Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
Faith Christian Academy utilizes the approach of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) addressing the unintentional barrier of the inflexible, one-size-fits-all curricula. Three principles guide UDL and allow students options to achieving success in the classroom:
- Provide Multiple Means of Representation (the “what” of learning). Students differ in the ways that they perceive and comprehend information that is presented. Some students may grasp information better through visual or auditory means rather than printed texted. There is no one means of representation that will be optimal for all students; providing options in representation is essential.
- Provide Multiple Means of Action and Expression (the how of learning). Students differ in the ways they can navigate a learning environment and express what they know. Some students may be able to express themselves well in writing text but not oral speech, or vice versa. There is no one means of expression that will be optimal for all students; providing options for expression is essential.
- Provide Multiple Means of Engagement (the “why” of learning). Students differ markedly in the ways in which they can be engaged or motivated to learn. Some students are easily engaged by spontaneity and novelty while others may be frightened by those aspects, preferring a strict routine. There is not one means of representation that will be optimal for all students; providing multiple options for engagement is essential.
Superflex, a superhero social thinking curriculum provides a fun and motivating way to teach elementary students social skills. Students with social and communication challenges are introduced to life size characters that are used during an array of activities. The three part cognitive behavioral curriculum helps students to develop further awareness of their own thinking and social behaviors and learn strategies to help them develop better self-regulation across a range of these behaviors.
Middle and high school students receive social skill guidance on a daily basis. The staff utilizes the supportive, structured strategy of performing a “social autopsy”, a term developed by Rick Lavoie. The process is effective in enabling the child to see the cause and effect relationship between the social behavior and the reactions of others in their environment. There are a number of benefits to using this strategy to foster skills such as: immediate feedback; positive reinforcement and support (rather than negative or punishing the child for a social error); active involvement with the student and one to one assistance.
Classroom assistance is available to aid in one to one and/or in a small group setting.
Personalized Education Plan
A Personalized Education Plan (PEP) is developed for each student attending Faith Christian Academy. The staff and parents review the transcripts, psychological evaluations, and other assessment (speech & language, occupational therapy, physical therapy, etc.) to create an appropriate plan for the child’s education. The PEP is a tool used to outline recommendations for academics, accommodations, organization and time management, anxiety and stress management, social skills, self esteem, and a sensory diet to nurture the whole child.
Faith Christian Academy utilizes a school-wide positive behavior plan. The school wide positive behavior plan is a systematic approach to establishing the behavioral supports need for students to achieve social and academic success. Appropriate conduct and good citizenship is recognized and rewarded.
The Bible teaches that behavior is not the basic issue for a child’s actions. The basic issue is what is going on in the heart. (Matthew 7:21-22). Heart Oriented Discipline is incorporated into the classroom to teach students how and why to make good decisions through Biblical instruction.
School Rules for Behavior
Use Kind Words & Actions
- And do not forget to do good and share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. Hebrew 13:16
- Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another about yourselves. Romans 12:10
- Gods says, blessed are those who are kind, I will be kind to them too. Matthew 5:7
- Each of you should look not only to your own interest but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:4
Display a Positive Attitude
- Do everything without complaining or arguing. Philippians 2:14
- Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus. Philippians 2:5
- A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Proverbs 17:22
- Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12
- When someone does something bad to you, do not do the same thing to him. I Peter 3:9
- Be kind and tenderhearted to one another, and forgive one another, as God has forgiven you through Christ. Ephesians 4:32
- Love one another warmly as Christian brothers, and be eager to show respect for one another. Romans 12:10
- Show a gentle attitude toward everyone. Philippians 4:5
- Do for others just what you want them to do for you. Luke 6:31
- Therefore encourage one another and build each other up. I Thessalonians 5:4
- Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flows the springs of life. Proverbs 4:23
Slow to Anger
- Any fool can start arguments; the honorable thing is to stay out of them. Proverbs 20:3
- Arrogance causes nothing but trouble. It is wiser to ask for advice. Proverbs 13:10
- A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel. Proverbs 15:18
- A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a hard word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1
The Bible teaches behavior is not the basic issue. The basic issue is what is going on in the heart. In Matthew 7:21-22, the section of the verse “from within” indicates outward behavior is only the manifestations of the real problem, which lie in the heart. The Bible uses the heart to speak of the inner you. Luke 6:45 notes the heart is the control center of life. Behavior is simply what alerts you to your child’s need for correction. By reaching the heart, and using heart oriented discipline, the behavior can be changed.