Academics

Curriculum

curriculumThe curriculum domain is comprised of three areas of student growth:  academic, social/emotional, and health/fitness.  Below are the primary areas of curricular focus:

ACADEMIC GROWTH

Language Development – The Excelsior language approach is cognitive in nature, multi-sensory, structured, and sequential. Infinitely adaptable, it is a philosophy rather than a system.  Students at all levels develop skills in reading, comprehension, spelling, speaking, thinking, and listening. The programs chosen to deliver language instruction reflect best practices that meet the needs of students with unique learning profiles.

Speech/ Language Therapy – For those students needing additional attention to their speech/language needs, Excelsior therapists are available.  Speech/language therapy may address any of the following areas:  communication, articulation, listening, language development, pragmatic language, and cognition.

Written Expression – Students with unique learning profiles often require particular attention to writing.  Excelsior’s writing program is specifically designed to provide instruction in the many areas of written expression.  Writing is taught as a move from narrative forms to expository forms- from creative writing to the critical thinking involved in writing arguments, opinions, and research papers.

Mathematics – The Excelsior math program focuses on developing an understanding of concepts and applications.  Problem solving is an integral part of this learning process as it prepares students for everyday life skills.  Math instruction is approached through the following sequence: concrete, use of manipulative tools, numerical representations, and abstract concepts. Coursework begins with basic concepts and extends through Algebra II, Calculus, and higher depending on student needs.

Content Area Classes – A multi-sensory and experiential approach is used to teach the content area curriculum, including the sciences and social studies and the arts. Students are engaged in activities that emphasize skills in  reading, research, and problem solving as well as the development of study skills. Curriculum objectives are taught through a variety of lessons including small groups, whole groups, and student- centered cooperative groups.

District Course Requirements – Every Excelsior student completes a course of study designed to advance them toward completion of high school graduation requirements set forth by their school district of residence.

SOCIAL/EMOTIONAL GROWTH

Social Skills Program – The Excelsior Social Skills Program provides daily classes for social skills development at all levels.  Students acquire skills in the areas of relationships building, problem solving, decision making, school success, stress management, transition skills, and many more.

Character Education – As a National School of Character, Excelsior advances character development in students at all levels throughout the school day.  In structured settings and non-structured settings, in leisure time and in class, and on campus and off campus, students practice and demonstrate character traits such as respect, responsibility, cooperation, kindness, tolerance, making good choices, conflict resolution and more.

Service Learning – Throughout the year, Excelsior students are enthusiastically involved in community service projects. Students who attend Excelsior understand and agree with the importance of giving to others.  Some of the many community service projects include:  letter writing campaigns, feeding the homeless, visiting the elderly, litter campaigns, food drives, collecting clothes and supplies for families in need, and more.

Transition Program – Pathway to Independence was founded in 2013 to meet the needs of Excelsior Academy students as they transition from high school into the post-secondary environment.  Students engage in Common-Core aligned curriculum covering a variety of topics including: Communication, Self-Care/Independent Living, Social/Emotional Development, Functional Academics, Vocational Training, Mobility, and Recreation/Leisure.

Counseling Services – For those students requiring additional support, Excelsior provides non-therapeutic counseling services to strengthen students social/emotional, and academic functioning. Counseling, consultation and collaboration on a school-wide basis assist students with communicating, problem solving, coping skills, and maintaining healthy relations.

PHYSICAL GROWTH

Physical Education – The ultimate goals of the Excelsior Academy Physical Education Program are to improve the quality of living and enhance the health of our students. Students attend physical education classes on a daily basis and are instructed in the knowledge, attitudes, skills, and processes that lead to regular and enjoyable participation in physical activity, team building, fitness, and good health.

Intramural Sports – Intramural sports at Excelsior allows students of all ages and abilities to learn the value of sportsmanship, respect, and teamwork, but in a less competitive environment. Intramurals provide students the opportunity to play organized sports with their peers on a weekly basis during lunch.  Every student will play in each game provided they have met their academic responsibilities during the week.

Interscholastic Sports – The Interscholastic sports program provides students an opportunity to learn the benefits of competition, hard work, goal setting, cooperation, teamwork, respect and sportsmanship.  Students are able to learn, practice, and demonstrate these skills in a safe, structured, and positive environment.  Three sports are offered each year for students ages 13 and older:  flag football, basketball, and softball.  Interscholastic teams compete with teams from small schools like Excelsior.

Experiential Education – Excelsior Academy provides experiential learning opportunities that focus on the necessary concepts and skills which students need in order to develop a sense of self-worth in order to become confident, productive, and independent learners. Experiential education transfers learning from inside classrooms to outdoor settings. Students are challenged in safe and nurturing ways to discover their personal strengths, attitudes, and talents.

Occupational Therapy – The Excelsior Academy Occupational Therapy program provides evaluation and treatment to students with neurological and orthopedic challenges. Therapeutic activities are implemented by the Occupational Therapist to individual students, as needed, to enhance student performance and to help them achieve a higher level of learning in the classroom setting.