School and Class Culture Introduction“School culture may be defined as the attitude and beliefs of persons both inside the school and in the external environment, the cultural norms of the school, and the relationships between persons in the school.” (Boyd, 2012)
The Williams AcademyThe Williams Academy is a for profit non-public school founded by Dr. Thomas Williams in 2008. Its located in Sacramento, California.
The Williams Academy Vision Statement“To provide an educational environment where students excel academically, socially and emotionally.”
A Little About The AcademyAssessments:The Williams Academy’s student IEP assessments are conducted by an experienced multi-disciplinary team of professionalsThe Williams Academy students 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.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.
The Williams Academys Values and BeliefsThe Williams Academy is 6. The Williams Academy unique among Non-Public values the input of all their Schools(NPS). They strive staff and students. for excellence in many Ways. 7.The Williams Academy utilizes reflective practicesSome are as follows: at their weekly staff1. Belief in well-trained staff meetings to improve daily members. educational support2. Belief in therapeutic practices. practices.3. Belief that all students are 8. The Williams Academy teachable. makes sure that a job well4. High expectations from staff done doesnt go and students. unrewarded.5. Enlists parental involvement.
Appreciates Staff The Williams Academy supports staff successes. This fruit gift was for completing the WASC Accreditation process.
Fostered Student Learningthrough Extra Curricular Activities The Williams Academy fosters student learning through various extra curricular activities. Two Students from each classroom volunteered to take part in the school-wide Spelling Bee Contest. Science and Math was emphasized by school-wide participation in science experiments.
Fostered Student Learning through Team Building Activities The Williams Academy assisted in the development of non-public schools sports league. Students participated in soccer, basketball, and flag football.
Classroom Dynamics Classrooms have a maximum of 12 students. A teacher and 2 Instructional Assistants work cooperatively daily in each classroom.
The Williams Academy is a Learning Community Learning takes place everyday even when the students are having fun. Domains of safety, respect, cooperation, and team work are employed in every activity.
Daily Learning ObjectivesLearning Objective: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 IEPThe Williams Academy student will be a community contributor who donates his or her time to improve the quality of life for others.The Williams Academy student will be a technologically advanced learner.The Williams Academy student will be a responsible communicator
Multidisciplinary Practices Students are encouraged to exercise their talents. Students used technology to create animations. Students also participated in a mascot drawing contest.
A Work In ProgressIt is difficult to erase the stigma that is placed on Non-Public Schools. The average person understands that these schools are built in part to host students that typically could not be placed at their home school (public school). With that in mind, when a student mentions that he/she goes to a non-public school the judgment is that they are a bad student. The truth, they are not bad students, they are students that made bad choices.
Lessons LearnedI learned a lot while employed at The Williams Academy. I learned to differentiate instruction, be an effective planner, strategies to keep students engaged. Most of all, I learned how to classroom manage students with extreme behavioral issues.
ReferencesBoyd, V., (2012) The School Culture. SEDL-School Context: Bridge or Barrier to Change. Retrieved from http://www.sedl.org/change/school/The Williams Academy (2012) Retrieved from http://thewilliamsacademy.org/about-us/