Our Unique Approach

Our Unique Approach to Special Education

Exceptional learners facing life’s greatest developmental and intellectual challenges, will benefit specifically from Damar Charter Academy’'s intensive, educational model, which combines research-based curriculum and instructional models with innovative behavioral support services designed to focus on the specific and unique needs of each student.

Practical, rigorous, outcomes-based individualized plans focusing on academic achievement, behavioral stability, language and communication development, social functioning, independent living and vocational skills are created to meet students where they are and help them succeed. Damar Charter Academy offers instruction in school and community-based settings, providing unique opportunities for exploration and learning.

Highly-qualified, licensed teachers deliver one-on-one instruction and provide positive reinforcement for even the smallest steps toward instructional goals, with the intent of making social interactions enjoyable for the student. At the same time, aggressive behaviors that interfere with learning are functionally examined to determine what the student gains from them and what sustains them. An intervention strategy is then designed to match treatment to function. Performance data is recorded and analyzed weekly, and the findings are used to refine intervention strategies and to determine when to progress to the next level of instruction. The program is grounded on the use of data to critically evaluate learning behaviors and to design and modify interventions to achieve the desired learning outcomes.

Instructional Models and Principles

  • Direct and explicit instructional methodology in reading, language arts, math and spelling
  • Individualized instruction in small classes with high staff-to-student ratios
  • Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Behavior intervention development and implementation
  • Functional life skills curriculum (Ansell Casey)
  • Academic skills development (Edmark and PLATO)
  • SRA Reading Laboratory
  • Communicative skills development, including speech and language therapy, Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) and total communication programs
  • Vocational training (James Stanfield Lifesmart Curriculum)
  • Occupational therapy
  • Health and physical education
  • Parent support and education groups
  • Mental health and counseling services
  • Alternative Education Program (HS Credit Program through PLATO)
  • Service Learning Program
  • Peer Mentor Program

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