Academics

OUR PURPOSE

We are a school that serves bright dyslexic and twice exceptional students with strong visual-spatial thinking skills. Our program is unique and designed specifically for this population of students.

The elementary school classes (1st- 5th grades) are no larger than 6-7 students in a classroom and the middle school classes (6th - 8th grades) have an average of 8 students in a classroom.

All of our students rotate teachers throughout the day and are placed in classes that will allow us to work with them at their readiness level in mathematics and language arts.

 

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OUR PROGRAM

Our academic program strives to inspire students to explore areas of interest to them and to take an active part in their education. We do this by encouraging student choice as often as possible, from books they read, to topics they write about, to the way they share their learning. This creates a highly individualized learning experience.

Our program focuses not only on academic mastery, but also emphasizes executive functioning skills, self-awareness practices, and advocacy skills. These are essential pieces to our program that are woven throughout all classes.

SCHOOLWIDE LEARNER OUTCOMES

VALUES CONTEXT: SELF CONTEXT: SOCIAL CONTEXT: ACADEMIC
Athena Academy Graduates will demonstrate Self- awareness and Self-advocacy Skills Students are aware of their strengths and needs and have strategies to self-regulate and advocate effectively for their needs. Students are aware of their strengths and needs in social situations and advocate appropriately. Students are aware of their strengths, needs, and learning styles, use appropriate strategies, and advocate for accommodations.
Athena Academy Graduates will approach life with Flexibility, Compassion, and a Growth Mindset Students approach new situations with an understanding that there could be multiple ways to address them.  This allows the student to persevere through the challenge because they know learning happens when risks are taken and mistakes are accepted. Students are capable of appreciating different perspectives by trying something new. They show empathy and compassion listening to, considering, and respecting different perspectives and compromising when necessary. Students are willing to focus on their areas of need in an effort to grow their skills. Our students seek to challenge themselves and choose to make multiple attempts at a challenge. 
Athena Academy Graduates will be Problem Solvers Students use their self-awareness to recognize when there is a problem. Students are able to use strategies and recognize what to do or who to go to when there is a problem.  Students independently utilize communication skills and several problem-solving strategies with peers, such as collaboration, compromising, sharing, taking turns, taking a break, and more! Students are able to problem solve by breaking down a task and setting goals. Students ask for clarification or repetition when necessary. 
Athena Academy Graduates will be Effective Communicators  Students recognize the difference between hearing and listening and use the techniques of clarification and reflection both in self-talk and communicating with others. Students are able to communicate with empathy, listen for understanding, and share their opinions by clearly stating their truth. They collaborate and utilize compassion when working with others. Students express ideas and information confidently in a variety of modes of communication, using language appropriate to the situation. They effectively communicate their learning, ideas, and passions.

 

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Social Emotional Learning (SEL)

We recognize that many students come to Athena with negative experiences and emotions regarding school, and sometimes have a poor perception of themselves as students. This can result in some coping behaviors that might not serve them well.

Our SEL approach is designed to help students gain a deeper understanding of themselves, develop a growth mindset, work on communicating their needs in a healthy way, and build conflict resolution skills.

 

The SEL curriculum starts with helping students gain a greater self-awareness - through check-ins, role playing, and investigations into personal strengths and struggles. Then students practice how to see the strengths and struggles in others with compassion and understanding.

Students work on active listening, clear communication, appropriate tone of voice, and reading body language in order to express the things that they appreciate and find challenging with their peers.

Students work on group problem-solving through open sessions with a focus on restorative justice. Open sessions allow students to address problems that they are struggling with in any part of their lives, and their peers offer understanding, suggestions, or ask for clarification in order to help problem-solve the situation.

All of the activities and experiences in our SEL classes serve to build empathy, resilience, and a strong sense of community. The principles of social emotional learning are central to all that we do on campus.

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