For the 2014-15 school year, 20 students from 13 different schools are enrolled at HillSprings Academy for morning classes from 8:00 to 11:00 a.m. Students are mainstreamed for the remainder of the day in local public, private, or homeschool settings. This dual enrollment affords students the opportunity to receive necessary academic accelerated skill learning in a special school setting but not at the expense of normal social interactions. Students may choose to participate in sports or clubs at their regular school.
The academic program at HillSprings Academy is designed to provide individualized instruction to students in grades one through eight who have been diagnosed with specific learning disabilities or attention deficit disorder. HillSprings uses multisensory instruction in a highly structured environment to present a curriculum based on individual objectives. Students are placed in small classes of no greater than four students per teacher, and the focus is on reading, written language, and mathematics.
Enrollment in HillSprings is generally short-term. In most instances, skill learning is accomplished in two to three years, and students are able to return to their regular schools on a full-time basis. Along with the academic program, emphasis is also placed on teaching compensatory strategies through a study skills curriculum which is an integral part of each class.
The academic program at HillSprings Academy strives to assist each individual in realizing his or her potential by developing strengths, addressing challenges, and providing successful experiences. The relationship between the teacher and student encourages participation and a willingness to attempt challenging skills. The positive, success-oriented nature of the program facilitates learning, as well as improves self-esteem and enhances motivation. Close communication with the student's regular school helps to ensure optimum success for the student in both environments. Progress is reported throughout the school year in the form of progress reports, performance on pre- and post- standardized instruments, and mastery of instructional objectives. Parent conferences are scheduled at least three times during the school year and may occur more frequently upon request.