Differentiated Learning

Overcoming Learning Obstacles

catscores  Differentiated Learning catscores

Upon enrollment at Cedar Ridge Academy, many of the new students come with a history of academic decline due to varied learning obstacles. The graph above tracks the improvement, compared to the national increases, of students attending Cedar Ridge Academy. As we have improved our scholastic focus over time, the academic achievement of students has improved dramatically.

As you can see, students who spend time at CRA dramatically improve their base scholastic skills compared to their peers nationally. We achieve that by focusing on individual student growth, offering a rich, scholastic environment, and teaching students effective coping strategies both for school and life.

Cedar Ridge Academy Addresses Learning Obstacles By Focusing On Individual Student Growth

Upon initial enrollment in Cedar Ridge Academy, many parents have reported varied learning obstacles their students may need assistance with. This information is provided in an open-question format, not from a checklist of academic issues, and shows a strong correlation between certain academic struggles and therapeutic placement in general. Our school day is scheduled to address ADD, Attention Deficit Disorder, and ADHD, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, by having Karate and PE for at least one hour daily, helping students to be more focused and settled while they are in the school. Deadlines and consistent expectations also greatly enhance a student’s ability to focus on academics.

Genuine academic issues, such as verbal and auditory difficulty and slow processing, are addressed by the structure we provide. We have a heavy emphasis on small group and individual work, giving us the ability to adjust curriculum for effective scaffolding, and providing us with the time and resources to rebuild students’ academic foundation.

Initial Assessments

When a student enrolls in Cedar Ridge Academy, we do a few initial assessments to help determine where their academic strengths and weaknesses lie. This information is valuable in sorting through a student’s struggles and determining where they need remediation and where they may display inadequacy as a pattern of learned helplessness. The primary way in which we learn about a student is through direct interaction. We consider the first three to six months to be a continual scaffolding and formative assessment cycle as we learn the ins and outs of each student, as they learn the ins and outs of themselves, and as they settle in to their new environment.

We administer the CAT  (California Aptitude Test) within the first month a student is enrolled. The CAT is a general knowledge assessment that is used primarily to track gain scores and not intended to be an aide in course placement. During the first week of enrollment, students also complete a math and writing assessment designed to target skills that need remediation.

Students Taught Effective Coping Strategies

The entire structure of Cedar Ridge Academy is designed to address student learning obstacles. Students are encouraged to take ownership of their particular challenge(s). They are taught effective coping strategies. Students who take ownership, then master appropriate strategies become effective students. This achievement helps ensure that students develop the skills to become proficient adults.