Teaching and Learning Like You’ve Never Seen Before
Every child is unique. Realizing that children learn at different rates and in different styles, Villa Maria offers personalized and specialized instruction in an environment sufficiently varied for students of widely different personalities, interests, and levels of learning.
Four students in a classroom working collaboratively in a cozy, intimate setting with a single teacher. That’s what learning looks like at Villa Maria and that’s one of the secrets of our continued success in fostering excellence and independence in children with learning differences. Teachers are always able to help each child by teaching according to their students’ individual needs.
All of our teachers at Villa Maria School are state-certified in special education. They are professionals – knowledgeable, compassionate, patient, and sensitive to the various learning styles of our students. They challenge students, emphasizing the mastery of reading, writing and mathematics skills, but they also provide a nurturing, supportive environment in which students can learn and succeed
A Multisensory and Innovative Approach
Recognizing the multiple intelligences of our students, Villa Maria teachers use a multisensory approach. Teachers create learning experiences that allow students to achieve their full potential and demonstrate their ability in a variety of ways. In small classes, typically four students with one teacher, students are encouraged to become active, engaged learners – whether it’s a 1st grader leaping from number to number to add or subtract, or a 6th grader using a “graphic organizer” to visually outline a book report.
Parents as Partners
At Villa Maria, we view parents as partners in the education of their children, and we value their support and participation. We stress parent-teacher communication as a vital component of the Villa Maria education. Three times a year, faculty and staff hold formal parent-teacher conferences, but communication is ongoing at Villa Maria, as parents are encouraged to contact teachers whenever needed to discuss issues, concerns, or updates on their child’s progress.
Individualized Education Plan
Every student at Villa Maria has an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) written by his or her teachers to address that student’s specific strengths and needs. For those students referred by a public agency, the IEP incorporates the goals and objectives of the IEP created through a joint effort at a Planning and Placement Team (PPT) meeting. For students who are privately placed and funded, the staff prepares an IEP using their professional expertise.
Assessment is multifaceted. There are informal daily assessments, calculated to determine whether re-teaching of a particular concept or skill is warranted. Students are assessed on their participation in class discussion and activities and homework as well as quizzes and exams. There are more formal assessment, such as true/false, multiple choice, short answer and short essay questions, and math problem solving tests. In addition, there are performance assessments, through which students may demonstrate their acquisition and application of knowledge and skills as they create a product. At Villa students also produce a portfolio, in which samples of work are collected in order to show progress over time.
“The teachers at Villa Maria make learning fun. I feel so lucky to have found this school for our child.”Father of a 4th grader.