In order to provide each child with more 1:1 instructional time, Excelsior Academy staff consult and collaborate to create small groups within each classroom setting. This allows teachers to provide more intensive instruction to some while allowing others to work at a more independent level. We believe that these practices assist students to grow academically, and help to increase their self-confidence, by allowing for small successes where they were frequently met with failure and frustration.
Each classroom and subject area course is planned with great attention to detail. Students are placed based on their individual academic abilities, learning styles, and social and emotional needs. It is the belief of Excelsior Academy that placing students based on the above factors creates a more safe and nurturing environment where each child has a greater chance for academic and social success.
Various teaching techniques and tools are utilized within the classroom. Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences (visual-spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, linguistic, and logical-mathematical) is employed within each lesson in attempt to meet the unique learning profile of each child. The use of technology as a learning tool is promoted across all grade levels. Students are able to navigate computer programs and gain hands-on, technical skills that they will be able to benefit throughout their academic lives. Technology is frequently embedded in the classroom curriculum and across course requirements. Programs such as Study Island are often used to create independent class lessons while simultaneously allowing students to access educational materials in a different manner.
Excelsior Academy classrooms are equipped with state of the art Apple iMacs and Apple TV’s. In addition, each student has access to our iPad and Macbook carts for individual use during academic hours.
The staff at Excelsior Academy make every attempt to create hands-on, real life learning experiences out of every environment and situation. Whether it be a trip to the grocery store to practice time and money management, a field trip to practice mobility, or attendance at a social event such as a Hang Out night to practice communication and interpersonal skills. On campus, we have a greenhouse and aquaponics farm that is run and created by the students. This allows hands-on learning in the subjects of science, vocational skills and transitional living skills.
Social and Emotional Needs
Here at Excelsior Academy we believe in addressing the whole child, in attempt to do so we offer both 1:1 counseling and occupational therapy services. These services help teach students to learn how to self-regulate and communicate their needs appropriately. Excelsior Academy takes the approach that a child’s needs should be addressed and processed. Teaching children the skills of how to work with their social emotional needs rather than ignoring them helps to provide the understanding that they can grow and succeed.