Commitment to Excellence
It is our view that there are varieties of equally excellent instructional models (direct instruction, small group instruction, peer tutoring, etc.). Our administrative team clarifies mandates for classroom teams such as instructional minutes, California Department of Education (CDE) compliance protocols, California Standards and Frameworks and contractual obligations. But it is our desire to have each teacher be an instructional leader in her classroom, and to organize her class based on her teaching strengths and interests, keeping in mind mandates and students' individual IEPs. This way, instead of a single instructional "style" impressed on each classroom, teachers have flexibility to individualize student instruction and classroom organization. We find that when our team of professional educators has the authority to guide their instruction, collaboration with our administrative team is truly institutionalized.
Each of our classroom teams throughout the year collects student assessment and evaluation data for our annual program review process; and we meet formally with the schools' classroom teams, school administration, and Five Acres management (including the Board) to review our school-wide progress in all targeted areas. These are a series of four formal 2-hour meetings per year to review school-wide progress. Both successes and challenges are shared by our entire agency team as we work to improve student learning across the curriculum.
All of our K-10 special education classrooms are self-contained. Each teacher teaches reading, writing, math, science, art, social studies and PE. All materials are aligned with CA Standards and Frameworks. All teachers have earned valid Mild/Moderate Special Education credentials required for our CDE certification.
We are members of both CAPSES (California Association of Private Special Education Schools) and the California Alliance of Child & Family Services, and they both assist us in monitoring updates from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing and from CDE concerning on-going excellence in special education. Our School first became WASC (Western Association of Schools & Colleges) accredited in March 2007. Link to WASC Certification.