Initially our students will attend their core academic classes, such as math, science, language arts, etc., in our ILA classroom. These students will benefit from individualized attention from our staff as they proceed through course material at a pace appropriate for them. All of our students are eligible to participate in electives, such as physical education, art, music, etc., alongside their mainstream peers.
Students who are more academically proficient are able to attend mainstream general education classes. So long as they can demonstrate the academic and behavioral capacity, these students can enroll in any courses offered by the public school. Eligible students can even attend honors or advanced placement courses.
In consultation with each student’s counselor and child study team, as well as our privately contracted BCBA, ILA synthesizes data-driven information to provide each student with an academic regimen that will allow him or her to reach their full potential. Our students’ potential for academic accomplishment is limited only by their own capacity.
Multisensory Reading Interventions
Multisensory reading programs are essentially an incorporation of visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning approaches. These programs can be implemented in groups or individually. Multisensory reading methodology was originally intended for students with reading disabilities, such as dyslexia, but are in fact beneficial for all learners.
Our staff is trained in a variety of reading programs including Orton-Gillingham, Lindamood-Bell, and the Sonday System. Our goal is to utilize the approach that best suits the needs of each individual student.
Behavior Modification System
As an approved private school, ILA is accountable for each student’s academic performance. Our whole-child-approach demands that each student possess appropriate behaviors and demonstrate emotional wellness in order to be successful academically. ILA utilizes a positive-based behavior modification point system.
Up to ten points are earned each period in six specific behavior-oriented categories including participation, acting as a role model, and respecting others. As students learn to self-assess their conduct the process evolves into self-monitoring throughout the day. The object is for this self-evaluative process to become intrinsic in every aspect of a student’s life. Points are awarded at the end of every period of the day. Students meet briefly with teachers and offer their assessment of their performance in class, at which time teachers will advise students as to the accuracy of their evaluations.
Points are tallied on Thursday each week to determine a student’s qualification for Friday “Rewards Day.” The “Point System” also serves to offer teachers and counselors a snapshot into a student’s overall performance and progression in the ILA program.
Behavior Analysis and Therapy Services
ILA contracts with other private agencies to provide additional services for our students. Occupational therapy, speech therapy, and physical therapy are provided by a New Jersey Department of Education approved agency.
ILA also employs a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) to conduct training with our staff in nonviolent crisis prevention techniques and assist in ongoing professional development. We also use our BCBA to perform in-home consultations and run parent training seminars.
Mindfulness and School Yoga Program
Inclusive Learning Academy is making mindfulness the theme for the 2017-2018 school year. Among our new initiatives, we are incorporating a school-specific yoga program in all of our classrooms. This program, Yoga Calm, utilizes both physical yoga exercises and mindfulness activities for 5-10 minutes each day. The goal of the program is to teach coping skills for reducing stress, enhance students’ attentiveness, and develop social-emotional skills.
Studies have proven that the practice of mindfulness and yoga can significantly reduce anxiety, boost self-esteem, increase test scores, and create a generally more positive classroom environment. Under the direction of our Yoga Calm Instructor, our entire staff will be implementing daily exercises and teaching a variety of techniques with the specific intent of improving academic performance and enhancing mindfulness for all of our students.
Mindfulness is basically defined as the ability to be fully present and focused, free of distractions or anxieties. Mindful students are better able to understand how their thoughts and feelings influence themselves and others. Mindfulness programs help students learn to develop self-regulation, manage strong emotions, and build physical and emotional strength.
Students at the Inclusive Learning Academy are expected to participate in our community service initiative. Apart from the satisfaction and pride students can take in their effort, community service also affords them an opportunity to build their self-esteem, develop leadership abilities, and learn skills that they can incorporate into their daily lives.
Some community service hours may be completed during the school day through service learning projects and class trips. Community service hours are logged and tracked every semester.