Successful Education Extends Beyond the Classroom
Our education is not limited to a classroom. Most children come to our school for autism already frustrated and struggling in the classroom setting. The mission of New Focus Academy is to provide differentiated instruction in a supportive environment that promotes self-determination, resiliency, and excellence in learning. Our entire curriculum is focused on Small Class Sizes where Life Skills Development and Team Projects accelerate independence and relational skills. The New Focus team uses hands-on real-world instruction to assist the students in developing skills to become independent and self-sufficient adults who can positively contribute to their community.
OUR MISSION IN EDUCATION
Students with social-cognitive deficits process information differently than students without these deficits. This means these students learn and interact differently than their peers. These learning differences can create educational challenges that can lead to a life long struggle to gain independence.
At New Focus Academy, we used evidence-based practices to help our uniquely abled students succeed at learning self-determination. Self-determination, or the ability to guides one’s own life, is the number one goal of education. To help students’ gain independence; New Focus teaches Utah Common Core Curriculum with a focus on the Essential Elements. The Essential Elements provide ways for students to learn life skills, functional math and language arts skills, community based living skills, and social-emotional skills.
A CURRICULUM BUILT FOR THE REAL WORLD
We’ve built our entire curriculum to teach our unique student population important skills that transfer into the real world. It’s all based on practicality–for example, our math course includes showing our students how to keep and maintain a budget, which is an essential skill in adulthood.
Here’s a breakdown of some of our academics:
- LIFE SKILLS: self-assessment, critical thinking, problem solving, decision making
- FUNCTIONAL MATH: using calendars, counting money, budgeting, measuring (including volume)
- FUNCTIONAL LANGUAGE ARTS: reading instructions, identifying important information, reading schedules, using adaptive tools independently
- COMMUNITY-BASED LIVING: using public transportation, shopping, time-management, planning for emergencies
- SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING: emotional regulation, social & physical boundaries, internet safety, job specific social skills
SETTING THE PATH TO GRADUATION
In order for our students to earn a diploma, they often need to develop a foundation of positive life skills. We teach and practice successful personal habits empowering our students approach academics using their personal strengths.
BUILDING CONFIDENCE MEANS BETTER RESILIENCE
Many of our students come to the program feeling like a failure due to past troubles. We know it’s crucial for a student to crave success and feel comfortable learning from setbacks. Our positive reinforcement approach highlights successes so students regain confidence and develop emotional resilience.
EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES
Listening to classroom lectures just won’t work for most of our students. They perform better in a more hands-on, experiential setting. Our team uses creative, engaging learning experiences in the classroom and beyond to make sure our students grasp important concepts.
TEACHING INDEPENDENCE WITH LIFE SKILLS
The ultimate goal for every New Focus student is developing independence and preparing for a successful life. We help nurture each student’s skills and them prepare for inevitable day to day challenges. Learning isn’t just about math, English, and the other usual subjects–it’s also about practical skills that will aid our students in their daily lives. From working towards a diploma to actual working experience, our students gain real abilities, which in turn help them live an independent life.
New Focus Academy is a Cognia Accredited Program
“Cognia offers accreditation and certification, assessment, professional learning, and improvement solutions to institutions and other education providers. As a global nonprofit working in over 80 countries, Cognia serves 36,000 institutions, nearly 25 million students, and five million educators every day.”