“To provide an educational environment where students excel academically, socially and emotionally.”
Our school serves special needs students in grades 1 – 12. The Williams Academy recognizes that Special Education students cannot be served adequately without frequent, thorough assessment to determine eligibility, levels of functioning in all designated or suspected areas of concern, and appropriate educational planning. The student’s goals and objectives, and The Williams Academy’s application and implementation of its instructional, psycho-educational and behavioral program, all are guided on an on-going basis by an efficient student assessment process. The Williams Academy’s student assessments are conducted by an experienced multi-disciplinary team of professionals. This team includes a school psychiatrist, psychologist, behavior consultants, social worker and one part-time licensed clinical social worker, credentialed special education teachers, transition specialist, and a licensed speech pathologist. If deemed appropriate, this team would include special staff knowledgeable and understanding of cultural and ethnic concerns.
The Williams Academy utilizes a variety of assessment instruments and procedures. No single assessment procedure, instrument or observation may serve as the sole criterion for determining or altering a student’s educational program. Students at The Williams academy are assessed for needs and levels of functioning or performance in several areas: Academic, Behavioral, Psychological, Speech and Language, Social Development, Community/ Adult Living, and Motor Skills. Assessment begins with a student’s initial Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting. These meetings are always held at least once per year for each student.
At IEP meetings, the current academic and behavior levels of the student are discussed; the parent or care provider and the student’s assigned school district are consulted to identify current goals, objectives and other areas of focus for the student’s educational program depending on grade level, ability and interests, the teacher implements appropriate curriculum for each student. Each teacher modifies lesson plans and activity sheets for individual students. The individual learning modalities, strengths and disabilities are factored into the development of individual education programs. Each student is evaluated regarding these factors and provided with California State Standards based curriculum that is best suited for their abilities and impairments. Educational plans are routinely monitored, updated (four times a year) and modified if necessary. Such changes are based on frequent multidisciplinary assessment; staff, parent and district conferencing; and IEP team suggestions.
We expect each student at The Williams Academy to do the following:
1.) The Williams Academy student will be a responsible communicator:
Who is able to construct meaning through actively reading, listening, and writing at his or her academic level.
Who is able to use verbal and non-verbal techniques to communicate effectively.
Who is able to self-manage his or her emotions and sustain positive peer interactions.
2.) The Williams Academy student will be a self-directed learner
Who is able to draw connections, apply and appraise his or her learning in terms of educational and personal goals as defined in each student’s IEP.
Who is able to critically analyze multiple solutions to complex scenarios.
Who is exposed to a core body of knowledge as required by state academic content standards.
Who attends school on a regular basis.
3.) The Williams Academy student will be a community contributor
Who donates his or her time to improve the quality of life for others.
Who is exposed to cultural, academic, and linguistic diversity through cultural awareness.
4.) The Williams Academy student will be a technologically advanced learner.
Who acquires a basic understanding of computer applications.
Who is able to conduct research using web-based media.
The Williams Academy is a Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) accredited school.
The conceptual focus of curriculum development at The Williams Academy is centralized around student-centered learning. The goal and focus of curriculum development is to nurture more sophisticated thinkers in the K-12 sequence of education. Curriculum development at The Williams Academy is organized into eight major criterions: IEP, ITP, Student Interest, Behavior, District Graduation Requirements, California Content Standards, and Academic/ Psychological Assessment Results.
The IEP dictates what type, duration, and depth of curriculum a student’s program will entail at The Williams Academy. Inclusive of the IEP are transition plans, academic and behavioral goals, assessment results, interest surveys, and documented progress towards district graduation requirements. Each student’s academic goals are aligned with the State of California content standards.
When deemed appropriate, teachers at The Williams Academy are encouraged to utilize modified or adapted curriculum that is congruent to students’ learning modalities. Instructional strategies are frequently reviewed and evaluated to insure subject matter competency assessment results accurately reflect students’ learning abilities.
SCHOOL LEADERSHIP TEAM
The leadership team operates from the assumption that each stakeholder functions as a highly knowledgeable individual whose primary role is to facilitate the acquisition of information for the improvement of student learning. As such, the school’s leadership team utilizes a democratic decision making process to maintain high quality educational standards and professionalism. When possible, decisions are generally made at teacher and staff meetings. Teacher meetings are held on Wednesdays at 2:00 p.m. and staff meetings take place every Friday at 2:15 p.m. This consistent meeting schedule extends greater flexibility to staff and offers them ongoing participation opportunities in the school governance process. While many school site improvements are often identified by the administrative or teaching personnel, modes of communication are in place to validate the concerns of all stakeholders. The school has a suggestion/comments box and all administrators have an open door policy which is reinforced on a continuous basis at staff meetings. Teachers also routinely contact parents every Friday to communicate student progress and to acquire feedback regarding classroom instructional practices. Furthermore, the administrative team consults with the parents of those students who need additional support to achieve IEP and school learning goals. A shared responsibility for student learning is also evident in each student’s annual Individualized Education Program meeting where decisions are based on a consensus of all stakeholders.
The Williams Academy works with all stakeholders involved in a child’s educational process to develop a comprehensive written course of study for each student.
The goal for each student at the Williams Academy is to receive an appropriate education based on his or her needs.