teaching methods. For example, great attention is paid to whether a student learns by doing (kinesthetic learning), by seeing (visual learning) or by hearing (auditory learning) and instruction and assessments are offered to fit that learning style. The instructional approach implemented by teachers is multi-faceted and utilizes a combination of instructional delivery and assessment models to ensure students master the skills and content being taught.
The models and strategies used by our teachers are research-based and effective in ensuring student success.
The courses offered at Atlantis Academy are designed for individual educational excellence for every student. Our individualized academic approach ensures that students work on materials at the level at which they can be appropriately challenged and experience success. We offer a variety of courses constructed within a self-paced curriculum and implemented by a staff highly trained in diverse teaching methods. Atlantis Academy students benefit from kinesthetic, visual, auditory and other teaching methods that are often absent in public school settings, as teachers adapt course materials and instructional techniques based on each student’s needs. Courses focus on specific content related to the Florida Sunshine State Standards and on skills necessary for academic and career success.
Our graduation requirements identify the credits that all students must earn in order to receive their high school diploma.
The assessment process starts with a parent interview. During the interview, parents and our Admissions Director go over the psycho-educational evaluation and the current IEP. After the initial interview, a full day school visit is scheduled for the prospective student. During the day visit, the teacher will administer non-standardized tests to determine the academic level of the student. Lastly, the teacher and director review the psychological evaluation and IEP to determine if the school is the appropriate placement before the admissions process can begin.
Counseling is an important component of the school program and is the responsibility of every adult in the school. Counseling goals include the following:
Students become competent in mathematics, reading and language arts. Students learn to apply skills in critical thinking, independent reasoning and in making rational judgments. They learn to set goals, motivate themselves and better manage their time – and they gain confidence in their ability to learn. Students also gain a better understanding of how they learn best and they develop the skills to appropriately self-advocate for that learning style.
Students receive guidance in social interactions and appropriate conflict resolution to help them feel more accepted as part of a community. Students learn skills in constructive problem-solving and how to appropriately advocate for their academic and emotional needs. As a result, students develop greater self-esteem and show improved relationships.
Students’ self-esteem grows as a result of experiencing academic and personal successes. Students learn more positive coping skills and to constructively use leisure time through activities such as reading, sports, art and volunteering. This helps students develop a sense of self-control and personal responsibility.
Career Success Skills
Students set goals for their adult future to include further higher education or pursuit of another immediate career. They learn skills to seek employment and to stay employed and they gain confidence in their ability to be successful in life after high school. Students discover how academic, emotional and social success will improve their work lives in the future.
School to Work
Community Work Skills Training (CWST) is a partnership between Atlantis Academy, area businesses and not-for-profit agencies. Its mission is to provide community-based training experiences for students who desire to be employed after high school. Additionally, the CWST is a secondary program of career and job exploration as well as job skills training at school and in the workplace setting. Each student is assigned a Placement Specialist who serves as a liaison between the classroom and the business. The Placement Specialist provides consultation and support services to the business as well as more direct training and supervisory support for the student if the training site requests this level of school staff involvement.
The student who gains employment through this program is considered to be an “intern” at the worksite. The purpose of the internship is to teach job-specific skills, work-related attitudes and behaviors. The onsite job training may be paid or non-paid. The employer evaluates the student by the same standards the business would evaluate the competency of all employees. Students earn both grade and credit for their training.
Learning how to make friends and how to get along with people are skills that many of our students need to improve. Gaining confidence in social settings has positive effects for students’ self-esteem. Clear, consistent boundary-setting from teachers helps students feel safe and models for them appropriate ways to have their needs met. Social Skills are taught through our newly adopted “Skills Streaming” curriculum. Skills Streaming offers alternative modes or responses that are repeatedly modeled. Learners are provided with guidance and ample opportunities to practice and model behavior under favorable conditions. The arrangement of “success experiences” in learning is created for the student to respond and behave differently.
The application of evidenced-based strategies and systems assist the school with increasing academic performance, increase safety, decrease problem behavior, and establish positive school culture. At Atlantis Academy we are committed to providing a safe and positive school environment for all students. The Positive Behavior Support program aims to build effective environments in which positive behavior is more effective than problematic behavior. Goals of an effective Positive Behavior Support program are:
- Positive Behavior Support replaces undesired behavior with a new behavior or skill
- Alters Environments
- Teaches appropriate skills
- Rewards appropriate behavior